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How Do Car Subscriptions Work
by Canvas • February 6, 2019


Could a Car Subscription Be For You?

There was a time, just a few years ago, when owning a car and keeping it in your driveway was integral to the American lifestyle. It didn’t matter how much or little you used that big machine or, if your changing life circumstances meant that your vehicle was no longer a good fit for your transportation needs and finances, it was yours — and that’s that.

Fortunately, many Americans realize that we don’t have to be constrained by an outdated car-ownership model. We now live in an era where society is more concerned with access than ownership. One of the most liberating, innovative services of our time is the car subscription — paying for a car on a monthly basis without the hassle of shopping for all of the fringe services also required to drive a car.

Getting a car is a process almost everyone has faced or, potentially will face, although we all have different needs and journeys, the one thing we all share — is the need for transportation. If these scenarios speak to your situation, you’re likely an ideal candidate for a Canvas subscription. Check out these cases and see if any of them hit home.

You want to buy a car, but you’re not sure what to get yet.

Consumers in the midst of shopping for a car face a bewildering amount of choice. There are about 300 different vehicle models available in the U.S. market. While it’s fun at first to peruse automotive websites and read reviews, it can quickly become exhausting. Worse yet — those car reviews, and even an actual test drive or two, doesn’t necessarily tell you how it feels to live with a specific model, size, or style of vehicle.

On the other hand, a car subscription allows you to try a car on for size. If you don’t like it after a month, try something different — but breathe a sigh of relief knowing you avoided getting stuck for years with a car that didn’t work for you. Would you buy an outfit or a pair of shoes without trying them on first, or having the ability to return them? Why would you take that risk with a car? We suspect you don’t want to.

You want access to a fleet, not just a single vehicle.

Being able to switch from a midsize sedan, to a truck, and then a sports car, was unfathomable before the age of car subscriptions. But now, by subscribing to a vehicle on a monthly basis, you can drive a fun roadster all summer long — then swap it for a pickup you’ll use for that Fall construction project you’ve been thinking about.. When winter hits, swap the pickup for an all-wheel-drive vehicle you might need for added traction traveling through snow country. When the holidays arrive, perhaps it’ll be a good time for a full-size SUV perfect for family excursions — and then celebrate New Year’s with a swap to a sedan.

You know exactly what car you want next, but the latest version isn’t out yet.

Your current car died, or the lease is up — and your heart is set on a specific new model. But the new model-year of that vehicle (the one with upgrades and better styling) is not quite out yet. Or maybe you’re waiting for an entirely new model to be available.

It doesn’t make sense to commit to a compromise-placeholder vehicle for three years when you can subscribe for a few months until the car of your dreams rolls off the assembly line.

You’re planning a long vacation, expecting to move, or want to have access to another car for a while.

The best car subscription services, like Canvas, don’t require you subscribe every month of the year. In other words, your membership can remain active even if you decide to return your subscription car without getting another one for a few months. With Canvas, you pay for the car, maintenance, and insurance in a single fee. Why incur all those expenses if you don’t need a car for a month or two? It seems wrong to pay for something that you’re not using.

A car subscription allows you to avoid wasting money on a car payment, lease, and insurance for a while. You can save money for a couple months worth of payments, and then have your next car delivered — only when you’re ready. Also, if you’re planning to move, it’s a headache to buy a car now and then need to transport it to the other side of the country. Get mobility only when you need it with a car subscription.

You feel it’s time to experiment with a healthy, multi-modal transportation lifestyle.

We have more transportation choices than ever before — especially if you’re an urban dweller. There’s walking, bicycling, ride-hailing, car-sharing, and public transportation. Perhaps you’re ready to combine them all in a car-light or car-free green lifestyle. A car subscription can make that transition easier because you know that if the need arises for a vehicle for a couple months, you’re just a few clicks (and a few days away) from having a set of wheels delivered to your home. That will solve the immediate need when it arises — and then you can return to multi-modal transportation as soon as it makes sense.

These use cases reveal car ownership doesn’t always fit into a tidy box. You might identify with various aspects of these scenarios, and are thinking, *is Canvas for me?* It just might be. The real beauty of a car subscription is its flexibility — move forward without the commitment and cost that locks you into several years of leasing or owning one fixed, unchangeable vehicle.

In the 21st century, our mobility needs are fluid. Our access to a personal car should reflect the tenets our society holds dear: flexibility, choice, and freedom.