In this article, we will talk about car subscription services in Australia. Then, we will see some of its advantages and disadvantages and the subscription costs. Moreover, when the car subscription works, when it does not, and much more.

A car subscription in Australia is one of the most convenient, affordable, and flexible alternatives to car ownership. In recent years, the emerging trends in mobility, like rideshare, car sharing, ride-hailing, and car subscription services changed a lot.

They are changing the way people use and value personal vehicles. As a result, mobility services show an immense change in transportation preferences. Thus, consumers are shifting from vehicle ownership to how people use cars.

Car subscription services in Australia have gained a lot of attention and become popular with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today after COVID, car subscription services remain strong showing the potential to become a future trend.

Forbes predicts that by 2025, there will be 1.9 million subscription cars on Australian roads. Australians prefer auto subscriptions to leasing or owning a car, with 38% of people choosing it over leasing or owning.

So, now let’s pop the bonnet and precisely explore the concept of car subscription, its available services in Australia, and some of its pros and cons.

What Is A Car Subscription?

Car subscription is a concept that allows customers to drive all new cars without worrying about owning their vehicle. They don’t have to worry about payments and responsibilities attached to car ownership. It does not require any commitments to long-term contracts either.

Not only that, a car subscription is one of the most flexible and affordable forms of obtaining any car too. Another name for car subscriptions is long-term rentals. Car subscription services in Australia charge a monthly fee so that customers can get unlimited access to different services.

In addition, a monthly car subscription is one of the best options for drivers in terms of flexibility, convenience, and excitement. Most importantly, the car subscription will only stop if you decide to cancel or swap your vehicle.

Some features of car subscription services in Australia include the following:

For instance, you can get such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc.

  • There is a complete range of fuel types. It includes hybrid, electric, petrol, and diesel cars, etc.
  • Car subscription companies have a range of unique car colors to choose from.
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Car Subscription Services In Australia

A car subscription service in Australia provides vehicles to customers in exchange for a monthly fee. The fee often covers car registration, liability insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, maintenance, etc.

Unlike a lease, a car subscription is quite different though.

In a lease, people need to make a two- to five-year commitment. In a car subscription, one can subscribe for either one month, six months, or just for the whole year.

There are many car subscription services in Australia. Below is a list of names of some of the popular ones.

  • Carly
  • Carbar
  • HelloCars
  • FlexiGo
  • Simplr
  • Motopool

1. Carly

Carly provides car subscription services in cities like Gold Coast and Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. You must go to their website and sign up for a car subscription service.

Their main office is in Kent Street in Sydney. But the bookings are all done online and you need to pick up the car at the designated pick up location.

You can also go to the participating dealer’s website and sign up through the Carly button there. Depending on the insurance excess you require and the amount of mileage, you can choose three subscription levels – Entry, Medium and Large

Carly Conditions Of Subscription

  • It has a minimum subscription period of 30 days.
  • If you want to cancel the subscription, you must give 30 days prior notice in writing.
  • The Entry-level plan includes $3,000 excess damage liability, one switch per month, and 1,000km per month. However, the charge for extra km is $0.30 per km.
  • Carly’s Medium plan includes $2,000 excess damage liability, one switch per month, and 2,000km per month. Moreover, the charging of extra kilometers is $0.10 per km.
  • Its Large-level plan has two switches per month, 2,800km per month, with the extra charging of $0.10 per km. In addition, it includes a $1,000 excess damage liability.

2. Carbar

You can sign up on the website of Carbar and create an account for free. Carbar is available in major Australian cities like Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. There are Carbar’s dealership locations from where people can easily pick up a car.

Carbar Conditions Of Subscription

  • You must give two weeks’ cancellation notice to cancel or change your subscription.
  • The kilometer limits are 500km per week. Similarly, for the year, it is a 26,000km per year limit. The charges for extra kilometers are $0.14 per km.

3. HelloCars

HelloCars is available in Sydney, but people from Victoria and Queensland can also subscribe to their services.

However, they need to pay a higher delivery fee and security deposit. You can apply online and book any car of your choice.

They have three subscription plans Economy, Cruise, and Explorer. All three plans have different pricing and terms and conditions.

Hellocar Conditions Of Subscription

  • The minimum subscription for Economy is 120 days; then Cruise is 45 days, and Explorer is 30 days.
  • You must give 21 days’ notice to cancel your car subscription.
  • The mileage limits include 175km/week for Economy, 450km/week for Cruise, and 650km/week for Explorer.
  • The swapping cars are available for 21 days’ notice.

4. FlexiGo

FlexiGo is available in South-East Queensland, and you can apply for their car subscriptions by visiting their website. You can pay their weekly membership fee, which includes registration, roadside assistance, servicing, and insurance.

FlexiGo Conditions Of Subscription

  • The minimum term of a car subscription is one week.
  • There is a requirement of one week’s notice of cancellation.
  • Every three months, you can swap the car for free or pay $150.
  • It is available for all license holders in Australia, including rideshare drivers.

5. Simplr

The company has the most extensive range of subscription cars in Australia. You can find your vehicle by subscribing online.

Some of the things that Simplr cover includes registration, roadside assistance, maintenance, warranty, and comprehensive insurance.

Simplr Conditions Of Subscription

  • They are fast and flexible, with no lock-in contracts.
  • Simplr has one flat monthly payment.

6. Motopool

Motopool is a car subscription service that is making waves in Australia. With its unique offering, customers can easily subscribe to a car for a fixed monthly fee that includes insurance, registration, and maintenance. This service is perfect for those who want to avoid the hassle of buying and selling a car.

Motopool has a wide range of cars available, from small hatchbacks to SUVs, and customers can switch between cars if they need to.

With no lock-in contracts and a simple online signup process, Motopool is a convenient and affordable way to get on the road.

If you’re looking for a car subscription service that takes care of all the details, Motopool is worth considering.

Motopool Conditions Of Subscription

When subscribing to Motopool’s car subscription service in Australia, there are a few conditions to be aware of.

  • Customers must have a valid driver’s license and be at least 21 years old.
  • A security deposit may be required, depending on the subscription plan and car chosen.
  • Customers are responsible for any excess fees in the event of an accident, and a usage limit may apply.
  • You must adhere to the agreed-upon subscription term, which can range from one to 36 months.
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Advantages Of Car Subscription Services

Car subscription services in Australia have many advantages and give you the freedom to choose your car.

The following are some essential advantages of car subscription services in Australia.

1. Cost

The most significant advantage of car subscription services is that it includes all costs and fees. Most services have registration, insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance costs. Those costs are already included in weekly or monthly subscription fees.

In short, these services will also take care of all the paperwork for registration, maintenance and insurance.

2. Flexibility

Another benefit of car subscription services is that their terms are flexible. Most services require only two weeks’ notice if anybody wants to cancel their subscription.

Similarly, if the customer needs to try something different, they can switch cars.

3. Try A Car Before Buying

Subscription services also give customers the freedom to choose their favourite cars. Hence, they can try different models before committing to buy a car.

4. Online Sign-up And Vehicle Deliver

In Australia, many providers have an online portal for customers to sign up for car subscription services. Customers can scroll through different car options and select the best subscription plan.

Apart from that, some services allow the choice of car delivery to the customers too.

Disadvantages Of Subscription Services

As car subscriptions have advantages, it is also necessary to understand the disadvantages of these services.

Below are some disadvantages of car subscription services in Australia.

1. Car Model Choices

Car subscription services through manufacturers or dealers have one major disadvantage. They limit the model choices and types of vehicles, so customers feel restricted.

2. Additional Charges

There are some additional fees for car subscription services. Although the monthly payments may look attractive, the cost of joining and using a car is sometimes high.

In addition, there might be some security deposit and cancellation fees that customers must figure out.

Sometimes accessing expensive car models also increases the costs. For example, Toyota is costlier than Audi cars.

3. Availability Problems

Car subscription services are available in a few major Australian cities only; If you live in rural or regional areas, there are chances that these services are not available in that area.

4. Mileage Limitations

When you subscribe to a service, some chances may restrict how many kilometers you can travel. Likewise, some restrictions exist on using the car for business purposes, who else can drive the vehicle, etc.

Pros And Cons Of Car Subscription Services

The below table shows the essential pros and cons of car subscription services in Australia.

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Pros Cons
There are multiple vehicle swaps Cost is higher than owning a car
Insurance, servicing, maintenance, and other costs included There is a mileage limitation
People can cancel the subscription at any time Smoking and pets are not allowed in the vehicles
It is not necessary to do a long-term commitment It cannot have unlimited drivers

Cost of Subscription Services

To get the most advantage and value from your subscription services, you must select a provider. Identify the provider with the best offer and conditions.

In Australia, companies have different rates for subscription services. Thus, some are expensive while others are cheap.

If we talk about upfront fees, then the costliest is Carbar. It charges its new subscribers’ non-refundable fees between $1,000 to $7,000.

However, it depends on the weekly rate you are paying.

In comparison, HelloCars subscription starts from $129 per week. However, that price depends on the chosen plan. It could become expensive as it needs a security deposit of $500, $1000, or $2,500.

Motopool’s joining fee is $250, which is slightly better.

Subscription Services Example Plan

Suppose we consider Simplr, so the subscription cost depends on the customer’s plan and car. The Lite plan is the most affordable, starting from $159 per week.

Carly will not leave you out of pocket; as for new subscribers, there are no charges or upfront fees. The first payment that the customer makes will be their monthly subscription fee.

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When Would Subscription Services Work?

Subscription services are like car rentals and have all-inclusive payments, including servicing and maintenance. All the services work differently, but, in many cases, they even include discounted fuel prices.

Put simply, if you are looking for an alternative option to car ownership, then car subscription services will be the best option.

Moreover, you can pay a monthly cost for driving a quality vehicle through a third-party leasing company or a direct manufacturer. People also can swap vehicles and try out new ones.

A car subscription is also the perfect solution for auto enthusiasts who want to drive various cars in different driving conditions.

When Subscription Services Do Not Work?

The model of subscription services has transformed many segments. It includes the auto industry, but for some people, it still needs to be fixed.

For example, most consumers argue that it has an unclear value proposition.

You can drive what you want for a monthly fee has yet to capture mass consumers’ imagination. They find some subscriptions are expensive and car leasing more convenient.

The subscription services look like one-stop shopping, allowing consumers to swap cars, but their cost-effectiveness sometimes comes into doubt. A car subscription only works for some of the average car buyers. Hence, it is a luxury service with a price tag for them.

Why Is Luxury Rent-a-car A Better Short-term Solution To Car Subscriptions?

The rapid behavioral changes in the customers, infrastructure, tech developments, and upgrade needs force the automotive industry to test the subscription market. Automakers are following different models, and one such value-added offer is a car subscription. It allows you to switch cars when you like and is better than traditional car ownership. No question!

However, when it comes to luxury cars, is renting a luxury car would be a better option compared to a subscription? Don’t you think? Yes, that’s true. Most people think a luxury rental car is a better short-term solution than a car subscription.

When somebody rents a car, so it means that they are paying for a short-term car solution. The rental periods are shorter, so customers can get the vehicle for only one day or a few weeks.

Rent-a-car A Better Short-term Solution

In Australia, some companies charge you for an hour and even by a minute. It is a much better short-term solution to car subscription as the rental companies charge people like a pay-per-use model. Hence, you can save more money renting a car instead of buying one, especially when you are traveling.

Renting a car is not suitable for the long term as it turns out to be costlier and impractical. A car subscription service in Australia is best for those who want a car for a few months. They also can change the car according to their needs.

On the other hand, luxury rent a vehicle is suitable for those who want a car for the short-term, let’s say from a day to a few weeks.

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The charm of car subscriptions and their services in Australia attracts people from all classes. It has made the dream of millions of people because they can drive cars like SUVs, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and Audi. Car subscription services in Australia offer value to customers, and it is a cost-effective option.

Car subscription services in Australia have many advantages, allowing you to drive different car models. It is also a better option for frequent travelers who wants luxury vehicles.

But is there a better option for some drivers? Therefore, before choosing any car subscription plan, consider its pros and cons.

Cost is also essential, so compare the price of car subscription services that the companies offer. Always choose those plans that suit your needs and budget.

Most importantly, it is also essential that before signing up, you must read the terms and conditions carefully of each agreement of the service provider.