Should I fix into a car subscription contract?

Should I fix into a car subscription contract?

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Man stood thinking next to his Vauxhall Corsa in Yellow
Man stood thinking next to his Vauxhall Corsa in Yellow

One of the main reasons why so many choose a car subscription is the flexibility but many of the providers are now asking you to fix into a longer-term contract to reduce the monthly costs, in our eyes it might as well be called a traditional lease if you need to commit for 12-months.

In this article we’re going to take a look at the differences between a car subscription, short-term car lease and a traditional car lease.

What is a Car Subscription?

There are many terms used for car subscriptions from long-term car hire to short-term car leases, flexi-rent and even flexible car lease. The idea of a vehicle subscription is to take a car from 1-month for as long as you need it for. If your personal circumstances change, no problem, you contact the subscription provider to swap the car for something more suitable or send the vehicle back.

Most providers let you take the vehicles for 1-month and keep it as long as 3 yeaes, you can change the vehicle as often as you want to with most companies not fixing you into a contract period.

Some specialist providers offer car leases over 6 to 18 months, these are generally called short-term car leases and are effectively the same as a traditional car lease over 2, 3 or 4 years. They will be for a fixed period of time and when the contract ends, you would need to take out a new deal with very little hope of extending it.

Most short-term car leases will come from a bank of vehicles and therefore, unlike a traditional car leases, you won’t be able to specify the options or even colours of the vehicles.

Traditional car leases which can also be called contract hire is a contract where you will rent a car from a funder over a period of 2 to 4 years. You will order the car and specify the options and colours of the vehicle or you can take one from stock, where available.

As with a short-term car lease, the term is fixed and you cannot end this early without paying an early termination charge. Initial payments may also be higher than a car subscription or a short-term car lease.

These sorts of contracts are generally cheaper than the two options above but not without the long-term commitment.

Whilst the majority of the car subscription providers offer car subscriptions, it has been noted recently that some of the companies are asking for a longer-term commitment to get the best prices. You will effectively “lock into” a 12 or 24-month term to get the best possible price. If you need to send the car back, the provider will impose a penalty.

Vehicle subscription provider mycardirect Ltd asks for a 24-month commitment to take a SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI 95 Xcellance 5dr Manual for £299 inc. VAT per month, similar deals can be found on for the same money on a traditional lease and with a similar down payment.

Subscription provider elmo offers an MG ZS EV (Excite) 45kWH for £386 inc VAT per month when you commit to a 12-month term, if you need flexibility the price goes up to £429 inc VAT per month.

When does a car subscription become a lease?

In our eyes a car subscription should be flexible for all customers but we understad that sometimes the headline rates will overtake the normal thought process and by providing some commitment, you are saving money.

But if you were to send that car back before the contract ends, be prepared to pay an early termination fee. This can vary from provider-to-provider.

If you need a truly flexible car subscription, we’d suggest looking at those firms that offer a 1-month plus contract.

Subscription Provider flex offers vehicles on a rolling 28-day basis, this really does offer a truly flexible contract for those that need it. There are lots of vehicle choices on offer including the Volkswagen E-Up from £349.99 + VAT per 28 days to a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe C63S AMG Night Edition from £1799.99 + VAT per 28 days. No commitment is required to get the best prices.

Whilst the majority of Cocoon Vehicles’ cars are available on a 1-month plus contract, to obtain the best price you just need to take the vehicle for the minimum qualifying period which is usually 90 days. As the average contract length for a subscription is 11 months, this is suitable for most business and personal customers. There are lots of options available including the Fiat 500 from just £299 plus VAT per month.

Sixt+ offers a great range of premium vehicles on a 1-month plus basis with no need for any longer-term commitments. These can all be booked from their app or directly on their website.  You can keep most of their cars from 4 to 6 months before handing it back. Prices start at a reasonable £749.00 inc. VAT per month for a VW T-Cross or similar.

Easily Compare Providers

Our IT bod’s will be changing the website around soon to try and show the companies that ask for a longer period to get the best price, we like to be transparent and we feel that many of the subscription providers are not clear about what customers are signing up to.

Use our website to easily compare car subscription providers in the UK, including those that offer a truly flexible car subscription solution.

Find those that offer an all-inclusive (insurance included) contract or those that require you to provide your own fully comprehensive insurance for your car subscription.

Patty Atindehou

Patty is the content writer for and loves her cars and the automotive industry in general. She worked for large dealer groups in the United Kingdom and the USA specialising in high-end and premium vehicles. Her goal is to provide the most interesting information on the vehicle subscription industry.

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Post Published: October 16, 2023
Post Last Updated: November 15, 2023
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