The True Costs of Car Subscriptions

The true cost of car subscriptions, point missed.

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The true costs of car subscriptions

The Express has recently written an article with regards to the true costs of a car subscription and attempting to compare them to a long-term PCP or car lease.

The author Tim Bradley from the Express has put together a really good article, however, the article fails to provide the benefits of a car subscription over a longer-term arrangement.

“These schemes can be wildly overpriced”

Tim states in the Express article that the “schemes can be wildly overpriced” – and that a lease or a PCP deal will often have the same benefits.

Whilst we agree in many respects that this is true, a traditional car lease or PCP doesn’t allow the flexibility that a car subscription can offer. Some Car Subscription services such as Cazoo or Wagonex advertise their subscription service rates based on 24 or 36 months, but shorter timeframes are available.

Comparisons Provided

Tim Bradley also includes comparisons between various companies including Care by Volvo, Hyundai Mocean, Pivotal and Cazoo, failing to accurately compare these vehicle subscription services which can be a difficult job, so we hope we cover these below:

Care by Volvo

Care by Volvo Logo

Minimum contract length: Three months
Cost per month: £469 (XC40) – £1009 (XC90)
Included: Servicing, Road Tax, 30 days insurance, delivery, breakdown cover
Equivalent cost to lease (Personal Contract Hire) the same car: £363 (XC40) – £814 (XC90)
Example taken from

Our Comments

Whilst the costs for the Care by Volvo program are correct, the contract is for 3 months and can be returned or extended with ease. Whereas a Personal Contract Hire would require a commitment of 36 months to get the prices shown in the example.

Should the customer return this early, many PCH companies levy an Early Termination Fee, this can be anywhere between 50-100% of the outstanding rentals.

The initial payment is also not taken into account. Generally, a car subscription is the equivalent of 1 payment in advance, therefore, if the rental is £469, the initial rental will be £469 followed by monthly payments of £469.00.

On a Personal Contract Hire, these initial payments can be the equivalent of between 3 and 6 months. To get the advertised rate of a Volvo XC40 car lease, you would be required to put down £2178.00 followed by at least 35 payments of £363.00 per month. The equivalent of paying £413.42 per month.


Cazoo (Formally Driver) Logo

Minimum contract length: Six months
Cost per month: £249 (Citroen C1) – £799 (BMW X3) + £75 delivery
Included: Servicing, Road Tax, insurance, breakdown cover, 5p off per litre of fuel
Equivalent cost to lease (Personal Contract Hire) the same car: £226 (Citroen C1) – £628 (BMW X3)
Example taken from

Our Comments

The costs for the Cazoo example are based on a hire period of 6-months. The quote examples provided for the Personal Contract Hire are based on a 36 Month Car Lease with the equivalent of 6-monthly payments. THis would mean that to get the price of £226 per month, you would be required to put down £1356.00 followed by 35 rentals of £226.00.

Cazoo Trucks

On top of this, the price of the Personal Contract Hire does not include maintenance, whilst Citroen offer a service pack which you can pay monthly or based on a one-off charge, this would still be on top of the rental of £226.00. When you work the initial rental back over the 36 months, the cost of this would be £257.39 per month, more expensive than the Cazoo example.

Comparing Car Subscriptions vs. Contract Hire

Car Subscriptions don’t work for everyone and neither do Contract Hire agreements. It is vitally important to weigh up the flexibility of the contracts and your personal circumstances. Subscriptions is also a really good way of trialing electric car subscriptions before you commit long-term.

Whilst 2 or 3 years might not feel a long time, a lot can happen during this time and a car subscription can provide that month-to-month scheme to help you and your personal needs. Should you need to up or downsize during this time, it’s easy to swap over. Something that you cannot do with a Personal Contract Hire.

With Personal Contract Hire, always take into account the initial payments and divide this outlay overtime to give you a true cost.

Use our website to compare car subscription services easily. If you need quotes on car lease deals, click on the link to be taken through to our partners.

Read the Article

Read the Express Article Here: £1,000 a month to borrow a Volvo – the true cost of car subscriptions

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.

Article Details

Post Published: December 22, 2021
Post Last Updated: November 15, 2023
Article Categories: ,