Should you use car subscription instead of buying?

There are some serious disruptions happening in the Indian automobile space. Slowly but steadily, the concept of renting or buying a car under subscription is starting to get popular with several service providers like Revv or Myles entering the fray. More and more car makers, too, are now offering their cars via subscriptions.

MG, for example, has tied up with Myles for its Hector and even Hyundai and Mahindra offer some of their cars via this process. So should you go for a car subscription instead of buying a new car? We discuss the pros and cons here.

Plus points

The major pros in subscribing to cars are the flexibility and cost-effectiveness they offer. Buying a car means hefty EMIs, down payments, insurance costs, maintenance and, of course, the inevitable depreciation.

Buying a car under subscription means that you pay a nominal security deposit, which is refundable when you return the car, and of course the monthly subscription fee. However, the subscription fee includes maintenance and insurance so you don not have to pay separately for those.

Subscriptions also mean that you don’t have to be stuck with the same car for five years. You can use the car for 12 months and increase the time period if you like the vehicle. You also have the option of buying the car later. This essentially means you can change cars without the hassle of depreciation or going through the arduous process of selling your old car.

Make money while you drive

Under subscription, when you are not using your car, you can actually let others use it and get paid for it. Thus, while you are away, your car will earn money and may help you to pay back the subscription amount.

The downsides

Sadly, there are several negatives to subscribing to cars. Cars driven under subscription have commercial plates and that means you have to pay a fee if and when you travel inter-state. Also, only a few models are available under the subscription scheme currently. There is also a limitation in choice in terms of engines and gearbox options. For example, the only Creta available via subscription is the petrol AT variant and a new car like the Venue is not available at all. Mahindra though is offering its full range, but it’s the only car-maker to do so at the moment.

The verdict

Subscription would work well for those who would like to have a car for a shorter duration. It is a more flexible method of car ownership and certainly cheaper than leasing a car.