Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

Some Automakers Are Offering Subscription Services for Customers Who Don't Want to Buy, and Yep, Netflix for Cars Is Now a Thing

Some Automakers Are Offering Subscription Services for Customers Who Don't Want to Buy, and Yep, Netflix for Cars Is Now a Thing

Millennials aren’t interested in buying cars, so automakers are hoping they’ll subscribe to them instead.

Car buying may soon be a thing of the past, especially among millennials. This may be welcome news to anyone who’s had to pay for major auto repairs!

Though more than 90 percent of households still own one vehicle, millennials (loosely defined as those born in the early 1980s through the late 1990s), many of whom prefer living in city environments, are increasingly eschewing the hassles of parking, maintenance and depreciation in favor of Lyft and Uber, or car-sharing programs like ReachNow or Car2Go.


Given that millennials are about to surpass baby boomers as the world’s largest living adult generation, auto manufacturers are taking notice — last year they reported the first decline in new vehicle sales in eight years. Their solution? Subscription services, which operate something like Netflix: For a flat monthly fee, subscribers can have access to a variety of models through their local dealership.

Cadillac, for example, offers BOOK by Cadillac (tagline: “Commit to being uncommitted”) in limited markets, which for $1,800 a month allows subscribers to select any Cadillac model to drive; when the subscriber is finished with the current vehicle, a driver comes to retrieve it and drop off a new one of the subscriber’s choosing.

BMW, Porsche and Mercedes are currently testing similar services in certain cities, though other manufacturers, such as Volvo, offer less-expensive versions averaging about $600 a month. (Volvo is currently the only automaker offering a subscription service nationwide.) Insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance are included, and unlike a lease, there are no contracts.

“To understand why a manufacturer would do this, you have to realize that they are always desperate to increase their market share,” David Checkel, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Alberta, Canada, toldPopular Science.

“Once you've committed the billions of dollars in factories and supply chains, the way you make a profit is by pushing your product off the line and into the hands of customers. Any marginal increase in the number of vehicles your factories produce has a significant impact on profit.”

Though subscription services are more expensive than owning a vehicle, manufacturers are banking that millennials’ fickle tastes and thirst for novelty will compel them to conclude the price is worth it. And a recent Edmunds investigation found that some services are actually cheaper than a traditional lease, especially if one lives in a city with high insurance rates.

"It comes down to three things," Melody Lee of BOOK by Cadillac told CNN. "Flexibility, simplicity and personalization.”

Proponents point out subscribers could drive, say, a convertible in the summer and a 4WD SUV in the winter, or a pickup truck if they need to move something large.

“Me personally, I'd rather have my own car, keep it, store it, take care of it, you know,” Tim Bedard, a resident of Toledo, Ohio, told CBS affiliate WTOL in a story about Jeep’s early-June announcement of a new subscription service.

“I know it's mine, but if somebody wants a faster car or a different design that comes out every two years or every year, I think it's a great idea for somebody."

More from News

Screenshots of Kamala Harris and J.D. Vance
C-SPAN; NBC News

Kamala Harris Calls Out JD Vance For 'What He Didn't Say' During RNC Speech In Epic Takedown

In a fiery speech to supporters in North Carolina, Vice President Kamala Harris called out what J.D. Vance—former President Donald Trump's freshly selected running mate—"didn't say" in his speech accepting the VP nomination on Night 3 of the Republican National Convention.

Amid much talk about key conservative issues like immigration, the ongoing border crisis, and "law and order," he did not once mention what the GOP has explicitly laid out and is now attempting to distance itself from: Project 2025.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Daniel Dale; Donald Trump
CNN; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

CNN Fact-Checker Debunks Trump's RNC Speech Lies For 2 Minutes Straight—And Yeah, It's A Lot

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale debunked lies former President Donald Trump told during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, dedicating two minutes to picking apart Trump's many falsehoods.

Trump made numerous oddball remarks during his speech, particularly his reference that the world was "at peace" when he was in office until his political opponents "turned it into a planet of war," declaring that the planet is now "blowing up around us" due to Democratic policies.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshots of Donald Trump and Tiffany Trump
C-SPAN

Trump Snubbed Daughter Tiffany As She Went In For A Kiss At The RNC—And People Are Team Tiffany

Social media users were sympathetic to Tiffany Trump after her father, former President Donald Trump, appeared to snub her as she went in for a kiss before his climactic speech accepting the GOP's presidential nomination.

Footage from early in the evening shows a smiling Tiffany walking up the stairs toward Trump, who clearly saw her. She then attempted to greet him with a kiss only to be ignored, as he looked out at the crowd beyond her, as she walked away looking dejected.

Keep ReadingShow less
Picture of Marjorie Taylor Greene seen on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart
The Daily Show

Jon Stewart Just Pointed Out The Weird Noise MTG Made During Her RNC Speech—And Now We Can't Unhear It

Jon Stewart had a lot to unpack on Tuesday's airing of The Daily Show, given a wild week that included the shocking assassination attempt on former Republican President Donald Trump as well as the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, which kicked off on Monday.

One specific highlight from the opening night of the RNC that Jon couldn't help but fixate on was far-right Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene making strange sounds while addressing delegates during her speech.

Keep ReadingShow less
Justin Long and wife Kate Bosworth
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Smile Train

Justin Long Shares Wife Kate Bosworth's 'Really Romantic' Reaction To Him Pooping The Bed

Warning: soiler alert. Graphic bowel movement descriptions ahead.

Actor Justin Long had a romantic e-poo-phany about how much he loved his wife, actor Kate Bosworth, when he soiled the bed after suffering from food poisoning during a trip to Mexico.

Keep ReadingShow less