Subscription models could help hesitant buyers make the switch to an EV

Subscription models could help hesitant buyers make the switch to an EV

Subscription models could help hesitant buyers make the switch to an electric car

This is the latest report in a series of weekly updates for industry colleagues from Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car? and Haymarket Automotive. Quoted poll data is from more than 800 users.

Subscription models could help new car buyers who are hesitant about electric vehicles make the switch to the technology, according to our latest industry research. 

Subscription services allow customers to obtain short-term leases on cars, with insurance, tax and other fees bundled into a single monthly payment. They act as an alternative to traditional leasing and finance, and often allow customers to switch between car models over the duration of the lease. They have grown in recent years, with a rising number of manufacturers adding the option to their product line-up.

In our research, just 2.92% of 822 new car buyers asked said they were looking to get their next car on a subscription model, suggesting that the services are unlikely to offset traditional finance and leasing in the near future. However, the framework could help buyers considering an electric vehicle to test the technology before committing to a long-term lease or finance deal.

Our research found that 45.26% of new car buyers would be more interested in obtaining an electric vehicle through a subscription model – rather than leasing or financing one – as a means of testing the technology first.

Ease of use, the ability to swap models and lack of stress were highlighted as key factors by those in favour of subscription models. People who said they were not interested in subscription services said they preferred owning their cars (59.95%), liked to organise their own insurance and roadside cover (15.56%), or were worried about the value for money subscription plans offered (12.81%). 

Subscription models are a niche in the industry right now. As our research shows, though, they could act as an important tool in furthering electric vehicle uptake by buyers who are hesitant over the technology, especially if the manufacturer allows them to swap between internal combustion engine and electric models during the subscription./logged_in]

What Car? Insights