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Car subscriptions: Long-term trend or short-term hype

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Although the concept of vehicle ownership via subscription is
not entirely new, since it exists in specific car leasing offers,
new providers have made it more appealing to a wider group of
consumers through app-based mobility channels.

With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, car subscription
services gained a lot of attention in automotive and mainstream
media, further accelerating curiosity among consumers. The pandemic
has had a negative impact on public transport and shared mobility
services, resulting in a major decline in the number of rides. The
market has been slowly recovering ever since. This consequently led
to a renewed interest in cars, as well as highlighting the
necessity and safety that cars provided to car owners and to
consumers with no cars.

Although shared mobility channels have been recovering, car
subscription services keep on gaining in popularity. Is this trend
just a strong symptom of consumers avoiding other means of shared
or mass transportation as a precaution against the virus, or is
this business model cannibalizing conventional car ownership
models?

It appears that car subscriptions are starting to make inroads
among younger consumer groups who are more aligned with the concept
of subscriptions, suggesting that this has potential to become a
future trend. Our research highlights that car subscriptions
certainly have the potential to speed up a more general trend in
the depletion of traditional car ownership to increased Mobility as
a Service (MaaS) channels.

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Posted 27 June 2022 by Mario Franjičević, Principal Analyst, Automotive New Mobility, S&P Global Mobility


This article was published by S&P Global Mobility and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.

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