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The Netflix Approach To Car Leasing

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Car leasing is not a new thing, but subscription-based leasing is something else. Industry players — both new and existing — are taking the so-called Netflix approach to car leasing to entice consumers looking for more flexibility in car ownership.

The traditional concept of car leasing is evolving to cater to the modern lifestyle approach. It is adopting a subscription-based model similar to popular digital entertainment platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more recently, Disney Plus.

This new approach offers consumers the flexibility and convenience to choose a car based on their needs and preferences, and change it whenever necessary, just like they would with their favourite streaming service. And this is what new platforms in car leasing are hoping to achieve in providing an alternative to vehicle ownership.

TRADITIONAL LEASING MODELWith the rise in the cost of living, consumers — especially in Singapore — are less able to afford a car. Leasing a car will therefore be a more affordable short-term alternative to purchasing one, as monthly lease payments are often less costly compared to monthly payments for a purchased car.  An added advantage of leasing is the choice of being able to change to a new and different type of car model each time you renew the lease.

While traditional car leasing is a great alternative to owning a vehicle, it can also be an expensive affair in its own right. For some companies, the base leasing rates may not include important things like insurance and maintenance fees. The rates can increase significantly once these and other add-ons are factored in. Some companies do not disclose hidden costs that can add up to a nasty surprise for the user at the end of the lease tenure. And once you have committed to a lease, any decision to cut short the term or change to another car model can be a hassle — and you are also on the hook for a penalty fee as well!

MODERN LEASING MODELSubscription-based car services offer their customers more flexibility, and can cater to their changing needs and commitment. They allow them to activate and customise their service options with the use of an app. There is no deposit or down payment, users just need to pay a flat fee every month to access the services available. Subscription services also work on a rolling contract that can be as short as a single month. It offers customers the option to cancel or change their vehicle at the end of that time. This is great for someone whose circumstances often change, and he requires a bigger or smaller car. These services also give customers access to the latest models, unlike traditional leasing, where a customer will be stuck with the same one throughout the lease period.

With the app, drivers can simply search for their ideal car model and subscribe to the plan they prefer. The all-inclusive fee covers both insurance and regular maintenance costs. Some services also include roadside insurance coverage and even an online concierge service. Once their driving licences, relevant documentation and payment are validated and processed, they can expect to receive their cars at their doorstep or at a nearby location within days. Some car subscription service providers even offer 24-hour delivery in Singapore. Although it depends on the car model, this is amazing, nonetheless!

With consumers these days so entrenched in digital services and online convenience, the subscription-based car service may well be, arguably, the best alternative avenue for vehicle ownership for many.