All I have to remember is to refuel
Apart from the monthly subscription, fuel is the only expense when renting a car from Volvo. They’ll even overlook a scratch or two.
The freshly-made breakfast is on the table, but the camera, fixed on something else, is ignoring it. It's waiting to capture the sunlight at the exact moment it hits the tablet screen. The tablet is in the hands of a young man; he isn’t a business man nor an eternal student. He’s heading out to run errands. He doesn't own a car – but he still needs one.
A few clicks later, a Volvo XC40 SUV is waiting outside his front door. All he has to do is leave the house and the car is there. The driver hands over the keys. Where she will disappear to, or if she’s taking the bus back to work, is of no consequence; as long as our hero has the car he wanted. Faster than the blink of an eye.
That is how simple Care by Volvo programme seems, at least according to their promotional video. The advertisement for the company, which much like BMW, Porsche, and certain other giants of the automotive world, has contracted subscription economy fever, implies that our wishes can be fulfilled with only a few clicks of the mouse, which is a principle that consumers have already embraced, when it comes to buying food, clothes, or consumer electronics, but not yet when it comes to artwork or new cars.
Volvo’s SUVs can currently be rented in Germany, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Norway, and the USA, but the company is supposedly planning to expand Care by Volvo to include other markets.
When buying a car, you must naturally first decide which set of wheels you want, then go and have a look, perhaps go back for another look, and test it out a bit before opening up your wallet, or otherwise enter a leasing agreement, which will mean years of payments.
Volvo wanted to unburden their customers who unavoidably face difficulties when buying a car, which is why they introduced their vehicle subscription service, following the principles of life per month.
For now, the price of 600 dollars a month will give you access to the latest XC40, or the S60, the purchase price of which in Slovenia starts at 30,000 euros, and they are planning to expand their fleet to include the XC60 and the XC90 in the next few months. Currently, only new cars are available for rent, but they are also planning to offer used cars in the near future.
For now, drivers from eight countries can enjoy the cars ordered on Volvo’s website, and the company is hoping to soon expand their service, as they are planning for the share of subscribers in their customer business model to reach 50 percent by 2025.
Since Volvo is trying to set itself aside from their direct competition, they are offering the lowest monthly fee on the market, but they are also taking other steps to care for their customers. Each driver uses only the newest, not yet used cars, and never has to think about any other costs. Insurance, taxes, maintenance service, and repairs are all included in the subscription price. They also cover tyre changes. And they promise not to get upset if there is an occasional scratch on the surface.
Always affordable taxi price
Additionally, the digital »assistant« is available anywhere, anytime, can also browse and recommend restaurants on your route, or make hotel bookings. That is, if you agree to their terms and conditions and allow them to regularly »sort through« the digital vehicle data and your driving data, which allows them to further adapt their service to their clients.
In addition to the subscription fee, drivers only need to pay for the fuel, and can do up to 15,000 miles or 24,000 kilometres in their rented car per year; if they exceed this number, they pay more, based on the price list. Every driver knows in advance that they will never own the car, but if they opt for the two-year subscription, they can replace it with another, also a new car, after a year.
Volvo started renting their vehicles by using a long-term plan, and the project was running smoothly after only a few months, even though the very beginnings were rough. They had promised to start renting cars in the spring of 2018, but they did not manage to launch the service before the very last day of spring. The cars were ready, but they were stuck in containers, because Volvo had failed to align its subscription programme with the legislation in all the countries where they planned to offer the service.
But a promise is a promise, and on the first day of summer, the wait was over. Subscribers are now truly able to get a car, faster than the blink of an eye, although for now, they have to pick it up themselves at the nearest Volvo dealer.