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What’s the easiest way to access a car?

April 24, 2023

What’s the easiest way to access a car?

When you need to get your hands on a car quickly, it’s good to have the pros and cons of each option at your fingertips. In our latest post, we’re comparing different ways of accessing a car and looking at which is easiest overall.

Pros and cons of traditional car ownership

Let’s start with traditional car ownership. This has some obvious advantages, the biggest one being that you own the vehicle, so you don’t have to think about monthly (re)payments. If you’re going for a brand new car, you’ll be able to customise it to your exact requirements, while if you own a used car it can still be modified should you so wish.

One of the big downsides to buying a car – whether you buy it outright or go for a personal contract purchase (PCP) – is the high upfront costs. If you have money sitting in your savings account that will cover the cost of a car, that’s great, but you may not. If you opt for PCP, the upfront sum will obviously be a lot smaller than paying for the car in its entirety (it’s typically the equivalent of six months’ repayments or 10% of the value of the car), but it’s still substantially more than other car usership options.

On top of that, you need to consider the total cost of owning the car over its lifetime. Although you won’t have to make monthly repayments if you buy the car outright, you’ll still have the monthly running costs to factor in whether you pay upfront or use PCP or another form of leasing. These include expenses such as ongoing maintenance, breakdown cover, tax and insurance. On top of that, you’ll also need to consider depreciation; remember that a new car loses 20% of its value as soon as it leaves the showroom.

Benefits of car subscriptions

The alternative to the expense and commitment of buying a car is to get one on a subscription. Car subscriptions are coming to the fore as a convenient way of enjoying the benefits of having a car in your life, with none of the stress associated with traditional car ownership. They work similarly to an online streaming subscription: you pay monthly for your car, and you can change or cancel it at any time.

This ability to switch cars or cancel whenever you like makes a car subscription uniquely flexible. Unlike buying a car, where you’re stuck with it until you have to sell it, or leasing, where you’re tied into a two- to four-year contract, a car subscription gives you the freedom to change your car (or get rid of it entirely) quickly and easily if your circumstances change. When you never know what’s around the corner – whether it’s a new baby or a change of job – that freedom is invaluable.

There are cost savings involved, too. The great thing about car subscriptions is that, unlike traditional car ownership, they include pretty much all the monthly running costs, bar the fuel or EV charging, which makes for easy budgeting. That includes ad hoc maintenance and repairs, which can otherwise result in hefty unexpected bills you hadn’t budgeted for. Not only that, but the upfront costs are lower – just one month’s subscription payment upfront, which you get back at the end of the subscription when you hand the keys back.

It’s also worth bearing in mind how long it takes to get the car. With traditional car ownership, you could be waiting for months before your new car is available, if you’re opting for a brand-new car. With a car subscription, all you do is choose the car you want online, fill in the paperwork and supply your ID, and you can have your new car delivered to your door within as little as seven days.

Like everything, car subscriptions have some drawbacks, such as the fact that you won’t have ownership rights over the car. You’ll also technically be limited on the mileage you can do (although you’ll have 1,000 miles a month as standard with Drive Fuze, and you can choose to add extra mileage onto your subscription if you think you’ll need it), and you may not be able to access a car subscription if you’re under 25, have a poor credit rating, or previous driving convictions.

All that said, car subscriptions are the most flexible and convenient way to access a car easily and to change it when you need to.

How to choose the right car subscription

There are a few things you’ll want to think about when choosing the right car subscription for you. Firstly, you’ll need to pick the type of car you want to go for. This will depend on your lifestyle and budget and could range from a compact city car to a four-wheel drive SUV or fully electric vehicle. We’ve got lots of advice in our article on choosing the right car.

Next, you’ll want to think about customising your subscription. If you have a set amount of time you want to have the car for, be sure to compare the subscription lengths on offer – here at Drive Fuze, our subscriptions are on a rolling monthly basis that you can cancel with 14 days’ notice for maximum flexibility.

Consider how many miles you do in a typical month and find out what’s included as standard (as we mentioned earlier, it’s 1,000 miles a month with us). If you have a partner who you also want to be able to drive the car, make sure you’re able to add an additional driver.

Whichever car subscription you go for, it’s always important to read the terms and conditions of the agreement carefully to make sure you understand exactly what you’re signing up for.

What’s the best car solution for you?

The right option for you will always depend on your own financial circumstances and lifestyle, but if you’re looking for a flexible and convenient transportation option, you can’t go wrong with a car subscription. With none of the upfront expense and unpredictable costs of traditional car ownership, they’re also a cost-effective and sustainable solution to accessing a car quickly and easily. Browse our vehicles and see what you could be having delivered within a week.