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

27 June 2022 Mario Franjičević

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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