Did you know there is a new “rental” (AKA subscription) model in the automotive world similar in concept to leasing programs? Essentially you are “renting” a car, but instead of 12 months, 24, 36 months or longer it is based on a month to month program.
The monthly subscription service, called Drive Flow with Clutch. It is operated on a platform provided by Clutch Technologies, a technology company based in Atlanta, Ga. that was formed in 2014.
They market the plan as “Match your car to your life
A Drive Flow subscription lets you flip between cars as your needs change.”
The entry fee starts with a one time lifetime charge of $250. Then you select the plan that you want to participate in. The first level consists of high line Audi’s (like an Audi S3, BMW 3 series, Convertibles and even pickup trucks) called “Pioneer”.
This plan starts at $850 a month.
Here are the sedans included but you can see they are not base models at all.
The higher level plan “Adventurer” has some higher end cars – but of course it is at a higher price as well. You can see these are not just the standard Hyundai’s or Toyota’s (not that there is anything wrong with those – but they are not Audi’s, Range Rovers or Porsche Macan’s.
With Drive Flow, people can swap out a car using a very handy app on your smartphone and “flip” to the vehicle of their choice from a commuter car to a weekend adventure vehicle.
Why does this matter?
It might be the first wave of such programs. This one of course is higher end and a way to “experience” a car prior to purchase. After all with the average car starting creeping into the $30K range – do you really want to make a mistake without testing the car for a couple of days?
Up next, maybe programs for the masses. Not everyone can pay the kind of cash every month that this plan costs… if they can figure out this model it could be a great way to have a new car almost everyday if you like.
One of the great guys that I work with, has a gracious sister who is looking for a new car and wanted to try this out for a couple of months. He has brought by work (as he is registered to drive) a couple of the cars. Since I am an Audi guy – I am grateful to have the opportunity to drive around the parking lot :).
At the end of a couple of months with the program, she ended up finding what she liked in the S3 (and who could blame her)? Then after a little searching and driving a “sister” car with very low millage ( a 2017 VW Jetta GLi) she was hooked. This car drives very similar to the S3, and can be with aftermarket products even better in some cases. However, it does not carry the extra burden for entry fee / insurance / taxes that goes along with the S3.
So I would say if you are looking for a car, can’t make up your mind too and need to drive a car for a short period prior to making the commitment – this might be the program for you.