Renting a car monthly instead of leasing - A car subscription vs. leasing comparison

Florian Fratzscher - novembre 16, 2020

#Leasing #AutoAbo #Langzeitmiete

These days, you don't have to own a car to drive one. Subscription services like Netflix and Spotify are demonstrating how we will use media and many other everyday products such as cars in the future.

Who is still willing to spend a lot of money on buying a car when they can simply rent one on a monthly basis?

One option is car leasing. Here you choose a car for two to three years and can drive it for a monthly amount. However, there are often hidden additional costs that can lead to costly surprises.

Rent a car instead of leasing - The car subscription

An innovative and even more flexible approach is the car subscription, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. Compared to leasing, the monthly price of a car subscription also includes the ancillary costs. Just imagine a kind of car all-inclusive leasing - a flat rate for your car.

With a car subscription, the terms and cancellation periods are much shorter compared to leasing, so you can rent your car on a monthly basis without being tied to a long-term leasing contract.

In a way, a car subscription fills the gap between a rental car and a leased car. You have the option to rent a car flexibly adapted to your needs but retain full cost control and can also cancel at short notice or change your car.

So, there are many reasons for a car subscription, if you need a car but do not want the high acquisition costs. In some cases, however, leasing may make more sense for you.

To help you decide whether a car subscription or leasing is better for you, we have compared the most important advantages and disadvantages of leasing with those of a car subscription.

Check out CARIFY's car subscription offer now


Leasing advantages and disadvantages

A car subscription is a type of long-term vehicle rental, a bit like leasing including insurance, taxes, maintenance, etc. The rental and additional costs are all included in the monthly rate.

A car subscription is particularly interesting if short terms and the possibility to change the car flexibly are important for you.

The costs for the following services are already included in the vehicle subscription:

  • Registration

  • Car tax

  • Comprehensive insurance

  • Maintenance (incl. tires)

Car subscription advantages and disadvantages

As exciting as a car subscription is, there are of course disadvantages. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a car subscription at a glance.

Car subscription advantages:

  • Maximum selection of cars - Suitable options for every budget.

  • Ultimate flexibility and freedom - Short terms and easy car switching possibilities

  • Easy and stress-free – Hassle-free driving and no paperwork, as you can do it online or via app

  • Fast delivery – You’ll get your car within a week

Disadvantages car subscription:

  • Preset models - No individual configuration possible

  • Fuel costs - You have to pay for fuel yourself

  • Minimum age - Some providers require a minimum age of 21 or 23 years

Carefree driving and the great flexibility are clearly the biggest advantages of car subscriptions. All costs are already included, and you only pay for fuel.

Shorter terms compared to leasingmake it possible for you to drive a car only in winter or to adapt your car to your needs if something changes in your life.

With a car subscription, you could, for example, drive a different car every season or switch from a small car to a family car when the next generation arrives. From SUVs to convertibles to sports cars, everything is possible.

Since the cars are readily available, you can't customize them, which could be a disadvantage for some. If you're under 21, you might also have a hard time with some car subscription providers. Otherwise, a car subscription is a great option for your flexible mobility.


Leasing advantages and disadvantages

In addition, car subscription is another model of long-term car rental, similar to leasing. However, compared to a car subscription, the average term is 30 months.

You should consider the following leasing advantages and disadvantages:

Leasing advantages

  • Favorable rates are possible (additional costs are exclusive)

  • Leasing packages are becoming more and more comprehensive and additional insurance and service packages are sometimes offered

  • Individual configuration allows adaptation to personal preferences

Leasing disadvantages

  • Low flexibility - Leasing contracts run for two to four years

  • Opaque additional costs - Not all services are included

  • Impossible to change or cancel car - The car is rented permanently for the duration of the leasing contract (attention: penalty payments)

  • Complicated - Contracts are extensive and require a lot of additional information.

  • Long waiting time - If a car is not in stock, you must expect several months of waiting time

Leasing is only worthwhile compared to a car subscription if you want to commit to one model for several years. Then the waiting time for the selected vehicle is longer and the contract modalities are more complex, but you can get cheaper rates. However, as a lessee, you will have to pay any additional costs yourself.

Be aware that if you want to terminate a lease prematurely, you will have to pay penalties.

Car subscription comparison with leasing

Car subscription and leasing are actually very similar. With both models, you have the option of using a car for a monthly payment. However, the biggest differences come from the services that are included in your monthly fee.


The car subscription offers you an all-inclusive package that can be canceled monthly and the terms and change options are much shorter with the car subscription, which gives you greater flexibility than with leasing.

Basically, a car subscription is a mix of leasing and car rental. You get the benefits of monthly payments, no commitment to the car and the peace of mind of a rental car with all costs already included.

Short terms make the car subscription especially interesting for you if you want to use a car only for a certain period of time. This can be a temporary job or project, or maybe you just want to use a warm means of transportation for the winter.



Is a car subscription or a lease more worthwhile?

Whether a car subscription is more worthwhile for you than leasing a car depends on a few factors.

A car subscription is worthwhile for you if you drive between 8,000 km - 15,000 km per year and want to drive stress-free for the next months or years. You don't have to worry about anything other than refueling - maintenance, insurance, etc. are all included.

Maybe you just want to drive different cars and try them out. Then you can easily test and enjoy a new car every few months with a car subscription.

If you need a car for a longer period and it is not important to you to be able to change your car flexibly, then a car leasing could be worthwhile for you. However, this involves a lot more paperwork and you have to commit to a model for two to four years.

You know best which aspects are for you. We are happy to help you with all topics concerning car subscriptions at [email protected].

CARIFY is your partner for flexible mobility. Start your car subscription today.

Check out CARIFY's car subscription offer now


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