Jaguar Land Rover is launching a new vehicle subscription service in the UK. It’s another sign that the auto industry is branching out into new ownership models while hedging its bets against an inevitable drop in personal car sales.
JLR is calling its subscription service Carpe (as in carpe diem), and it will be available to customers throughout the UK, including Northern Ireland. Pricing starts at £910 ($1,057), per month for access to a standard Jaguar E-Pace compact SUV, and it tops out at £2,200 (about $2,900) per month for a Range Rover Sport HSE.
JLR is pricing its service to be competitive with comparable programs by Mercedes-Benz ($1,095–$1,595 / month), BMW ($2,000–$3,700 / month), Porsche ($2,000–$3,000 / month), and Cadillac ($1,500 / month). On the lower end is Care by Volvo, a $600-a-month service that includes insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance. But unlike other subscriptions, Volvo only offers one vehicle: the XC40 SUV.
Carpe users pay one, all-inclusive price for access to a single vehicle for 12 months. The subscriber will have the option to switch programs every 12 months. The prices do not include value-added tax, but they do include service, maintenance, insurance (through Allianz), roadside assistance, and delivery. Mileage is unlimited, so customers are free to roam.
A spokesperson for JLR wouldn’t say if and when the company plans to expand its subscription beyond the UK. Other automakers are testing their services in limited availability, preferring small launches in a handful of cities to a wide release.
The question remains whether subscription services are a better deal for consumers than traditional leasing options. Typically, leasing involves a sizable down payment, but then it charges a reduced monthly fee. Subscription services seem geared toward customers who are interested in switching vehicles every month or so — or, in JLR’s case, every year.