Car subscription: provider, costs, services at a glance

The car subscription has developed into a new mobility trend over the past three years, which has picked up speed rapidly in the last few weeks. The reason for the increasing demand in recent times has been the long delivery times for new cars. More and more customers are using a car subscription to bridge the waiting time until the new car is delivered.


Now the ID.3 and other models from €499 a month

Benefit from short delivery times, a low minimum contract period and numerous models in the VW FS car subscription.

In co-operation with


But the boom in electric cars has also contributed to the fact that car subscriptions are currently becoming increasingly popular. Because the car subscription is a good opportunity to try out whether an e-car suits your own needs at all – without the risk of making the wrong purchase. But how does a car subscription work, what services are included in the monthly rate, which providers are there on the market, which vehicles can you get for how long, and what are the costs? AUTO BILD answers the most important questions!

What is the car subscription?

What has been known from TV or music streaming services for years is also possible with vehicles. With a car subscription, the user pays a monthly amount and can then use the vehicle for the duration of the contract. The car subscription is like an all-inclusive flat rate, because all Additional costs are already included in the rate. These include insurance, vehicle taxes, costs for transportation, maintenance and wearing parts, TÜV and tire service.
The user only has to pay for the fuel – or electricity in the case of an e-car. If he wants to wash his car during its useful life, he also bears these costs. The car subscription is not comparable to short-term use as with car sharing, classic car rental or car leasing, which is designed for several years.
With the car subscription, the period is significantly shorter, depending on the provider, the term is between one and six months. Both commercial and private customers can take out a car subscription. The costs start at less than 200 euros per month (e.g. with Like-2-Drive for a Mitsubishi Space Star or with ViveLaCar for a Skoda Fabia). The higher the vehicle value, the logically higher the monthly price.
For a vehicle from the luxury segment, it can be more than 1000 euros a month. A Mercedes S-Class costs 1345 euros with Sixt+ (this is the car subscription for private customers, for business customers it’s called Sixt Flat) and there is always a one-off starting fee of 199 euros for Sixt+. Incidentally, the car subscription is always a preconfigured vehicle, and changes to the equipment are usually no longer possible.

Providers of car subscriptions

The range of car subscriptions is growing rapidly. While it was initially mainly independent start-ups that brought the business idea from the USA to the German market, since 2021 more and more car manufacturers have been trying to establish brand-related subscriptions. This is good news for customers: as the number of providers grows, so does the number of subscription cars available, and the larger selection puts pressure on prices.

It is a well-known fact that competition stimulates business. In addition to subscription pioneer Volvo, which has been offering cars at a flat rate with “Care by Volvo” since 2017, Mercedes, Land Rover/Jaguar and the volume manufacturers Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroën, Opel), Mini, VW and recently Ford factory subscriptions started in Germany.

The Chinese newcomer Lynk & Co offers the plug-in hybrid model O1 in a subscription that can be canceled monthly. Price: 500 euros with 1250 kilometers included. There are also classic car rental companies such as Sixt, Hertz and Europcar, who also want to benefit from the subscription trend.

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Tip: If you need quick availability, it’s worth taking a look at the VW subscription. It is operated by the Financial Services department; which is at the source and promises to deliver ID electric models within two weeks. This is unrivaled fast. If a model that is as inexpensive as possible has priority, according to AUTO BILD observations, free providers such as Like2Drive, Finn or Cluno make the most attractive offers.

Which cars are included in the subscription?

The range of vehicles on offer is huge and depends on the respective provider. Like2drive, for example, currently has around 40 different models from 14 manufacturers on offer. Electric cars are now also available from most providers.

Pros and cons of the car subscription

– Full cost control (taxes & insurance are included in the monthly rate)
– Drive new cars without high acquisition costs
– Plenty of choice: Always the latest models with the latest technology
– Flexibility through short contract periods
– Simple and fast registration process, mostly completely digital
– Offers for all manufacturers and models
– You can test different technologies (hybrid or electric cars)
– Some providers also offer a purchase option after the end of the contract

– Entry or registration fee (for some providers)
– Free kilometer allowance sometimes low (with some providers)
– Car is only rented, not owned
– The takeover date can rarely be planned exactly
– Some providers have restrictions such as minimum age or annual mileage
– There are preconfigured vehicles, no more changes possible

When is a car subscription worth it?

With a car subscription, you only have to pay for the fuel, the rest is included in the monthly rate.

What is the difference between a car subscription and leasing?

However, because the terms of the car subscription are shorter and this is an all-inclusive package, the monthly contributions are also higher. For example, the monthly rate for a BMW 5 Series Touring from Faaren is at least 990 euros. However, all services are covered and the user only has to pay the fuel bill and any vehicle washes. If he drives more kilometers than contractually agreed, these must of course also be paid for.
Car leasing is usually cheaper, but not all services are covered. Although there are additional packages, there is no comparable all-inclusive package that covers, for example, taxes, tire changes, wearing parts and the like with leasing. The advantage, however, is that some leasing vehicles can be configured according to your own wishes, which is often not possible with a car subscription.



Now the ID.3 and other models from €499 a month

Benefit from short delivery times, a low minimum contract period and numerous models in the VW FS car subscription.

In co-operation with


But be careful: If you take out a car subscription, you should always make sure that you don’t end up signing a leasing contract! Because with some car subscription providers, you take out exactly this, even though you decide to subscribe. The advantage of a subscription is, among other things, that the Schufa is not charged.

Requirements for the car subscription

Depending on the provider, not only the contract period, pricing and notice periods vary, but also the requirements for taking out a car subscription. This needs to be checked on a case-by-case basis. In most cases, however, these requirements must be met for a car subscription:

– Some providers charge a registration fee when registering for the first time
– The minimum age is between 18 and 23 years (varies depending on the provider)
– The maximum age is 75 years (varies depending on the provider)
– A place of residence or company headquarters in Germany is required
– An EU driving license is required, which you have held for at least two/three years (varies depending on the provider)
– It is not possible to take out a subscription with a negative credit bureau

What should you look out for with a car subscription?

Some providers already offer car subscriptions. And there are not only differences in pricing, but also in the vehicle range, the waiting time until you receive the vehicle and the notice periods. If you have found the right offer for you, you should read the conditions carefully in any case. How many kilometers can I drive? How is the car insured and what is the deductible? Is there a deposit required? What are the exchange modalities? Since the offers of the providers sometimes differ significantly from each other, you should take enough time and compare them thoroughly.

How do delivery and return work?

The handover takes place at the authorized dealer who works together with the car subscription provider. That can be a few hundred kilometers away. A delivery service is therefore usually also offered – often for an additional charge. The same applies to collection: either from the dealer or with collection for an additional charge.

However, some caution is required when planning the takeover date. Usually it is a “non-binding delivery date”. The supplier may exceed this date by up to six weeks without resulting in the right to withdraw from the contract.

When the vehicle is returned, a commissioned appraiser will check whether the vehicle is damaged and what the damage is. What counts as damage and what counts as signs of use is precisely defined. It is interesting in this context which guidelines are created. This should be clarified before the rental. In addition, when handing over the vehicle, you should pay close attention to whether there is already minor damage to the vehicle and whether everything is completely on board. Otherwise, make a note of this on the delivery note!

Is a car subscription worth it for me?

If you only want to drive a new car for a reasonable period of time and don’t want to own it, the car subscription can be an interesting option. However, the takeover date can rarely be planned to the day in advance. You don’t have to worry about servicing the car, registering it, repairs or selling it, and you don’t have to worry about expensive surprises.

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