Do you love the cachet of driving a brand-new car, but hate the idea of long-term commitment? Volvo has the answer with its new hassle-free Care by Volvo scheme.
The whole process of owning a car can be daunting. There’s the upfront expense, the fees for insurance, tax and maintenance, but most of all, the largely unknown fear of costly depreciation. Well, if that all sounds thoroughly old fashioned, Volvo has just announced an alternative.
Called Care by Volvo, the new UK-wide subscription service is more akin to a mobile phone contract than traditional car ownership. For a monthly fee, a Volvo and everything apart from fuel can be included in one simple payment. There’s no cost to sign up and no fixed-term agreement, so it’s ideal for anyone ill-suited to the long-term commitment normally associated with car ownership.
“In every aspect, we have designed Care by Volvo with the customer in mind – access to premium cars and a terrific range of services in a package that’s transparent, convenient and flexible” explains Conor Horne, the UK head of Care by Volvo. Prices start from £559 a month, which bags you a petrol Volvo XC40, delivered to your door. Setting up the service is as simple as going online and choosing a car, but customers can also visit a Volvo retailer if they prefer.
Over £500 a month may sound fairly steep for an XC40, but it appears better value when you consider what’s included. Along with the car, all scheduled servicing, ‘wear-and-tear maintenance and repairs’ and replacement tyres are taken care of. Volvo also throws in roadside assistance cover, 10GB of in-car WiFi data per month, vehicle excise duty payments, MOT testing and access to a Care by Volvo customer service team. Insurance can be optionally added on as well, and there aren’t any extra payments when the car is returned. An XC60 starts from £699 a month, while a seven-seat XC90 is £859. Interested customers can sample the service for 30 days risk-free, after which they’ll need to give three-months’ notice, with no cancellation fee.
The scheme has been rolled out following a trial period in London, where the average participant was said to be younger than traditional Volvo buyers. The firm has also upped its predictions for the uptake for Care by Volvo as buying habits continue to shift as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally the brand expected around five per cent of sales through the subscription scheme, but it has now increased projections to one in ten cars during next year.
Customers can choose from cars which are in stock for delivery within a 30-day period, or configure a bespoke car, but with a longer delivery time. However, unlike some other subscription services which have made it possible to easily swap vehicles, Volvo’s scheme isn’t designed to let the driver change cars for different trips or occasions. According to Volvo, there was little demand for such a requirement during its trial.
Of course, it’s not just Volvo offering such a service, Audi, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, MINI and Volkswagen all have different variations on the theme, many of which are powered by leasing specialists like Drover and Carpe behind the scenes. If you are interested, car subscriptions can be a flexible and hassle-free way to get behind the wheel of a new car. Just make sure you read the small print, because while Care by Volvo has no cancellation fees, some other schemes lock you in for longer.