Audi is the latest luxury automaker to launch a subscription-based service to get customers who want to have access to a fleet of fancy cars but don’t necessarily want to own or lease one. The German car company’s service is called Audi Select, and it launches exclusively in Dallas-Fort Worth this week.
For the set monthly price of $1,395, subscribers can chose from a range of vehicles, including the Audi A4 sedan, A5 Cabriolet, Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 SUVs, and S5 Coupe. The subscription includes two vehicle swaps per month and users can chose between having their vehicle delivered to their homes or picking them up at a local dealership.
Insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, and unlimited mileage are also included, as well as two complimentary days of Silvercar car rentals per month.
This isn’t Audi’s first experiment with subscription. Back in 2016, the automaker launched its “Audi on demand” service as a pilot program in San Francisco, which offers a variety of Audi models to rent on a per-day basis, up to 28 days at a time.
In terms of affordability, Audi Select falls somewhere in between Porsche’s $2,000-a-month service and Mercedes-Benz’s $1,095-a-month rate. BMW also charges $2,000 a month, while Jaguar Land Rover’s rate starts at £910 ($1,057). So far, the cheapest 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.
Like other automaker subscription services, Audi’s is limited to just one city for its initial pilot phase. Car companies are experimenting with new ownership models in a hedge against the perception that in the future, fewer people will own cars.
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.