It's not only carmakers like Hyundai, Volvo, Ford, Audi, and BMW who are getting on the car subscription game, it now looks like Enterprise Rent-a-Car is throwing their hat into the ring. It's simply called Subscribe by Enterprise, and though the program is only in three states to start, it's pretty comprehensive. And it should be with the monthly price of $1,499 with a $250 initiation fee plus taxes and fees.
These vehicles include not just compact vehicle but also crossovers, SUVs, pickup trucks, sedans, and even premium vehicles from the likes of Audi, BMW, Infiniti, and Mercedes-Benz. Also, depending on where you live, the program may include pickup and delivery.
Subscribe by Enterprise is meant to be the total package so you don't have to worry. It includes insurance (collision and liability, $1,000 renter deductible), as well as all maintenance, and there's even roadside assistance. The $1,499 might seem like a lot of coin on a monthly basis, but you really do get a big range of vehicles. The new Enterprise service will allow users to have access to over 20 different vehicles from its rental fleet, which is a lot of variety.
If you plan on doing a family vacation, for instance, you can get a 7-passenger luxury SUV. If your desire is something a little fancier for a special outing, opt for something like a Mercedes S-Class sedan to show off. Keep in mind that it's all about vehicle availability in your area, so there's no guarantee you'll get exactly what you want.
It seems the business case for the subscription service might just be motivated by the rise of car-sharing services like Uber and Lyft that are stealing customers from car rental services, so it's not just the automakers who want in on this market. Renting cars isn't exactly a convenience since you have to pay per use and per day. This service provides greater overall convenience and caters to those with diverse vehicle needs and can afford the premium price. Of course, you have to account for the fact that insurance and maintenance are included, which helps the price seem more palatable.
Initial test markets will be in Minnesota, Missouri, and Nevada, and there's a $250 initial enrollment fee and taxes to consider. That amount depends on the state you're in. You're also kept to 3,000 miles per month, and you have to remain in the program for two months before canceling.
Miles don't carry over, so you really do have to keep track (it's 3,000 per month, not a cumulative 36,000 miles per year). There's also a $.40/mile overage charge should you exceed your 3,000. If the program is successful and has enough subscribers, Enterprise will expand the program to additional locations. It will be interesting to see if it catches with the driving public given the myriad options available (ridesharing, carmaker subscription services, leasing, etc.).