New on-demand subscription service offers access to a range of cars for one monthly fee
The general consensus within the automotive industry seems to be that increased automation of vehicles will not only lead to fewer drivers of cars, but fewer owners of them too. The theory being that despite a vehicle ranking amongst the most expensive purchases a person will ever make, it largely sits unused. Finding a place to park it is a hassle, insurance can be costly, and maintenance burdensome; all for something the average owner likely spends no more than a few hours a week using.
As cars become autonomous though, users will be able to simply summon one when needed. It'll take you where you want to go and then pop off to collect its next passenger once you're there. Like Uber, without having to make small talk with the driver.
That's all still a long way off of course, but today Porsche has taken us a step closer to it becoming a reality with its new Porsche Passport programme. In a similar vein to Cadillac's Book service, Passport gives subscribers flexible access to a range of Porsche models to better fit their changing needs. Fancy a day trip to the countryside? Take a 718 Boxster. Need to pick up some friends from the airport? A Cayenne ought to do the trick. You get the picture.
There are two tiers of membership, dubbed 'Launch' and 'Accelerate'. For a monthly fee of $2,000, Launch includes on-demand access to eight model variants including the 718 Boxster and Cayman S, as well as the Macan S and Cayenne. Accelerate, meanwhile, includes that lot plus a further 14 variants such as the 911 Carrera S, Panamera 4S, Macan GTS and Cayenne S E-Hybrid. It costs $3,000 a month.
That may seem like a lot, but the price includes unrestricted mileage, tax and registration, insurance, maintenance and vehicle detailing. And access to a lot of very good cars too. The pilot program is up and running in Atlanta, with prospective members able to sign up now via the Porsche Passport app, and car deliveries beginning in November. Once fully underway, users will be able to schedule same day or future vehicle exchanges through the same app, with cars collected from, and dropped at, a location of their choice by a white-glove delivery service.
So, is it something you'd be interested in using were it to come to the UK? Is there another manufacturer you'd prefer to see offer a similar service? Or will you only ever use a car you've bought from the classifieds with cold, hard cash? As always, let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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This will be very appealing to a lot of high-net worths and I can see many luxury brands going this way. Automotive status in the future will be dictated by what type of autonomous car(s) you will have access to.
hondansx12 Oct 2017
Good idea; would suit me perfectly.
GiveItSomeWellie12 Oct 2017
Is there a minimum and/or maximum term?
Ares12 Oct 2017
Chatting to a friend over the weekend on how this model was surely only months away - perfect solution to car ownership for many, especially once it becomes multi-brand.
Imagine having a scheme where say £500/month got you X credits per month to use, timeshare style.
Different cars had different credit values, so you could have a supermini for routine pottering, an SUV when you needed practicality, or store credits up and have a sportscar/supercar for the weekend, but on the days you didn't need a car, you didn't use any credits.
Roma10112 Oct 2017
I can see how this is appealing.
However, the target audience is clearly well off people and above with too much money and time on their hands. For the average person (in the UK) and even the generally well off, £1,500 per month on car payments is a lot of money. How many people with finance deals pay that over two cars let alone one? You would have to have three nice cars to get to that in monthly payments or two very nice cars. Which then leads to the question of why bother with this scheme if you already have a few nice / very nice cars? A grand a month would probably be the tipping point for me.
Either that, or I'm not as well off compared to everyone else as I think I am!!