Payments, which start from £131 per week (equating to around £568 a month), include the costs of insurance and maintenance, as well as breakdown cover, as one bill.
Although BMW is the first major car maker to offer such a service in the UK market, it is not the first brand overall. Polestar, Volvo’s stand-alone performance division, will sell its cars exclusively this way.
BMW and Mini’s service is operated by car subscription company Drover and features several models from both brands. At the entry level is the Mini Cooper 3dr hatch and BMW 116d Sport, while the largest cars on offer include the BMW 5 Series and X3.
Customers can swap, upgrade or downgrade their cars at any time or cancel their contract altogether, with no finance-style long-term commitment or down payments. Chris Brownridge, BMW UK’s sales boss, said this puts the BMW group “at the forefront of such development”.
“Through [Drover’s] new subscription model, we are able to provide an even wider range of ways to access BMW and Mini vehicles for retail buyers to suit their changing requirements,” Brownridge said.
Drover founder and CEO Felix Leuschner said: “Our partnership brings together the latest and best in cars with a new model of ownership to give those demographics access to vehicles who might otherwise not purchase one, driving incremental revenue for BMW group UK."
This new system of ownership illustrates the fast-changing new car market, which in Britain is now dominated by personal contract purchase (PCP) finance. Many industry experts predict that the rise of autonomous vehicles will see this type of finance superseded by subscription services that give users access to car-sharing schemes.