Why we’re running it: To see if Netflix-style subscriptions such as Care by Volvo provide a blueprint for the way cars are ‘bought’ in the future
Life with a Volvo XC60: Month 1
Welcoming the XC60 to the fleet - 12 May 2021
Not only are there ever more cars in ever more segments with ever more propulsion methods, but now there are ever more ways to buy them, too. The ubiquitous PCP, PCH, HP and leasing deals are all fixed-term agreements, typically with deposits attached and varying levels of options regarding what happens to the vehicle at the end of your committed term.
And now there’s another way: the subscription service, which is, if you like, the Netflix of the car world. Car subscription services are offering monthly payment plans with no deposit, no fixed-term contract (and thus the ability to cancel at any time) and servicing, road tax and wear and tear costs – including tyres – all included, so there’s nothing extra to pay apart from fuel and insurance. The car will even be delivered to your door, for free.
Jaguar Land Rover was first into the subscription space last July with its Pivotal service, and the British car maker was swiftly joined by Volvo’s Care by Volvo offering. The – deep breath – Volvo XC60 2.0 T8 Recharge PHEV Inscription Pro 5dr AWD Auto you see here is the latest addition to our fleet, and it has come our way using Care by Volvo.
As car orders go, this was perhaps the simplest I’ve come across, and more akin to buying a new television than a car. On the Care by Volvo website, you select your model (XC60 for us), followed by your fuel type (petrol-electric plug-in hybrid in the more powerful T8 version). Then you pick a trim (plush and well-appointed Inscription Pro), and what colour you’d like inside (black) and out (red), all by simply clicking the options on the left-hand side of the page, pretty much like the interfaces on eBay, Amazon or any online retailer you care to think of. In the case of the XC60, the only option is whether you’d like a towbar or not.