Download an app and join the car-of-the-month club with an all-inclusive deal of your dreams, insurance and maintenance included.
Mike Raab needed a car. He was moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco for a new job, and his 12-year-old Ford Fusion wasn’t going to survive the trip.
When he tried to lease a car online, he got back vague boilerplate emails from car companies asking him to set up a phone call with a dealer, but no details on how much it would cost. Raab was frustrated. He had grown up in a world where businesses succeeded by being on-demand and easy to use, so why had the process of getting a car remained basically the same for decades?
That’s when Raab discovered Canvas, the month-to-month car subscription service owned by Ford. For a monthly fee, he could get a car plus insurance and routine maintenance. And he could cancel his subscription at any time and turn the car back in. Ten minutes later, Raab had picked out a new Ford Fusion, put in his credit card information, and selected a date for the car to be delivered to his apartment.
“It was a very turnkey process,” Raab said. “It was a night-and-day experience between the two.”
Canvas is one of a number of subscription programs from carmakers, dealerships, and startup companies that have launched in the past year. Some give you a chance to drive luxury models like Porsche and BMW, while others offer a selection of pre-owned cars across a range of brands. But they all are banking on the two things that attracted Raab: a user experience that eliminates all the hassles of car buying and a changing attitude toward ownership.