Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, has started a car subscription service in India in association with ORIX, a Japan-based car rental service provider.
Car subscriptions are like car leasing, but with more flexibility that comes at typically higher costs.
Unlike car leasing, car subscriptions typically do not come with conditions such as travelling limits.
Also, unlike car leasing — which are for a fixed duration — a car subscription can be changed or modified or cancelled at virtually any time.
This makes car subscriptions more convenient for those who want to give a certain model a try, and if it doesn’t work out, switch to another model.
Car leasing, in comparison, is for those who know exactly which car they want and for how long.
Typically, car subscription services come with a commercial (yellow) number plate, while car leasing uses private cars.
Car subscription also covers more of the maintenance and risks compared to car leasing.
Maruti Suzuki, however, did not specify the exact conditions or cost of its car subscrption service.
However, it did give out the models that are available.
These include Swift, Dzire, Vitara Brezza and Ertiga from the regular stable, and Baleno, Ciaz and XL6 from the premium line-up.
The services have been launched in Gurgoan and Bangalore — two cities that have a large number of young people with high levels of disposable income.
The service has been launched in association with ORIX Auto Infrastructure Services, a subsidiary of ORIX Corporation, Japan.
The launch comes at a time when car sales have plummeted due to economic uncertainty caused by Coronavirus 2019.
The service would enable people who want to switch away from public transport to safer forms of private transport, but don’t want to invest in a car right now due to financial reasons.
It is expected to expand to other cities in India soon.