Difference between leasing and car subscriptions

Posted at 5:59 PM, Oct 10, 2018

There are options when it comes to getting a car. You can lease or buy, and now, you can get a car subscription.

Luxury car makers like BMW, Jaguar, and Cadillac offer subscription services to their high-end cars, but it’s set you back a couple thousand. That’s why Ford is offering a more affordable service with used vehicles.

"You're going to be looking at around $400 monthly subscription cost, but that's inclusive of the vehicle the driving insurance your maintenance,” explains Allison Braley with Canvas, Ford’s subscription service. “You don't have to worry about out-of-pocket maintenance costs. There's no down payment."  

Braley says it's an all-inclusive bundle, unlike with a lease. Many subscription services don’t' have a down payment or require car insurance. 

"A lease is great solution for people who know what kind of car they want for two to three years or more,” Braley says.  

Through subscriptions, you pay a fee to swap out a car. For example, when winter comes around and you want to trade in your sedan for an SUV, with Canvas you pay a $99 fee to swap cars. says, on average, a car owner will spend $1,200 a year on maintenance.  

If your car breaks down or needs an oil change, most subscription services will pay for out of pocket maintenance. Subscription services are great if you want convenience, flexibility and a lifestyle where you change vehicle often.

However, convenience often comes with a price. If you’re on a budget, financial expert Jonathan Duong says it may not be worth it.