E-car subscription: how much does it cost? When is it worth it for you?

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E-car subscription: how much does it cost? When is it worth it for you?
  • By deutschewhiskybrenner

Anyone who wants to buy an electric car today can choose from more and more models. The classic purchase for private use has long since ceased to be the focus: in addition to electric rental and leasing cars, there is a new form of mobility with the e-car subscription. We explain what it's all about.

An electric car subscription can potentially replace several types of vehicle ownership: It can be an alternative to the classic purchase of a car or instead of car sharing, car rental or leasing. The principle is known from other areas of life - from the Bahncard to the newspaper to the software: the consumer subscribes to something for a certain period of time instead of owning it permanently.

Ultimately, an e-car subscription is a kind of long-term rental, even if this term sounds more like a classic rental car. Other names for such a subscription are e-car flat rate or e-car flat rate.

Of course, subscribing to an entire car is a little more complex than one for a magazine. The monthly subscription price for an e-car usually includes the following components, which you do not need to take care of separately:

This is extremely practical, because it not only saves money with an e-car subscription, but also time that you would otherwise have to invest in maintenance and paperwork. What the subscriber is responsible for himself: for refueling, i.e. the car electricity.

Take out an e-car subscription? These are the requirements

Conclude an e-car subscription on your cell phone? Unfortunately, it's not that easy, but the bureaucratic hurdles are comparatively low. However, being of legal age and having a driver’s license are usually not enough for many car subscription providers.

Instead, the requirements are based on classic car rental: A certain driving experience is required, plus a minimum age of around 24 years. Depending on the provider, the minimum age for vehicles that are more difficult to drive (e.g. electric SUVs) increases for safety reasons, or it becomes more expensive if the car subscriber is younger.

An upper age limit - 75 years - is also one of the conditions for many providers. A positive Schufa information and creditworthiness information are usually also important.

Good to know: The minimum term for a car subscription is often 6 months, but some providers also offer shorter terms that are correspondingly more expensive.

E-car subscription: The differences to leasing, car sharing & Co.

The e-car subscription closes a gap between buying and renting and is also an alternative to leasing and car sharing. But what are the exact differences?

Car subscription vs. leasing

Car subscription vs. car sharing

Read our article on this: The best car sharing providers and renting a private car - because car sharing is also possible from private to private.

Car subscription vs. renting a car

And the difference between car subscription and rental car? This is where it gets trickier, because both variants are very similar. Many classic rental car providers also offer their cars in the form of so-called long-term rentals with terms of more than one month. If you compare the prices, long-term rentals and car subscriptions/flat rates are in a similar range – a range that, by the way, starts at around EUR 300 per month, but can cost twice as much depending on the vehicle and special conditions.

The actual difference between (long-term) rental and a subscription lies more in how the customer is addressed and in the subtleties of the business model: With an e-car subscription, as with all subscriptions, the focus is on longer customer loyalty. For example, the term can be extended relatively easily with subscription providers. Alternatively, you can cancel after the agreed period has expired – or maybe subscribe to another e-model.

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Share, rent, subscribe - what now?

Which e-car model - share, rent for a short or long term, subscribe, lease or even buy (used) - is the right choice for you above all a question of need. Basically, the more short-term and flexible you want to be with the e-car, the more expensive it usually gets per kilometer driven.

Tip: If you want to know exactly, you have to estimate your travel needs in the desired period as precisely as possible, create a table and then calculate which provider (mix) you can get away with the cheapest. It's tedious, yes, but unfortunately every need here is so individual that general recommendations don't help. Providers and prices on the market also change again and again.

An e-car subscription makes sense for you, for example, if you ...

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E-car flat rate: the number of providers is growing

Numerous companies have now specialized in offering car subscriptions or flat rates, some of which only offer e-cars, among other things :

In addition, some car manufacturers are now selling car subscriptions themselves, such as Hyundai, Mini or Porsche. Even classic car rental companies like Sixt have long since jumped on the car subscription train. The specialized companies that have several drive variants in the car subscription portfolio include:

Car subscription also for hybrid vehicles

A car subscription can of course not only be taken out for electric vehicles, but also for other types of drive: In addition to vehicles with conventional combustion engines, models with hybrid drives are also included.

What about the hybrid car subscription in terms of sustainability? Still better than with petrol or diesel engines, of course, provided you also use the built-in electric motor and drive the hybrid with green electricity instead of fossil fuels.

By the way, the provider Finn is promoting climate-neutral driving and, according to its own statements, offsets the pollutant emissions of the subscription cars in its range using CO2 certificates. As part of a partnership with the sustainability company ClimatePartner, part of the proceeds are invested in climate protection projects.

>> Straight to Finn**

E-car subscription: downside and possible cost traps

Are there also negative aspects of the e-car subscription? With some of the subscription providers, the car must be exchanged after a year at the latest, or the term is limited to one year from the outset.

There are also one or two potential cost traps:

Utopia says: An e-car subscription is usually not worthwhile just to save costs. Financially you can get away from the used car market cheaper in the long term with an electric car. In terms of pragmatism and flexibility, however, it is an attractive alternative! For example, recommended: Get up close and personal with the e-car for a while with a subscription – and then buy the vehicle if you like it.

And: An e-car is always better for the climate - at least if it is fueled with green electricity and can cover enough kilometers to compensate for the CO2 deficit that occurs during production. Which should hopefully be the case with a subscription car.

Old car for sale soon? Have your car appraised on wirkaufendeinauto.de** in just a few seconds – free of charge.

Read more on Utopia.de:

** Links to sources of supply marked with ** or underlined in orange are partly partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.de, because we will then receive a small part of the proceeds from the sale. More info.

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Keywords: e-car electric vehicles electric mobility green money electricity