Buy or subscribe? The dawn of a new age

John Curtis is a motoring columnist, EV advocate and host of the EV Café.

He is working in partnership with elmo to help spread the good word on EVs and subscription.

Buy or subscribe?

In an era defined by rapidly evolving technology and shifting consumer preferences, the concept of car ownership has found itself at a crossroads. Do I tie up tens of thousands of my or my business cash in a vehicle or do something a little more innovative, without the capital impact of outright purchase.

As we stand on the brink of a transportation revolution, a ground-breaking solution has emerged that promises not just mobility, but a lifestyle upgrade: elmo EV subscriptions. This approach combines the allure of electric vehicles (EVs) with the financial savvy of salary sacrifice or subscription, rendering traditional car ownership obsolete and unleashing a world of benefits for individuals and society at large.

A man getting into an MG5 EV parked in a nature park.

The dawn of a new age

COVID and lockdown were a turning point for me on my car ownership journey.

I have always owned my car, paid cash, funded everything and was proud of the big tin box sitting outside my house.

At lockdown, the car remained exactly what it always has been, a big tin box, sitting outside my house, but with no prospect of going out for a little drive. Post COVID, I use my car for about 5% of the time. 95% of the time it sits on my driveway, looking at me wondering if it will ever go out to play again.

I work from home and so don’t have a daily commute. Our need for a car, full time, is small.

Every month during lockdown I sat and wondered why we were forking out massive amounts of money for a vehicle I couldn’t and rarely use. I am lucky that my wife has a car of her own but occasionally I need to go somewhere that she isn’t.

Let’s face it – the days of splurging a large portion of one’s savings on purchasing a vehicle outright are becoming antiquated. Enter, for me, elmo, a refreshing departure from the burdens of ownership.

With this innovative service, individuals can effortlessly embrace the electric vehicle revolution without the daunting upfront costs. Imagine having the freedom to choose from a fleet of cutting-edge electric vehicles, from sleek saloons to sporty SUVs, all without the baggage of ownership.

I now have my new electric vehicle, can enjoy an upgrade from my very old Nissan Leaf and not commit a huge amount of money to buy an EV.

A man getting into an MG5 EV parked in a nature park.

Driving financial liberation

The heart of elmo lies in its financial flexibility, offering a choice that transcends the constraints of conventional car ownership. Rather than tying up significant capital in a depreciating asset, subscribers enjoy the luxury of committing to manageable monthly payments. This leaves room for financial growth, investment, and indulging in experiences that truly matter.

Moreover, by employing the concept of salary sacrifice, individuals can further optimise their budgets. By allocating a portion of their pre-tax income towards the subscription, subscribers not only drive an EV but also benefit from potential tax advantages, leading to substantial savings.

As I do not work as a salaried employee, subscription works for me; I don’t get a “salary” or work for a company that would enable me to have a salary sacrifice vehicle.

For others, having a regular amount taken from the salary each month means absolute simplicity and some lovely tax breaks.

A FIAT 500e driving in London outside a coffee shop called 'Gentleman Baristas'

Empowering choice and sustainability

A major draw of the elmo subscription model is the rich tapestry of choice it provides.

Subscribers can switch between different EV models according to their evolving needs and preferences, from urban commuting to weekend getaways.

This approach to mobility encourages exploration, adaptability, and experimentation, empowering users to discover the perfect fit for their lifestyle. In doing so, subscribers not only gain access to a world of electric mobility but also actively contribute to a more sustainable future, reducing their carbon footprint and endorsing cleaner transportation alternatives.

I haven’t availed myself of a change of vehicle after my first two months, partly because I chose well initially with the Kia e-Niro and it sits well as a monthly cost. I have been eyeing an upgrade but that for now I am happy with what I have. It does everything I could want at a cost I can afford. If circumstances change then subscription is flexible enough to flex with me.

It’s not for everyone though…


Tesla Model 3 parked with man in drivers seat
A FIAT 500e driving in London outside a coffee shop called 'Gentleman Baristas'

The way forward

As cities become more congested and environmental concerns escalate, it is essential to embrace forward-thinking solutions that drive meaningful change. elmo and the incorporation of salary sacrifice are prime examples of how innovation can reshape the automotive landscape.

By moving away from the conventional model of ownership, individuals can unlock unparalleled flexibility, financial liberation, and eco-conscious living.

In the end, it’s not just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about embracing a transformative vision for the future of transportation.

I don’t own my mobile phone. I am a subscriber, paying monthly and making the system work best for me. Why spend out a huge capital sum when you can spread the cost, upgrade when you wish and still enjoy all the cash I would have tied up in capital purchase?

With EV subscriptions, the road ahead is not just electric; it’s also paved with possibilities.

So, why just own a car when you can truly experience the evolution of mobility? The choice is clear, and the journey awaits.

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