Electric car subscriptions explained
Want to get behind the wheel of your dream electric car, but traditional leasing agreements don’t suit your modern lifestyle? Car subscriptions are quickly rising in popularity, trumping leasing deals as a long-term mobility solution with their superior flexibility, convenience, and competitive pricing.
- Car subscriptions are like car leases but with greater flexibility, no upfront costs and everything’s included in an all-inclusive package
- Subscriptions take away the hassle of owning your own car
What is an electric car subscription?
Car subscriptions are the smarter way to lease an electric car (in our opinion!). You pay a single fee each month which includes everything you need to get on the road: insurance, maintenance, tax, and breakdown cover. Plus, unlike a traditional leasing deal, you are not tied into lengthy contracts or forced to put down a large upfront deposit. In fact, with EV subscriptions there is no deposit, just a fee to deliver the car to your address of choice. When you’re ready to end your subscription, just give a month’s notice after the short initial term (1-12 months depending on the subscription company), and you are free to return the car or swap it for a different model.
One of the best selling points of electric car subscriptions is that there are no deposits! For many, putting down a significant deposit is a huge barrier to leasing a car – sometimes the deposit can be more than 10% of the value of the car. But with a subscription, all you pay for upfront is the cost to deliver the car to your doorstep plus your first month’s subscription payment.
No lengthy contracts
There are no lengthy contracts with all-inclusive subscriptions. Most companies offer a 1–12-month minimum term, our minimum is 60 days – giving subscribers plenty of time to really get to know their electric car. In comparison, with EV leasing deals you are usually tied in for 2-4 years with the same car for the entire period.
Even if you’re already sold on the idea of electric cars, we believe the flexibility of a monthly rolling contract is really appealing. You can choose to have the car for as long as you need it. So, for example if you need to work abroad for a few months, you can hand the car back, rather than letting it sit unloved outside your house.
Swap to another model
On an EV subscription you also have the flexibility to swap to a different model once your minimum term has expired, so in our case in as little as 60 days. You might want to try out a different Make, need a bit more boot space for summer road trips, or simply want the newest version available. Just give us a months’ notice, and we’ll arrange the swap for you.
Video: what is an electric car subscription?
Find out what an EV subscription is with elmo in just 40 seconds, watch our video below!
How does an electric car subscription work?
So, you’ve decided to start your electric car journey on a subscription, but how does it work? We’ve made the whole process easy to follow and you could get a car delivered in just a week.
1. Book online in 5 minutes
Browse our wide range of electric cars. From compact city cars, spacious EVs for all the family or luxury EVs with high performance. We’ve got something for everyone. Once you’ve decided which car you’d like, you’ll also need to sign up for an elmo account. We’ll need details such as your address, drivers license and a quick selfie.
Then all you need to do is select the car you want, add any optional extras, and process the payment for your first month.
2. Get approved in 24 hours
In order to get a subscription, we’ll need to run some checks to prove your identity and check that you meet our eligibility criteria. We’ll also perform a soft credit check, which will not affect your credit score but may show up on your report.
If everything’s in order, we’ll send you an email to let you know. Otherwise, we’ll contact you to explain why you’ve not been accepted and process your refund.
This whole process is usually completed in 24 working hours.
3. Car delivered to your doorstep in just a week
Depending on availability, we can usually deliver your car to your doorstep in just a week. We’ll let you decide a time convenient for you (either AM or PM).
On delivery day, we won’t just hand you the keys and off we go. We’ll help you get to know the car, from pairing your phone, to charging at home or on the road. Any questions you have, we’ll answer them. We’ll also complete a multi-step HD video recording of the car’s condition, giving you total peace-of-mind that you won’t be charged for any damage that wasn’t your fault.
4. Hand back with 30 days’ notice
Unlike a lease, with a subscription you’re not tied into a lengthy contract. Our minimum term is 60 days (on elmoFlex) and we just require 30 days’ notice to end your subscription.
Or, if you’d like to swap to another car – just give us 30 days’ notice after this minimum term, and we’ll swap out your car for another model when it’s convenient for you. The choice is yours.
We also offer a 12-month minimum subscription package called elmoSave. This is best for customers who need a car full time but want the convenience of an all-inclusive package. On this package, you save money each month and can give your notice on month 11.
For more information about our two subscription packages, head to our elmoFlex vs elmoSave page.
Meet some of our popular electric cars
What is included in an EV subscription?
Well, just about everything! It varies slightly between subscription companies, but here’s a breakdown of what’s included on an elmo all-inclusive subscription to give you an idea.
Included in your monthly payment is the cost to hire the electric vehicle. It’s simple, browse our range of electric cars, choose your favourite and we’ll get it delivered to your door in as little as a week. Unlike leasing, with subscriptions you can also swap to another vehicle if you want to try a different model or drive the latest version.
Taking out insurance on your car is a legal requirement, with hefty fines handed out to anyone found driving without it. There are three levels of insurance that you can take out on a car: Third-party, Third-party fire and theft, and Fully Comprehensive. And that’s no different for EVs.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. For complete peace-of-mind and the highest level of protection, we include Fully Comprehensive insurance for all our subscribers. Fully comprehensive means that both you, your car and other drivers are covered in the unfortunate event of an incident.
We also allow subscribers to reduce their insurance excess payment – just send us a message and we’ll talk you through the process.
Car maintenance is an important part of driving, and one that is often overlooked or forgotten about. Maintenance covers a full array of things, from simple checks like windscreen washer fluid and tyre tread, to more serious issues that require a professional mechanic.
As standard, our electric car subscriptions include routine servicing and maintenance. A member of our Fleet team will be in contact when a service needs to be booked in. The driver will have to drop the car off to a local garage, but we will cover all the costs and any repairs that are required.
As a driver, it is your responsibility to keep the car well-maintained. For more details on electric car maintenance visit our guide.
Well, we’d hope that tyres come with the cars! What we mean is, ‘fair wear and tear’ of tyres. We’ll cover the cost for low tread replacement as defined in the BVRLA’s Fair Wear and Tear Standards.
Vehicle Excise Duty & Congestion Charges
Vehicle Excise Duty (previously known as Road Tax) and Congestion Charges are currently free of charge for all electric cars, subsidised by the government to encourage more drivers to make the switch. Whilst it’s free of charge, we’ll sort the admin on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry.
800 miles per month
As standard, we include 800 miles per month. Many leasing companies will enforce stricter mileage limits in comparison.
But don’t worry about exceeding this amount – the monthly mileage is rolled over and averaged out over your entire subscription period. We’ll only charge over mileage fees if you go over 800 miles on average when you end your subscription. You can track your mileage in your elmo Dashboard so you can keep an eye on how many miles you’re driving. If you do find yourself exceeding 800 on average, we do provide the option to purchase mileage bolt ons, read on below.
All our electric cars are installed with a forward-facing telematics device. The system doesn’t record sound or internal footage, it’s there to protect our drivers from fraudulent insurance claims and deter thefts. The system also automatically monitors driving habits and behaviours and calculates a score which subscribers can view and monitor on the elmo Dashboard.
Breakdowns can happen at any time (usually when it’s most inconvenient!) but with electric car subscriptions, breakdown cover is included as standard. We’ll cover the cost of the breakdown service or recovery.
Customising your subscription package
We’ve already explained in a fair amount of detail everything that’s included in our all-inclusive subscription package. But what about customising your subscription? We’ve got plenty of optional extras to help make switching to electric a smooth transition, according to your lifestyle and preferences.
Whilst the public charging network in the UK is rapidly growing, for total convenience and cheaper rates, charging at home is often the easiest solution. That’s why we’ve teamed up with AES and Easee to offer an electric car home charging solution.
With a growing network of public charge points, you will never be too far away from charging up – especially with our public charging solution elmoCharge! We’ve teamed up with charge point roaming provider Paua, to give subscribers access to over 20,000 (& counting!) charge points across the UK. Every subscriber will get access to elmoCharge, billed fortnightly through your elmo subscription. Simply activate your card, search for your nearest point, and get charging.
On an elmo subscription, you can add up to 2 additional drivers to your subscription for just £10 per person, per month. That way, the whole family can drive electric.
For £12 per day you can travel anywhere in Europe in your elmo electric car. It’s simple to set up and as always, we’ll organise everything for you. You’ll be charged a separate invoice for this. Head over to our EU travel page to find out more.
We know that sometimes our subscribers will need to make longer journeys, so we offer additional mileage bolt ons. The cost is based upon a percentage of your monthly car subscription, and you can top up to 1,000 or 1,200 miles per month (800 miles is our standard package). Example pricing for the mileage bolt ons can be viewed on our mileage page.
EV subscriptions are the future
So, are you convinced? If you’re looking for a mobility solution like a lease, but with greater flexibility you should definitely consider an electric car subscription. We’ve got over 20 different makes and models available right away and if your circumstances change, you can hand the car back after a few months.
Is it cheaper to subscribe to a car?
We don’t think you should have to pay more for greater flexibility, that’s why our prices are so competitive with leasing deals. We’re totally transparent about this too – every EV on our site has a lease vs subscribe table so you can compare our prices with real life leasing deals.
What does a subscription to a car mean?
It means that you pay a monthly fee for the car and package which includes everything you need to get on the road. It’s a bit like Netflix! You’re not tied into lengthy contracts and you pay for the same service every month.
Does car subscription show on credit report?
We do perform soft credit checks, which may appear on your report, but they will not have any impact on your score.
Can I lease an electric car for 6 months?
It’s not possible to lease a car for such a short-term period, leasing contracts usually last for 2-4 years. However, with car subscriptions after a short minimum term (usually 1-3 months) it’s a monthly rolling contract – so you could subscribe to an electric car for just 6 months if you needed to.
Is car subscription worth it?
That depends on your lifestyle and preferences. If you know exactly which car you want and you are happy to stick with that one for a few years, then leasing might be the right choice. If on the other hand flexibility is your bag and you would like to be able to swap to a different car, then a subscription model may better suit you.