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Car subscription service targets uncertainty among fleets

Date: 05 October 2020   |   Author: Simon Harris

A new car subscription service has been launched providing all-inclusive monthly payments on vehicles for up to two years, before handing them back.

Mycardirect was launched by CEO Duncan Chumley, who has twenty-four years' automotive industry experience, having held senior positions within the PSA Group and Mercedes-Benz.

"I am absolutely delighted to launch our new proposition," said Chumley. "I am very confident that customers will love the flexible, hassle free, 100% online experience and the innovative, all-inclusive subscription package."

The new company follows the recent launch by Sixt of Sixt+, an all-inclusive subscription service, while Thrifty Car Rental launched its FlexiFleet equivalent in 2018.

There are also car subscription services that have been launched by companies outside the automotive sector, seeking automotive partners for digital subscption platforms they have developed.

Chumley said: "I've been interested in how customers treat mobility and where I see customers' needs evolving. Covid 19 has also accelerated the adoption of online sales.

"So we wanted to bring an online digital journey to how business customers and consumers source a new car.

"There are competitors out there but my aim is to try to bring all my knowledge of the car marker and infrastructure of vehicle sales to a digital platform.

"Although some rivals have brought subscription platforms to market and are looking for partners to supply vehicles, I'm coming at it from the opposite side. We have two physical sites, or three if you include our head office, from which we can deliver vehicles.

"We launched this month. Our website is now live, and we're building awareness of our service."

Chumley added that there was also the opportunity for businesses to recommend subscription services to those opting out of company cars, ensuring their cash allowance was spent on a vehicle with modern safety features and fuel efficiency.

"The customer can choose the car they want to subscribe to, complete everything online, and in theory, depending on the car they choose, we could deliver in within 72 hours." said Chumley.

"We have sites in Hemel Hempstead and Birmingham, as well as our headquarters in St Neots. We are hoping to expand with sites further north in future. But we can also deliver vehicles to customers."

"From a small business point of view, it gives them the flexibility that isn't rolling over a 28-day short-term rental contract to the next month, or committing to a longer lease contract.

"People don't even know what their holiday plans are for next year, so there is a great deal of uncertainty about the make up of fleets in the next 12 months. Mycardirect can give them the flexibility to choose a shorter contract length, but with the ability to change as they go along."

Chumley added that businesses could evaluate electric vehicles using an all-inclusive and flexile subscription to see where the cars might for into their businesses, and ensure drivers are aware of their potential without making a long-term commitment.

He said Mycardirect will use its own employees for the vehicle handover, ensuring control over quality rather than outsourcing to a third party.

The company will also use data from the car where possible to ensure service schedules are maintained, and contact the drivers to book a vehicle service.

"We know well in advance when servicing is required," said Chumley, "And we use another company to contact the driver to arrange a service. We might well use a main dealer, as all the cars are new, but we also have arrangements with alternative suppliers, because if a car is off the road, it could be affecting the business.

"We also have arrangments with rental companies to ensure a customer can be kept mobile if a car is out of service for longer."