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Porsche still thinks subscription plans will work. For them.

Illustration for article titled Porsche still thinks subscription plans will work. For them.
Image: Drive.Porsche.Com

Remember the subscription plan? The thing automakers (and even some rental agencies) tried because “those pesky Millennials and Gen Z don’t want to buy cars”? How are they doing? Cadillac pulled the plug on Booked by Cadillac last year. Care by Volvo raised prices and added models, but its a non starter you never hear about. And last I checked they were being investigated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles on behalf of the states dealers who argued that its a direct to consumer sales model. So its future is up in the air. Genesis had a subscription program called Genesis Spectrum, but it was only available through 45 dealers in Florida and has been quiet since its launch late last year...the list of this might not be a good idea goes on and on.

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But Porsche seems to think that because they are Porsche, with that brand cache, they can buck the trend and make a subscription model that people want. Porsche launched their subscription program back in ‘17 in Atlanta, and since then 325 people have signed up (Yes you read that right. 325). Since 2017. And they think this is a success. But of course if confronted with this small number, they will most likely pass it off by saying that they never expected the program to be big anyway. So thinking there is demand, again because they are Porsche, they have expanded their program and added an “affordable” option along with adding more cities (L.A., Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego).

Porsche says the new moves are to cater to more customers and give them flexibility. Its all straightforward. But here’s how it works.

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Illustration for article titled Porsche still thinks subscription plans will work. For them.
Image: Drive.Porsche.Com

To start off, you can choose between Subscription, which allows you to swap cars, and comes with insurance and maintenance, or you can choose Rental, which has daily and weekly rates. So you have to start by downloading the app for the service. You also have to make sure you live within a 50 mile radius of the servicing cities. You also have to be able to pick up and service the vehicles within 20 miles.

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Signing up requires a $595 activation fee that’s isn’t required if you go the subscription route for 3 months. Pricing is....well, its Porsche for sure. Subscription prices are broken down between single vehicle:

Illustration for article titled Porsche still thinks subscription plans will work. For them.
Image: Drive.Porsche.Com
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And Multi-vehicle subscriptions (i.e. if you want to swap):

Illustration for article titled Porsche still thinks subscription plans will work. For them.
Image: Drive.Porsche.Com
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Mileage is limiting for these prices. Pretty much insuring that whatever Porsche you paid for to enjoy will be a weekend only car. But this isn’t for normal people like you and me. This targets well off business travelers who need something flashy to get to meetings in. At least that’s what Porsche is saying. But they hope that it gets more people to the brand with them saying a lot of the subscribers (remember, its only been 325) have been new to the brand.

Rental wise its limiting in who they will rent to. Its Porsche after all. To be able to rent you have to:

  • Be at least 27 years old.
  • Must have held a valid driver’s license for at least five years.
  • Payments can only be made using a valid credit card.
  • Upon vehicle retrieval, a $2,500 security deposit – plus the rental price of the vehicle – will be collected.
  • A valid driver’s license (US) + a valid Passport / ID card and international driving permission (International) are required.
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Rental prices range from 1-4 or more days:

Illustration for article titled Porsche still thinks subscription plans will work. For them.
Image: Drive.Porsche.Com
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Also keep in mind these are the only models available for the program. So no you cant get GT3, GT3 RS or 911 Turbo. The Taycan though is coming in 2021 however. So if your dream is to drive a Porsche, but you cant afford one, but you have a few grand burning a hole in your pocket, or can afford to do something like this for the next few months, then this program is for you. I’d pass though. Between the high prices and the low miles (mostly due to the fact that this is a high priced depreciating asset) it would probably make more sense to use the money spent on this and go out and try to buy a used Porsche. Porsche Drive launches September 25th.

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