The act of purchasing a new car or truck is evolving. Automakers are looking to keep up with the latest trends, and the latest is the subscription program. Several automakers have tried it, and now BMW is testing a program of its own.
The German automaker on Wednesday started a pilot of a subscription program called Access by BMW. The pilot is being run in Nashville, Tennessee with participating BMW dealerships which are responsible for vehicle deliveries and maintenance.
Access by BMW provides members with unlimited access to a diverse range of cars through a single monthly payment. That payment also covers all maintenance, insurance and BMW Roadside Assistance costs. It also includes depreciation, which members avoid by not owning a car.
During the pilot phase, Access by BMW memberships are offered in two tiers: Legend and M. The Legend tier costs $2,000 per month and includes a range of models ranging up to the 5-Series and X5 level. Access to the M2 is also included in the Legend tier. The M tier will run you $3,700 per month and as the name suggests provides access to a range of sporty M cars. Top models here include the M5 and M6 Convertible as well as the X5 and X6 M SUVs.
Members use an app to book a car. A concierge will then personally deliver it most closely matching the member’s needs to their location at the desired time. Cars arrive fully fueled and freshly detailed with personal preferences already pre-set. And there's no limit to how often members can switch cars.
Depending on the success of the program, BMW will expand Access by BMW to its dealers nationwide. Additional tiers allowing access to a broader range of cars will also be added as the program expands.
BMW has seen some of its competition already head down this path. Mercedes-Benz recently launched its Flexperience program in Germany. Lincoln has cooked up a service based around its lightly used offerings. Porsche and Cadillac have programs, too, with Porsche's program costing as much as $3,000 per month for its sports cars. Volvo has a different type of subscription program. Called Care by Volvo, the program sees members keep a single vehicle for the subscription period. Care by Volvo currently starts at $600 per month for an XC40.