More and more carmakers are turning to subscription services as an alternative way to get people into their cars. Cadillac has a program, as does Ford. And now Volvo does, too: Care by Volvo. And after reading through the official description, I’m really struggling to find a downside to it.
With Care by Volvo, subscribers will be able to order an XC40, Volvo’s newest compact SUV and currently the only car available with the service. For $600 a month before local taxes, you can get the XC40 with the T5 engine (that’s the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder), Premium Package, Vision Package, heated front seats and steering wheel, panoramic roof and 19-inch wheels.
For $700 a month, you can get the XC40 T5 R-Design, which comes with everything that the standard XC40 does, plus a Harmon Kardon sound system and 20-inch, 5-double spoke matte wheels.
But unlike Cadillac’s Book program, Care by Volvo has no down payments or one-time enrollment fees. Included in that monthly fee is factory-scheduled maintenance, 24/7 customer care and concierge services (including roadside assistance), insurance and an annual 15,000-mile allowance that covers tire and wheel damage protection, wear-and-tear replacements (including wipers and brakes). You just have to pay for gas.
As someone who recently bent one of her wheels on a particularly nasty New York City road, that last part is huge. Depending on where you live, wheel and tire wear might be a large part of you annual car budget. Volvo’s program will cover that.
The subscription term is 24 months. Volvo says that there will be an option to change cars and sign up for a new 24-month subscription halfway through, if you’re really impatient.
As for insurance:
Care by Volvo customers will be covered under a premium personal insurance policy issued by Liberty Mutual Insurance. The cost of insurance is part of the subscription price and provides customers $250,000 bodily injury protection per person and $500,000 bodily injury coverage per accident with a $500 deductible applied to both comprehensive and collision coverage.
In a roundtable interview, Volvo said that the program will be carried out by regional Volvo dealers. The program isn’t the same as leasing a car, however. You can’t sell the car at the end of your subscription. The cars stay in Volvo’s “value chain,” which is part of how the company was able to get its dealerships on board with the plan.
Volvo is striving for transparency with Care, meaning no hidden costs. You can go onto Volvo’s website and start subscribing today with vehicle deliveries beginning in the early spring of next year. It’s not limited to specific regions, it’s nationwide.
Whether or not this is a good deal to you is up to you to decide, but if you live somewhere like New York City, where car insurance is absurdly high, this might be a decent option. Based on what we’ve seen of the Volvo S90 and the V90 Cross Country, the XC40 will be a solid car; well-thought out and ergonomic.
And! Volvo’s program is much cheaper than Cadillac’s program. That’s nice.