Home Dollars & Sense Car ownership simplified: understanding car subscription calculators

Car ownership simplified: understanding car subscription calculators

By carbar on the June 14, 2023

8 minutes

Understanding car subscription services The average Australian1 now expects the annual cost of running a vehicle in 2023 to reach over $15,000, which is 78% higher...

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Understanding car subscription services

The average Australian1 now expects the annual cost of running a vehicle in 2023 to reach over $15,000, which is 78% higher than last year where motorists suggested their average spend was at $8,900. As such, car subscription services are continuing to rise because of changing consumer preferences and people's desire for convenience and financial flexibility.Described as the Netflix for cars, car subscription services allow customers full possession of a vehicle, including insurance, registration, servicing and roadside assistance for a fixed weekly or monthly payment. It is a new, more flexible, and more convenient way to access a car than traditional car ownership, like buying or leasing.

Benefits of car subscription

Car subscription services are gaining popularity for those seeking a hassle-free driving experience. Our latest research2 shows that over half (60%) of Australians are stressed over the cost and hassle of owning a car. This is because they want to avoid the hassle of owning and maintaining a car.

Additionally, car subscription services provide distinct advantages that set them apart from traditional car leasing or ownership. These include the flexibility to switch vehicles as desired and the convenience of comprehensive, all-inclusive pricing that includes insurance, maintenance and repairs.

What is included in a car subscription

Forget financing, balloon payments, interest, depreciation, insurance, registration and all the variable maintenance and servicing costs.

For a weekly payment, a car subscription does all that for you. There are no-lock in contracts or long term lease agreements, just give us two weeks’ notice to swap cars or stop your subscription.

As the first to launch car subscription services in Australia, we raised the bar again when we were first to launch our exclusive loyalty program. Your flexibility remains, but if you stay subscribed, we’ll add Loyalty Credits that automatically reduce the weekly subscription for that vehicle over time.

Calculating the costs of car ownership

Owning and operating a car can be expensive. Purchasing a new vehicle alone can cost around $40,0003, depending on the make and model. Other expenses associated with car ownership include fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, registration fees and the costly depreciation of a car over time

These costs can add up quickly, primarily if the car is used frequently and needs regular maintenance. Finally, taxes, tolls, and parking fees can also contribute to the overall cost of owning and operating a car. As such, calculating the costs of car ownership can help you make informed decisions about your transportation needs and budget. 

A guide to car subscription calculators

Much like a car finance calculator, a car subscription calculator is a tool that helps you estimate your weekly, monthly and total costs associated with the car you are looking to subscribe to. 

As we roll up all the costs of owning a car, this is simplified for you. All you need to do is find the car you like, click “Get Started” or scroll to Subscription Price Breakdown and use the slide to calculate your costs. Note, tolls, fines, fuel or electricity are not included and the costs are based on the annual mileage allowance of 26,000kms.

A car subscription calculator can be especially useful for those who are considering a car subscription but want to understand the total cost before paying the upfront fee and committing to a car. This way, we believe you get a clear picture of what you pay each month for the duration of the desired subscription. You’ll also see discounts applied through carbar’s exclusive Loyalty programme.

How to use carbar's subscription cost calculator

Our car subscription cost calculator is a simple tool that can help you estimate the weekly and total cost breakdown of subscribing a car over a period of time. Here's how to use it:   

  1. Find a car you like by browsing cars available for subscription
  2. Once you’ve found your car, click the orange “Get started” button or scroll to the “Subscription Price Breakdown” section.

Toggle the slider to see how long you intend to subscribe and we’ll show you the total subscription cost along with the upfront fee and how much you’ll save with our loyalty program.

You can find this car subscription calculator on all carbar subscription car pages, so the cost is automatically adjusted based on the vehicle you want to subscribe to. This way you can make an informed decision to get the right car subscription for your budget and needs.

Car subscription vs car finance costs

Car subscription and car finance are two different ways to get a car without a hefty downpayment. It’s important to note that both subscription and finance have different costs. Car finance allows you to purchase a car by taking out a loan and making monthly payments until you own the car outright or pay a balloon at the end of the agreed term. This is in contrast to a car subscription that allows you to pay a fixed weekly or monthly fee to access a vehicle without the long-term commitment of ownership.

While car finance typically results in lower overall costs over a longer term, a car subscription service may be more expensive, but also removes the risks and costs of any potential maintenance issues.. Ultimately, the choice between car finance and car subscription will depend on individual circumstances, such as budget, driving needs and personal preference for flexibility or convenience.

A guide to car finance calculators

Car finance calculators are essential for anyone looking to purchase a car and wanting to clearly understand the financial commitment involved. They consider variables such as the car price, interest rate, loan term and downpayment to give you an idea of how much you can borrow along with your monthly repayments.

Our partnership with CarClarity makes car finance simple by providing you with transparency and choice. Whether you need a new car loan, a used car loan or a business car loan, we can help. Use our car finance calculators to see how much you can borrow based on your net income, expenses and credit history. You can also get an overview of your repayments using our calculator. Simply input your loan amount, loan years and interest rate.

Both of these calculators are available on our Car Finance page.

Leasing vs subscribing

Splashing out tens of thousands of dollars to buy a car outright is not necessarily the norm for many Australians. Car leasing and subscribing are two popular options for accessing a vehicle without purchasing it outright. 

Leasing typically involves a longer commitment, ranging from two to four years, and often requires a down payment upfront. The lessee is responsible for maintaining the vehicle and keeping it in good condition during the lease term. At the end of the lease, the lessee returns the car and may have the option to purchase it or lease a new vehicle. 

In contrast, car subscription is a newer concept that retains the convenience of car lease but is easier to access (no credit requirements) and provides flexibility to easily stop or swap, without exit fees, if your situation changes. Read our Car Subscription vs Lease article for a more detailed explanation on the differences between these two car ownership options.

Leveraging your car subscription for maximum benefit

To make the most out of your car subscription, it's important to optimise the value you receive while minimising costs. Here are some valuable tips to help you maximise the benefits of your car subscription

Set a budget and choose a car that fits your needs

Establish a budget and select a car that aligns with your financial plan.

Continually reassess your options

At Carbar, we offer the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. If you've developed a strong attachment to your subscription car but your situation evolves, you have the option to purchase your subscription vehicle. Explore financing alternatives, compare finance plans, and manage aspects such as insurance, maintenance, registration, and roadside assistance independently.

Keep in mind additional fees and charges

Stay vigilant about potential extra costs associated with your car subscription. Keep track of your mileage, manage tolls and fines responsibly, and abide by traffic laws to avoid penalties. Setting up direct debit ensures smooth payment of your subscription, which is billed fortnightly. Make sure sufficient funds are available to cover the subscription payment and avoid any disruptions.

Maximise safety and technology features

Make the most of the safety and technology features available in your subscription car. Take advantage of discounted and free swaps provided through carbar's loyalty program. Upgrade to a later model and enjoy all the perks and advancements in automotive technology that enhance your driving experience.

Stay informed about your subscription

Read your subscription agreement carefully and stay informed about any changes to your subscription. This will help you avoid unexpected charges. For example, knowing the specific conditions and environments your subscribed vehicle can drive in will save you from spending money on repairs that comprehensive insurance does not cover.

By following these tips, you can maximise the value you receive from your car subscription and ensure that you're getting the most out of the service.

Why carbar stands out in the car subscription industry

Carbar revolutionised the Australian market by introducing car subscription services. Our members enjoy a personalised experience with exclusive access to fully-maintained and comprehensively insured vehicles, all covered by a convenient weekly subscription. With a diverse range of cars in our catalogue, you can easily upgrade or downgrade based on your situation, ensuring the perfect fit for your needs.

As a token of appreciation for our loyal customers, we offer credits and discounts to help reduce subscription costs and enhance your experience. At carbar, we constantly strive to raise the bar by delivering world-class products and services, setting new standards in the industry. Trust us to continue providing exceptional solutions for your car subscription needs.

Take control of your driving experience and expenses

Car subscriptions offer a convenient and flexible alternative to traditional car ownership or leasing. With a carbar subscription, you can enjoy a variety of benefits such as hassle-free maintenance, insurance coverage, and the ability to switch to a different vehicle at any time. Our car subscription calculator helps you estimate the monthly costs of your planned subscription and compare different cost factors to find the best fit for your needs and budget.Looking for your next car? Explore carbar’s wide selection of vehicles and calculate your subscription cost here!

1 https://www.savings.com.au/news/running-car-2023
2  https://www.savings.com.au/news/running-car-2023
3 https://www.canstarblue.com.au/vehicles/average-car-price

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