Stellantis' Free2Move to offer subscription service in U.S.
Free2Move, Stellantis NV's mobility services brand, said Thursday said it will expand its Car on Demand subscription service to the United States, starting with six states this year.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people have sought out more isolated forms of transportation instead of mass transit. Car on Demand will offer consumers a month-to-month rental option for a variety of vehicle options. It's pricier than a typical lease but includes insurance and maintenance.
“We’re excited to bring our ultra-flexible subscription service to the U.S.,” Free2Move brand CEO Brigitte Courtehoux said in a statement. "This market is among the most competitive and open to new mobility and vehicle access models, and we’re confident Car On Demand will further broaden consumer interest in this option.”
The service is now live in Los Angeles, though it may take a couple of weeks to process a request, a brand spokesman said. Free2Move chose Los Angeles because of its size, history with innovative mobility and high penetration rate of luxury vehicle leases.
Prices start at $699 per month for a Toyota RAV4 SUV, according to Free2Move's website, which includes insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance and free delivery within L.A. The cost increases to $899 per month for a Tesla Model 3 or Mercedes C-Class car. A couple of Jeep Wrangler SUV options are available and start at $749 per month.
For comparison, the average lease for a new vehicle in March was $483 a month, a 3.9% increase year-over-year, according to auto information website Edmunds.com.
A 10-day notice is required to opt out of the Car on Demand subscription. The service will expand to five other states before the end of the year, though the locations were not disclosed.
Competitors have tried and failed with similar mobility ventures. Ford Motor Co.’s financial services arm in 2019 sold its vehicle subscription service Canvas to a California-based car-rental app. General Motors Co. in 2018 "paused" its Book by Cadillac car subscription service, which cost $1,800 a month.
Care by Volvo and Porsche Drive are some of the most popular subscription services. Care costs $600 to $750 per month, depending on the model, while Porsche's program ranges from $1,500 to $2,600 per month for a single vehicle and from $2,100 to $3,100 per month for a plan that allows users to switch vehicles at will.
Free2Move has offered the service in several European countries since 2019, including France and Portu
For shorter-term rentals, the brand also offers car-sharing in Paris, Lisbon, Madrid, Washington, D.C., and soon in Portland, Oregon. Car-sharing activity increased 23% for the brand in 2020, and Free2Move was profitable in the second half of the year when it saw a 40% increase in demand as government restrictions lifted.