The way we own and use vehicles is changing rapidly. Just a few decades ago, most people would buy a car, and with the proper maintenance, could drive it for many years.
These days, planned obsolescence means cars run out of replacement parts within a much shorter time period. That or they’re just really not built like they’re used to. As for whether or not today’s cars are meant to be thrown away is a discussion for another day.
But a massive change in the way we experience our vehicles, is definitely on the way. Within the sphere of ever-changing experiences of car ownership, there are now a growing number of alternatives to what we would consider as traditional, such as subscription services and microtransactions.
There are a number of reasons for this shift. One is the increasing cost of car ownership. Cars are more expensive to buy, insure, and maintain than ever before.
Another reason is the rise of ride-hailing services like GrabCar, Uber and Lyft. These services make it easier and more affordable to get around without owning a car.
In the US, the rise of companies such as Carvana CarPass, FlexDrive and My Hertz, means that with a monthly fee, you can choose whatever kind of car you’d like to drive in whatever city you’re in.
The shift to a more subscription-based model of car ownership has a number of implications. For one, it means that people will have more flexibility in how they use their cars.
They won’t have to worry about depreciation or maintenance costs, and they can switch cars as their needs change.
This could be a good thing for people who don’t drive very often or who need a different type of car for different purposes.
However, there are also some potential downsides to subscription-based car ownership. For one, it could lead to higher prices in the long run. If people are constantly switching cars, car manufacturers will have to charge more to recoup their development costs.
Additionally, subscription services could make it more difficult for people to truly personalize and customize their cars.
If you’re only renting a car for a month, you’re not going to want to spend a lot of money on accessories or upgrades.
If you’re the kind of car lover who likes tinkering with your vehicles, then this definitely isn’t for you.
Another trend that is changing the way we own vehicles is the rise of microtransactions. Microtransactions are small, in-app purchases that allow users to unlock new features or content. They are becoming increasingly common in the automotive industry.
For example, BMW allows owners to subscribe to heated seats, Apple CarPlay, and other features, a move that has been criticized heavily by long-time fans of the brand.
Recently, motorcycle manufacturer KTM has come under great scrutiny.
Their new 890 Adventure R comes with all the options, but you have to pay extra to keep them after the first 1,500 kilometers. Imagine enjoying your hard-earned, newly bought motorcycle only to find out a lot of the features you’ve been enjoying have shut down after the pre-programmed mileage.
This has divided opinions, with some people seeing it as a way to give consumers more options and others seeing it as a way to rip them off.
Some say that this is ideal, as you have the power to only purchase the features that you will definitely need.
Others, on the other hand, feel that these features are part of the expensive price tag, and should be accessible by default.
Overall, the changing face of vehicle ownership is a complex issue.
There are both potential benefits and drawbacks to the shift to a more subscription-based and microtransaction-based model. It remains to be seen how this trend will play out in the long run.