Enterprise Rent-A-Car Launches $1499 Month Vehicle Subscription

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

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Do you find renting a car from Enterprise too cheap? I have good news. Now you can subscribe to Enterprise Rent-A-Car for a whopping $1499 per month.

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a $1499 per month vehicle subscription service
  • As of the time of writing this, it’s available in just four states
  • Customers can choose from 20 models in 5 different classes
  • Cars can be swapped out up to four times per month
  • Enterprise requires a minimum two month subscription and a $250 startup fee

It seems companies that look to monetize the Mobility as a Service (Maas) business are taking many different approaches. So far, virtually every brand is going about tackling the challenging business model in its own way. Two patterns are emerging in the varying strategies, however.

In short, minimizing companies’ risk of loss will come in at either scale or with incredible cost to consumers.

While BMW and Daimler (Mercedes-Benz’s parent company) have teamed up to protect themselves, utilizing the former strategy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is going at it the other way with its new ‘Subscribe with Enterprise’ vehicle subscription service.

How Do Vehicle Subscriptions Work

For $1499 per month (after $250 enrollment fee), customers can choose one of 20 models from a slew of vehicle types. These include full-size and premium sedans; small and mid-size SUVs; and light-duty trucks. For that hefty lump sum, subscribers can swap out their vehicle up to four times per month. And they’re allotted 3,000 miles per month. Commitments to the service start at a minimum of two to four calendar months.

 

In addition, Subscribe with Enterprise covers vehicle maintenance, roadside assistance, damage and liability coverage, and Sirius XM satellite radio (where available). Fueling the vehicles, I assume, will be on the subscribers’ dime.

The initial test markets for the Subscribe with Enterprise are: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Duluth, Minnesota; St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri; and Las Vegas, Henderson and Reno, Nevada.

How Do You Get Started On Vehicle Subscriptions

Would-be subscribers can go online and apply to join the program. Once they’re approved, and their $250 enrollment fee is processed, they’ll receive a user identification number as well as the number to the dedicated Subscribe with Enterprise concierge line. Subscribers must call in to this line to initiate their first vehicle selection.

“Consumers have asked us for long-term rental options that offer a new level of flexibility for when they need a sedan, an SUV or even a truck,” Randal Narike, Executive Vice President of Operations for Enterprise Holdings, said in a prepared statement. “This service expands on our commitment to provide customers with innovative mobility alternatives that meet them where they live and work.”

The now-defunct BOOK by Cadillac app allowed members to choose from a suite of Cadillac vehicles, including XT5, CT6, CT6 PLUG-IN, Escalade, ATS-V and CTS-V. | Photo: Cadillac

 

Who Else Has Tried Vehicle Subscriptions

If this Subscribe with Enterprise sounds sort of familiar, it should. It’s not wholly dissimilar to the now-defunct BOOK by Cadillac, which for $1800 per month, allowed customers to swap selected Cadillac models at will — up to 18 times per year. No matter the Caddy they were cruising in, subscribers were limited 2,000 miles per month. Cadillac also covered the cost of taxes, registration, insurance, and vehicle maintenance.

After just a year into the pilot program that encompassed just three cities — New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles — the American luxury carmaker pulled the plug on BOOK by Cadillac on December 1, 2018.

So if Cadillac couldn’t make subscription work, even at $1800, why does Enterprise think it can handle the undertaking? Narike has an answer: Because we know how to connect the dots and deliver the kind of transportation service that customers are looking for and expect today … A one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work anymore.”

I agree that its decades-long history in car rentals will give it an edge. After all, Caddy is a carmaker — not a car renter. So making that leap couldn’t have been easy. We can assume there will be fewer upfront costs and headaches for Enterprise.

That said, I am not sure Enterprise will find a lot of eager participants at that price. $1499 is an incredible premium, just to have a new-ish Nissan every week (yes, I know not all rental cars are Nissans … but a lot of them are). Plus, what’s the payoff? This subscription is far more costly than leasing a car — let alone buying one.

If Enterprise can sustain the model long enough for connected cars to hit the road, it might have something interesting on its hands. That’s because, as I recently posited, there’s a chance that driving a connected car could actually earn you money by sharing the data it generates. And those funds could be used to offset hefty subscription costs. We’re a ways off from that, though. But best of luck to Subscribe with Enterprise.


About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

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