Ever have a need for the use of a truck one week of the month, would an SUV fit your vacation plan better than your daily driver? St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, the largest car rental company in the U.S.. is piloting a new vehicle subscription service in Missouri, Nevada and Minnesota that might solve that problem.
Enterprise claims to own the largest privately-owned fleet of vehicles in the world and its new service called Subscribe with Enterprise will use those vehicles and its network of neighborhood Enterprise Rent-A-Car agencies to allow people access to a variety of sedans, trucks and SUVs and they would be able to switch vehicles up to four times a month.
"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," said Randal Narike, vice president of operations at Enterprise Holdings in a release. "This service expands on our commitment to provide customers with innovative mobility alternatives that meet them where they live and work."
Companies across industries are adopting subscription type services as a customer centric approach to supply everything from music, movies, bicycles, scooters and software as a service. Most services charge customers automatically each month through their accounts.
A number of recent business books including Subscribed by Tien Tzuo have looked at what the book calls the "subscription economy."
Enterprise bills its' new service as an alternative to car leasing or car ownership. Subscribers would pay for gas, tolls, tickets and certain taxes on top of the enrollment fee and monthly subscription fee. The monthly fee would cover a range of typical automotive services including insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance. The plan includes up to 3,000 miles per month - more miles than a typical lease arrangement.
An Enterprise spokeswoman said via email that test states where chosen based on internal data that gives the company confidence that results will let them determine if the program could be launched nationally. "We're allowing sufficient time to study vehicle-subscription services and consumer preferences for this kind of program," the spokeswoman noted. "When it eventually launches throughout the U.S., the service will be fully vetted and specifically designed to meet evolving consumer needs."
Enterprise touts the new subscription service as an extension of its existing "mobility-as-a-service" offerings that include car rental, truck rental, commuting services, carpooling services, fleet management and hourly car sharing services.
Major Minnesota cities participating in the Subscribe with Enterprise program include Minneapolis/St. Paul, Rochester and Duluth. Prices would include a $250 enrollment fee, and a $1,499 monthly fee.