BMW Shuts Down Car Subscription Service

Industry News / Comments

Clearly, it wasn't as popular as BMW hoped.

Many automakers have been trialing car subscription services in the US, allowing customers to pay a monthly subscription to access a selection of cars without committing to buying and owning one. This gives people the flexibility of swapping between cars depending on their requirements, such as using a family car on weekdays and swapping it for a sports car to enjoy on the weekend.

Unfortunately, car subscriptions haven't been as popular as automakers had hoped. Last year, Mercedes-Benz pulled the plug on its Collection subscription service due to low demand. Ford also sold off its Canvas subscription service to Fair. According to The Verge, BMW is the latest automaker to pull out of the car subscription model.

2019-2021 BMW M2 Competition Burnout BMW
2019-2021 BMW M2 Competition Rear View Driving BMW
2019-2021 BMW M2 Competition Front View Driving BMW

BMW launched its "Access By BMW" subscription service as a pilot project in Nashville to gauge interest, but subscribers are being told the service will end at the end of this month. "Unfortunately the Access by BMW subscription program is ending on January 31 and we are no longer taking new members," a BMW spokesperson said in a statement.

While BMW's subscription service is ending, the automaker is still considering launching an alternative program in the future.

"We are in the process of developing the next iteration of Access by BMW and will share more information with you as it becomes available," the spokesperson confirmed, adding that "the program had reached its capacity limits" when asked about the subscription service's sales.

Front-End View BMW
Rear-Facing View BMW
Front View BMW
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Chrysler's Most Stylistic Concepts
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For $1,399 a month, subscribers could access the M2 Coupe, 4 Series Coupe or Convertible, 5 Series Sedan and X5. BMW also offered a higher tier for $2,699 a month, allowing access to performance-focused cars including the M4 Convertible, M5 Sedan, M6 Convertible, X5 M and X6 M. Originally, these subscriptions were up to $1,000 more expensive, but competition from Mercedes forced BMW to make the service more affordable.

BMW also introduced an entry-level Icon tier for $1,099 a month that included the 330i, 330e iPerformance plug-in hybrid, X3, X2, M240i convertible and BMW i3. As part of the subscription, all insurance and maintenance fees were covered, while each model was limited to 2,000 miles a month. If a car subscription service sounds appealing, Porsche, Audi, Volvo, Nissan, and Jaguar are still offering alternatives to Access By BMW.

2020-2021 BMW X5 M Front View Driving Uwe Fischer
2020-2021 BMW X5 M Rear View Driving Uwe Fischer
2020-2021 BMW X5 M Front View Driving Uwe Fischer
Source Credits: The Verge

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2019-2021 BMW M2 Competition Burnout
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