Just like Blockbuster and the BlackBerry, car ownership could find itself of the endangered species list.
That’s right, if Cadillac is to be believed you will soon be subscribing to vehicles the way you do to Netflix or Spotify.
A new service “Book by Cadillac” will being released in early February for New York City and will provide users with the ability to use one of its vehicles without having to worry about all the stress that comes with purchasing a vehicle.
Users of the service will pay a monthly fee of $1500 USD depending on the vehicle they choose to rent. Payments are month to month so you’re not locked into a contract and if you get bored of the vehicle you rented you can choose to switch up to 18 times per year. Users will also not need their own insurance as insurance coverage comes with membership. What’s more, you’re not locked behind a mileage restriction so you can travel as much as you please.
The Escalade, XT5, CT6, and V-Series vehicles will be available to Book users, but V-Series vehicles will only be available for as long as roads are in good shape.
So should the normally staid Cadillac now be considered a pioneer? Yes and no.
As reported in MarketWatch recently, the number of vehicle owners in the United States in declining noticeably. This trend, of course, can be attributed to the rise of the sharing economy and services such as Uber, Lyft and Car2Go.
Some websites such as Kayak.com offer car rental service but in a completely different way than Book by Cadillac does. Those services are much more expensive, require your own insurance, and you’re going to have to pay extra if you want a luxury vehicle.
Leasing a vehicle from Cadillac comes with a price tag somewhere between $300 – $750 USD, but you’re then stuck with the same vehicle for the entirety of your contract, as well as needing your own insurance. Book by Cadillac is also convenient; all you need to do is request a vehicle via an app and a car will be brought to your door, staffers will then help you program the vehicles radio to your liking, and even help you get the seat setup to suit you. You don’t even need to take the friendly Cadillac people back, they’ll find their own way.
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Cadillac says it also plans to toss the car showroom as we know it, replacing it with a virtual showroom that you can view from the safety of your own home if you so choose to. This could have potential inventory benefits for Cadillac as it allows dealerships to have fewer vehicles on hand at any one time.
Although the Book by Cadillac service is only going to be available in New York City come February 1st, the company has said it has plans to expand to other major cities across the United States. There’s no mention of Canada as of yet, but there is a waiting list for Book by Cadillac. It can be found here.