If you have ever purchased a car, you know that it's not always fun and games. You spend hours day at a dealership haggling on price and having the finance department try and talk you into buying things you just simply don’t want. There is a reason why car dealerships have earned a bad reputation, even though there are many good dealerships and sales people out there. Volvo wants to take all the hassle out of buying a new car and it wants to do that with a new plan called Care by Volvo.
Care by Volvo isn’t a lease, thought it seems similar, and it isn't a purchase option. You are buying a subscription to a car that belongs to you for up to 24 months. Much like trading in your iPhone for the latest and greatest at your cellular carrier, there will be an option for subscribers to trade their car in at 12 months and get another one.
The service allows the subscriber to build their Volvo online and then pick it up at the dealership. The only car available in the plan right now is the upcoming Volvo XC40, which is a nice-looking compact crossover. The price is $600 monthly for the well-equipped XC40 T5 AWD Momentum with Premium Package, Vision Package, Heated front seats, and heated steering wheel. The car even has a panoramic roof and 19-inch wheels. For $700 monthly for the unlevel XC40 T5 AWD R-Design with Premium Package, Vision Package, Advanced Package, Heated Front Seats and Heated Steering Wheel, Panoramic Roof, Harman Kardon Premium Sound, and 20-inch wheels is available.
Volvo has promised to add more vehicles to the program in the future. The big draw here is that there is no price negotiation for the car, and just about everything is included in that monthly fee. That means insurance through Liberty Mutual, all maintenance like oil changes and even wear items like brakes and wiper blades. The included insurance has $250,000 bodily injury protection per person and $500,000 bodily injury coverage per accident with a $500 deductible for comp and collision. Road side assistance and concierge services are included as well.
The subscription includes 15,000 annual miles and has tire and wheel damage protection included. "Care by Volvo takes the guesswork out of car ownership, covering insurance, service, maintenance and basically everything except gas," said Anders Gustafsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car USA.
The XC40 will land this spring for buyers and to get started you order online, pick your color and interior, and pay $500 that is applied towards your first monthly payment. There are some unknowns to this service right now. Lots of coverage has stated that the insurance is included no matter the age or driving record of the buyer. We reached out to Volvo and a spokesperson gave a bit more detail on how the insurance works.
The spokesperson stated that the insurance "rides with the car." This was in response to our question of if another person could borrow the car, essentially anyone licensed can drive it and be covered under the insurance. However, the spokesperson was vague when asked about coverage for new drivers (anyone who has ever insured a 16-year-old knows that you can easily pay half Volvo's $600 monthly price for insurance) and people with bad driving records. Volvo could not answer those insurance questions and pointed us to Liberty Mutual for those answers.
If you read the information out thereabout Care by Volvo, you might wonder if a credit check is required because no where is one mentioned in any coverage or Volvo materials we have seen. The answer is yes, you will be required to do a credit check, which is no surprise. As for credit requirements the Volvo spokesperson declined to say, but did note that you could expect credit requirements to be on par with what you would need for a traditional lease. Another important tidbit is that you will have to pay taxes, regulatory fees, and registration fees at delivery that vary state to state.