As the automotive industry evolves, car ownership is shifting towards subscription services and leasing options. A recent Turo’s Car Ownership Index survey found that over half of the 1,500 Canadians surveyed who own or lease a vehicle plan to stop in the future due to high costs. Economic challenges and the desire for more sustainable options are contributing to the growth in carsharing and alternative ownership models.

Automakers Exploring New Ownership Models

Automakers are exploring subscription services and leasing options for car ownership, which could save them money by reducing the variety of vehicles they need to manufacture. However, customers may feel cheated by not owning a car outright. Subscription services could allow for over-the-air updates and improvements to the car’s features, and automakers want to retain control over the relationship with the customer beyond the initial sale. They may use data collected from the car to offer personalized features and feedback on driving habits.

Kinto Flex: A New Subscription-Based Car Ownership Scheme

Kinto, a car rental firm owned by Toyota, has introduced a new subscription-based car ownership scheme called Kinto Flex. The scheme offers an all-inclusive car rental plan with a monthly duration fee and a per-kilometer fee that includes fuel, insurance, 24/7
roadside assistance, maintenance, and servicing. Users can book, unlock and drive a selected vehicle for times varying from one hour through to a year.

Benefits of Kinto Flex

A subscription to Kinto Flex starts from $1215 per month and $0.17 per kilometer traveled, with no sign-up fee, establishment fees, or security bond required. The service is managed through Kinto’s purpose-built smartphone app, which allows users to extend or cancel their subscription with seven days’ notice. Kinto Flex provides customers with the benefits of car ownership without the long-term commitment, offering affordability, flexibility, safety, and sustainability. The scheme is available nationwide in Australia and applies to a variety of Toyota models from small hatchbacks for city errands to an SUV for the family.

Adapting to Users’ Lifestyles

Kinto says it has created a car service that “truly adapts” to the user’s lifestyle, allowing them to shorten or lengthen the subscription and pay by the month. The company says Kinto Flex “is powered by a fleet of trusted Toyota cars, and with a passenger fleet consisting of over 97 percent hybrid vehicles.” Toyota Australia Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley said the expansion of Kinto’s services will offer consumers even greater freedom and flexibility in their car ownership choices.