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BMW's Access subscription program is dead, report says

The service will be discontinued at the end of January.

Access by BMW is reportedly going the way of the dodo at the end of January.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Car subscription services were meant to be the perfect alternative to traditional car leasing and ownership, but history has shown that maybe those expectations were a little high. For proof of that, you only have to look at the short shelf life of the manufacturer-backed programs and many of the third-party services. The latest casualty of this is Access by BMW, according to a report published Friday by The Verge.

BMW's service launched back in 2018 with a pilot program in Nashville, Tennessee, that offered subscribers access (see what it did there?) to several models in the ever-expanding BMW model range for the tidy sum of $2,000 per month, inclusive of insurance and maintenance. 

If you wanted to drive around in more exciting Bimmers, a $3,700 per month plan was also available that gave access to some of the M models, and it's here that the main problem with these premium subscription plans rears its ugly head. They're simply not priced competitively with buying or leasing, and the flexibility and convenience that the program offers isn't necessarily worth that much of a premium.

BMW didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Several other manufacturer-backed subscription programs from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac and Ford have also been canceled, mostly due to low customer interest in their various pilot cities. Plans from Porsche, Audi, Genesis and Jaguar Land Rover are still trucking along, though. Just a few months back, Volvo enhanced its Care by Volvo plan by letting customers swap cars every four months, instead of every year.

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