Car Industry

VW tests car-subscription water with Drover partnership in the UK

The scheme lets people pick from Golf, Passat and Tiguan variants.

Everything is handled online, and new subscribers can get access to their car in as little as 48 hours. Not too shabby.

Volkswagen

Automakers have been slowly wading into subscription services, usually launching efforts in limited markets as it determines how to best serve customers who may not want a traditional ownership experience. VW's latest effort heads to the UK in conjunction with a partner.

Volkswagen announced last week that it has launched a pilot subscription service in the UK with the help of Drover, a company that specializes in subscription services. Everything happens online, from start to finish, and VW says it can take as little as 48 hours from signing up to receiving a car.

Right now, a trip to Drover's VW subscription site reveals a wide variety of Golf, Passat and Tiguan variants on offer, including diesels and estate cars (station wagons). A Golf can be secured from £528 (about $700) per month, while Passats start around £514 (about $675) and Tiguans start around £643 (about $850) per month.

That might sound high, but like other subscription services, the only thing an owner will need to pay for is gas. VW's monthly subscription price includes taxes, annual safety tests, service, maintenance and breakdown coverage. But even the fuel isn't offered at full price, with the site also claiming that owners get a 5-pence (about 6 cents) discount on each liter of gas or diesel, as well.

The program is impressively flexible, too. People who sign up have a wide variety of subscription options, from a month-to-month plan that offers more flexibility to a 12-month term that offers more stability. Discounts are applied to longer plans, too, so if a person's needs or whims don't dictate frequent car swaps, that can be met with a financial reward.

If you want to learn more about subscription services in general, we've put together a rundown of all the major first- and third-party vehicle subscriptions currently on offer.