A Different Kind of Ride for the Quad Cities
I occasionally hear stories about how car companies are preparing for a future where there's fewer vehicle owners. It's usually in conjunction with a story about how big city living eliminates or greatly reduces the need for a car. I usually think, yeah right, this writer hasn't lived in a place where a personal vehicle is the easiest option to get where you want to go. I may be wrong. One company called Ride is out to change the relationship we have with our car, and the Quad Cities is the place they think they can do just that.
Their ad, a suggested post on Facebook, sucked me in and I clicked on it. According to their site, Ride is a car subscription service. For a monthly fee they'll give the subscriber a car with no need for them to take out a car loan, get car insurance, or even pay for maintenance.
So why the Quad Cities? Ride says, "The Quad Cities Area will serve as our first region because of its abundant population of young professionals and families that fall into our target age group. We’re starting this now because we believe it to be the next major shift in mobility options and Ride wants to help shape that future."
So what's the catch? According to an Edmunds.com article on car subscription services the pros are pretty much what Ride outlines in their on-line pitch. The cons: Restrictions on how the vehicle can be used. Restrictions on who can drive the vehicle. Mileage limits. No opportunity to negotiate price. Vehicles are not necessarily new. Vehicles are tracked by the subscription company. There is a credit check involved. And the customer's driving record will be monitored. It also, depending on the service, might not be any cheaper than a traditional lease or buying a vehicle.
Ride is an intriguing, different way to obtain a set of wheels. With a click of an app, a credit card number, and one monthly payment a car will be in the driveway and everything is taken care of. It may not be for everyone, but there's certainly a segment of people who will like the convenience.