Car Dealer Live

Car Dealer Live: How car subscription customers are more conventional than you might think, says Drover

Time 1 year ago

Subscription car services are more appealing to a general car buyer than people assume, explained the team from Drover, but OEMs are making the same mistakes it did in the early days.

Chief marketing officer Alex Rose commented that the biggest appeal for their customers is having one payment for the whole of their car ownership.

He appeared on Car Dealer Live today (November 11) with colleagues, COO Chris Moysen and head of fleet partnerships Nick Warren.

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Rose said: ‘I think a lot of OEM subscriptions fall into traps that Drover itself did in the past.

‘The greatest appeal isn’t that you can be done with [the car] and hand it back; the greatest appeal is that someone is doing all of this work for you and you pay this one predictable fee.’

As the lockdown restrictions came into force, Drover had its best quarters to date in Q2 and Q3.

Moysen explained how this is becoming a more normal way of owning something for most people.

He said: ‘They’re used to subscriptions on things like their phones, Netflix, and the car is for many people still a tool.

‘We’re seeing a shift away from company cars, even before Covid, and people want a nice car but they’re not experts in buying or leasing.

‘We try and give people a good choice of cars – not an unlimited choice – but they pick that car on our website and it’s delivered to their door.’

Having the car delivered to their door is another great benefit for Drover’s customers, he adds.

However, many will think of a subscription as a short-term rental ideal for people who are keen to swap to the next model or have a short-term need.

Rose explained that this just isn’t what they’ve found and that average subscriptions are around 16 months.

Drover has also found that the lack of test drives are rarely an objection they hear when people are in the sales process.

He explained: ‘We’re still appealing to an innovator, early adopter audience. That’s probably reflected in that they’re a bit more affluent, because the shorter durations come at a bit of a premium, and they’re slightly younger.’

Rose added: ‘The user base is probably more conventional than people might expect, with the big exception that it skews younger. The average age is 38.

‘Other than that their car taste is fairly conventional but with a premium skew, and they are predominantly urban or suburban in nature. The average mileage of a Drover driver is also a bit lower.’

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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