New research, from Australian car subscription company Loopit, has revealed a surprising link between how often Aussies upgrade their phone and attitudes towards car ownership. The first survey of its kind anywhere in the world, it found that the more frequently you buy a new phone, the more likely you are to subscribe to your next car.
According to the research, people who upgrade to the latest phone every year are twice as likely to drive a car on subscription, compared to those who only buy a new phone when their old one breaks. A massive 91 per cent of Aussies who upgrade their phone each year would consider subscribing to their next car rather than buying it - this figure drops to just 48 per cent for people who only upgrade when they need to. Car subscription allows you to get behind the wheel of a new car through small weekly payments and no lock-in contract, similar to a phone plan. This means you can return a car when you no longer need it or swap it for a different car if your needs change.
Car subscription services such as HelloCars have been increasing in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic, with drivers looking for a more flexible alternative to owning a car. In fact, over the lockdown period, Loopit saw a massive 52 per cent increase in enquiries. According to Paul Higgins, Co-Founder and Managing Director at HelloCars, the research highlights that ‘early tech adopters’ are moving away from the traditional idea of car ownership.
“People are obviously excited to get their hands on the latest technology every year with their phones, and now car subscription lets you do that with your car. Car safety and technology is improving rapidly and it’s difficult for the average consumer to keep up to date - even the most affluent people can’t afford to upgrade their car as frequently as subscription allows. Early adopters often predict the next big trend, so we expect to see car subscription become more mainstream this year,” he said.
Not only are these early adopters moving towards more flexible alternatives to buying a car, the research shows they are also ahead in the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs). According to the data, a huge 99 per cent of Aussies who buy the latest phone each year are also planning to make the switch to an electric vehicle in the next five years, with subscription being their preferred way to get behind the wheel. The data shows 83 per cent would prefer to subscribe to an EV than buy it outright. Michael Higgins, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Loopit, says the subscription model will make it easier for Aussies who want to make the switch to electric.
“Many car manufacturers have already committed to going fully electric in the near future - Ford and Volvo are planning to only sell electric cars by the end of the decade. Australia has so far been slower to adapt to EVs, but this research shows there’s definitely interest there. Even though EVs are around the corner, cost has been cited as the biggest barrier for Aussie drivers. People don’t want to commit to buying a new electric car, but the flexibility and affordability of a subscription allows you to update your car even more often than your phone.” he said.
The minimum commitment on a car subscription is similar to most mobile phones plans, at approximately $2,000 or equivalent to an iPhone 12 Pro. You don’t need to go directly to a car subscription company either, with many car dealerships now offering the service. There are over 8,000 cars available for subscription across Loopit’s network of dealerships around Australia. So, Aussies can head to the local dealer showroom or even their website and subscribe directly from there.