A Guide to Conducting Market Research for Your Car Subscription Business

Discover effective market research techniques for your car subscription business with this guide, covering key steps like target audience identification, competitor analysis, pricing strategies, and utilizing feedback for growth.

George Skentzos

Head of Customer Experience
 @ Loopit.co

Published on 

May 11, 2023


Last updated on 

May 11, 2023

Key Takeaways

Car subscription services are becoming increasingly popular, but with so many competitors in the market, it can be challenging to identify the best strategy to stand out in this industry. Conducting thorough market research can provide valuable insights that can help you develop the most effective marketing plan for your car subscription business. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of conducting market research that will help you to identify your target audience, research their preferences, and create a competitive marketing plan.

Understanding the Car Subscription Market

The car subscription market is an emerging trend in the automotive industry that allows customers to pay a monthly fee for access to a fleet of vehicles. This model is gaining popularity due to its flexibility and convenience, and it's essential for any entrepreneur looking to enter this market to have a solid understanding of the key players, market size and growth potential, and target demographics and customer preferences.

Key players in the car subscription industry

Car dealerships, rental car companies, and startups like Book by Cadillac, Care by Volvo, and Autonomy are some of the major players in the car subscription industry. Each of these companies has a unique business model and strategy that sets them apart from one another.

Car dealerships typically offer a subscription service as an additional option to buying or leasing a car. Rental car companies, on the other hand, have a more established presence in the subscription market, with services like Hertz My Car and Avis Flex offering customers access to a variety of vehicles for a monthly fee.

Startups like Book by Cadillac, Care by Volvo, and Flexdrive have disrupted the traditional automotive industry by offering subscription services that are entirely online and cater to a younger, tech-savvy audience. These companies provide a more flexible and convenient way to access a car without the long-term commitment of buying or leasing.

Market size and growth potential

The car subscription market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 71% between 2020 and 2025. This growth trend can be attributed to the increasing popularity of subscription-based models and the changing attitudes towards car ownership among younger generations.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has also played a significant role in the growth of the car subscription market, as people are looking for more flexible and affordable transportation options in the wake of economic uncertainty.

As the market continues to grow, there will be more opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter this space and offer unique subscription services that cater to specific customer needs.

Target demographics and customer preferences

Identifying your target market demographics and their preferences is crucial for the success of your car subscription business. Conducting market research to determine the age and income brackets of your potential customers, as well as their preferences for car size, type, and features, can provide valuable information that will help you develop an effective marketing strategy.

For example, younger generations are more likely to be interested in subscription services that offer access to a variety of vehicles, while older generations may prefer more traditional options like buying or leasing a car.

Additionally, customers may have specific preferences for car features like safety technology, entertainment systems, and fuel efficiency. Understanding these preferences can help you tailor your subscription service to meet the needs of your target market and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Defining Your Unique Value Proposition

Identifying your niche in the market

Car subscription services have become increasingly popular in recent years. With the variety of services offered, it is vital to identify what makes your business stand out from others operating in the market. Identifying your niche will help you tailor your marketing plan and target specific customer demographics that are more likely to be interested in your business.

For example, you could focus on offering luxury cars for short-term rentals, or provide eco-friendly vehicles for environmentally conscious customers. By identifying your unique selling point, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and attract customers who are looking for something specific.

Creating a compelling offer

Customers are always looking for more value in their subscription services. Offering a unique proposition that can convince them to choose your service over others is key to success. Creating a package that offers a lower price or more features are some examples of how you can create an offer customers will find compelling.

Another way to create a compelling offer is by providing exceptional customer service. This can include 24/7 support, flexible rental options, and personalized recommendations based on the customer's needs. By going above and beyond for your customers, you can build a loyal customer base that will recommend your service to others.

Differentiating from competitors

Conducting market research to understand how your competitors position themselves is an essential aspect of developing a unique value proposition. Monitoring the quality of materials, the type of vehicles, and pricing strategies can inform you where your competitors are lagging in the market. Giving you an opportunity to differentiate yourself from them and become their go-to alternative.

Another way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is by offering additional services that they do not provide. For example, you could offer a car cleaning service or a delivery and pick-up service. By providing these extra services, you can create a more convenient and hassle-free experience for your customers.

Ultimately, defining your unique value proposition is crucial to the success of your car subscription service. By identifying your niche, creating a compelling offer, and differentiating from your competitors, you can attract and retain customers who are looking for a service that meets their specific needs and preferences.

Gathering and Analyzing Data

When it comes to gathering data, there are many different methods you can use to get the information you need. In this article, we'll explore some of the most common primary and secondary research methods, and discuss how to analyze and interpret the data you collect.

Primary Research Methods

Primary research is the process of conducting research from scratch to answer research questions. This can involve a variety of methods, such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Surveys are a great way to gather accurate data from both current subscribers and potential customers. By asking targeted questions about their demographic, preferences, and needs, you can get a better understanding of your target audience.

Interviews are another effective primary research method. By speaking directly with customers, you can gain insights into their thought processes and decision-making strategies. This can be especially helpful when trying to identify pain points or areas where your service can improve.

Focus groups are similar to interviews, but involve a group of people rather than an individual. This can be a great way to get feedback on new products or services, as well as to test out marketing strategies and messaging.

Secondary Research Sources

Secondary research involves using already available data to inform your marketing strategy. This can include things like industry trends, customer reviews, or competitor analysis. By analyzing this data, you can identify marketing strategies that are more likely to build customer loyalty.

One of the main benefits of secondary research is that it can help you get more insights from the market environment. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can identify areas where you can differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

After gathering research data from primary and secondary sources, it's important to interpret the data to make a strategic plan for your business. Analyzing customer preferences and behaviors can inform how to position your service effectively in the market.

One way to analyze data is to look for patterns or trends. For example, if you notice that a large percentage of your customers are millennials, you may want to tailor your marketing messages to appeal specifically to that demographic.

Another way to interpret data is to look for outliers or anomalies. These can be indicators of areas where your service is falling short or where there may be opportunities for improvement.

Ultimately, the key to successful data analysis is to stay focused on your goals and objectives. By keeping your research questions in mind and using the data you collect to inform your decision-making, you can develop a marketing strategy that is both effective and sustainable.

Identifying Market Opportunities and Threats

Identifying market opportunities and threats is crucial for any business to stay ahead of the competition and succeed in the long run. In this article, we will discuss some strategies that can help you recognize emerging trends, assess potential risks and challenges, and evaluate the competitive landscape in the car subscription industry.

Recognizing Emerging Trends

Keeping up with emerging trends is essential to identify new customer preferences and stay ahead of the competition. In the car subscription industry, emerging technology can give you an opportunity to offer new and innovative services that will attract more customers. For example, integrating electric cars into your fleet can appeal to environmentally conscious customers who are looking for sustainable transportation options. Additionally, keeping an eye on emerging trends in the industry can help you identify new business opportunities that you can capitalize on.

Assessing Potential Risks and Challenges

Understanding the potential risks and challenges in the car subscription industry is crucial to ensure that your business is well-prepared to face any obstacles that may arise. Mechanical breakdowns, regulatory changes, and economic downturns are some of the risks that you should be aware of. To assess these risks, you can analyze your competitors' weaknesses and learn from their mistakes. Hiring experts to evaluate your market environment can also help you identify potential problems and develop solutions to mitigate them. Being well-prepared with solutions to these risks can provide assurance to potential customers and help you build a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy car subscription service provider.

Evaluating the Competitive Landscape

Evaluating the competitive landscape is essential to understand how many competitors you are up against, the strategies they have employed, and the customers they target. Analyzing this data can allow you to get more insights on customer preferences and identify areas where you can improve in the market. For example, if your competitors are offering a limited range of cars, you can differentiate yourself by offering a wider selection of vehicles. Additionally, studying your competitors' pricing strategies can help you develop a pricing model that is competitive and attractive to customers.

In conclusion, identifying market opportunities and threats is crucial for any business to succeed in the car subscription industry. By recognizing emerging trends, assessing potential risks and challenges, and evaluating the competitive landscape, you can develop a business strategy that is well-informed and effective.


Conducting thorough market research will give you a competitive advantage when starting a car subscription business. By analyzing customer preferences and evaluating industry trends, you can shape your marketing plan to better suit your target audience, position yourself effectively in the market, and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Carrying out sufficient research can help to turn your car subscription startup into a successful brand.

About the author
George is the Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at Loopit. Having originally started his career as a motoring journalist and founding team member for one of Australia's top automotive startups, George has a strong passion for automotive, business and growth marketing.
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