Optimizing Car Subscription Plans: How to Spot When Adjustments Are Needed and Tweak Offerings for Maximum Value

As the car subscription industry evolves, the success lies in adjusting subscription plans to customer behavior changes and market trends.

George Skentzos

Head of Customer Experience
 @ Loopit.co

Published on 

February 5, 2024


Last updated on 

February 5, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Car subscription providers must regularly assess and adjust their plans in response to changing customer behaviors, preferences, and market trends to maintain attractiveness and competitiveness in the market
  • Monitoring specific indicators such as new subscriber conversion rates, average subscription terms, vehicle return rates, and evolving vehicle preferences is crucial for effectively updating subscription offerings
  • Implementing plan changes smoothly requires clear communication to customers, providing incentives for switching to new plans, and executing a phased transition to ensure customer satisfaction and minimize disruption

A core value proposition of car subscription is flexibility and affordability through choice of plans. Customers can select subscription terms and vehicle classes that fit their changing needs.

But the assumptions underlying your original plan offerings will evolve over time as customer behaviors change. Being attuned to the key indicators that your plans need tweaking, and knowing how to respond, is critical to maximizing subscriber value and satisfaction over the long haul.

As the car subscription industry sees rapid growth worldwide, staying ahead of shifting subscriber preferences will be key to success. This will hinge on optimizing subscription plan offerings by tracking key indicators, making data-driven tweaks to plans, and gracefully transitioning customers to updated offerings. The ability to continuously adjust your subscription plans based on market feedback will ensure you provide maximum value to customers over time.

Declining New Subscriber Conversion Rates

A key indicator that your car subscription plans need revising is declining new subscriber conversion rates. The subscriber sales funnel typically includes steps like initial website visit, online account signup, vehicle selection, and final checkout/purchase. Conversion rates trending downwards at certain steps in this funnel, especially later high-intent steps like checkout, signal issues with your current subscription plan offerings. According to Loopit, new subscriber conversion rates for car subscriptions have averaged around 2-5% in recent years. Lower rates likely indicate your plans are mismatched to current consumer preferences for durations, vehicle types, included miles, or pricing.

Changing Average Subscription Terms

One key indicator that your car subscription plans may need revising is changes in the average length of subscriptions. According to Loopit, while the average mandated minimum term for a subscription is typically 30 days, the average duration for a subscription is in excess of 6 months.

If you notice average subscription lengths increasing or decreasing significantly over time, it likely signals your plan durations and mileages no longer match subscriber usage needs. Shortening terms can indicate your mileage allowances are too low, or pricing too high for longer commitments. Lengthening terms may signify durations are too short for subscriber needs.

Changing average subscription terms prompts re-evaluation of plan durations, included mileage, and pricing. Adding shorter or longer duration options, adjusting mileage ranges, and incentivizing desired term lengths can help realign plans to current subscriber behaviors.

Vehicle Return Rates

Monitoring any spikes in vehicle return rates can signal dissatisfaction or issues with your current vehicle class offerings and options. If certain vehicle types are seeing abnormally high return rates compared to historical norms, it may be time to re-evaluate those vehicle classes in your subscription plans.

For example, if you notice a spike in luxury vehicle returns, it could indicate your luxury fleet specs don't match subscriber expectations. Likewise, spikes in economy vehicle returns may signal those base options lack expected convenience and tech features subscribers seek, even in budget-friendly cars. Upgrading economy vehicle specs or expanding lower-cost options could help address return rate increases.

Frequently analyzing return rate data segmented by vehicle class is useful for re-evaluating class mix and realigning offerings. Combining return data with direct subscriber feedback provides further insights into issues driving returns. Tweaking plans accordingly helps maximize satisfaction.

Evolving Vehicle Preferences

Customer preferences for vehicle classes and models will inevitably shift over time as market trends and economic factors evolve. For example, when gas prices rise, smaller more fuel efficient vehicles tend to become more desirable. During economic downturns, luxury vehicles may decline while more budget friendly options see increased interest.

These evolving preferences impact which specific vehicle offerings will be most attractive to new and renewing subscribers at any given time. Car subscription operators need to stay on top of market data and trends to ensure their fleet mix and vehicle class availability matches what customers want right now. Adjusting the make/model mix over time based on demand is key to maximizing subscriber acquisition and retention.

Competitor Plan Innovation

Car subscription operators need to keep a close eye on competitors and how they are evolving their plans over time. When competitors start testing innovative new subscription plan features like this, it can quickly influence subscriber expectations for your own plans.

If competitors offer greater flexibility or affordability through new subscription options, your subscribers may come to expect similar choices. This is why monitoring competitor plan changes and innovations is critical. You may need to modify your own car subscription plans to match shifting demand and expectations driven by competitors. Don't let your offerings fall behind what people can get elsewhere.

Tracking Mechanisms to Monitor Indicators

In order to proactively optimize your subscription plans, you need robust tracking mechanisms to monitor key indicators over time. There are several ways to gather the data you need:

Subscription sales funnel analytics

Analyze your sales funnel from lead to close to understand conversion rates at each stage. Look for trends tied to specific plans or vehicle types. Use A/B testing to evaluate the impact of plan tweaks.

Subscription management software data and reporting

Loopit provides detailed reporting on metrics like subscriber terms, vehicle turnover, subscriber preferences, etc.

Customer surveys and feedback

Actively survey subscribers and analyze open-ended feedback to understand evolving needs and satisfaction levels. Segment surveys by plan type and vehicle class when possible.

Competitor benchmarking

Regularly research competitor plan offerings and promotions. Sign up for competitors' services periodically to experience them first-hand if possible.

Overall market trends

Stay on top of reports on consumer preferences, macroeconomic factors influencing demand, and industry innovations. Adjust plans proactively based on reliable projections.

Tweaking Subscription Plans

As customer behaviors and preferences evolve, car subscription operators need to make adjustments to their plan offerings to continue providing value. There are several key ways plans can be tweaked over time:

Adjust durations and mileages

Plans can be changed to have shorter or longer durations (e.g. 1 month to 1 year) and lower or higher mileage allotments based on usage patterns. The optimal duration is around 6 months, but this does not mean you should necessarily set this as your minimum term.

Add or remove vehicle classes and models

The specific makes, models, and classes included in plans should be evaluated over time as customer vehicle preferences change. New or discontinued vehicles can be added or removed.

Modify pricing and fee structures

As costs and market conditions evolve, pricing for monthly/annual fees, one-time fees etc. can be adjusted up or down to remain competitive and profitable.

Introduce new plan features

Creative new features like unlimited swapping, vehicle delivery/return can be added as value-adds.

Tweaking plans requires close monitoring of metrics and customer preferences, but keeps offerings fresh. Gradual optimization of subscriptions boosts customer experience.

Transitioning Customers to New Plans

The key to smoothly transitioning customers to tweaked subscription plans is to make the change gradual and incentivized through advance communication, education, incentives, and a phased rollout. You want to avoid a "cliff event" where customers are suddenly forced into an unfamiliar plan.

First, provide advance notice to customers that subscription plans are changing, at least 1-2 billing cycles in advance. Send targeted emails explaining the reasoning for the changes, and how specifically each customer will be impacted based on their usage data. Provide an FAQ so customers understand the transition.

Next, offer incentives for customers to voluntarily switch plans before the transition date. This could include discounts on the first 1-2 months of the new plan to ease the pricing change. You can also grandfather certain high-value customers into legacy plan benefits.

Finally, roll out the transition in phases. First switch over low-risk customers, and monitor results before transitioning higher-risk subscribers. Segment users by risk level and have tailored outreach for each group.

With proper communication, incentives, and phasing, you can smoothly migrate customers to new subscription plans over time. The key is avoiding an abrupt "cliff event" by making it a gradual, customer-focused transition.


The key takeaway is that continuously optimizing your car subscription plans based on changing customer behaviors and preferences is crucial to providing maximum value and satisfaction over time. Don't let your initial assumptions and offerings become outdated. Pay close attention to indicators like conversion rates, vehicle preferences, and competitor moves to understand when it's time to tweak your plans.

Work closely with your subscription management software providers to carefully analyze usage data, customer feedback, and market trends. Leverage their expertise in testing pricing models, plan structures, and new features with your customer base before rolling out changes more broadly. This will ensure a smooth transition for customers to new plans that align better with their evolving needs.

The companies that consistently monitor indicators, experiment with plan adjustments, and proactively transition customers will be best positioned to maximize subscriber retention and growth.

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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