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That Franc

Nissan Switch: cars as a service might already be happening

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Almost as a direct response to the discussion of cars-as-a-service by Linus and Luke during the recent WAN Show episodes (1 and 2) Nissan is rolling out their new "Switch" service the aim of which is to deliver you a car that you can drive but don't have to own - starting from $699 a month, as reported by Cohen Coberly from TechSpot.

 

Read the article on TechSpot: boop

 

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Nissan Switch is the carmaker's attempt to bring "on-demand driving" to the public, allowing users to drive a wide variety of vehicles on a month-to-month basis with no long-term agreement or contract required. There are no loans to pay off, no leases to worry about, and no maintenance disasters to contend with.

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"Nissan Switch is another way that Nissan is testing alternatives to the notion of traditional mobility, without long-term financial commitments for our customers," Nissan executive Andrew Tavi said in a statement. "This program provides more choice, convenience, and flexibility. For those who want a sedan during the week and an SUV or sports car, like the GTR, on the weekends, Nissan Switch provides the solution."

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Nissan is positioning Switch as an alternative to the standard lease-and-drive, or buy-and-pay-off car acquisition methods US citizens are used to. The company even has a chart that compares buying or leasing a vehicle to "renting" one with Switch.

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No matter how you look at it, even the base plan's $700 (plus roughly $500 out of the gate) monthly fee is a lot of money for a lot of people. However, there are a few benefits to using the service. Aside from the convenience of being able to swap your car out at any time, Nissan throws in free roadside assistance, full detail washes, ongoing maintenance, and a "sustainable liability insurance policy" with no out-of-pocket deductibles for drivers.

TL;DR: It looks like Nissan is aiming to eliminate all the inconveniences that come with owning a car while not affecting the benefits of it in a significant way. Unsurprisingly, the trade-off is that you also don't own the car. Obviously.

 

My thoughts?

Well, Linus was right and I'm not surprised in the slightest.

What surprises me is how soon this started happening. Obviously, this is just Nissan, but from what I've heard, they are a major player in the automotive industry, and therefore others will follow, sooner or later.

Will you keep your car, or will you accept the increase in convenience while surrendering ownership of yet another thing like many of you did with music, movies, software, and games?

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i guess i'd liken that to home ownership: i'd rent within my means, but ideally i'll end up buying and fully owning one in the future when life gets a bit more stable and commute by private vehicle makes more sense o_o

 

PCs might go the same way if cost of performance goes waaay up in the future, so i'm still counting my blessings that we haven't gone that route with computers yet

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, leadeater said:

GT-R is additional $100 a day for 7 days max on top of the premium $899 package, lame. All the other cars are just meh for the pricing.

I'll have to agree with this, for this price the cars on their own are far from tempting. Might the fact that they're probably not expecting a ton of people to be immediately excited with this new option be the factor that drives the price up initially? In any case, I would imagine that a concierge that comes with these cars by default plus the lack of any commitment whatsoever might end up looking attractive to a number of people out there.

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You may keep any vehicle up to 2,000 miles or 180 days, whichever comes first (with the exception of GT-R, which is a 7 day maximum) as long as your membership is renewed each month. 

@leadeater So it's basically 700USD for a week long GT-R rental.

 

For a segment of the market, this actually makes sense. Though you're probably looking at around 1000USD a month and you still will need to carry some extra insurance. This really only works in the warm weather, major cities. And you can't really put many miles on the cars.

 

This is like a Manufacturer version of "Zip Cars" or car-sharing services.

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7 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

@leadeater So it's basically 700USD for a week long GT-R rental.

It's actually 224.75 + 700 per week, have to pay the premium sub as well. But it is the only car worth bothering but it's still kinda high when you have to consider you are required to maintain your monthly subscription. I don't know what happens if you let it lapse e.g. another $500 establishment fee + $899 + $700, willing to bet there's a cheaper way to hire a GT-R for one offs.

 

Edit:

Also speaking as a 370GT owner so there is only one car that is really above what I already have in the Nissan range. Not exactly going to run out and rent a newer worse car than I have lol.

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4 minutes ago, leadeater said:

It's actually 224.75 + 700 per week, have to pay the premium sub as well. But it is the only car worth bothering but it's still kinda high when you have to consider you are required to maintain your monthly subscription. I don't know what happens if you let it lapse e.g. another $500 establishment fee + $899 + $700, willing to be there's a cheaper way to hire a GT-R for one offs.

Not sure what happens with the GT-R, per their listing on it. It's 200USD to maintain your paused subscription for 6 months, which points to the type of end-user they're expecting to be interested in this service. It's basically going for be a combination of "have a place in X" and Snowbird retirees that would have value in having cars at a location. Because if you're in a location for 3 months, this is cheaper than renting a car, even with the signup fee.

 

My assumption is the GT-R subscription is really just the Premium + 1 week of a GT-R every now and then.

 

(Edit: a proper rental of a recent model GT-R would be around 1000USD per day. You're looking at about 1% to 1.5% of MSRP per day for proper rental clearing price, at least for high-end exotics.)

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1 minute ago, Taf the Ghost said:

It's 200USD to maintain your paused subscription for 6 months, which points to the type of end-user they're expecting to be interested in this service.

Oh nice, didn't see that info.

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Renault has rental batteries for EV's and it's pure cancer. Especially once you start reading their terms and conditions and how you actually get penalized by not driving enough and meeting targets they've set in terms and conditions. Pure awesomeness. Then again, Nissan being part of Nissan-Renault partnership, this decision isn't really surprising me...

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2 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Oh nice, didn't see that info.

It's deep in the FAQ.

 

Looking for rental prices of Exotic cars in Texas (strange way to start the day), a GT-R should be around 500-700USD per day for a rental. And you have to carry your normal insurance over the top of it. So it's actually a decent deal, that way. 

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Even if I didn't have room for a car, I'd probably just get a moped or something lmao, or even just a regular rental car if I needed the extra space for a couple days. This is one big city bugman service I'll never understand.

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oh god

you can't even get anything from Nissan that doesn't have a CVT until you step up to the Premium package

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh man that's gonna hurt


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I'll stick with my used Toyota RAV4 I pay ~400 a month for, thank you.


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I wonder how big the market for this particular service is. Is Houston a particularly well off area? This makes me think it is a niche service for those where the flexibility makes sense.

 

Having said that, if they extended the options and pricing downwards, I can see it starting to make some sense on a wider scale. In the past my job had required me to use rental vehicles a fair amount. Even on more mainstream models, a variation in what you have at a particular time could be useful.

 

For my personal car, I did work out the lifetime cost of my last one. At today's exchange rate, using my last car cost me US$0.65/mile. That includes everything. Buying the car in the first place (owned from new), any finance costs, servicing, repairs, fuel, insurance, other consumables. From an economic sense any service would have to include options much lower in cost.


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13 minutes ago, porina said:

I wonder how big the market for this particular service is. Is Houston a particularly well off area? This makes me think it is a niche service for those where the flexibility makes sense.

 

Having said that, if they extended the options and pricing downwards, I can see it starting to make some sense on a wider scale. In the past my job had required me to use rental vehicles a fair amount. Even on more mainstream models, a variation in what you have at a particular time could be useful.

 

For my personal car, I did work out the lifetime cost of my last one. At today's exchange rate, using my last car cost me US$0.65/mile. That includes everything. Buying the car in the first place (owned from new), any finance costs, servicing, repairs, fuel, insurance, other consumables. From an economic sense any service would have to include options much lower in cost.

Houston is a city you go to if you want your car to get stolen and end up with spinners on it. So no, Houston is not that well off of a city.


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$700 a month? Seems a bit high.

 

Does it come with free gas? Free maintenance? You can get a dependable used car for $2500 usually.

 

Edit: Free maintenance and upkeep is included. Still $700/month just seems ridiculous 


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$700 per month is probably considerably more than you'd pay to buy a GT-R on a 10 year credit agreement, plus the car is yours forever to use however you want and when you want. Am I the only person who finds this entire scheme insane. You could literally buy a car for less than half that a month.


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$700 a month to rent a car? Hows this a new thing?

 

My local enterprise has month long rentals for $800 right now.

 

I dont understand how this is going to help anything.

 

3 hours ago, handymanshandle said:

Houston is a city you go to if you want your car to get stolen and end up with spinners on it. So no, Houston is not that well off of a city.

I worked in Houston. Stay away from shitty places and you will be fine. Which is basically like most areas.

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45 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

$700 per month is probably considerably more than you'd pay to buy a GT-R on a 10 year credit agreement, plus the car is yours forever to use however you want and when you want. Am I the only person who finds this entire scheme insane. You could literally buy a car for less than half that a month.

all the finance ads are cheaper, so it doesn't make sense to me. Exactly, why not just buy and pay off for less?

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48 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

$700 per month is probably considerably more than you'd pay to buy a GT-R on a 10 year credit agreement, plus the car is yours forever to use however you want and when you want.

Just went to Nissan's US website and it lists GT-R variations starting $113540.

 

$700 * 12 * 10 = $84000.

 

Also, do people get 10 year credit on a car? I'd think there's a fair chance towards the end where the outstanding value is less than the outstanding credit. New car buyers are probably more likely to replace in that time.

48 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Am I the only person who finds this entire scheme insane. You could literally buy a car for less than half that a month.

It will be very niche. You need a fair income to throw at it, and want the opportunity to use different cars within its selection.

 

I think I can safely say I'm not the target for such a scheme. My last two cars I've owned from new, but even before that when I got used, I keep them until they're not economical before replacing.


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6 minutes ago, porina said:

Just went to Nissan's US website and it lists GT-R variations starting $113540.

 

$700 * 12 * 10 = $84000.

 

Also, do people get 10 year credit on a car? I'd think there's a fair chance towards the end where the outstanding value is less than the outstanding credit. New car buyers are probably more likely to replace in that time.

It will be very niche. You need a fair income to throw at it, and want the opportunity to use different cars within its selection.

 

I think I can safely say I'm not the target for such a scheme. My last two cars I've owned from new, but even before that when I got used, I keep them until they're not economical before replacing.

Yep, renting like that seems cheaper, but that does not include inflation of prices over those 10 years, and in purchase, you have a car at the end of the day. :P Though service and maintenance is more for the ownership option.

 

I agree this makes sense for those with limited car needs, low usage but high requirements for work or holiday lease at their second home etc.

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12 minutes ago, porina said:

Just went to Nissan's US website and it lists GT-R variations starting $113540.

 

$700 * 12 * 10 = $84000.

 

Also, do people get 10 year credit on a car? I'd think there's a fair chance towards the end where the outstanding value is less than the outstanding credit. New car buyers are probably more likely to replace in that time.

It will be very niche. You need a fair income to throw at it, and want the opportunity to use different cars within its selection.

 

I think I can safely say I'm not the target for such a scheme. My last two cars I've owned from new, but even before that when I got used, I keep them until they're not economical before replacing.

 

4 minutes ago, TechyBen said:

Yep, renting like that seems cheaper, but that does not include inflation of prices over those 10 years, and in purchase, you have a car at the end of the day. :P Though service and maintenance is more for the ownership option.

 

I agree this makes sense for those with limited car needs, low usage but high requirements for work or holiday lease at their second home etc.

nope you missed that to get the GTR you need the premium 899 dollar subscription and its 100 dollars per day extra for the GTR and you can only drive it for 7 days at a time.

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