How does the Care by Volvo subscription work?

The Care by Volvo subscription is a two-year program that costs between $600-$700/month. These rates include the cost of your car, insurance coverage, and maintenance.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Volvo announced their Care by Volvo subscription program in 2017, and it was set to launch Spring 2018
  • The subscription program includes the cost for the vehicle, insurance, and maintenance
  • Volvo has run into several obstacles in their launch and people have been waiting for months to receive their car (some are sitting in port waiting for the proper paperwork)

The popularity of Care by Volvo subscription vehicle service has created a supply and demand problem, and customers waiting for vehicles are not happy.

The subscription program looks appealing, but the actual launch hasn’t met expectations.

Compare car insurance quotes right here to see how your rates compare between different insurers to make sure you’re paying the best rate possible! Enter your zip code above to get started.

What is Care by Volvo?

Care by Volvo is a two-year subscription program. For $600 or $700 a month depending on the model you choose.

Originally, Volvo was offering an SC40 or a V60, each with options, and recently they announced a new mid-size premium sports saloon, the S60 (made in Charleston, SC).

The subscription also includes the following:

  • Insurance – Provided by Liberty Mutual
  • Repairs – Covered through the Care by Volvo program
  • Wear and Tear – Volvo pledges to make sure this aspect of ownership is covered
  • Service and Maintenance – Volvo will schedule service and maintenance at your convenience
  • Pick-up and Delivery – Arranged pick-up and drop-off when your vehicle needs service
  • Taxes – These are included
  • Tires – Tire repairs and the changing of summer and winter tires is included
  • Digital Concierge – Sending directions to cars, booking restaurants and hotels
  • Connected Services – See where you’ve parked, vehicle diagnostics, Volvo on Call app, and onboard internet connection
  • Access to another Volvo – Car swap for a larger or smaller vehicle for a set amount of time

After 12 months, you have the option of getting a new car.

Another perk driving a Volvo carries is the ability to get in-car Amazon delivery. When you order from Amazon, choose in-car delivery and you won’t need to worry about your package sitting on your front steps for anyone to steal because it can be delivered directly into your trunk.

Fuel is one of your only additional vehicle-related expenses.

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Who is Care by Volvo right for?

It’s a good option for a person who wants a new Volvo and doesn’t want to put money down. If you want to purchase a new car and keep it until years after you pay it off, a subscription program probably won’t line up with your car-buying goals

If you’re considering a lease, Care by Volvo may be a good alternative.

Comparing it to a lease reveals some pros and cons. In a subscription program, there is no haggling over price and without that negotiation, buyers can’t be sure they’re getting the best deal.

To lease a Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Momentum, you will need the following:

  • $3,325 down. You don’t have the option to roll the downpayment into the monthly payment, but for the sake of comparing costs, the down payment divided equally into 36 months is $92 a month.
  • $325/month for 36 months for the lease.
  • $100/month for insurance. This is a rough estimate and your actual cost can vary greatly depending on where you live.
  • $50/month for taxes. The taxes are often due at the beginning of an agreement and like insurance, they vary depending on where you live. If you could spread the taxes out evening over 36 months, you’d pay roughly $50 a month.

Keeping in mind that your insurance and taxes can vary greatly from the rough estimate given above, an average lessee could pay a grand total for a lease, insurance, and taxes of $565.

In some neighborhoods and states, where insurance is higher, you’d actually save money by having a subscription rather than a lease. And you’d have the perks of all the other things included in the subscription.

If subscription services gain popularity, they could seriously disrupt the insurance market especially in conjunction with the rise in autonomous vehicles.

If you live where insurance is not as expensive, you may be paying more than you would with a lease and insurance, so you’ll have to make the decision if the convenience and perks are worth the cost.

If leasing a Volvo will end up costing $565 a month and you’re not pinching pennies, the extra $35 a month you’d pay for the perks of a subscription may very well be worth the convenience.

Also, with a lease, you won’t have the option to get a new vehicle after 12 months, like you do with Care by Volvo.

Volvo doesn’t really have any competition in car subscription programs. They’re the only one that’s available nationwide, and they’re the only one that offers a new car under $1000 a month.

Drivers in high-cost insurance zip codes have observed their overall cost to drive a Care by Volvo vehicle is barely more than the cost of insurance for a traditionally bought vehicle.

In both the cases of a leased vehicle and a subscribed vehicle, when the lease or subscription is up, you do not have any ownership in the vehicle.

Volvo intended their subscription program to be a convenience play and not a value play, so if it ends up being both, that is icing on the cake.

What is Volvo doing for customers waiting on their vehicles?

Unfortunately for those who have purchased a subscription, Volvo is behind track for delivery. Most cars have been shipped to the U.S. and have been waiting in port for Volvo to iron out the kinks of paperwork, insurance, and red tape for each state.

The number of subscriptions Volvo anticipated for the first year of Care by Volvo was met in just the first three months it was offered. The sheer volume of cars requested has increased Volvo’s lag time.

Most people who were given a delivery date in April are still awaiting their Volvo, like Twitter user, Tom.

A spokesperson for Volvo said,

Care by Volvo has been very popular and Volvo Concierge is in constant 1-1 contact with each customer regarding their delivery program…We are offering personal assistance to customers transitioning from a traditional lease to a subscription, including temporary transportation.

Volvo concierge is trying to keep up with keeping their customers satisfied. They’ve offered rental programs with an allotted dollar amount per day, but many are still not satisfied citing that the amount given for a rental car is insufficient.

Some customers are generally dissatisfied with the hassle.

The reason to subscribe to a car subscription service is to drive a new car with no headache, but many have had leases expire and are left with the inconvenience of not having a car but not being able to lease another one because they’ve already subscribed to Care by Volvo.

Care by Volvo’s popularity demonstrates that many people believe its convenience is worth the cost. Time will tell if the majority of customers’ satisfaction is met once cars are delivered and if the program is able to deliver as promised.

Care by Volvo customers are certainly facing a rough start to their subscription experience.

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