Don’t Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

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The Lowdown

FINN’s auto subscription service delivers exactly what they promise. Setting up a new car subscription was simple and took only a few minutes online. The delivery of the car was seamless, and the lines of communication from the company were superb; nothing was left to chance.

While the pricing of FINN’s subscriptions may seem a bit high at first, when you consider the fact that the monthly fee includes ALL expenses other than fuel, it actually starts to make sense.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Convenient
  • One monthly price covers everything but fuel
  • Excellent communication before, during, and after the subscription period
  • New car that was loaded with features
  • Ability to select the number of miles you need each month
  • Drop off and pick up were seamless

Cons

  • Limited number of car models currently available
  • Only in a few markets thus far
  • Convenience comes at a bit of a pricing premium
  • Not every car will always be available on the date you prefer
Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car Listen to this article

I just spent two weeks driving a brand new Tesla Series 3. I didn’t purchase or lease the car, and it wasn’t a rental, at least not in the traditional sense. I spent two weeks with a Tesla Series 3 to check out FINN’s new automotive subscription service, and I was impressed.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

Historically there have been two main ways one could get a car.

You could purchase a new car outright for cash or buy a new car via financing. Regardless of how you pay for it, the vehicle is yours. As soon as you drive it off the lot, you are entirely responsible for it. At the same time, once it is fully paid off, you “own” whatever value remains in the car. For example, Raina paid off her Honda Accord four years ago, and we “own” whatever value is left in the car.

On the other hand, you could do what I usually do and lease a new car. Just as if you had purchased the car, you’ll need to register and insure it, and you are responsible for any damage that occurs during the lease period.

A lease protects you against the depreciation that occurs when you drive the car off the lot. It also protects you from most maintenance and normal wear and tear since you end up turning in the vehicle at the end of the lease period, which one can presume, would be before any wear and tear maintenance becomes an issue. But, even with a lease, you are responsible for the cost of insurance, the vehicle tax, registration, and yearly vehicle inspections. The difference, of course, is that you never technically own the car, and at the end of the lease period, you will have accrued zero residual value.

Of course, you could also rent a car for a few days from one of the many national car rental services, or you can purchase a few hours’ use of a ZipCar.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

FINN’s approach is different. Instead of buying or leasing a new car, with FINN’s model, you “subscribe” to a specific vehicle for a set period of time. FINN’s service is all-inclusive, as in

As they explain on the website:

Drive your new car all-inclusive.

  • Everything included but the fuel.

  • Short terms starting at 6 months.

  • Free delivery straight to your doorstep.

And by “all-inclusive,” they mean all-inclusive as in:

  • Zero down: No down payment, no start fee. Just one, all-inclusive monthly rate.
  • Comprehensive insurance: Feel safe and secure knowing that you’re already covered with our included insurance.
  • Free delivery to your doorstep: We bring your new car directly to your home, free of charge.

FINN approached us about sharing news that their service is now available in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. I replied that it is difficult to write about a service one hasn’t experienced, and they offered to let me “subscribe” to the car of my choice for two weeks so I could get the full experience.

I jumped at the opportunity.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

FINN is currently offering several different vehicles from companies such as Chevrolet, Jeep, Nissan, and Tesla. Each car has a slightly different pricing structure which changes depending on the length of the ‘subscription” you choose.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

For example, if I take out a twelve-month subscription, the Tesla 3 is $799 per month, the Model Y is $1049 per month, the Jeep Grand Cherokee WK Laredo E 4 by 4 is $699 per month, the Nissan Sentra is $449 a month, and Chevrolet Camero RWD Coupe 2LT is $769 a month.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

Each allows you to drive 850 miles per month. Additional miles cost a bit more, with the maximum allowed mileage of 1,500 miles per month for $179.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

Six-month subscriptions are also available at a significantly higher price. For example, the Tesla Series 3 is $799 for 12 months but $1029 if you opt for a shorter 6-month subscription.

For that monthly fee, you get a brand new car that includes:

  • Fully comprehensive insurance
  • Registration and taxes
  • Maintenance, wear and tear
  • General inspection
  • Mobility guarantee
  • 24/7 emergency hotline

As they put it, it is an “All-around carefree package at a fixed monthly price. No deposit, no hidden costs.”

They claim the process of getting into a FINN car takes just four steps:

  • Discover: Find your dream car within our wide range of models.
  • Order: Book your car subscription in less than 5 minutes.
  • Receive: We deliver the car directly to your doorstep, free of charge.
  • Drive: Get in and enjoy the ride. We take care of everything else.

So I checked it out.

The first thing I did was go to the FINN website and create an account. I then spent some time looking at the various cars they have available. I had always wanted to check out the Tesla Series 3, so I immediately gravitated toward that.

The FINN site says they have that model in Pearl White, Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic, and Deep Blue Metallic. When I checked the availability of each color, I was given different delivery dates.

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That makes sense since they can’t provide a car they don’t have in stock.

I chose the one with the soonest availability and was told it would arrive six days later.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

The site then took me to a secure page that asked me for my personal information and copies of my driver’s license. The process took all of ten minutes.

I also wanted my wife Raina to have the option to drive the car, so I uploaded her information and license as well. FINN allows for multiple drivers so long as each has uploaded their information for insurance purposes.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

You might be thinking that FINN’s cars are the base models that are as stripped down as possible. You would be wrong. The Tesla Series 3 I ordered is the model with dual motors and long-range batteries that deliver 358 miles per charge. It is a zippy car that goes from 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds.

Of course, they include a charging cable for charging on the road, but while the vehicle was equipped with Autopilot, they do not offer the full self-driving package. That’s probably a good thing, considering the accidents that have been reported recently in connection to cars with fully autonomous driving.

After I finished signing up on the website, I waited to see what happened next. In this case, “next” included several calls and emails, making sure I was comfortable with the process and asking if there were any questions I had about what would happen next. I didn’t have any questions, so I simply waited.

The day before delivery, I got both a call and an email telling me the car your be delivered the next day, giving me a window when I might expect it. I had a meeting in the middle of the delivery window and told them so. Within an hour, they had made the necessary adjustments so I would be there to take delivery of the car.

Tesla Model 3 delivered by FINN

The flatbed truck carrying the Tesla Series 3 arrived an hour earlier than scheduled. That was fine since I was home. The delivery folks unloaded the car, put it in my driveway, and took several pictures to show that it was pristine. They had me sign the bottom of a document on the driver’s iPhone and handed me the Tesla “keys.”

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“What else do I need to do?” I asked.

“Nothing,” the driver replied, “enjoy the car.” And with that, he drove off.

Think about that; I “ordered” a car online, and I put no money down. I input some personal information and my driver’s license, and FINN dropped off a brand new Tesla Series 3 with just 18 miles on it.

When they promise an easy process, they aren’t kidding.

Later that day, I received both a call and an email to ensure everything had gone smoothly.

Don't Buy, Lease, or Rent; FINN Wants You to Subscribe to Your Next Car

For the next two weeks, I enjoyed driving the Tesla Series 3. I was impressed by the fact that it was not only brand new, but other than not having the fully-autonomous driving turned on, it was loaded. And I learned a few things along the way.

First, I was amazed that over the course of two weeks, I only used up 35% of the battery charge. That proved to me that an electric vehicle is perfect for my driving needs and that I won’t have to worry too much about “range anxiety.”

While I want my next car to be electric, I also learned that I won’t be getting a Tesla. The reason is quite simple — my current car is my second Audi, and I love how it feels and handles. I don’t love the feel of the drive of a Tesla. Regardless, this isn’t a review of the Tesla, so let’s get back to FINN’s new subscription service.

Three days before my short “subscription” ended, I received an email letting me know the day and time window for FINN to pick their car up. Once again, I had a meeting in the middle of the pickup window. I let them know, and they adjusted the timing to fit my schedule. I received a call the day before pick-up and then another that morning.

The team retrieving the car arrived exactly when they said they would. They took another set of pictures to show that I had not damaged the car, had me sign the bottom of a document on their phone to confirm the subscription was over, and then they loaded the car up and took it away.

Everything went as smoothly as it possibly could have gone. The only potential issue was that the gentlemen who came to get the car spoke no English. Had there been an issue (thankfully, there wasn’t), I might not have been able to problem-solve it with him. But there was no issue, and the car was gone just as easily as it arrived.

In all, I found FINN’s auto subscription service to deliver exactly what they promise. Setting up a new car subscription was simple and took only a few minutes online. The delivery of the car was seamless, and the lines of communication from the company were superb; nothing was left to chance.

While the pricing of FINN’s subscriptions may seem a bit high at first, when you consider the fact that the monthly fee includes ALL expenses other than fuel, it actually starts to make sense.

I could definitely see using FINN’s service when my lease comes up if, for example, I’m not sure what car I want next or if the vehicle I want is not available for any period of time. I can also see the service being attractive to people who don’t want the hassle of dealing with registration and insurance. Sure, you’ll pay a bit more for the convenience of a “subscription” instead of a “lease,” but, for many, that convenience will be a welcome change compared to previous car-buying experiences.

You can learn all about FINN’s new automotive subscription service here.

Source: FINN supplied me with a two-week lease for this review

What I Like: Convenient; One monthly price covers everything but fuel; Excellent communication before, during, and after the subscription period; New car that was loaded with features; Ability to select the number of miles you need each month; Drop off and pick up were seamless

What Needs Improvement: Limited number of car models currently available; Only in a few markets thus far; Convenience comes at a bit of a pricing premium; Not every car will always be available on the date you prefer

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.