Daniel, 47, drives a car on a subscription. It's his first new car, because he used to buy second-hand cars all the time. In the interview, he explains why he decided to get a car on subscription despite various reservations, how extensively he researched before making his decision and why he almost regretted his decision because of a scratch on his car.
Daniel, how did you become aware of Carvolution?
I would have had to show my car at the time. But it wouldn't have made it through the MOT. When we were talking about it in the shop, we came up with the topic of car subscription. A colleague said, "Look at Carvolution, that would be something." Then I read up on the concept, because I didn't know it before.
How did you go about finding out all the details?
First, I looked at everything on the website. As I had never considered driving a new car before, I wanted to be well informed. Since I still had a few questions, I simply called Carvolution and had everything explained to me in a short, non-binding conversation. Especially the topic of costs and kilometres. As I was very satisfied with the answers and the advice I received, I asked for a non-binding offer to be sent to me.
What was particularly important to you in the offer and the consultation?
I just wanted to get some information and understand the whole thing better, but I also wanted to get to know the company. In addition, it was also important for me to understand the financial part in detail. What is covered in the subscription, what is Carvolution's service and are there any nasty surprises?
What was the next step?
The offer was so interesting that I said to myself, I'll just do that now. Of course, I also looked at what happens, for example, if a rim gets scratched, because I am aware that something like that can happen. I saw in the tariff regulations that Carvolution charges a flat rate of CHF 300, for example, and I think that's fair. It's a lot of money, but if I as a private person have a rim replaced or repaired in a qualified workshop, the costs are much higher, quickly adding up to CHF 500.
Why did you decide to go with Carvolution afterwards?
Since I thought the whole thing was somehow too good to be true, I actually asked my contact at the time, who took care of my car insurance, for his opinion. I've known him for ages and wanted to know what he thought of Carvolution and the car subscription. If he had said not to do it, I would never have signed a car subscription contract. However, to my astonishment, he said that it was a good thing and that there was really no catch. That really amazed me, because he would have been interested in me buying a car again, because then he could have taken out insurance again. In any case, it was then clear to me, because if he even advises me to take out a car subscription and Carvolution, then there is really no doubt any more.
Are there people in your circle who have already had experience with a car subscription?
No, no one in my circle has ever had a car subscription. There are also people who are clearly against a car subscription and prefer to buy a cheap used car. I think that's perfectly fine. Not all of them want to deal with the subscription, others are also very insecure because it is something new. They often mistakenly think "if you pay it every month, then it's a lease", but a car subscription is not the same as leasing. For me, the car subscription concept is definitely right and that's the most important thing. Everyone should do it the way it suits them best.
Many people around you buy used cars, you now have a subscription - what's different?
Yes, I used to buy my cars. Before the car subscription, I also thought about buying a car again, but the risk was too big for me. Even if the car can run without problems for three to five years, it can also happen that after a few months, for example, the turbo fails and then you simply have high and unexpected costs. With the car subscription, I now know relatively precisely what costs I'll be facing over the next twelve months. Although I had reservations at the beginning, I now simply pay the monthly price and drive completely worry-free. And for the car I drive, the Ford Focus, it's really not much.
How satisfied are you with the car?
I am very happy with the car. The Focus has more inside than I expected. It probably even has some features that I don't know about yet. For me as a leisurely driver, the car is ideal. I have only tried the sport mode three times. The smell of the new car is also great (laughs). I didn't have that before and it's really a great feeling.
How do you explain the car subscription in your own words?
Choose a car, pay monthly, drive it. Hand in the keys and finito. It's that simple. It's no more and no less. It's really an all-round carefree package. But I also always say that you have to take care of the car, just like any other car. If you read the reviews, for example, you see that some are upset after returning it because they end up paying for a lot of damage. Personally, I also have respect for the return, I can say that openly, but I have now already had a scratch and this experience has now reassured me.
What happened? How was the damage repaired?
When I was cleaning the car, I noticed a scratch. Since the car is equipped with parking sensors, I couldn't explain what had happened. But obviously it was parking damage. A little unsettled, I contacted Carvolution to understand what the next steps were now. I was able to have the damage repaired at a Carvolution partner garage and was also given a replacement car for the time. The anxiety lasted for a few days and it was only when I received the final report from Carvolution that I was really surprised, and positively so. Everything was taken care of. The damage was covered by the parking damage insurance and I didn't have to worry about anything.
So was the effort less than when you used to buy your cars?
I simply reported the damage by phone, drove to the body shop, took the replacement car and changed the cars again, that's all I did.
How is the contact with Carvolution overall?
It's always very familiar and I think that's good. Besides, you almost always have contact with the same person, so you can build up trust and feel well looked after. Personally, I have the most contact with Doreen.
Do you pay less for your car today than you used to?
I used to drive an old Golf that I bought for very little money. For five years I was really lucky and apart from the fuel and the insurance costs I hardly had any expenses. But the car was a ticking time bomb. I effectively didn't know when and what would happen, because you never know with an old car and my Golf was a real tractor. At the time, that was true for me, because with my hobby at the time with the horses, the car was already very stressed and that's why I didn't mind driving an older car at the time.
So what is the biggest advantage of Carvolution?
I would definitely say it's worth the money. Although I had doubts at the beginning, after a month or two or three they went away. I mean, I was also worried that I would do too many kilometres. Now I don't drive enough, so I might have to take the car on holiday (laughs) or I just reduce the kilometre package a few months before I return it, so it works out.
Did you do a total cost calculation and comparison before you got the car subscription?
Yes, of course I did. I also thought long and hard about whether I wanted a Puma, Fiesta or Focus. Now I pay a bit more for the Focus than for a Puma, for example, but I enjoy driving it all the more. It's definitely worth it for me.
A look into the future - what do you wish for Carvolution?
Nothing so far. Maybe that will come when I give the car back (laughs). But so far, everything is really great. I can't really think of anything right now that could improve Carvolution.
What is your highlight with Carvolution?
It sounds paradoxical, but the experience with the scratcher definitely. And of course the brand new car. Two years ago, I would never have imagined that I would one day be driving a new car.
The return is a big issue, what's your take on it?
Before deciding to go to Carvolution, I read through everything on returns. But the way my car looks at the moment, I'm not worried. I'm taking good care of it. I will have to pay for the rim, which I'm afraid I've already scratched a bit, when I return it. But it was my fault, which is also very annoying. However, I think the CHF 300 for a broken rim is fair. I had considered having it repaired myself, but the cost would be higher. That gives me a good feeling, because I know that Carvolution offers me a fair price not only for the monthly subscription, but also in case of damage. But I will probably only find out how things really work when it comes to returning the car when the time comes.
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