Frank Ashkuri (51) came across Carvolution by chance. In an interview, the man from Basel-Landschaft talks about his experience with Carvolution and the car subscription. Frank used to buy most of his cars, but nowadays he is a convinced car subscription customer and is already driving his third car from Carvolution. Although his friends used to find the prices of the car subscription high, many of them are now also interested in it.
Frank, what was the reason why you decided to buy a car on subscription four years ago?
From the beginning, I was very interested in electric mobility. Then, in 2018, I thought I’d like to drive an electric car myself. Then I came across the Renault Zoe on an Internet platform and thought it was a great car. When I first looked to see what was available on the new or used car market I came across Carvolution by chance. At that time I had already heard about car subscriptions, but I didn't really know what it was and how it worked.
How did you find out about the car subscription in more detail?
I looked into it intensively, googled it, and read everything about it on the Carvolution website. I found the offer very interesting and sent an email saying that I was interested in the car. After that, everything went quickly, straightforward and swiftly. Carvolution also sold my old car at that time, and today the subsidiary is taking care of it. It couldn't have been better.
Did you buy or lease your cars before?
With one exception, I always bought. I had a lease once, but I quickly faced many obstacles. I must have had a “lemon” and constantly had to go to the garage, and had to pay for the repairs myself. I also had to pay for the return of the car, which I didn't expect at all.
What do you see as the financial advantage of the subscription?
When you buy a car, you either have to invest a lot in one go or pay off a loan. If I drive a car on a subscription basis, the savings stay in my account and I'm still mobile. My Audi e-tron would cost around CHF 120,000. I pay around CHF 27,000 over the 24-month duration and drive a new car. Apart from charging the car, everything is included: taxes, insurance, service, even tyre changes and storage. In addition, I bear no risk of loss of value or resale.
At first glance, the fixed monthly price may seem high. Can you understand the subscription price?
Yes, I can totally understand the subscription price. Many people underestimate their car costs simply because they are spread over the year, but the fixed price really does include everything related to the car and you pay it monthly. Then you know immediately how much you spend on your car. As I said, many people forget to take into account the depreciation of their car. I also think it's great that with the car subscription you can flexibly adjust your kilometre package yourself via the app. In winter I'm away for a few months, then I adjust it to 850 kilometres per month. Thanks to the app, I always have an overview of the kilometres I've driven.
How do you explain the subscription with duration, kilometre package, etc. to your friends?
I always explain to them that I pay a fixed monthly price that includes everything from insurance and taxes to maintenance and tyres, so I always have an overview of the costs and don't have to worry about anything. I also make it clear to them that if they buy or lease a car, they pay the total costs spread over the whole year. That way, the costs are quickly forgotten, especially the depreciation. In the meantime, my colleagues are definitely interested in the subscription.
What was the criticism of the subscription?
They thought the fixed monthly price was too high. At the beginning I was laughed at. Firstly, because I drove an electric car and secondly, because I subscribed to it. The Swiss mentality that you have to call something your own came through strongly. When I drove up with my Tesla, everyone turned around and asked, "What does he earn that he can afford a Tesla?". Again, I had to explain to people how the car subscription works and that Carvolution offers many vehicles for every budget, from small cars to SUVs, and that you can choose the car that fits you best.
You've been a Carvolution customer for a long time, what has changed in that time?
(Laughs) In the meantime, you hear and see a lot about Carvolution. I think there is hardly anyone who has never heard of it. Carvolution is a household name. But the range of products has also become bigger and bigger. You see the rapid growth. And when you hear that Mobiliar invested CHF 50 million in expanding the fleet two years ago, it shows that the car subscription product works and will gain in importance.
What do you mainly use your car for?
For my commute to work. I'm not a train driver. For shopping and of course for excursions or holidays. During the pandemic last year, we didn't feel like flying, so we went to the south of France by car. Trips abroad are no problem with Carvolution.
For many people, a car is a very personal, private good. What is that like with a subscription car?
I think it's nice to give cars a name, it's just a car, but you already have a relationship with the car, you spend a lot of time in it. The Renault Zoe, for example, was simply called "Zoe", the Tesla "Benjamin Grey". On the one hand because it was grey, on the other because Benjamin is a beautiful name. The Audi e-tron is now called "Zeus". It's simply a big car and that fits so well.
Have you had any surprises with the subscription, positive or negative?
I haven't had any negative surprises yet. With the car yes, but not with Carvolution. But if the car goes wrong, it's not Carvolution's fault. If something happened, I was always helped immediately.
How do you experience the Carvolution team?
Very professional, young and dynamic. I never felt like a customer, but rather like a member of the family. I also like the personal culture, so you have the feeling that you are talking to a friend and not just a customer.
What else would you wish for in terms of service at Carvolution?
I have no wish for the service itself, but I’d like for Carvolution to continue to be so successful and to maintain their young and dynamic nature. That the start-up continues to radiate the desire to change the world.
Who can you recommend the car subscription to?
To everyone, actually. Especially those who prioritise using instead of owning. That makes sense, especially with cars. It's simple and inexpensive. What's more, Carvolution has the right car for every budget and need.
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