By on August 27, 2020

Sick and tired of paying through the nose to swap out Porsches all month, wowing your friends and coworkers with your revolving door of high-end rides? Your prayers have been answered.

Porsche Drive, the German automaker’s limited-market, all-in subscription service, has added something new: one- or three-month access to a single Porsche vehicle, rather than a multi-vehicle plan costing significantly more.

If you’re in town for only a short contract or just can’t stand the commitment that comes with leasing, this could be for you.

Of course, you’ll have to live within 50 miles of San Diego, Atlanta, Los Angeles, or Phoenix to take part. Subscription services are still in their infancy, and limited geographic availability are the name of the game for these pilots. Porsche Drive launched in 2017.

The Single-Vehicle Subscription tier isn’t the lowest on the Porsche Drive totem, however. Those who wish to drive 200 miles or less per day can opt for the short-term rental option, which offers a single car for one to three days, or four or more. Perfect for an extended layover or a shallow plot to make the person you’re meeting at the bar think you’re someone extra special.

The Multi-Vehicle Subscription tier offers two levels of ride-swapping pleasure, starting at $2,100 a month (a fee that includes insurance but excludes gas) and topping out at $3,100 for access to the full gamut of nameplates. Going the single-vehicle route gets you into a Macan, Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne, Panamera, or 911 Carrera, with $1,500 as the monthly fee floor and $2,600 as the ceiling. The same $595 activation fee as the multi-vehicle tiers applies to the one-month rental. Three-month subscription customers see their fee waived.

Worth it? That’s for you to decide. If you’ve got $2,600 a month to put towards a Carrera, why not add another $500 and get the Carrera and everything else? Still, enough customers have availed themselves of the app-based service to keep the project running, it seems. Other automakers haven’t been as lucky.

Of course, in addition to the reduced monthly fee for single-vehicle access, subscribers will find their monthly mileage allowance has taken a haircut — from the 2,000 miles afforded to multi-vehicle subscribers, to 1,500 miles. Choose your journeys carefully… and maybe your financial decisions.

[Image: Porsche]

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17 Comments on “One Is the Most Affordable Number: Porsche Subscription Service Strips It Down...”


  • avatar
    jmo2

    Steph,

    Is there some editorial voice requirement at TTAC that these posts have to be so obnoxiously negative?

    This is an auto enthusiast site, is it not? Travel enthusiasts spend their discretionary income on travel. Boaters spend it on boats. Foodies spend it on food. What’s wrong with a car guy spending his discretionary income to get access to cool fun cars?

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      @jmo2

      “What’s wrong with a car guy spending his discretionary income to get access to cool fun cars?”

      Nothing, of course, but jealousy is a thing.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      “What’s wrong with a car guy spending his discretionary income to get access to cool fun cars?”

      Nothing of course, but paying $2600/month to lease a $100K car is not really the wisest use of that income.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        @jack4x

        “paying $2600/month to lease a $100K car is not really the wisest use of that income.”

        If your income from a VERY stressful job is, say $25k a month, and you are a car enthusiast, seems like a great deal! Anything to keep sanity! Cheaper than a divorce for sure!

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          I drive a Dodge Viper to keep my sanity, so yes, I understand the impulse.

          What I mean by my comment is that using the same $2600 monthly, this stressed out person could instead lease a $250K Huracan.

          Porsche themselves advertises a 911 lease for $1279 a month.

          Unless you really really need to only have the car for a month, you’re better off without this program.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “Unless you really really need to only have the car for a month, you’re better off without this program.”

            That’s why they offer many different programs that appeal to different people. For the person who really wants a 911, they can have one. For someone who wants a Hurrican they can have one of those as well. And for the person who wants some variety – they have a program that lets you swap out cars when they want. It’s not all or nothing.

            I’m not sure why this idea rubs so many people the wrong way.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “Nothing of course, but paying $2600/month to lease a $100K car is not really the wisest use of that income.”

        That’s sort of the point. It’s discretionary income, the portion of your income you get to have fun with.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Don’t know why this is hard to understand, I guess I phrased poorly.

          I support anyone spending as much on a car as they want to. God knows I do. I’m not quibbling with the idea, just what you get for the price.

          You can literally lease two 911s from Porsche for less than the cost of one in the subscription service.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I wouldn’t say it’s COMPLETELY unreasonable, jack.

            Just looked up what they’re leasing 911s for – it appears you’re in for $1300/mo, with $8100 cash down, 36 months, 10,000 miles a year. So, factoring in the cash down + interest if you were doing a zero-cap-cost-reduction lease. Here in Colorado, you pay monthly sales tax on the base lease payment. All told, I’m going to guess you’re in for about $1600/mo for the base payment, and you’re stuck with the car for three years; God help you if you go over 10,000 miles a year.

            Plus, you’re on the hook for maintenance and insurance. On a 911, figure that’s about $400-500 a month (and that’s a pretty kind estimate). Plus (at least here in Colorado), you’re going to have to buy plates, which is going to be a couple grand on a $100,000 Porsche.

            I’d say you’re looking at more like $2200-2300 a month when you figure all this stuff in.

            Meanwhile, you can do a subscription for $2600/mo, which covers 18,000 miles a year, and everything’s included – insurance, maintenance, the whole nine yards. You’re not tied into anything – if you want to chuck your red 911 in on a blue one, it’s all good.

            I wouldn’t do this in a million years, but if you’re silly enough to drop a couple grand a month on a 911 in the first place, a few hundred extra so you can just trade it in as often as you like doesn’t sound like a *completely* unreasonable deal. It’s kind of relative, if you ask me.

            My main thing on these “subscription” cars would be to make sure I wouldn’t buy one used – those things are going to be abused like farm animals.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “My main thing on these “subscription” cars would be to make sure I wouldn’t buy one used – those things are going to be abused like farm animals.”

            I highly doubt that. First I doubt it would be worse than a lease. Second, have you ever looked into insuring a Corvette or 911 or something like that? It’s shockingly cheap. Why? The sort of mid (or late) career professionals who buy Corvettes and 911s aren’t doing donuts in the high school parking lot.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “The sort of mid (or late) career professionals who buy Corvettes and 911s aren’t doing donuts in the high school parking lot.”

            Yes, *original buyers* tend to take care of them. This ownership pool isn’t going to be buyers though. Will it be driven hard enough to nuke the car? Probably not, but I’d still expect a discount on a used subscription car versus a one that was privately owned.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @Mike,

            I pay ~$120 a month in insurance for a Viper as a 35 year old male. Maybe if you’re a higher risk demo the insurance is more but I refuse to believe it’s 4x as high.

            As for maintenance, I’d hope on a basically brand new car that it isn’t that high. Even if you pay dealer rates for a synthetic oil change every 3 months, that’s like $75-100 a month.

            Plates & taxes I assume are the same cost no matter how you lease your car. Maybe that’s not true.

            Amortize the $8000 down over 36 months and you’re adding ~$250 a month.

            So I make it more like $17-1800 a month all in for a traditional 911 lease. It’s still a huge premium you pay for the right to ditch the car after a month or two. Maybe that appeals to some people, it certainly doesn’t for me.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I kind of agree with Jack here on the financials. I am a leaser because I enjoy driving cars that I have zero desire to deal with long term. Any modern Porsche would certainly be on that list and even though I prefer the shortest terms I can get (Usually 2 years…I went 3 on the Challenger because that’s where they were subsidizing it the most and I wasn’t terribly happy about having to go that long), I can’t imagine paying that much more to basically go month to month.

            I will say, if you are a road warrior and can simply grab a different 911 in whatever city you end up in as well as grabbing one when for the occasions you are home and never have to think about getting stuck with the “my flight was late” penalty boxes at the rental counter and have a 911 waiting on you on the occasions you are home, I could see that working out OK. Maybe even grab a Cayenne when I have stuff to tote around.

            pretty small use case, but the road warriors I know really go for that sort of stuff and are willing to shell out for things that make their life easier.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ve always wondered how hard it is to actually sign up for these service. I’m guessing they won’t just give me a $100K car for showing up in an ’08 Charger SE with my license and 26 crumpled $100 bills in my pocket. What kind of driving record and credit rating would you need?

    Being able to do something like this (not for $2600) with a Tesla or other plug-in might be interesting though. It’d be nice to know how well a vehicle like that actually fits into my lifestyle.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Are they self insuring? If not and gap insurance is included they would be happy if you totaled it as it would represent another sale.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The insurance company might care though if the terror of Highway 101 or a 2-time DUI gets a Panamera S. That’s why I’m guessing at least some restrictions apply. I just don’t know how much.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    This sounds like a (fairly) reasonable way to scratch an itch – perhaps for a month, maybe for three months. [Any longer and jack4x is right – probably smarter ways to acquire a Porsche long-term.]

    Compare the pricing for 10 laps in an exotic in Las Vegas – this is arguably a better deal than that (depending on what you like).

    (The two points above were directed at ‘mass-affluent’ individuals – if you’re high net worth or above and enjoy switching vehicles often with minimal hassle, hey go for it.)

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