Blog > What is a car subscription?

What is a car subscription?

March 13, 2019



We appreciate that the concept of an electric car subscription is a relatively new topic. Which is why our guide below should help to explain some of the questions you may have. If you are looking for more specific queries on charging, insurance and collection and delivery then you can also visit our FAQs page. We are glad you have taken steps to learn about electric car subscriptions and if you aren’t already part of the community, we hope to welcome you soon.

What are car subscription services?

Most of us are familiar with subscription services, whether you’ve invested in entertainment products like Netflix, Apple Music or recipe boxes. But, did you know that something similar is now happening in the car industry? 

Onto is part of a movement to give consumers more freedom and flexibility with how they drive. But, not in the same way that current leasing and finance deals offer.

Onto's electric car subscription is even more flexible than this, offering consumers a car, insurance, breakdown cover, servicing, maintenance and repair, plus road tax without a long-term commitment.

Why does it benefit the customer? Put simply, it gives consumers more control and fewer ties over their driving. The world is changing and the importance of owning a car is now deemed less important to consumers when you can weigh up the benefits of alternative methods of driving.

How does Onto work?

Subscribing is easy, firstly register with your driving license and within 24-48 hours your account will be activated. Once you’ve decided on a car of your choice you can collect it from the Onto depot or even have it delivered to you by a member of our team.

You’ll notice that our cars don’t have keys, instead, you unlock your chosen car with the Onto phone app. Our customers find this easier than owning keys. When you’re ready to drive away, then you’ll find that our electric cars are the same as usual EVs. The only main difference between petrol cars is that you’ll have to charge your car rather than fill it with petrol. Another added bonus, as you save on fuel costs.

Is a car subscription worth it?

Based on price and simplicity alone, an electric car subscription is worth it. But, there are many other benefits.

  • More variety: With an electric car subscription you get to try various different cars, it’s exciting because you can easily swap your old car for a new release, without the hassle of having to sell.
  • Saving on petrol money: Total Jobs estimates that UK commuters will spend over £135,000 by the time they retire, with the average UK employee spending £146 on their monthly commute. Wouldn’t it be better to be spending this on something else? Well, with an electric car subscription you don’t have to worry about petrol any longer. Our Polar Plus membership card gives you free charging in over 7,000 charging points across the UK.  
  • Less interaction with human beings: ‘Let me put you on hold for a minute, Sir.’ We’ve all been frustrated in the past with phone conversations and dealing with customer service type situations. Electric car subscriptions take away this hassle, as the majority of interaction is automated through the app. You can always contact us if you want to, but we find most customers prefer to be kept to their own devices.
  • Who knows what the future holds? Young generations, in particular, are less concerned with car ownership than in previous times. It’s easier now to travel abroad, people switch jobs more frequently and generally have families later. Who knows whether we’ll be travelling to Australia next year or considering a new job, both of which affect car ownership.
  • No more expensive car garages: The thought of spending your Saturday waiting anxiously for a garage repair bill is enough to turn anyone’s stomach. With Onto, your maintenance and repair bills are included in your subscription, which leads to a significant cost saving and takes out the frustration of dealing with car garages.
  • Transparency with costing: When you buy a car on finance, you get various add-ons that add further costs to the overall cost. These include insurance, leather seats, interior features and security products. Everyone wants to have security and trust when making purchases, which is what you get with an electric car subscription. There are no extra costs, just an overall price for all features related to the car.
  • Clean air zones: There are already various low emission zones in London, but in the not too distant future there are also going to be clean air zones coming to Birmingham and other cities. Petrol and Diesel car owners will be penalised driving within these areas.   
  • Join a community: The electric car subscription industry is an innovative movement, which already has a strong market base. By joining Onto you’ll be part of a community of enthusiasts that support each other and engage in interesting discussions.

The differences between car subscription vs ownership

So how will driving be different as a subscriber compared to an owner? Well, it’s not really that different at all. The first things you’ll notice with an Onto subscription is that accessing your car comes through a phone app, rather than traditionally with keys. Each electric car also has a dash cam, which needs to be kept turned on for insurance purposes. 

Although an electric car subscription is not technically ‘owning’ a car, we clearly ask all drivers to be responsible and to treat cars as if they are their own. Smoking is not permitted in the cars to ensure that they are clean.  

Am I eligible?

If you comply with the requirements below, then you are eligible for an electric car subscription with Onto.

Aged between 25 – 65 
Full UK/EU Driving Licence: 3 years
Resident in the UK: 2 years
No more than 6 penalty points in last 3 years (minor convictions)
All major motoring convictions must be referred
Not banned within the last 5 years
No more than 1 fault claim within the last 3 years
All criminal convictions must be referred


Want to join our referral program?

We have also established a referral program, in which we will reward you with £50 off your subscription once, and your friend with another £50 off once. The concept is simple:

    • Join and subscribe with Onto, if you haven’t already
    • Onto will then send you a discount code to send to friends and family
    • Once your friend or family member use the discount code and subscribes they will be rewarded with £50 off once.
    • You will then also be rewarded with a £50 discount off your subscription once

Email us at [email protected] to learn more about the Onto referral program.


Looking for a new car? Search through our range of EVs.  

How to charge an electric car

March 13, 2019