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70% Car buyers are unaware of Car subscription services: Survey


New Delhi: CarDekho, India’s leading auto-tech company initiated a consumer survey to find the acceptability and awareness about this service in the Indian metros. The survey revealed that car subscription is at a nascent stage in India, primarily because of a lack of awareness of the service/facility among customers. Close to 70 per cent of survey respondents are unaware of car subscription service offered by brands like Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota Motor India, ZoomCars, Revv, Myles, and others.

The survey was conducted with a broad objective of understanding the current state of consumer awareness, interest, acceptability and apprehensions related to subscription services.

Owing to Covid-19, people prefer personal mobility since travelling by public transport is not considered safe in these times. Besides, economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, customers are wary and inclined to save their financial resources. This is true with young millennials who are averse to buying a product that requires a long-term financial commitment.

The car leasing and subscription business currently have a penetration of less than 1 per cent in India compared to 30 per cent in developed markets such as the US, UK and Germany. However, as per GlobalData, vehicle leasing and subscription in India will reach a penetration level of 3-5 per cent within the next five years.

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According to the CarDekho survey, 76 per cent of respondents in the 18-24 age group are not aware of such services, while 70 per cent of those above 44 years denied any such knowledge. Nearly 66 per cent of respondents in the age group of 25-45 years showed a lack of awareness about car subscription services.

Another finding was that 61per cent of respondents across age groups prefer a mix of car finance and down payment while purchasing a car and, on average, 18 per cent of respondents prefer to make full payment. The survey also reveals that there is a serious need for an awareness campaign by manufacturers about subscription services since over 15 per cent of consumer showed a willingness to explore vehicle subscription services.

On given a condition of a hassle-free, no resale risk, no upfront commitment to own a car, were they ok with the car not being in their name, a surprising 39 per cent of respondents were open to the idea.

Further, among those who selected car subscription, 57 per cent preferred zero down payment as the key reason that could compel them to explore this option. Economic uncertainty has impacted consumer confidence, hence they don’t want to tie themselves to any long-term commitment that is likely to impact their savings or investments. Some industry prominent brands have been operational in the subscription business such as Maruti Suzuki, Zoom Cars, Hyundai Motor India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Revv and others. However, Maruti remains the leader, with 78 per cent awareness about subscription service among the consumers.

62 per cent of the respondents believe that the current vehicle subscription pricing model offered in the market is either too high or needs correction and 47 per cent saying, 12 months would be the best lock-in tenure.

The survey was conducted among 501 respondents who were in-market with high intent of purchasing a car. The survey was conducted through a telephonic interaction. Nearly 47 per cent of the respondents were in the age group of 25-34 with 61 per cent of them employed in the private sector.

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