A giant in the rental-car space is now jumping into the vehicle subscription game, too.
Enterprise Holdings, parent company to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, is launching what it says is the first subscription service offered by the U.S. car-rental industry.
The debut of this service is expected within the next month, the company said in a news release Wednesday, and plans to launch it initially in three states, with eventual expansion throughout the country.
“The name of the game in ground transportation today is more access, more flexibility and more convenience — whether it's for an hour, a day, a week or longer,” Enterprise Holdings executive vice president of operations Randal Narike said in a news release.
“That means Enterprise is closely evaluating every possible option, from vehicle-subscription services and award-winning digital apps to autonomous technology and artificial intelligence,” Narike said. “We will be starting in three states, to allow sufficient time to study vehicle-subscription services and consumer preferences. When it launches throughout the U.S., the service will be fully vetted and specifically designed to meet evolving consumer needs.”
Enterprise will enter a space already populated — in some form, fashion or combination of — by dealers, automakers and third-party providers.
Of course, those programs can be as divergent as the companies themselves. As for Enterprise’s platform, customers will pay a monthly subscription fee and chose from the following segments: full-size sedans, premium sedans, small SUVs, midsize SUVs, small trucks and medium trucks.
Users will be able to exchange vehicles as much as four times each month, with services like physical damage and liability coverage, maintenance, registration, roadside assistance and Sirius XM radio when available.
More than 20 makes and models will be included.
“Our new vehicle-subscription service will offer consumers another innovative mobility alternative, without the long-term financial burden or commitment typically associated with traditional leases or purchases,” Narike said.
Though this is the first subscription platform from Enterprise, the company is no stranger to the tech and mobility space. It has a partnership with General Motors to add more connected vehicles to the Enterprise fleet, along with using tablets at the rental counters to digitize rental transactions.
Other ventures include its purchase of mobile and cloud software tech provider Deem; its partnership with Voyage around autonomous driving tech and sensor tech; and the nearly $2.4 billion it has spent in the past 11 years on global acquisitions and corporate-venture capital investments or commitments, including purchases of rental companies, car-sharing operations, tech platform and franchises.
“Enterprise Holdings continues to succeed in the highly competitive mobility sector because we understand how and where customer service and innovation intersect,” Narike said. “Introducing new programs like vehicle subscription is just one more example of that mindset.”