by Sara Lacey
I’ve always thought it would be awesome to have a personal fleet of vehicles. On busy days of local errand-running, I’d employ my EV. Trip skiing or camping? I’d bust out my trusty SUV. Date night with friends would have me calling on my four-door sedan. For most people, myself included, the personal fleet is impractical for more than one reason. However, the future of vehicle ownership could soon take a very interesting turn that enables us to have our own sort of personal fleet.
Earlier this year, Cadillac announced BOOK by Cadillac, the first luxury vehicle subscription service. Like most early-adopter situations, BOOK is not inexpensive, and it does require the user to take a bit of a leap of faith.
Before we get ahead of ourselves though, here’s how the current BOOK model works. The fun part is that subscribers have access to Cadillac’s fleet of current model year Platinum trim (fanciest trim) vehicles. They can have one vehicle at a time and swap it out for another one in the fleet up to eighteen times per year. So, they’re going on a ski trip or family road trip? Get an Escalade for a month. Next month is a lot of business lunch meetings and the Escalade is too huge to park downtown? Swap! They can then book a CTS sedan. Maybe for a week in there they want a zippy V-series. Swap!
Using the BOOK App, subscribers can schedule their vehicles as they please (remember, up to eighteen times a year) and Cadillac will have a concierge service deliver and retrieve vehicles directly to their home.
So what’s the cost? $1,500 a month, people. This includes maintenance, taxes, and insurance, though Cadillac is quick to remind us that the policy has a $750 deductible for which subscribers are responsible. Subscribers are also responsible for parking, tolls, and gas while using the vehicle (including making sure the tank is three-quarters filled upon return of the vehicle). You will be charged if you get the car extra-messy or smoke in it. And don’t even try to pin that parking ticket on Cadillac. Unpaid tickets will result in your account being charged, plus you will possibly lose your service.
BOOK is currently launching in New York City. It will be exciting to see how this works out. BOOK may lay the foundation for future nonluxury-vehicle users to have a subscription service for other GM brands as well.