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If you’ve ever lived in New York City, you probably know that owning a car is not the easiest thing to do. Once you’ve forked over the cash for the car’s sticker price, you’ve got the usual expenses like insurance, maintenance and gas — then you’ve got the added cost of parking, plus the hassle of having to call ahead and arrange for your car to be ready every time you want to hit the road. Renting a car is even more time-consuming and can cost a lot, too. So Cadillac has come up with an alternative: BOOK by Cadillac.
In a way, the service is sort of a cross between owning a car, leasing a car, renting a car and Netflix. Dubbing itself a “luxury vehicle subscription service,” BOOK by Cadillac gives customers access to the car-maker’s entire fleet of vehicles, when and where they want it, and for however long they need it. Which means you could spend the winter driving a brand-new Escalade, then swap it out for a sporty CT6 sedan when the warm weather comes calling — and it’s all done with just a few clicks of an app.
The process for getting started is pretty easy: you simply provide Cadillac with your driver’s license and credit card and they give you access to the service’s app, where you can request a car, schedule its delivery and make arrangements to swap it out for a new ride (which you can do up to 18 times per year). Ongoing access to this kind of luxury, however, does not come cheap: members pay $1,500 per month, which doesn’t include gas, tolls or parking (though the car is delivered with a full tank).
When Condé Nast Traveler took the program for a test drive, the writer also had to meet with a representative to swap out the car, as opposed to being able to access the new vehicle via Bluetooth like you can with other services like Zipcar. Which means that, for casual drivers, car-sharing services like Zipcar, Silvercar and Car2Go might be a better option — and that’s fine with Cadillac. “It’s not about ownership and possession, it’s about experience,” Cadillac representative Eneuri Acosta told Condé Nast Traveler.
While the service is only offered in NYC at the moment, the company hopes to expand it to other cities in the future, which is where it shows the most promise, as it could allow frequent travelers to forgo dealing with car rentals and let bi-coastal professionals eliminate the headache of car ownership — or car ownership times two. Check out the video below to learn more about the new program.
H/T: Condé Nast Traveler
Featured image courtesy of Cadillac via Facebook.
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