Subscribe or Buy Your Next Car? (Real Life Price Comparison)

Car subscription is a completely new way of driving a car. It’s the midpoint between owning, leasing, and renting - for a more convenient approach. Car subscriptions are all-inclusive, with road tax, delivery, maintenance, and the vehicle cost included in one simple monthly payment. You just add fuel! 

But how does the cost of subscribing to your next car compare with buying one outright?

Let’s crunch the numbers.

Okay, here’s the obvious bit. Buying a car is when you own the vehicle outright until you want a replacement at which point you usually trade it in a few years later for a lower price than when you bought it. You can finance the car with cash, a personal loan, a hire purchase, or a PCP contract.  

The all-important question is this….what’s the true cost of owning a vehicle and how does it compare against an identical car taken on subscription from Wagonex? 

Wagonex is focused on making car access simple, transparent and flexible but do the numbers stack-up? Let’s find out in our breakdown below: 

Upfront Cost vs Monthly Wagonex Subscription 

Let’s use the Kia E-Niro Electric as an example to compare the differences between buying and subscribing to a car. 

​​BMW 1 Series 118i M Sport costs around £28,950 brand new. 

This same car on subscription would be £612 per month. 

If you divide the cost to buy the vehicle by the cost of a monthly subscription: it would take a 47 months to be exact….to pay back the full price of buying the car. Wow!

But the finances of the deal isn’t the only thing to consider. Look back over the last 5 years of your current car ownership. 

  • How many times have you changed your car? 
  • How often have you looked at your car and thought, “I’m bored with it…I fancy a change”?
  • How many unexpected expenses have trampled over your plans? 

Wagonex gets it. Life is a rollercoaster and we want to give you the flexibility to drive the car you want, when you want.

The Hidden Fees

This is the easy bit. With Wagonex, there aren’t any hidden fees. Zero. Zilch.

We’re transparent about how much it will cost. However, when you own a car, the monthly expenses add up because of hidden fees such as servicing, maintenance and insurance.

Of course, these costs aren’t fixed so you can’t really plan too far ahead.  

Here are some figures to really make you take notice. Research from Kwik Fit has uncovered the true cost of vehicle ownership:

*This was reported in 2018 before the cost of living crisis that has occurred through 2022. The likely ramifications are much, much worse today than they were then. 


    Average Monthly Spend

    Car insurance


    Routine maintenance and servicing


    Unexpected repairs and breakdowns


    Vehicle excise duty (road tax)


    Breakdown cover


    Monthly Average Total



Kwik Fit’s research is startling. At £80 a month or £960 a year it makes you question the ownership model and the argument around what’s actually the affordable way to access a car? Oh, and this research doesn’t take into account the cost of yearly depreciation. Depending on the car you decided to buy, depreciation for certain models is best described as savage

Updated 2022 figures from Nerd Wallet showcase average running costs based on regions: 



Which brings us back to that key point about Wagonex. No hidden fees. The subscription is the amount you pay. No shelling out hundreds of pounds for a new headlight, new tyres, and other repairs.

The monthly payment includes everything. Just add fuel and focus on the road. 

Wagonex wants to make the experience of driving a car more transparent, and flexible, so your life is a touch smoother.

Car subscription is a brilliant alternative to buying or leasing a car. Do the maths. Weigh-up your options and see what works for you. Driving the car you want is only a few clicks away. 

Learn more about car subscriptions here, or jump straight into our marketplace to start enjoying your own car subscription.

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