Tony Gutierrez / AP
Saturday, May 11, 2019 | 2 a.m.
Just like they might subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, Nevadans can now subscribe to an Enterprise vehicle on a monthly basis.
A customer can even binge-drive several different vehicles in the same month.
Enterprise announced earlier this month a pilot program in three states — Nevada, Minnesota and Missouri — where consumers can rent vehicles on a monthly basis for a flat fee of $1,500, plus a sign-on fee of $250.
For that price, a renter receives a registered, insured vehicle with a roadside assistance plan and a 3,000-mile driving limit.
The idea of offering long-term rentals isn’t new. Hertz offers a similar option called “Hertz Multi-Month” and General Motors had been offering a subscription service called “Book by Cadillac,” though General Motors last year stopped accepting new members into the program.
“I think we’re still in 1.0 when it comes to these kinds of vehicle subscription services,” said Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News, an online trade publication. “I think the profit model for these services is still finding its way. There are some question marks on price points, but I do think the car rental world is likely the best poised to offer these services.”
For the Enterprise program, a customer can change vehicles — six classes and about 20 different makes and models are available — at no cost up to four times per month.
Subscribe with Enterprise, as the program is called, is about meeting consumers where they are, said Laura Bryant, an Enterprise spokeswoman.
“Consider that all consumers — not just car rental consumers — continue to expect more access, more flexibility and more convenience in today’s marketplace,” Bryant said. “When customers started asking about flexible, long-term rentals, we listened. We’ll be keeping a close eye on it to understand customer demand for this type of service.”
The plan, the company says, is for the service to be expanded nationwide as long as customer demand is there. Renters must also subscribe for at least two months, but no long-term lease is necessary.
“States were selected based on a special list of data analytics we felt could help us effectively study this business,” Bryant said. “When it eventually launches throughout the U.S., the service will be fully vetted and specifically designed to meet evolving consumer needs.”
When reached by phone on Wednesday, a representative at one of Enterprise’s 35 Las Vegas locations said he wasn’t aware of any customer inquiries into the new service.
In a changing consumer environment, Enterprise executive vice president of operations Randal Narike said it was important to start the service small.
“We needed to make sure we have enough time to develop a deep understanding of the subscription process and consumer preferences,” Narike said.
Subscription services are part, Enterprise said, of the “mobility-as-a-service” movement, which represents a shift away from personally owned modes of transportation.
Some of the makes and models offered for Subscribe with Enterprise in Nevada include: Toyota Camry, Nissan Pathfinder or Altima, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Explorer, Dodge Ram 1500 and Ford F150.
A private company, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has 7,800 locations worldwide. Parent company Enterprise Holdings, which is based in St. Louis, also controls the Alamo and National car rental brands.