Car Subscription Comparison In Australia: A Comprehensive Guide

14 May 2024


The popularity of car subscriptions is growing in Australia. It has become a smart alternative to short term leasing, long term rentals and is making more and more Australians rethink car ownership. In 2023 Australians travelled over 20,000,000 kilometres on Karmo car subscriptions and we’re seeing the demand for car subscriptions grow even bigger in 2024. With the surge in the popularity of car subscriptions, there has also been an increase in the number of companies offering car subscriptions. While on the outside it may look like all these companies are offering the same benefits – flexibility, convenience and transparency it is often not the case. In this car subscription comparison guide we provide you with some key aspects to consider while comparing Karmo and other car subscription services such as Carly, Simpler, Carbar or Europcar. 

Are You Getting A Reliable New Car? 

For a car subscription to be hassle free your car has to be reliable and have minimum wear and tear. Newer cars are less likely to have issues that can cause potential downtime and have the latest safety and technology. If a new reliable car is your priority, Karmo is the clear cut choice. All of Karmo’s cars are 2023 or 2024 models. In comparison, Carly, Carbar and Simplr have car models as old as 2017. Europcar doesn’t specify the model year on their website. Older cars with more kilometres on them make for a poor car subscription experience. In our hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth we keep procuring the latest cars to ensure our customers get the best and latest driving experience on their car subscriptions.

All Inclusive Pricing Doesn’t Imply Transparency

All-inclusive pricing is a standard offering of all car subscription services. However, all-inclusive pricing does not imply that a car subscription service is transparent. While the cost of registration, roadside assistance, service & maintenance and insurance are covered, there might be other charges that you need to look for hiding in the fine print. This could be in the form of non refundable upfront fees or that Carbar collects to supposedly ensure your car is clean and safe for your use. Or a hefty establishment fee Simplr charges with every swap.   It could also be in the form of a missed service charge that Carly charges for failing to comply with a service date. At Karmo we keep it simple. We don’t charge you for choosing us and give you a breakdown of how your subscription fees are calculated through our customer portal My Karmo so you know exactly what you’re paying for. 

Is A Car Subscription Really Flexible If You’re Locked-In? 

A prime benefit of car subscription is flexibility and the option to end a subscription if you need to. However with non refundable upfront fees and establishment fees, some subscription companies such as Carbar and Simplr lock you in and de-incentivise cancelling your subscription. Karmo doesn’t charge any non refundable upfront fees and doesn’t charge you to swap into another vehicle when you’re eligible. This ensures you’re always in control of your subscription and able to align your car needs with your changing lifestyle.

Can You Make The Most Of Your Kilometres?

Car subscriptions unlike car leases have a stricter cap on kilometres. Carly’s entry plan which is comparable to Karmo’s standard subscription comes with only a 250 km/ a week allowance and Simplr’s Lite plan only offers 200 km/ a week. You’ll have to either move up to more expensive subscription tiers or pay hefty excess charges to remain on the entry level plans.

Karmo’s car subscription plans offer a generous 385 km/ week allowance and only charges a 15c / km excess fee. On Karmo subscriptions you can accrue unused kilometres unlike Europcar and either use them over your term to avoid excess charges. This ensures Karmo customers have the flexibility to plan their kilometre usage and make the most of their car subscriptions.

Car Subscription ProviderKilometre Allowance / WeekExcess Mileage Costs / Km
Karmo38515 c
Carly25030 c
Simplr200$ 25 fee for excess up to 200 Km
Carbar50040 c
Europcar30025 c
Car Subscription Kilometre Allowance Comparison

Is It Actually A Car Subscription?

One of the key things to consider is whether the car subscription service you’re considering is actually a car subscription. Some car subscriptions can be masquerading as subscriptions when they are actually just car rentals or companies partnering with car rentals.

The big difference between a car rental and car subscription is that a car subscription focuses on the customer while a car rental focuses on the car. In the car subscription model you pay for hassle free car access not access to a specific car. Make sure you check the policy on swap, fleet range available to choose from. This ensures your car subscription can adapt to your changing needs and you aren’t stuck with a car that no longer serves your needs.

Choose Karmo and drive the car that fits your life today, with the freedom to change it tomorrow. 

Disclaimer: Based on publicly available information.

Join The Car Subscription Revolution

At Karmo we are redefining car ownership in Australia by making car subscriptions transparent, convenient and flexible. Our super quick application process and streamlined delivery process let you drive away in the car of your choice the very same day.

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