Mercedes Tests Car Subscription Service in U.S.

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unit has launched pilot programs in Philadelphia and Nashville to test its Mercedes-Benz Collection vehicle subscription service in the U.S.

The two-year program gives subscribers access to as many as 30 models. This includes a range of sedans, coupes, convertibles, crossovers, SUVs, roadsters and wagons, plus high-performance AMG variants.

Customers are charged a one-time fee of $500 to join the service. Then they can choose among three subscription levels, with prices ranging from $1,100 to $3,000 per month—including insurance, roadside assistance, routine maintenance and unlimited mileage.

Mercedes is partnering with Daimler Financial Services on the program. The carmaker already offers a subscription service, dubbed Flexperience, in Germany.

BMW, Cadillac, Lincoln, Porsche and Volvo are testing similar schemes in the U.S. Those plans charge monthly fees between $600 and $3,000.

The Mercedes program will be supported by local dealers, who will deliver and exchange vehicles, provide concierge services and handle warranty and repair work. Dealers also will be given priority to buy back the vehicles as they are retired from the subscription program.

During the pilot program, Mercedes will limit membership to about 70 people in each market. The company predicts users will change vehicles two or three times per month.