America loves its cars. From classic car shows to “The Fast and the Furious” to congested highways across the country, cars are entrenched in American culture. In 2020, 91.5% of U.S. households had at least one vehicle. And year after year, car ownership rates continue to grow.
But car ownership comes with a host of problems. For one, it’s expensive. Car payments, maintenance, major repairs, gas and insurance costs add up quickly. And many car owners don’t use their cars often enough to justify the cost. More than 124 million Americans drive 10,000 miles or fewer each year. Plus, cars are a major source of pollution.
What’s the solution? Well, according to one startup, a car subscription service. Upshift offers fractional car subscriptions to low mileage drivers. Subscribers use an app to book a vehicle, which Upshift delivers to them on the days they need it. When drivers are done with the car, they just park it and Upshift takes care of the rest.
The concept is certainly compelling. Upshift claims its service cuts monthly car payments by more than 70%. But can this idea catch on in such a car-crazy country?
In this episode of Startup Insider, Vin Narayanan and Allison Brickell discuss Upshift’s prospects, America’s car obsession, cars as a service and more.
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