Car subscription services possible alternative to buying and leasing

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Consumer expert Chelsey Hernandez breaks down what to expect from a car subscription service. (KTRK)

If you don't want to buy or lease your next car, you could join a subscription program.

Swedish automaker Volvo just released details about a new subscription-based ownership program called Care by Volvo.

"The idea of these programs is to take away much of the hassle and mystery involved with buying or leasing a car. With subscription models, you pay one monthly fee for most costs involved in owning a car," said Nick Kurczewski, Consumer Reports Auto Expert.

Starting at $600, the program includes insurance, vehicle service, roadside assistance, 24/7 customer care, and replacements for wear and tear items such as brake pads and wiper blades.

"Although the programs that are currently in effect are on the pricier side, there are no long term commitments and we anticipate the monthly fees going down as this trend becomes more popular," said Kurczewski.

BMW, Hyundai, Cadillac, and Porsche are all joining Volvo with similar subscription based programs, which can be enticing for those who want to stay on top of the latest advances in safety and convenience.

But this won't be for everyone, especially consumers who like the idea of paying off their vehicles.

If you're looking to get in on the action, you may have to wait. I called several Houston dealerships, and it looks like these subscription programs are still in the test trial phase in select cities.
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