Automobile ownership is rapidly shifting. The rise of short-term car rentals (i.e. Zipcar, General Motors’ Maven), ride sharing (Uber, Lyft), and try-before-you-buy (one study found that almost 10 percent of new cars in 2013 were purchased by consumers within 180 days of renting a car) is changing consumer behavior around automobiles.
Clutch is an Atlanta-based startup geared towards the same demographic that pioneered the rise of Classpass, Rent the Runway and the digital nomad movement — a group that demands fast flexibility and an ability to switch it up. Their subscription-based on-demand service allows you to forego buying or long-term leasing a car, instead choosing between different options and models based on your mood or activity.
Once you select a car — with the help of a personal concierge that can accommodate requests like Bluetooth — using the app, it’s delivered to you. There are no mileage limits, and maintenance and insurance are included. You can flip cars as many times as you want for a monthly fee starting at $750.
And now, this startup has launched a pilot with luxury car maker Porsche. Porsche Passport will allow users to subscribe to a subscription car flip plan for several different Porsche models, including sports cars and SUVs. The cheaper plan, Launch, provides access to 8 Porsche models for $2,000; the more-expensive Accelerate plan includes access to 22 models for $3,000.
“Clutch is focused on developing an entirely new category in the automotive industry – subscription access. Therefore, we are actively pursuing partnerships (like Porsche) across the entire industry, including dealer groups and OEMs, in support of this goal,” says Clutch Technologies President Vince Zappa.
“With Clutch’s culture of innovation, combined with our technology platform, which is second-to-none in the industry, we make a great partner for brands like Porsche,” says Zappa. “Clutch also has tremendous expertise and knowledge of delivering subscription access based on our three years operating Clutch Atlanta.”
It’s a small pilot for now, being serviced by two Porsche dealers in Atlanta, but the company says it will evaluate the possibility for expansion following the pilot.
“Our Strategy 2025 vision is to be the most aspirational brand in a new era of mobility and consumer expectations. Catering to customers’ desire to experience our sports cars in new ways is a part of our core strategy,” said Porsche President and CEO Klaus Zellner in a statement.
Clutch currently powers subscription on-demand car rentals in 4 cities, including Atlanta, and is launching several more. Its founding team includes serial tech entrepreneur Tripp Rackley, who also founded mobile ticketing technology company Experience (acquired by Cox Enterprises). Experience launched a sports games and events subscription service, INWEGO, earlier this year. Experience and Clutch are both part of Rackley’s innovation incubator Kenzie Lane, which receives funding from Cox.
Photos via Porsche Passport, Clutch Technologies