Lease, own or subscribe? Carma wants to jump-start the car-as-a-service market

The way we get around is changing fast. Between ride services, on-demand car sharing and other methods to have a car only when you need it, owning one is getting less and less compelling. A new startup called Carma offers a happy medium for those who want the convenience of owning a car without the hassle of, well, owning a car. Instead, you just subscribe to it.

Carma launched publicly today at the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018. Its system is more flexible than a lease, cheaper than hourly or daily car-share services and precision-targeted at millennials (whatever those are) and dealerships.

It works like this: You pick from a variety of new and newish vehicles sourced from the inventory of car dealerships in the area. For a set monthly fee you basically get to treat it like your car. Insurance is included, as is ordinary maintenance — you’re mainly on the hook for gas and a few incidentals.

Keep paying for as many months as you like, or just one, and when you don’t need the car any more, just give it back to the dealer.

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