Seat revolutionizes car ‘possession’ and use
Seat is introducing another way to ‘own/use’ a vehicle. You rent it and choose yourself the length of the rent and the type of vehicle.
The Seat offer will be tested in Spain first, the reason is simple. Until now long-term renting was not very popular in the Iberian peninsula. People wanted to see their own name on the car documents.
Seat, a daughter of the Volkswagen Group, will be used as try-out of the new formula. As said, it will be solely proposed on the Spanish market at first. Seat has a strong position there and as long-term renting is not very popular yet, so there is no confusing abundance of renting formulas.
Normally a long-term renting contract is bound to three agreements. The vehicle model, the agreed time of renting and the maximum mileage. The novelty of the Seat proposal is that these three ‘rules’ aren’t mandatory anymore.
The Seat long-term renting client can ask for another rental period, another maximum mileage and an adjustment of the renting fee. Moreover, he can change the model or even the engine type or the equipment level.
First on Arona
Seat is launching the new contract type on its smallest SUV, the Arona, first. It is proposing a correctly equipped Arona ‘Urban TSI’ with 95 hp at 199 euro per month. The choice for a SUV is not a coincidence: Seat has three SUV models now and they are very popular.
Seat also wants to get rid of its ‘Ibiza image’, feeling that it has been associated for too long with one model. Other models will follow when the move appears to be successful. Also other brands of the VW Group are waiting for the results and can step in. The financing of the long-term renting is assured by VW Financial Services.
Seat is still the smallest popular brand of the VW Group. It produced 517.000 vehicles last year, but that’s 10% more than the year before. The brand also has the youngest clients, aged 35 on average. Former Alfa Romeo boss, Luca de Meo, has turned the Spanish VW daughter into a success.
De Meo even created a sportive derivative of the brand lately. Cupra, the sports label for Seat, will have its own Seat-based cars now, the first of them being hybrid and part of the six electrified Seats that will come on the market soon.
With this proposal, Seat is actually testing what many manufacturers and importers are thinking about. So the company will be a test-bed for other brands of the VW Group but also other competitors.
The big advantage is simplicity, the question is if the average car user still wants to buy or prefers renting. The feeling is that more and more car users will be attracted by the renting proposal. But that financing is cheap for the moment can play a role.
Also that the car’s second-hand price can be higher when owned may influence people to still buy. And of course, there are those who want to keep their car as long as possible and ‘squeeze’ everything out of it. Interesting to see where the market will go…
At the same time, Seat is going to start a form of car-sharing itself. Last year it bought Respiro, a car-sharing company. Now it offers Ibiza models running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for sharing. This can be on an hourly or a daily basis. The renting price is 2 euro per hour and extra costs for mileage.