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THE more frequently you buy a new mobile phone, the more likely you are to subscribe to – rather than buy – your next car; according to research from Australian vehicle subscription service Loopit.

The survey of 1000 Australians found that 91 per cent of respondents who upgrade to the latest phone each year would consider subscribing to their next car rather than buying it.

There was a distinct correlation between people who regularly subscribe to a phone plan and those who would consider a similar program for a car.

The research said of those respondents who only upgrade to a new phone when needed – such as a breakage or loss – only 48 per cent would look at car subscription.

Changing the phone frequently also ties to an acceptance of new technology. The research found that 99 per cent of Australians who upgrade their phone each year expect to drive an electric car within the next five years.

Of those who would drive an electric car, 83 per cent said they would prefer to subscribe to the car than buy it outright.

Loopit co-founder and managing director Michael Higgins said the subscription model would make it easier for motorists to make the switch to electric.

“Many car manufacturers have already committed to going fully electric in the near future,” he said.

“Australia has so far been slower to adapt to EVs, but this research shows there’s definitely interest there.

“Even though EVs are around the corner, cost has been cited as the biggest barrier for Aussie drivers.

“People don’t want to commit to buying a new electric car, but the flexibility and affordability of a subscription allows you to update your car even more often than your phone.”

Mr Higgins said the minimum commitment on a car subscription is similar to most mobile phones plans at about $2000 or equivalent to an iPhone 12 Pro.

He said his company had more than 8000 cars available for subscription across its national network of participating dealerships.

The co-founder and managing director of Loopit’s parent company HelloCars, and brother of Michael, Paul Higgins, said the research was the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

He said it showed that the “early tech adopters” were moving away from the traditional idea of car ownership.

“People are obviously excited to get their hands on the latest technology every year with their phones, and now car subscription lets you do that with your car,” he said.

“Car safety and technology is improving rapidly and it’s difficult for the average consumer to keep up to date. Even the most affluent people can’t afford to upgrade their car as frequently as subscription allows.

“Early adopters often predict the next big trend, so we expect to see car subscription become more mainstream this year.”

Loopit Co-founders Michael Higgins (left) and Paul Higgins

By Neil Dowling

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