Toyota has announced the launch of its new car subscription service, Kinto, that proposes a new user-car relationship. The Japanese manufacturer has put gamification at the center of the program, awarding drivers with points based on how they drive.
Points are awarded for either safe or ecological driving and can be used to bring down your monthly payments. Want to pay less for your vehicle? Drive more carefully, more consciously then. It's a fascinating premise, but the company did not go into detail about how it would work. Presumably, the cars will be 'connected', and fitted with monitoring devices that collect data.
Kinto has been designed to satisfy what Toyota has identified as "a growing need for a service that allows customers to freely select the car that they like or want to drive and enjoy it as they like, instead of using a car simply as a means of transportation".
Initially, the service is only available to customers in Japan. Two subscriptions are available; Kinto One and Kinto Select. Kinto One subscribers can drive, you guessed it, one Toyota-brand car for a three-year period, whilst Select customers can choose between six different Lexus-brand vehicles over the same time period.
Both come as a monthly fixed-sum service that includes voluntary insurance payments, vehicle tax, registration charges, and regular maintenance. Available models include the Prius, Corolla Sport and Crown. Toyota said that the range of available vehicles will be expanded by fall 2019.
How much will it cost?
Kinto One subscriptions start at 46,100 yen ($419) per month, before taxes, and can rise to 99,000 yen ($901) depending on the vehicle you choose. The Lexus package, Kinto Select, costs 180,000 yen ($1,638) a month. The more expensive Kinto Select plan is available from Wednesday, February 6, initially as a trial, in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The Kinto One subscription will be added on March 1. The full rollout of the Kinto plans is scheduled for summer.
The Kinto program is jointly funded by Toyota Finacial Services and Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Company. The initial investment amount is 1.8 billion yen, ($16 million) according to Toyota.
What do you think about a car subscription service? Would you like to pay less for your vehicle for driving safely?