South African startup FlexClub has partnered car hire company Avis to pilot “Drive Now, Buy Later” car subscriptions for a limited number of private members across Johannesburg. 

Formed in November 2018, FlexClub is a managed marketplace that simplifies investing in cars rented to people using gig platforms to earn a living. Essentially, it allows users to purchase vehicles which are then matched with Uber drivers who pay a weekly rental charge to the investor.

In 2019, the marketplace announced a partnership with Uber, offering commercial car subscriptions to the Uber community of drivers in South Africa and Mexico. A new partnership, with Avis, will now offer private members the chance to find their next personal car on the marketplace and enjoy access to the “Drive Now, Buy Later” benefits already available to commercial members. 

Car subscriptions on the FlexClub marketplace offer members complete freedom, delivering an alternative to traditional car loans which can lock customers into precarious long-term commitments over several years. With car subscriptions, members are afforded the flexibility to swap the car, buy the car or cancel their subscription with no additional termination payments.

Subscriptions on the marketplace are offered through an all-inclusive monthly fee, eliminating the need for separate insurance or maintenance expenses – with cars delivered to the members’ door. Subscriptions on the marketplace are offered by Vehicle Partners, which include existing car rental brands and fleet providers. Avis becomes the first major car rental brand to launch their car subscriptions to South African consumers on the FlexClub marketplace. 

The pilot service will only be available to Johannesburg residents, but the company is planning for nationwide coverage in the near future. A pilot launch in Mexico is also imminent, in partnership with several more global car rental brands.

“FlexClub is pioneering the most flexible way to get a car,” said Tinashe Ruzane, the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of FlexClub. 

“We’re creating a superior digital experience for customers that value their freedom. Imagine if getting your next car delivered to your door could be as simple as shopping on Amazon, with the flexibility to upgrade, downgrade, buy or return the car anytime at the tap of a button.”