Use vs. ownership: why subscription-based models (leasing) are the future in Germany.

Use vs. ownership: why subscription-based models (leasing) are the future in Germany.

For decades, owning things has been the norm in Germany. The idea of buying and owning goods is deeply embedded in the German psyche and their understanding of consumption. But in recent years, a new trend has emerged that challenges this: Subscription-based models. With the rise of the sharing economy, more and more people are realising that access to goods and services can be just as valuable as ownership, if not more attractive. This is especially true for bicycle leasing, a subscription-based model that is becoming increasingly popular in Germany.

Germany – a country of cyclists?

So why is bicycle leasing so interesting, particularly for the German market? For one thing, Germany is a country with a strong cycling culture. In addition, many Germans are environmentally conscious and are actively looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Bike leasing offers a sustainable and convenient transportation option that aligns with these values.

Here are four reasons why Germans love bicycles:  

  • bike-friendly infrastructure with dedicated bike lanes in many cities  
  • popular means of transport in Germans’ everyday lives (commuting to work, leisure activities)  
  • flexible and time-saving alternative to cars  
  • does not require searching for a parking space  

Advantages of subscription-based models  

Let’s look at the advantages of access over ownership. One of the biggest advantages is that individuals can test products that they might not want to buy outright. For example, a high-quality bicycle may be too expensive for someone to buy, but through bike leasing, they can still use it for a fraction of the cost. This benefits not only the individual but also society as a whole.  

Here are the biggest advantages of subscription:

  • access-based models are more convenient than ownership  
  • free choice from a variety of products depending on one’s needs and preferences  
  • there is no need to worry about maintenance
  • cheaper than purchasing ownership in the long run
  • no need to personally pay for maintenance, repairs, or possible replacements

How sustainable are subscription-based models?

Access-based consumption is sustainable: when people own things, they tend to hold on to them even when they are no longer needed or wanted. In subscription-based models, on the other hand, people can use products when they are needed, and return them when they no longer have use for them.  

Here are the reasons why access-based models are sustainable:

  • more conscious consumption leads to a reduction in the production of waste  
  • regular maintenance and repair of products allow for a long useful life  
  • consciously meeting needs reduces new production, helping to close the cycle of resource use
  • products can be recycled at the end to recover valuable raw materials

In summary, subscription-based models like bike leasing are the future of access-based consumption. With their affordability, convenience, and sustainability, they offer a compelling alternative to ownership. And in a country like Germany, where cycling culture is strong and ecological values are important, bike leasing is a particularly good fit. For companies in particular, a subscription-based E-Bike fleet like CYCLE‘s offers an attractive alternative. As more people discover the benefits of access-based models, more innovative subscription models will emerge across a wide range of industries.

Here’s a summary of the benefits, using CYCLE as an example:  

  • Flexibility – CYCLE subscriptions can be changed or cancelled at any time.
  • Predictability of expenses – The all-inclusive service facilitates monthly financial planning.  
  • Easy access to high-value merchandise – CYCLE offers matching accessories in addition to E-Bikes, such as boxes, batteries, trailers, GPS trackers, and smart locks, which can be used on a subscription basis without incurring the high cost of purchase.  
  • Environmental friendliness – Regular maintenance of bikes conserves resources and reduces pollution.  
  • Personalisation – For individual business needs, CYCLE offers customised solutions.
  • Worry-free maintenance and repairs – CYCLE’s all-inclusive subscription includes maintenance of the E-Bike fleet every 7 days by experienced mechatronics and technicians.
  • Customer service – Customers can interact with the company on a regular basis.  
  • Easy upgrades – With CYCLE, it’s easy to upgrade to higher-end models or packages as needs change.

Discover more about E-Bike subscriptions in Germany!