When Does Fair Make Sense?
Fair Actually Isn't a Great Option for Short-Term Driving. Here's When It Is.
Here at Fair, we get one category of customer question more than almost any other: How exactly should I use Fair? Can I get a car for just a few weeks? A few months? Or can I just flip cars every season so I’m ready for whatever element Mother Nature happens to be throwing out of the sky at a given time of year?
The short answer to all of these questions is this: Well, you technically can. It just probably wouldn’t make great financial sense.
To unpack why Fair doesn’t constitute an ideal short-term option, let us walk you through some of the situations where Fair does (and doesn’t) make sense so you can make sure you’re coming to us for the right reasons.
Quick Jaunt (1 to 6 months)
Let’s start with a couple of the above scenarios. Say you want a convertible for the summer or an SUV for that upcoming weekend ski trip. Or maybe you’re in a new city for a few weeks for a temp work assignment. In any case, you only need a car for a brief amount of time and are considering using Fair to fill that gap.
In each of these cases, there’s a good chance Fair actually isn’t your best bet – mostly because each Fair vehicle requires a one-time down payment. This upfront cost obviously isn’t desirable for someone who only wants a car for a hot minute, but it’s very beneficial in allowing us to offer lower monthly payments (and a more affordable overall cost) to those who keep their car a bit longer.
Whereas a car rental service might charge a customer $50-$100 per day to select from a fleet of heavily used vehicles passed around from customer to customer, Fair is set up to lease you a pre-owned car directly from a licensed dealership – to drive exclusively for a median monthly payment of around $345.
Combined with our median down payment of $1,299, Fair’s cost structure starts to make sense versus most rental options after a few months – although getting another Fair car at that point would leave you having to pony up another down payment.
And while this makes Fair a pretty inefficient way to “flip” between cars several times each year, we’ve actually found that most people don’t want to do such a thing anyway. After all, lining up a different ride every few months (not to mention moving all your stuff over to it) is inconvenient, time-consuming, and extremely expensive in the few subscription models set up to offer it. And that’s assuming those options will even be able to offer you the exact vehicle you want precisely when you want it, since most of your fellow subscribers are probably playing the same “SUV in the winter, convertible in the summer” game you are.
The Fair Zone (7 months to 3 years)
In contrast to short-term options like rentals and ridesharing, Fair makes the most sense if you want to keep your car for anywhere from the better part of a year to several years – with lease options available for each scenario.
With Fair, you can drive month-to-month or on a 2-year or 3-year lease for a lower monthly payment, allowing you to select the right combination of value and commitment that makes sense for your situation.
To use a relationship analogy, Fair fits somewhere between the speed-dating game that is car-sharing and the long marriage of taking out a car loan. Instead, Fair represents something of a “meaningful romance” between a car and its driver – perfect for the person who likes the intimacy of giving their ride a name perhaps, but who doesn’t want to be interminably tethered to the same car as its tech becomes outdated and the joy of driving it gradually fades.
Finding Your Fair Match
At the end of the day, Fair is designed to enable you in making sure that the car you’re driving always fits the current chapter of your life. Fact is, a young professional shouldn’t have to keep driving the beater they bought in college just because they still owe money on it. Likewise, a busy mom shouldn’t have to become a part-time car salesperson every time she has to upgrade the family vehicle to keep up with the ever-shifting needs of her household.
Don’t get us wrong. We want as many people as possible to experience the difference of driving with Fair – from the all-digital, negotiation-free shopping, to the paperless “do it with your finger” checkout, to the routine maintenance, roadside assistance and limited warranty that come with each Fair car.
But we also want to make sure that the benefits of our model line up with your reasons for driving – and that absolutely none of those reasons involve getting a Fair car for a quick trip to the grocery store.