Sub­scribe to your next used car

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - MONEY & MARKETS EXTRA - By Michael Liedtke

The startup Fair doesn't want you to own or lease your next car. It wants you to “mi­cro-own” a used ve­hi­cle by pay­ing a monthly fee to keep it as long as you want – any­where from a few weeks (gen­er­ally a bad deal) to a few years (a bet­ter deal).

This sub­scrip­tion model aims to side­step the time com­mit­ments and early-return fees of leas­ing and the fi­nan­cial de­pre­ci­a­tion of own­er­ship.

The com­pany's app, cur­rently avail­able on iPhones only, lets you choose a used car for a monthly pay­ment based on the model and your cred­it­wor­thi­ness. To dis­cour­age early re­turns, Fair charges a down pay­ment of three times the monthly fee.

Fair could save driv­ers money. It says a 2014 Toy­ota Camry would a cost Glen­dale, Cal­i­for­nia, driver $570 down and $190 per month (not in­clud­ing in­sur­ance) with no time com­mit­ment. A four-year lease for the same car from a dealer would cost $343 per month, ac­cord­ing to Ed­munds.com.

For now, the app is limited to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, but Fair plans to expand across the state this year and into a dozen other cities next year.

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