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Roam review: Car subscription service

Pay-as-you-go car subscriptions let you avoid the long-term cost and commitment of car ownership.

Our verdict

Roam is a car subscription service that allows you to rent a car on a monthly basis. Pay a monthly fee and you get access to a late-model vehicle to drive. The cost includes insurance, routine maintenance and roadside assistance. There are no long-term contracts to worry about, and you can choose from sedans and SUVs as well as gas, hybrid and electric vehicles. However, you'll need to consider other options if you don't live in the Greater Toronto Area. Whether Roam is worth it depends on how often you drive.
  • Easy to sign up
  • Tailor a plan to suit your needs
  • Over 40 models to choose from
  • Insurance, routine maintenance and roadside assistance included
  • Only one Canadian location in Toronto
  • You need to pay a membership fee and a security deposit
  • If the car is damaged and you need to make a claim, insurance deductibles start at $2,500
Learn more

What is Roam?

Roam is a car subscription service based in Toronto. It allows you to lease a recent-model car for as little as one month, with over 40 models from more than 15 car brands to choose from.

Your monthly subscription fee includes insurance cover, routine maintenance costs and 24/7 roadside assistance. Under a standard subscription, you can drive up to 2,000km per month. You can also lock a car in for a longer subscription if you wish or just pay-as-you-go every 30 days.

A Roam subscription allows you to avoid the long-term contracts associated with leasing a car. You can return the car when you no longer need it or switch to a different vehicle from Roam’s range if your needs change.

Is Roam legitimate?

Yes. Previously known as Curbo, Roam was founded in 2020 by Apoorv Gupta. The company is headquartered in Toronto, has an active online presence and continues to generate independent customer reviews.

According to the Roam website, locations in Miami and Austin in the United States are coming soon.

What we like about Roam

  • Easy sign-up process. You can sign up online with Roam in a matter of minutes. Approvals take up to one business day, and you can then schedule a time to collect your vehicle.
  • Flexible terms. You can choose a fixed three-month subscription or pay by the month. You can also add extra drivers to your subscription ($75 per driver) and cancel your subscription at any time.
  • Drive 2,000km per month. The standard Roam plan includes 2,000km mileage per month, but you can upgrade it to 2,500km or 3,000km (for an additional fee) to suit your driving needs).
  • Included features. Your monthly subscription fee includes the use of the vehicle as well as insurance cover, routine maintenance such as oil changes and 24/7 roadside assistance.
  • Plenty of choice. Whether you want a sedan or SUV, gas or electric, Roam offers over 40 models from more than 15 car brands.
  • Change your vehicle. Unlike buying a car, you’re not stuck with that particular vehicle. If your needs change, you can swap to a different model.
  • Delivery available. If you can’t get to Roam’s office to pick up your vehicle, it can be delivered to your door for an additional fee.
  • No credit checks. You can sign up for a Roam subscription without undergoing a hard credit enquiry. However, if you have minimal car insurance history, you may need to complete a soft credit check.

What to watch out for

  • Not suited to all drivers. If you need a car for the long term, you may be better off buying or leasing a vehicle. For occasional use, it’s also worth considering car sharing services.
  • Toronto only. Roam is headquartered in Toronto and doesn’t have any other Canadian locations, so drivers in other cities will need to look elsewhere.
  • Membership fee. Roam charges a subscription activation fee of , so remember to add this expense to the total cost of your subscription.
  • Security deposit. You’re also required to pay a security deposit – the deposit is $1,000 for the cheapest vehicles in the range and more for others. While the deposit is refundable, keep in mind that you’ll be even further out of pocket while driving a Roam car.
  • Insurance deductible. Roam’s insurance coverage comes with deductibles starting at $2,500. So if you’re in a collision or the car is stolen or damaged, an insurance claim could cost you a lot.

Roam reviews

As of February 3, 2023, Roam had the following review scores:

  • An average score of 4.9 out of 5 from 167 Google reviews.
  • An average score of 4.5 out of 5 from 43 Trustpilot reviews.

Customers who left positive reviews praised Roam for its easy sign-up process, helpful customer service and high-quality condition of its vehicles. Some negative reviewers criticized the need to have past auto insurance history in order to qualify for a subscription.

What vehicles does Roam offer?

Roam offers sedans, SUVs and pick-up trucks, with gas, electric and hybrid models available. The Roam range includes the following vehicles:

  • Audi A3, A4, Q3, Q4 and Q5
  • BMW 330E, X1 and X3
  • Chevrolet Spark and Equinox
  • Honda Civic and CR-V
  • Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe and Palisade
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Kia Forte, Seltos, Sportage, Sorento, Telluride and Niro
  • Lexus RX 350, NX 250 and NX 350
  • Mazda 3 and CX-5
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class 300, GLB 250 and GLC 300
  • Mitsubishi RvR and Eclipse
  • Nissan Sentra, Kicks, Rogue and Qashqai
  • Polestar 2
  • Porsche Macan
  • Tesla Model 3 and Y
  • Toyota Corolla, Corolla Cross, Camry, RAV4, Venza, Highlander, 4Runner and Tacoma
  • Volkswagen Jetta, Taos, Tiguan and Atlas

How to take out a car subscription with Roam

You can sign up with Roam by completing the following steps:

  1. Click through to the Roam website and click the “Sign Up” link.
  2. Enter your name and contact details before creating a password.
  3. Provide your driver’s licence details and any other documentation required.
  4. Select the vehicle you want, your subscription plan (usually monthly or three months) and whether you want additional mileage.
  5. The Roam team will process your application and conduct a background check.
  6. Once you’re approved, you can set up your payment method before paying a security deposit and membership fee.
  7. Schedule a date to pick up your car or have it delivered.
  8. Sign the subscription agreement.
  9. Get your car and start driving.

Am I eligible for a Roam car subscription?

You’ll need to meet these eligibility requirements to qualify for a Roam subscription:

  • Must have a valid Ontario G driver’s licence (Roam says an exception can be made for G2 drivers who have held their licence for more than one year and have over one year under a previous insurance policy)
  • Must be 23 years of age or older
  • Must have at least one year of driving insurance history (Roam says an exception may be made for those who have held a G licence for over two years)
  • Must not have any major criminal convictions or moving violations
  • Must not have had more than one at-fault accident in the past three years

Please note that if you have minimal insurance history, you may be asked to participate in a soft credit check.

How much will a Roam car subscription cost?

There are several factors that affect how much your subscription will cost:

  • The car you choose. As you’d expect, luxury and larger models cost more to rent. We’ve outlined the cost of some popular models in the table below.
  • The plan you choose. You’ll pay less per month if you sign up for a three-month subscription instead of a one-month subscription.
  • Your mileage limit. A standard subscription allows you to drive up to 2,000km per month. You can increase this to either 2,500km or 3,000km for an additional fee.
  • Your membership fee and security deposit. You’ll need to pay a subscription activation fee when you sign up. A refundable security deposit is also required – this varies depending on the vehicle, but it’s $1,000 for an entry-level model like the Chevrolet Spark.
  • If you have your car delivered. If you choose to have the vehicle delivered to your door, you’ll pay extra to cover the cost of this valet service.

Check out the table below to get an idea of the cost of a Roam subscription:

ModelMonthly subscription fee (three-month plan excluding HST)Auto insuranceTotal cost (excluding HST)
2022 Chevrolet Spark LT$771$200$971
2022 Toyota Corolla LE CVT$806$200$1,006
2022 Kia Seltos LX AWD$1,027$200$1,227
Tesla Model 3 Standard$1,383$200$1,583
Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Double Cab$1,527$200$1,727

Bottom line

If you need short-term use of a vehicle from time to time, a Roam car subscription is well worth a look – with a few caveats. If you’re not in Toronto, for example, you’ll need to consider other options. It’s also worth noting that the membership fee and refundable deposit apply on top of your monthly subscription, while the insurance deductible that applies in case of a claim on Roam’s auto insurance policy could leave you significantly out of pocket.

Ultimately, consider your driving needs carefully and compare Roam with other car subscription companies to decide if it’s right for you.

Compare car loans

If you’d prefer traditional financing to a car subscription, compare car loans from reputable lenders in the table below.

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product APR Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements Long Table Description
CarsFast Car Loans
4.90% - 29.90%
$500 - $75,000
12 - 96 months
Requirements: Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Loans Canada Car Loans
0% - 31.99%
$500 - $35,000
24 - 120 months
Requirements: Min. income of $1,800 /month, 3+ months employed
0% financing applies to some new models with loan terms up to 60 months. Offer ends March 31, 2023.
Canada Car Loans
1.49% - 31.99%
$7,500 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Requirements: Min. income of $1,900 , 3+ months employed
Canada Auto Finance
4.90% - 29.95%
$500 - $45,000
3 - 96 months
Requirements: Min. income of $1,500 /month, 3+ months employed
Splash Auto Finance
9.90% - 31.00%
$5,000 - $50,000
24 - 84 months
Requirements: Min. income of $2,200 /month, 3+ months employed
Clutch Car Loans
From 8.49%
$7,500 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Requirements: 3+ months employed, Max.1 bankruptcy, Ontario & Nova Scotia only

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