The German discount supermarket chain Lidl is offering auto leases for as low as €89 per month, in cooperation with the startup Vehiculum. Until end of April, customers can lease a limited number of 1,000 Fiat 500 cars directly on the grocer’s website www.lidl-autos.de.
During the paperless booking process, customers can choose between “gelato white” or “Vesuvio black metallic;” 10,000 or 15,000 kilometers per year, and a contract duration of 24, 36 or 48 months. The booking process including credit check takes place online and can be completed in 15 minutes, the company says.
After six to 12 weeks, the car is delivered to a car dealership either in Berlin, Halle or Erfurt where it has to be picked up by the customer. The monthly fee for the Fiat 500 including vehicle insurance and car maintenance is at €166 ($189 U.S.).
While Vehiculum provides the cars, the contracts are concluded with Santander bank.
Vehiculum was founded in 2015 and allows corporate customers to compare different leasing deals on its websites. It cooperates with a network of car dealerships and has just raised a €7 million investment ($8 million U.S.).
Vehiculum founder Lukas Steinhilber (LinkedIn profile) comments on the relationship: “With the Lidl offer we show already by now how cars will be procured in the future: Simple, transparent and completely digital.”
According to the online car magazine Kfz-Betrieb, the Fiat dealer association and FCA Germany question whether Lidl is allowed to make the car leasing offer without being an authorized reseller, and they are considering legal action.