In an age when people often swap phones every few months, carmakers are working to find ways to stave off car boredom without incurring a long-term commitment. Enter Book by Cadillac, the luxury brand’s answer to those looking for an alternative to the traditional buying or leasing process. I went hands-on with the new service to assess what it’s like; let’s take a closer look.
How it Works
First launched in New York City and now available in Los Angeles and Dallas, Book by Cadillac allows members to select cars via a mobile app and swap them out up to 18 times per year. A monthly fee of $1,800 (plus a $500 initiation fee) includes delivery, detailing, insurance, and maintenance.
As part of a two-week trial in Los Angeles, I downloaded the Book app and set up my account with my driver’s license and delivery information. After a couple of days, I received an email from Book saying that my account was active. Through the app, I was able to choose from the Escalade SUV, CT6 large sedan, and XT5 midsize SUV (paying members can also choose from the ATS-V and CTS-V high-performance sedans). I chose the CT6. Delivery slots are available Monday through Saturday, with a choice of morning, afternoon, or evening windows. At this time, you can’t cancel or change reservations through the app, but a phone number and email address will direct you to a Book concierge who can help adjust delivery details if necessary. And although you can only specify one delivery address for all cars (such as home, office, and so on), a Cadillac spokesperson tells us that the company is exploring a multitude of options in regard to pickup and drop-off locations.
How It Went
Delivery in Los Angeles is managed by a third-party fleet company that has years of experience working with Cadillac and other car manufacturers. These companies often deliver vehicles to media, executives, and celebrities for evaluation and special events. The day before my car was delivered, we received an email confirming our reservation. On the delivery day, our driver was prompt and friendly. The car came fully gassed and equipped with mints and bottled water. We also received a duffel bag with the Book by Cadillac logo.
During my time in the car, I was responsible for all gas, parking fees, tolls, etc. – just as if I owned the car. Although one-way drop-offs and pickups are sometimes possible, our Cadillac contact tells us that the idea is for a customer to always have a car in his or her possession.
When I was ready for a change, I went to the app and chose a delivery date and time for the XT5. Again, delivery was easy and professional. Although I wouldn’t want to drive an SUV all the time, I was glad to have the option during a week when I was hauling more luggage than usual.
Book by Cadillac is an all-in-one solution for those who get bored easily with their cars and who don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintenance and insurance. If Book adds more delivery and drop-off options (including airports), it could be a real home run for busy executives and frequent travelers.