elmo Car Subscription Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Instead of buying or leasing a car, elmo presents a unique proposition: unlock the benefits of an electric car with a monthly subscription. The EV subscription approach comes with no initial deposit, offers flexible contracts, and provides an all-inclusive package for an easy EV experience!

Best Rated EV Salary Sacrifice Scheme
The Electric Car Scheme Salary Sacrifice
  • Competitive Prices
    Any brand, every model

  • Early Termination Protection
    From day 1 (excludes resignations)

  • All-Inclusive Package
    EV, Breakdown Cover, Insurance & Home Charger

  • B Corp Certified Business
    Highlights a dedication to sustainable and ethical business practices

elmo offers 100% electric cars, and if you are part of the Salary Sacrifice Scheme you can enjoy comprehensive insurance, routine maintenance, breakdown cover and wear & tear on tyres included in your contract.

elmo introduced the first fully managed salary sacrifice scheme for electric cars on subscription, providing businesses and employees the opportunity to save on tax and NI.

elmo Car Subscription Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Subscription model provides flexibility and protection 
  • All-Inclusive package covers a broad range of services
  • Streamlined sign-up process can see you approved in 24 hours
  • Salary Sacrifice Scheme: They offer the best fully managed EV salary sacrifice scheme for electric cars on a subscription

Cons

  • The online chat support isn’t available on weekends
  • The eligibility criteria, especially related to driving license conditions and past records, will exclude a number of potential drivers
  • The age requirement (25 years or 30 for certain vehicles) excludes younger drivers

We selected these pros and cons based on the criteria that Electric Car Guide customers identified as the most important to them in our focus group of EV owners. We also researched real-world customer reviews on Trustpilot (both positive and negative) and compared elmos features with its nearest competitors.

Am I eligible for elmo car subscription?

In order to be eligible for elmo, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You are over 25 years old (or 30 years old for vehicles that fall under ABI Group 31 or higher).
  • You meet the specific driving license requirements, as detailed below.
  • You live in the UK.
  • You’ve successfully registered for an account on the elmo website.
  • You’ve undergone and passed elmo’s identity and credit checks, which include a requirement of having no active County Court Judgments (CCJs), and have been approved by the elmo team.
  • You’ve signed a Vehicle Hire Contract with elmo.

elmo driving license requirements

License and Residency
Hold a full UK/EU driving licence suitable for the vehicle’s category for at least 3 years (5 for ABI Group 31+ vehicles).

Must have been a UK resident for the past 2 years with the elmo account address being the primary residence for the vehicle.

Driving Record
Up to one at-fault insurance claim in the last 3 years, a maximum of 6 penalty points, and no recent (3 years) driving disqualifications.

Background and Insurance
No criminal charges or convictions, and no history of declined or cancelled insurance.

Occupation Restrictions
Not involved in professional sports, entertainment, racing, or gambling.

elmo car subscription features at a glance

ContractSubscription
Minimum termelmoFlex: 60 days
elmoSave: 12 months
Early termination detailselmoFlex: 30 days notice after month 1

elmoSave: 30 days notice after month 11
Deposit requiredNo deposit
Charging benefitsHome charging: elmo partners with Easee and AES to provide customers with the option to buy and install an Easee One unit for £949 (RRP is £999).

Public charging: elmoCharge, through a partnership with Paua, offers Elmo subscribers a public charging option.

Subscribers can charge at over 25,000 locations via 20 leading network providers, such as Gridserve, Connected Kerb, Shell, and Osprey, using their elmoCharge card.

There is a cost though, it’s not free charging. You’ll be billed fortnightly for any electricity you use with your elmoCharge card. You can see how much you’re spending using the Paua app.
Number of models available23
Whats included?Comprehensive insurance cover.

Maintenance: Routine servicing & fair wear & tear.

Driver Safety: Dashcam & driving analytics.

Tyres: Fair wear & tear repair and replacements.

Road Tax: Vehicle Excise Duty & Congestion charge.

Registration and fees managed by elmo.

Breakdown Assistance: 24/7 roadside assistance in the UK.

Mileage allowance of 800 miles per month.
Car purchase optionNo option to purchase at the end of the agreement
Trustpilot rating3.5 (March 2024)
Customer support optionsCustomer support email: [email protected].

Customer support phoneline: 0330 165 4945

Online chat option: Quick response from a real human!
ProsSubscription model provides flexibility and protection.

All-Inclusive package covers a broad range of services.

Streamlined sign-up process can see you approved in 24 hours.

Salary Sacrifice Scheme: They offer the first fully managed salary sacrifice scheme for electric cars on a subscription.

Comprehensive customer support: With channels like online chat, email, and phone support.
ConsThe online chat support isn't available on weekends.

The eligibility criteria, especially related to driving license conditions and past records, will exclude a number of potential drivers.

The age requirement (25 years or 30 for certain vehicles) excludes younger drivers
EligibilityYou're at least 25 years old (or 30 for ABI Group 31+ vehicles) and have a valid driving license meeting specific requirements.

Reside in the UK and have an active account on the elmo website.

Passed elmo's identity and credit checks, with no active CCJs.

Entered into a Vehicle Hire Contract with elmo.
Delivery costStandard delivery and collection fee of £119 for England and Wales. Scotland deliveries vary depending on location (you’ll receive an accurate quote when signing up).
Lead timeApproval within 24 hours, delivery within 7 days
Salary Sacrificeelmo's salary sacrifice scheme is the only fully-managed salary sacrifice scheme for electric cars in the UK market

elmo Car Subscription full review

Located in Hampshire, elmo is a UK car subscription provider trading under the name of elmo Drive Limited.

Subscribers can select a car, customise mileage allowances, and even opt for additional drivers and extras, all within 5 minutes online. Approval is swift, with eligibility confirmed within 24 hours.

elmo contract and early termination protection

elmo operates on a subscription model, offering two main contract options.

The elmoFlex contract requires a minimum term of 60 days, allowing for early termination with a 30-day notice after the first month.

The elmoSave contract has a longer commitment, requiring a 12-month minimum term with early termination available after the 11th month, given a 30-day notice.

elmo deposit

There is no deposit requirement with elmo. There is, however, a delivery and collection fee. Standard delivery and collection fee of £119 for England and Wales. Scotland deliveries vary depending on location (you’ll receive an accurate quote when signing up).

elmo charging benefits

elmo has teamed up with Easee and AES to install a home charger for its customers.

Easee One Unit Offer:

  • Purchase and full installation at your home within a few weeks.
  • Special price: £949, including standard installation (RRP is £999).
  • Payment Flexibility: Options to spread the cost over time are available.

Note for Non-Standard Installations: If your home doesn’t qualify for standard installation, AES will provide a quote for additional labour and materials. You have the option to decide if you wish to proceed with the installation.

elmoCharge public charging:

elmo subscribers can benefit from simplified public charging thanks to elmoCharge. elmo partner with Paua, the UK’s largest charge point roaming provider, to offer the following features:

Seamless charging
Your elmoCharge card grants access to over 25,000 charging points across the UK.

Broad network access
Benefit from charge points from 20 leading network providers, including Gridserve, Connected Kerb, Shell, and Osprey.

Easy payment
Pay for all your charging directly through your elmo account, removing the need for multiple provider accounts, apps, or RFID charger cards.

elmo car options

elmo offers a selection of 23 different EVs. If you are after a particular EV that’s not available, you can click the ‘Notify me when available’ button to receive an email when it’s back in stock

What’s included with elmo?

EV Insurance
elmo provides comprehensive insurance coverage as part of the subscription.

Maintenance
Maintenance services offered by elmo include both routine check-ups and fair wear & tear. Regular servicing and necessary repairs are included in the service.

Driver Safety
elmo provides EV safety add-ons with features like dashcam & driving analytics. The dashcam records the road, offering additional evidence in case of an incident, while driving analytics can provide feedback on driving habits, encouraging safer driving practices.

Tyres
The EV tyres’ fair wear & tear repair and replacements are included in the elmo subscription. Subscribers don’t have to be concerned about the natural wear of the tyres, as elmo covers regular inspections and replacements if they are needed.

Breakdown cover
With 24/7 EV roadside assistance in the UK, elmo offers support whenever it’s needed. Whether it’s a battery issue or other common EV faults, subscribers can rely on prompt assistance to get back on the road.

Can I purchase the car at the end of an elmo subscription?

There is no option to purchase an elmo vehicle at the end of a contract, it can be renewed or the vehicle will need to be collected at a cost of £119.

elmo customer support

Email and Phone Support: Customer service email is available at [email protected] or for immediate assistance, customers can call 0330 165 4945.

Online Chat Support: When we tested this feature, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t automated or outsourced, we were connected with a real person from elmo named Reasha. She was quick to respond and had in-depth product knowledge, our queries were well answered.

elmo Salary Sacrifice options

elmo claims to have the only fully-managed salary sacrifice scheme dedicated exclusively to electric cars on subscription.

How it works:

  1. The employer sets up a business account and enters into a formal agreement with elmo.
  2. The scheme is introduced, ensuring comprehensive employee engagement.
  3. Employees request quotes for their chosen electric vehicle. Upon receiving these quotes, employers review and grant approval.
  4. Employees sign the subscription agreement and set up an elmo account.
  5. Employees submit their ID for verification, receiving approval typically within a 24-hour window.
  6. Once everything is confirmed, a delivery date for the electric vehicle is set.

What elmo Car Subscription does well

Flexibility
One of the outstanding benefits of elmo is its flexible subscription-based model. This framework provides users with the ability to cancel their subscriptions as circumstances change without being tied down to long-term commitments.

Comprehensive all-inclusive package
The package offered by elmo is comprehensive. Subscribers can enjoy a wide range of services, from maintenance to insurance, within a single monthly fee.

Easy onboarding
elmo’s streamlined sign-up process can have potential subscribers verified and ready to go in as little as 24 hours.

Salary Sacrifice Scheme
elmo’s salary sacrifice scheme for electric cars is the only ‘in-house’ UK scheme on a subscription basis.

Where elmo Car Subscription falls short

No weekend chat support
While the online chat works well, it’s unavailable during weekends.

Strict eligibility criteria
elmo’s specific eligibility criteria, particularly concerning driving license conditions and past records, mean that some subscribers will not be eligible.

Age restrictions
With a minimum age of 25 years (or 30 for certain vehicle categories), younger drivers are excluded from elmo’s platform.

What electric cars does elmo car subscription offer?

  • Citroen e-C4 Shine Edition 50 kWh: A modern electric hatchback from Citroen.
  • FIAT 500e Icon 42 kWh: Fiat’s iconic 500 model turned electric.
  • Kia e-Niro 2 Long Range 64 kWh: Kia’s EV, offers great range and comfort.
  • MG MG5 EV Excite Long Range 61 kWh: A versatile electric vehicle from MG.
  • MG MG5 EV Exclusive Long Range 61 kWh: An luxurious version of MG’s EV.
  • MG ZS EV SE Long Range 73 kWh: MG’s long-range electric SUV.
  • MG ZS EV Trophy Long Range 73 kWh: The premium edition of MG’s ZS EV.
  • Peugeot e-2008 GT Premium 50 kWh: Peugeot’s electric SUV.
  • Polestar 2 Long Range SM Pilot 78 kWh: A high-range model option of the Polestar 2 on salary sacrifice.
  • Polestar 2 Long Range SM Plus 78 kWh: A premium offering from Polestar.
  • Polestar 2 Standard Range SM 64 kWh: Polestar’s standard range model.
  • Renault ZOE GT Line+ EV50 (rapid) 52kWh: Renault’s popular ZOE model with rapid charging.
  • Tesla Model 3 Long Range 75 kWh: Tesla’s renowned Model 3 with an impressive long range.
  • Tesla Model 3 Performance 82 kWh: The performance version of Tesla’s Model 3.
  • Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus 55 kWh: Tesla’s entry-level Model 3.
  • Tesla Model Y Long Range 75 kWh: A long-range version of Tesla’s Model Y.
  • Vauxhall Corsa-e GS Line 50 kWh: Vauxhall’s electric version of their popular Corsa model.
  • Vauxhall Corsa-e SRi Premium 50 kWh: A premium version of Vauxhall’s electric Corsa.
  • Vauxhall Mokka-e Ultimate Edition 50 kWh: Vauxhall’s electric SUV.

How do I apply for an elmo car subscription?

If you are looking to subscribe to elmo without a salary sacrifice, this is how you do it:

To start, make sure you have the following essential items to hand:

  • Your driving licence
  • Your national insurance number
  • A debit or credit card
  • Proof of address, which can be a bank statement or utility bill dated within the last 3 months.

These are all necessary for elmo to verify your details and onboard you. However, before you dive into the process, it’s make sure that you meet elmo’s eligibility criteria, you can do that here. Then you can set up an account, choose a vehicle and follow the onboarding steps online.

Applying as a business for salary sacrifice?

The steps are a little different.

The employer first needs to set up a business account with elmo. Then they need to sign a formal agreement with elmo.
Once the agreement is in place, the scheme is formally introduced to the workforce.

Interested employees can then request quotes for the EV they want. After these quotes are submitted, it’s up to the employer to review and, if satisfactory, approve them.

Following this, employees are required to sign the subscription agreement and register a personal elmo account. Then it’s ID verification; employees need to submit relevant identification documents.

Once elmo approves the ID (typically in 24 hours) the final step involves setting a delivery date for the car.

More> How Does Car Salary Sacrifice Work?

The final word on elmo car subscription

elmo offers a groundbreaking approach to electric vehicle usage, it throws the traditional ownership model out of the car window and onto the M25.

elmo’s subscription service brings together flexibility and comprehensive cover into one cohesive package. They offer the UK’s only fully-managed salary sacrifice scheme for electric cars, which is a real innovation for UK drivers. 

However, they have stringent eligibility criteria and age restrictions which might exclude certain potential drivers from subscribing to the scheme. 

The key takeaway is that for those who fit the criteria, elmo provides customers with a top end all-encompassing solution to use an EV without buying one outright.

Best Rated EV Salary Sacrifice Scheme
The Electric Car Scheme Salary Sacrifice
  • Competitive Prices
    Any brand, every model

  • Early Termination Protection
    From day 1 (excludes resignations)

  • All-Inclusive Package
    EV, Breakdown Cover, Insurance & Home Charger

  • B Corp Certified Business
    Highlights a dedication to sustainable and ethical business practices

Help if you’re struggling with debt from car subscriptions or leases

Late payments on car subscriptions or leases can lead to financial difficulties. If you find yourself struggling with debt from car subscriptions or leases, it is essential to seek professional guidance. Several debt advice services can help:

  • StepChange: StepChange offers debt management plans tailored to your situation
  • Citizens Advice: Offering free and confidential advice on managing debts.
  • National Debtline: National Debtline is a helpline specifically designed to assist with personal debt, including car subscription or lease obligations.
  • MoneyHelper (formerly The Money Advice Service): Providing tools and support to help you understand your options and make informed decisions.

Remember, the terms of car subscriptions and leases can vary significantly, so it’s really important to read and understand your specific agreements and obligations.

elmo review methodology

At Electric Car Guide, our review of elmo was conducted with impartiality and an in-depth understanding of what electric car users value. Here’s how we worked through our evaluation:

  1. Customer Feedback from Electric Car Guide: We surveyed users from our EV focus group. These insights offered us a firsthand view of real-world experiences and car subscription expectations, allowing us to frame our review around actual user needs and preferences.

  2. Reviews: We took into account both positive and negative reviews from Trustpilot. This provided a balanced perspective, acknowledging the praises and criticisms elmo has received from a diverse range of customers.

  3. Comparison with Competitors: We compared elmo’s features, offerings, and customer experience against their nearest competitors in the electric car subscription market. This enabled us to gauge elmo’s standing in the industry, highlighting its strengths and areas for improvement.

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