How you can drive up to three new vehicles a month at Naperville dealership

There's buying a car, borrowing a car, leasing a car, inheriting a car, renting a car, and now, at a family-owned dealership in Naperville, there's a new option: subscribing to a car.

But with the Shift by Bill Jacobs program, members won't be subscribing to only one vehicle. Instead, with a monthly payment of $1,495 after a $500 activation fee, members will have access to three "flips" a month, each giving them use of a new vehicle from a list of luxury rides including Audis, BMWs, Land Rovers, Mercedes-Benzes and Porsches.

Leigh Martino, operations manager of Shift By Bill Jacobs, said the dealership heard of the subscription idea at a convention about a year ago and decided to be the first in the area to offer it.

Flexibility and convenience are some of the key components of the subscription plan, which also includes insurance coverage under a fleet policy held by the dealership, maintenance, roadside assistance and cleaning and delivery of each new "flip" vehicle by a concierge, who will transfer items and install saved settings such as seat placement and radio station choices.

"Every time the customer gets a brand-new car, those settings are the same," Martino said, "because it's supposed to feel like your car, not a rental."

Sedans, SUVs, trucks, coupes and convertibles are part of the launch fleet for the program, which began last week. Vehicles are made by the four brands Bill Jacobs sells - BMW, Land Rover, Mini and Volkswagen - as well as by other manufacturers. Most have a suggested retail price around $60,000.

"You can drive a convertible one day with two seats and limited space," Martino said. "And you can have a pickup truck the next day."

A variety of available vehicles will help Shift customers meet driving needs for various purposes, such as visiting the beach, moving a student into a college dorm, going on a date, taking a road trip, surviving the daily commute or completing everyday errands.

"It's really meant to be stress-free," she said.

With Martino as operations manager, the program also includes four Bill Jacobs employees as concierges who will wash and quality check each requested vehicle, drive it to the customer's chosen location, fill it up with gas immediately before arriving and answer questions. Nic Cortellini, a concierge whose other title at the dealership is BMW Genius, said he expects one common question to be "How do I sync my phone?" and he'll be ready to help.

"We want them to understand the vehicle so they get the best use of everything," Cortellini said.

Shift customers and concierges communicate through an app provided by Clutch Technologies of Atlanta, Martino said. The app allows members to describe what they'd like in their next "flip" vehicle, such as something "fun and sporty," and to request a delivery window for the car to arrive, as long as it's at least three hours in advance.

Joining the program requires a background check of criminal and driving history. And participants must live within a 50-mile radius of the Bill Jacobs dealerships in Naperville, or be willing to meet for vehicle delivery within the 50-mile zone.

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