Toyota will soon launch a new “beloved” car subscription service in Japan called Kinto, which allows customers to freely choose their desired car enjoy it as they like. The programme is scheduled to start in early 2019.

The move, according to the automaker, is in the wake of a once-in-a-century transformational period where conventional vehicle ownership is shifting towards various new types of ownerships (brands such as Lynk & Co come to mind), such as car sharing, car leasing, and car rental services.

With Kinto (meaning flying nimbus in Japanese), customers can freely apply for a monthly fixed-sum service that has packaged procedures such as tax and insurance payments as well as vehicle maintenance.

Additionally, the programme – which will initially be trialled in Tokyo – will reward customers who carefully use the “beloved” car as though it were their own, with points being awarded for safe driving, as well as to those who drive in a more “environmentally sustainable” way. Other factors such as the utilisation of connect technology and regular visits to dealers will also be taken into account.


Akio Toyoda

“Cars have been loved by people for over 100 years since they were first developed for many reasons in addition to their convenience. Indeed, I believe that it is because they offer many joys to people, including the joy of ownership, the joy of driving, and the joy of mobility,” Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda said.

“As society shifts from owning cars to using cars, the Kinto ‘beloved’ car subscription service is a new proposal to enable customers to more freely enjoy cars. The service makes it easy to start life with a car as soon as the customer feels that they want one. Moreover, if the customer wants to try another car, they can change cars, and if they no longer need the car, they can return it,” he added.

“Going forward, we will not only convey the appeal of cars, but also engage in initiatives to enable customers to find more enjoyment in the future mobility society based on the idea of ‘continuing to offer mobility that is beloved,” Toyoda said.