The car comes, the car goes: vehicle subscriptions are in line with the spirit of the times. You pay a monthly sum and don’t have to worry about anything. The attention is all the greater when a discounter like Lidl, together with a partner, puts together an offer that not only costs little, but also offers a comparatively large amount. That was the case at the end of June. For 222 euros, customers should be able to book the Chinese electric car “Finn” from the German car company Elaris for a year (read more here).

The campaign by Lidl and Like2Drive met with great interest, and the vehicles were sold in no time. At that time it was said that the delivery of the small city runabouts should be made within ten to 14 weeks, i.e. by mid-October. But as the star learned, nothing came of it.

The subscription provider Like2Drive recently contacted the waiting customers and wrote: “Today we found out from the manufacturer that the Elaris you ordered will unfortunately not be produced.” The original deal fell through. But: Like2Drive didn’t want to leave the customers out in the rain and made an even better offer.

For the same cost, Like2Drive offered to deliver, for example, a Fiat 500-e Icon instead of the Chinese no-name car. Normally the cost of a subscription with this vehicle is 359 euros – the deal was more than fair. It went on to say: “The pick-up locations for the model are within 6 weeks in Düren, Hamburg, Berlin or Osnabrück. If you would like a different pick-up location, this would also be possible. We can offer you the vehicle at all other locations from the end of December.”

Perfect, thought one stern reader – and agreed on the same day. Not a day later, Like2Drive got in touch again and wrote: “Unfortunately, we have to inform you that the Fiat is no longer available for short-term collection within the 6 weeks [at your location]. The vehicle would not be there again until January available.”

When asked how this could happen, Like2Drive wrote to the star: “The information [that Elaris does not deliver, editor’s note] came as a surprise to us too and we are working flat out on a solution. Specifically, this means that we offer the customer group affected a vehicle alternative. Compensation is made with a significantly higher quality and more expensive vehicle. We are in contact with the relevant customers and are doing everything we can to get them mobile quickly with the alternative. We have already been successful with a large number of customers with another vehicle. However, we ask for your understanding if there may be slight delays in exceptional cases due to the unexpected delivery bottleneck from Elaris Finn.”

Like2Drive promises to want to fulfill the subscriptions in accordance with the contract. For customers who do not yet have a vehicle, it is therefore necessary to keep waiting.

Meanwhile, Elaris also spoke up. Regarding the question of what actually became of the promised Elaris, which has now completely disappeared from the Like2Drive range, it says: “Indeed, due to a patent dispute with the subscription provider Finn:Auto, delivery was delayed. This could only be terminated by mutual agreement in these days. The Erlaris Finn is now called Elaris Dyo.”

The agreement with the provider also means that Elaris now wants to build the vehicles after all. The company from Bavaria further explains: “1,500 Elaris Dyo will be manufactured in November and will be delivered in Germany in January – all pre-ordered vehicles of the LIDL campaign will also be delivered then.”

It is unclear whether Like2Drive will now fulfill the outstanding subscriptions with replacement vehicles or the car originally offered. It is said that one continues to work with the customer on individual solutions and if the vehicles are suddenly in the yard, one will continue to look. In any case, anyone who gets the Fiat 500-e Icon at that price has made a very good deal.