Nissan hopes people will pay $699 a month to swap cars on demand

The Japanese company is the latest automaker to test a car subscription service.

Over the last couple of years, we've seen automakers like Porsche and Cadillac try their hand at car subscription services, and now Nissan is doing the same. Starting in Houston, the Japanese automaker is testing its new Switch service, which allows you to swap Nissan vehicles through a mobile app. Each time you order a new car, a dealership employee will deliver the vehicle to your home and explain all the ins-and-outs of the model.

The $699 per month entry-level "Select" plan gives you access to four cars -- the Altima, Rogue, Pathfinder and Frontier. For $200 more every month, you can upgrade to the Premium plan, which includes six additional vehicles -- the Leaf Plus, Maxima, Murano, Armada, Titan and 370Z. If you want to get really boughie and try out the GT-R, that's an additional $100 per day, and you can use it only for a maximum of seven consecutive days. After a $495 activation fee, the subscription fee covers delivery, cleaning, insurance, roadside assistance and standard maintenance.

While $699 is a lot to pay to swap cars on a whim, Nissan Switch compares favorably to some of the other car subscription services out there. By no means is it cheap, but it is less expensive than Porsche's Passport service, which starts at $2,100 per month. When Cadillac offered its Book service, it was $1,500 per month. In any case, it's easy to see why automakers are so willing to try testing these types of services, even if they're more expensive than most people can afford. It's about creating a source of recurring revenue in a world where car ownership is on the decline and people are trying to get away from expensive commitments.