Purchase or subscribe to an AutoCAD program

Subscribing to AutoCAD is a hot topic right now. As we already know, changes are happening regarding the licensing of AutoCAD programs. It is necessary to switch from permanent licenses to AutoCAD subscription. Let’s look more about the advantages and disadvantages of subscribing to AutoCAD program.

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Purchasing vs subscribing AutoCAD program

Since purchasing permanent licenses for AutoCAD is no longer possible, we will focus on AutoCAD subscriptions. As we know, cars and aparments are not the only things you can rent for a limited time today. You can also rent (subscribe) a software. In this article, we will analyze what is more useful fort he typical user – buying or subscribing to a software.

Some CAD programs are still available as permanent licenses, but there is also a subscription option. Both forms have their advantages.

CAD subscription – advantages:

  • Less costs in advance. In case you can subscribe to a CAD / BIM program for a few months, it allows you to get to know the program and think about a long-term investment in the meantime.
  • Always updated. The CAD subscription price usually includes all program updates.
  • Support included. The subscription also mainly includes customer support.

CAD subscription – disadvantages:

  • Long-term CAD subscription costs. Although subscription is cheaper if you pay in advance, in the long run it will cost you more than buying the software. In practice, it is generally the case that the price of a two-year subscription is equal to the price of a permanent license. However, we are not talking about AutoCAD subscription here. If you plan to work with the software for a long time, consider buying.
  • Contractual obligations of CAD subscription. Signing the subscription obliges you to act in accordance with the terms and conditions of the subscription for the duration of the contract. Even if you stop using the software or it becomes obsolete, you must continue paying until the date specified in the contract.
  • Changing prices and conditions. CAD subscription provider can change the licensing process as well as the price, which reduces the customers control over costs.

CAD purchase of a permanent license – advantages:

  • Lower price. Because you only need to make one prepayment, the total cost will be lower than if you leased the software at the same time. Training, installation and maintenance costs are also more acceptable.
  • No additional costs. Pay directly and own the software forever. You will never have to worry about monthly or annual expenses. Unless you want to arrange software maintenance.
  • Program ownership. When you buy software, it becomes an asset, ie the property of your company. This is much better than CAD subscription, which binds you to a contract.
  • Decision-making independence. Here you can decide when and how, if at all, you want to upgrade your program to a newer version. No one has the right to interrupt the operation of your program.

CAD purchase of a permanent license – disadvantages:

  • Advance costs. For pricier programs this can be crucial as you have to pay a larger amount of money in advance to purchase the software. This means you need to have a higher cash flow to be able to afford such costs. However, with CAD alternatives this is not a problem.
  • No reclamation / replacement. Once the transaction is complete, you usually cannot refund the money. For most software companies, it doesn’t matter if you like the program or not – you’ve already bought it, there’s no refund or complaint. For this reason, there are demo versions of the program.
  • Upgrade not included (if you don’t have a maintenance and support contract)
  • Support costs (if you don’t have a maintenance and support contract).

Sometimes buying CAD software directly is a better option for you or your business that subscribing to CAD software. This is especially true if you plan to use the software for an extended period of time ori f you need to purchase the program for licensing.

CAD subscription – overview

According to our analysis, buying a permanent license with a software maintenance contract (at least fort he first year of use) is the best decision, better than subscribing to CAD software. The license maintenance agreement equates to all the software subscription benefits we have listed. Namely, maintenance and support (a certain monthly / annual cost) allow you to receive technical support, turn on notifications, upgrade to the latest version of the program, and usually include a course.

Purchasing a permanent license without maintenance and support does not allow anyone to guide you and help you learn the program. However, when it comes to CAD software, this is not a big problem. Namely, all CAD alternatives work in the same way, have the same functionality and a very similar user interface.

Thus, purchasing a permanent CAD license is, according to this analysis, is a better option than an AutoCAD subscription. This article will help you evaluate for yourself.

CAD alternatives

There are several different CAD programs that offer the same functionality and a very similar user interface as AutoCAD, but are much more affordable and in the form of permanent licenses. All CAD programs are fully compatible with each other, so try a CAD alternative like GstarCAD.