In a move with major ramifications for the global automotive industry, BMW has begun a pilot scheme renting its vehicles on an hourly basis over the internet. Research shows the average car is parked more than 90% of the time, indicating a terrible waste of our personal resources to buy and maintain such an underutilized capital investment. So BMW’s decision to begin renting its entire model range of premium segment cars (e.g. M and 7 series at EUR32 - US$ 44.60 per hour including insurance, cleaning and servicing through to 1 Series cars at half that rate) could accelerate big changes in the way we access and pay for our personal mobility. The 12 month 'BMW on Demand' pilot project will begin from its hometown showcase dealership in Munich, with a second phase seeing the scheme extended to other locations.

The move will enable a great deal more flexibility in what we drive as customers who adopt this new system instead of buying or leasing, will be able to make a fresh decision each time about the model of BMW they wish to drive. They may choose a 7 Series BMW Saloon for an important meeting one day, a BMW 1 Series for some around town shopping the next, and a Z4 for a weekend trip, all in the same week.

The desired BMW model can be booked in the color and with the equipment the driver prefers and dedicated staff will be available at a separate "BMW on Demand" counter in participating dealerships. Renting will be available three ways - online, telephone or in person and the hourly rate will vary depending on the model and the time of day.

At the daytime rate, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., a maximum of four hours will be charged, or a maximum of two hours at the nighttime rate between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m..