BMW pilots online car rental scheme


October 26, 2010

Luxury personal mobility could become infinitely more flexible and without the need for massive capital investment thanks to the BMW scheme

Luxury personal mobility could become infinitely more flexible and without the need for massive capital investment thanks to the BMW scheme

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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..

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

Not a good idea! When I have my own car and I need to drive somewhere, I just go to my car. - My expenses of getting my car are almost zero!

But when I need to rent a car, I waste time browsing their web site, they are wasting time and fuel to bring car to me. - Overall expenses of getting a rented car are far from zero!

The \"Better Place\" project is much better in my opinion.

Facebook User

And this is different from any other rental in what way exactly?

The only thing I can see is that they will compete with there own costumers, the rental companies.

What am I missing?


Haha...this is a pipe dream. There is a market for rental cars, but it varies from culture to culture and market to market. Our office buildings stands empty for half the day too (and most weekends as well), and our homes mostly empty for the other half of the day. Do we have a need to rent those by the hour too? The problem with renting cars by the hour is that almost eveyrone needs a car during rush hour, and very fews needs it during off peak hours. It\'s about DEMAND. Having excess cars parked during off peak hours cannot be avoided, the demand is low during those times. Someone is going to have to pay for that car standing empty in a lot during off peak hours because it better be available once demand picks up over rush hour. The solution to having less cars on the road is better public transportation and more carpooling, not shuffling who owns the car. Owning a car brings peace of mind that you can be mobile when you the need or want arises. There\'s a price to pay for that mobility.


I have also heard about this car hiring service. Once upon a time I have been to Ireland with my family members and there has a scheme that if you hire a car for visiting places then the voucher of one day free package will be availed by luck draw prizes. This adds charm into lots of customers.

Rose Winslet
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