BMW are preparing to launch a ‘grab-and-go’ car hire system in the city of London - in an exciting move that has been dubbed as the ‘'four-wheeled rival to the Boris Bike''. The scheme is set to be released in early 2015.
The German manufacturing super-power has combined with rental company ‘Sixt’ to form DriveNow; a system they hope will garner significant rewards. It’s certainly ambitious, and a risk, but an impressive undertaking by the Bavarian giant whose reputation and demand is currently sky high. According to ‘Car Magazine’: The vehicles will be stationed at various points within London – and the scheme is set to be part of BMW’s mission to become a mobility services provider, happy to pander to the increasing development of the car hire market and also continue on their traditional selling path.
DriveNow isn’t a new scheme – it’s been in Germany since its formation in 2011 where members pay a 29 euro registration fee that provides them with the ability to rent cars off the street in a scheme that’s cheaper than a London Cab.
Cars will be located and reserved via the use of a smartphone app - and customers will not have to incure any petrol costs with the use of a special re-fuelling cards qualifying the specified driver for a free mileage bonus. Mayor Boris Johnson has backed greater incentives for Londoners to drive cleaner vehicles, and will undoubtedly be delighted at the fact the BMW i3 electric car will be the championing the scheme.
So, is this seemingly unflappable scheme heading near you? Well, at the moment no areas are confirmed, but Haringey and Hackney have been highlighted as likely. BMW, would ideally, like the scheme to extend an olive branch to residents of all 32 boroughs, and Westminster will remain a key battleground; and determiner of success, or indeed failure of the incentive on UK shores.
The plans will act as a rival on a European scale to the increasingly popular ‘Autolib’ which features in Paris and has upwards of 53,000 users and an extensive fleet of 2,000 plug-in cars. The market for this type of system, is unarguably booming and you can’t help but feel there’s a ‘now or never’ mentality for this in the UK. I’m sure we’re not the only ones witha great sense of intrigue over this.