BMW has an i for a deal! The German firm has just announced that it has signed a 50:50 joint venture deal with car rental firm Sixt to provide a premium car sharing service.
Called DriveNow, and marketed under BMW’s new i sub brand, the scheme will allow registered users to pick up MINI and BMW cars in Munich and Berlin. There are no fixed hire points, you just locate your nearest car using a website or smartphone app and the car is opened using a chip in the driver’s license so there’s no need for car keys.
Prices are fixed too. Users sign up for a one-off fee of €29 (£25), and then all-inclusive car hire costs 29 cents (25p) per minute, with MINI Cooper fees capped at €14.90 (£13) per hour. Users can also keep hold of the car for 10 cents (9p) per hour when they aren’t driving it.
The scheme is open to all drivers, but those aged between 18 and 21 have to take an extra driving safety test before they can hire a car.
The scheme starts in Munich next month using 300 BMW 1 Series and MINI vehicles. Berlin comes next, with 500 vehicles, with the aim being that a DriveNow user is never more than 500 metres from a hire car.
Sixt will provide its car-hire know-how, IT systems and details of its customer database
BMW hopes to expand the scheme to more cities in Europe, and to more continents with the goal of having one million DriveNow members by 2020.