BMW to Allow "On Demand" Rentals of New Vehicles

By Jacob Brown | July 23, 2012
With Zipcar and Relay Rides taking off, it's hard to ignore short-term vehicle rentals and the booming business it brings in. BMW has taken notice, launching the makings for its BMW On Demand USA rental program. Piloting BMW On Demand in the New York City area—near its Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, headquarters—BMW will start renting its cars by the hour, day, or week. It will likely serve two capacities: allowing people who need a premium vehicle the ability to rent one for special occasions, or giving people looking to purchase a BMW an extended opportunity to drive one. It will start with a small fleet of BMW 328i sedans and, if successful, will expand from there to other major metropolitan areas like Boston and Los Angeles. Overseas, BMW has used its on-demand service to rent out everything from BMW 1 Series to 7 Series and M5 sports sedans. BMW is looking at potentially rolling out its rental car program to smaller markets, too, to take advantage of traditional markets instead of just urban environments where Zipcar thrives.
So far, BMW has been very sparse with details, launching its website for BMW On Demand USA as a dummy mockup with no clickable hyperlinks. It is expected that BMW On Demand USA will begin in August, testing the waters before putting more than the initial batch of 328i sedans into service. As no other automaker has an in-house program resembling BMW On Demand, it will be interesting to see how they respond if this program proves successful. Furthermore, we're looking forward to seeing how the automaker will handle renting out 400- and 500-plus-horsepower sports cars, if it chooses to go that route. And we hope it does. Source: BMW On Demand USA