Germany’s BMW has announced their new car-sharing program, ReachNow, where customers will be able to rent out BMW’s and Mini’s and only pay a per minute rate, has launched in Seattle in a test phase before rolling out to other locations across the country.
ReachNow is geared towards those living in environments where having a car is not a daily necessity. Users can rent a car at 41 cents per minute (49 cents once the promotional period is over) and 30 cents per minute that the car is parked. For longer distances there are caps placed depending on how long the car is needed.
The prices can sound a bit steep, but these systems have already shown popularity as it frees drivers from having to worry about the cost of gas, insurance, maintenance, taxes, and even where to park, as designated drop off locations are set up for the cars.
BMW’s German rival Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has been running a similar service in the U.S. under the name Car2Go, and both welcomed the competition and warned the company about there being a “significant learning curve” ahead of them.
ReachNow isn’t an entirely new idea for BMW though, as they launched a similar program in Europe called DriveNow, and since its launch in 2011, the service has more than 450,000 users and has been able to drive a profit for the car company.
BMW is also allowing people to rent out their own car to be used by the service when they are out of town and there are plans to offer a chauffeur service in the future, possibly adding even more competition to Uber.