By on April 26, 2016

2016 Mini Clubman

“Clean up the place when you’re done with it, and don’t even think of offering ‘hourly rates’ while you have it. This is a respectable car.”

Adds like this could start popping up from new Mini owners if the quirky automaker has its way, Automotive News Europe reports.

Mini plans to offer devices on its models that allow the owner to rent out their vehicle to other drivers, providing some cash for themselves and a Mini experience for non-owners.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW Group executive in charge of Mini, seems very excited about the technology, telling Automotive News that the system will be “kind of like Airbnb on wheels.”

The feature would be able to accept payments from renters and track the vehicle’s location via GPS, because no one wants their Mini to be the one that drove to and from the crime scene.

“There’ll be those who say, ‘Never, ever will I lend my car to strangers,'” said Schwarzenbauer. “Then there’ll be others who’ll love the idea of halving their leasing rate.”

A “ride renting” feature falls under the work BMW is doing in the realm of mobility services and connectivity. Under its new game plan, the automaker plans to continue the development of such technology alongside other goals, like the further electrification of its fleet (including Mini).

BMW claims the feature would be cheap and easy to install, and if the Mini experiment goes well, it could come to a Bimmer near you. There’s no word on when exactly it will become available, but Schwarzenbauer implies that it’s on its way soon.

Renting someone else’s BMW in order to impress a date could be a relationship game changer. Just keep in mind that you can be tracked by a concerned owner.

[Image: BMW Group]

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26 Comments on “BMW Really Wants Mini Owners to Rent Out Their Cars...”

  • avatar

    This “sharing economy” is getting to the point of absurdity while also highlighting the desperation of auto manufacturers to go to more silliness to lease/sell vehicles.

    This is strong evidence that the sea of liquidity, now having diminishing marginal returns, pumped out buoy the central banks during the last 7 1/2 years, is causing major stress fractures to form in the for action of the global economy yet again.

  • avatar

    Will there be an autocross/racetrack blocking feature in the electronics?

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    Hard to believe this won’t end in tears for many who would try this.

    (“I swear that big spot on the back seat was there when I picked it up!”)

    • 0 avatar

      Could not agree more. What if they have B O or B B O (beyond body odor). Good luck trying to get someone to steal your car.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s the part-time, independent contractor, freelance, uber/airbnb/Lyft/needle exchange economy, where 580 FICO score uber drivers (lucky if making minimum wage based on hours) can lease these by the dozen, and sub-rent them to two dozen double-extended-independent-contractors with 420 FICO scores also doing business as uber drivers as well as making pizza, Jimmy John’s, Pizza Hut WingStreet, and “pharmaceutical” deliveries.

  • avatar

    Renting a fancy car to impress people for dates didn’t even work for Blanche in Golden Girls. It has little hope in real life.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Needs a feature to limit engine revs to under 3K/minute in rental mode.

    • 0 avatar

      *Mechanical issues developed during rental miles excluded from warranty.
      *Rental miles included in lease mileage, charged at .50 cents/mile.
      *Maximum rental time is 35% of total driving time.
      *Recovery of rental theft vehicle at owner’s expense.
      *BMW USA not responsible for renter quality vetting.

  • avatar

    This nonsense may fly with those that view their vehicles as appliances. I doubt they’re the sort of people that tend to buy Minis though.

    Let a stranger drive my car? Might as well ask to use my toothbrush.

  • avatar

    Bubbled tires, square wheels and minor scrapes/dings/dents are all that one will actually get as compensation for whoring out their mini. And you know what? They deserve it for being so daft to do so in the first place. It gets real fun when somebody is nabbed with drugs in your car and it is collected by the police for keeps and later sale at auction.

  • avatar

    As a Mini driver/owner – no, no, and no. The Mini is the most tossable hoon car I’ve owned. Giving someone the ability to rent my Clubman S for the “experience” is not something I would do.

    I can see it already:

    “Oops, sorry about your clutch”

    “I couldn’t control the torque steer”

    “I thought I could take that corner!”

  • avatar

    Even ignoring the risk of damage and abuse from customers, the “share your car” thing doesn’t make sense to me just because the times I’m using my car – you know, commuting time – tend to be the time most people would need a car. Are there really a lot of people who want to rent my car between midnight and 7am on a weekday, the one time I don’t use it?

    Besides, part of the point of owning a car is that if I get a late-night craving for ice cream or something, I can just hop in my car and go without having to make sure someone hasn’t booked it already.

    The only scenario I could see this making sense is for a city dweller who owns a car, but takes public transportation to work.

    • 0 avatar

      So it would save your health if you rented your car, no fatty night time ice cream!

      Other thing – I just thought of. I sure as hell don’t want some stranger coming to my address at random hours at night to pick up my car.

      Waking the wife, dog, kids, and/or baby*.

      *I have none of these.

      • 0 avatar

        “I sure as hell don’t want some stranger coming to my address at random hours at night to pick up my car.”

        I sure as hell don’t want some stranger(s) coming in my car.


  • avatar

    Another reason why I don’t touch BMW and Mini. I’d rather drive my car off a cliff than let some yuppie hipster drive as a rental. Plus, most of them don’t drive stick anyway and I don’t drive automatic so it works out rather well.

  • avatar

    Given that many AIRBNB rentals have resulted in destroyed homes/ apartments and royally peeved owners/neighbors, only way I’d ever _rent_ a vehicle of mine would be if it was an older, somewhat beat up car. But hey, who pays the insurance costs of a car used for AIRBNB rental? Does AIRBNB provide the insurance? The renters (and how do you verify that?)? If it’s you (the owner of rental vehicle) you could end up in a world of hurt.

  • avatar

    Dude, check it out! Your car is in ANOTHER PORNO!!

  • avatar

    ?? April fools was weeks ago…..

    Surely they’re not serious ! .


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