BMW Really Wants Mini Owners to Rent Out Their Cars

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
bmw really wants mini owners to rent out their cars

“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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4 of 26 comments
  • FifaCup Loving both Interior and exterior designs.
  • FifaCup This is not good for the auto industry
  • Jeff S This would be a good commuter vehicle especially for those working in a large metropolitan area. The only thing is that by the time you put airbags, backup cameras, and a few of the other required safety features this car would no longer be simple and the price would be not much cheaper than a subcompact. I like the idea but I doubt a car like this would get marketed in anyplace besides Europe and the 3rd World.
  • ScarecrowRepair That's what I came to say!
  • Inside Looking Out " the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union. "Wrong. The car you are talking about was the product German engineering, East German. It's name was Trabant.