Porsche to Strangers: Borrow Our Cars
Having already introduced a subscription service for its vehicles, Porsche decided to continue experimenting with alternatives to traditional car ownership. The luxury brand plans to launch two pilot programs on both U.S. coasts (condolences to America’s Heartland) aimed at encouraging drivers to get behind the wheel of a Porsche for brief periods of time.
The first, overseen by Porsche Cars North America, will test exclusively within the Atlanta area, near Porsche’s North American headquarters. Called Porsche Drive, the pilot program launched a few days ago and offers hourly to weekly rentals of new Porsche cars and SUVs. Meanwhile, a second joint venture with peer-to-peer car rental company Turo will service San Francisco and Los Angeles starting next month. That endeavor focuses on the sharing of already purchased (new and vintage) Porsche vehicles by owners inclined to share them.
Turo has roughly 300,000 car listings on its site and operates in almost 60 countries. It seems the company’s broad reach intrigued the German brand, which is a popular rental option on the company’s website.
“The collaboration with Porsche is a fantastic opportunity to reach a large number of enthusiasts via our marketplace,” said Andre Haddad, CEO of Turo. “I have always been a Porsche fan myself, and I enjoy the feeling of handing over the keys to my own 911 to another Porsche connoisseur for a short time.”
Haddad lists his car for $200 a day, making him eligible for a program that selects enthusiastic Porsche owners for special training at Porsche’s Experience Center in Los Angeles. On October 8th, Turo will create a page on its website listing all the specially selected “Porsche Hosts” in one place.
The Atlanta deal is a little different. Porsche Drive, which started in Europe, allows Atlanta-area customers to take out a new model for a few hours or a full week. Pricing is dependent on the vehicle’s value and time. For example, a four-hour rental of a 718 will set you back $269. But you can snag a 911 at just under $3,000 for a full week.
Drive’s European pricing, which should be indicative of the American pilot program, bundles the 718 and Macan together. The Cayenne is slightly more expensive with the Panamera another tier higher. The 911 will be the most expensive model available, at roughly $100 more than the cheapest options over a four-hour stretch — which is the minimum timeframe Porsche allows in the United States.
It’s a pretty crummy contract if you’re looking to own a Porsche, though it’s not a bad deal if you just want to enhance your social media presence with a fancy car you can’t actually afford. Four hours is more than enough time to take some photos of yourself with the car and record videos of yourself overtaking on the highway. It’s sure to make your friends jealous, at least until they figure out what happened. But it also might be a good way to make some pocket change while introducing new customers to what is has to offer. Two days with a Porsche 911 or 718 Boxster is more than enough time to become enamored with it.
A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
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