Upgrade your BMW with an app

Posted: 11 April 2018 10:04 am


Fed-up with your Beamer? Soon, you’ll be able to upgrade it using a new subscription service.

BMW is trialling a new service that lets drivers change their BMW for a flat monthly fee. The pilot will take place in Nashville, Tennessee.

Under the scheme, called “Access by BMW”, users can order a new BMW through an iPhone or Android app. A concierge for the company will then personally hand over the vehicle at a convenient time and location. Each car is professionally detailed and pre-loaded with the driver’s preferences and a full tank of fuel.

Drive a different BMW each month

There’s no limit to the number of times a user can switch BMWs in a month, but participants will pay handsomely for the privilege. There are two options available, Legend and M. Legend grade cars cost US$2,000 per month and include the 4 Series (convertible option), 5 Series, X5 SUV (plus a hybrid option) and the sporty M2 Coupe.

M tier customers shell out US$3,700 per month. This level opens up models from BMW’s Motorsport performance division and includes the M4 Convertible, the new M5, the M6 as a convertible and the X5 / X6 SUV M models.

Appealing to Airbnb and Uber consumers

CEO of BMW USA financial services Ian Smith said this new offering will appeal to the service subscription market.

“As customers continue to explore the growing mobility market, service-related offerings are becoming more in demand. With Access by BMW, our members will enjoy the freedom of personal mobility with access across a broad range of our highly emotional vehicles.”

“Subscription-based services are of emerging interest for our customers, and we’re excited to be offering a mobility service to meet their individual and evolving needs.”

BMW joining Porsche, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz

BMW is not alone in offering cars on demand. Porsche launched its own service, the Porsche Passport program. For US$2,000, subscribers can drive a 718, Cayenne or Macan. Porsche's top tier is a good US$700 cheaper than BMW’s premium grade, at US$3,000 which gives access to 22 models, including the 911.

Mercedes-Benz announced in January it would offer a subscription car service in the future. Volvo USA runs “Care by Volvo”, which combines car payments, servicing and insurance into one monthly fee, on a 12-month contract. Ford operates a similar car subscription service and it looks like Audi will launch something soon after acquiring a car rental firm. Cadillac also has a similar service, charging US$1,500 for full access to its model range.

Will these car subscription programs come to Australia?

Not in the immediate future, but it's likely in the long-term, especially if these schemes prove popular elsewhere.

If you don’t fancy spending thousands a month on a BMW or waiting for this new service to launch, you can compare dozens of BMW financing options with finder.

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