Audi to roll out upmarket car sharing scheme

  • High-end schemes deliver cars to users
  • Drivers can pay an hourly or daily rate
  • Cars delivered fuelled and fully insured

Audi is set to introduce a pay-per-use car sharing scheme in 15 countries around the world, following trials in Europe, Asia and the USA.

Unlike existing car share setups, the company claims that its version offers a much more premium service mediated by car dealers – to ensure that vehicles are well maintained, clean and fuelled – which will place it a rung above conventional alternatives.

Audi On Demand delivers cars to urban destinations

‘For me it’s not a premium service to get a car that’s dirty and not fuelled’, states Audi sales and marketing chief Dietmar Voggenreiter. ‘That’s why we said we will focus on the premium car sharing solution – we call it Audi On Demand – where you can get the car to your house, a concierge can bring you your car, but also you can pick it up at a station and the car is clean, maintained and fuelled.’

The On Demand service – currently available at Munich airport and in San Francisco – will be pricier than more mainstream alternatives, Voggenreiter concedes, but feedback to trials has been very good, he stresses. Cars can be booked online and delivered with a full fuel tank and comprehensive insurance included.

Audi At Home provides car share service to apartment blocks

Another service to be offered by the company is Audi At Home, which will provide cars for apartment blocks to share. This has already been started in Hong Kong, while some big companies have also requested a similar service, states Voggenreiter. This means that employees can use taxi services during the week and then borrow an Audi at the weekend to head out of town.

Audi has big ambitions for its schemes, piggybacking on the dealer network’s demonstrators and courtesy cars, which should help it to grow more quickly than alternative car share options. ‘A strategic advantage for us with this service is that we have more than 3,000 dealers worldwide’, says Voggenreiter.’ Think about your dealers; they have demonstrators, they have courtesy cars. The utility rate of the courtesy cars on the weekend is typically low.’

Drivers pay an hourly or daily rate to hire Audi

Audi is rolling out its car share schemes across the next handful of countries this year, with the services likely to be available across 15 countries in the next few years.

Some users borrow a car for just a few hours, while others take one for the whole weekend, claims Voggenreiter. As a result, payment for these schemes is made on a pay-per-use basis, with drivers paying an hourly or daily rate.