Car sharing in the UK, London especially, has been a hotly discussed topic – especially where Uber is concerned. The American on-demand car-sharing service has rubbed up black cab drivers in the UK’s capital the wrong way since it launched. Many have complained that it damages the livelihoods of cabbies, in addition to the fact it operates illegally by using smartphones as taximeters. That debate was put to bed, at least for the time being, as the High Court ruled Uber doesn’t actually break any laws. DriveNow is another disruptive on-demand car-sharing service, albeit one with the backing of BMW and Sixt. Modernising the concept of car rentals, the business allows Londoners to reserve a car via mobile apps at the spur of the moment and drive it across the city, should they wish to avoid public transport. “Free-floating” service DriveNow has a fleet of 290 vehicles comprising the BMW 1 Series, Mini Countryman and BMW i3, and has now landed a deal with London City Airport. “We are committed to giving Londoners a fully flexible solution to traditional transport methods – our partnership with London City Airport gives our customers a flexible way to travel in and out of the capital,” said Joseph Seal-Driver, MD of DriveNow UK. “London City is the first airport to adopt DriveNow’s car-sharing service and we’re excited to be connecting London even closer to our other European cities.”
The partnership will allow travellers to pick up a car directly from the terminal to enhance their travel, leaving it within the catchment areas in North or East London. Alternatively, people can collect a vehicle en route to the airport and leave it there. Fees incurred are measured as 39p per minute, as well as fuel costs, while parking, insurance and car tax are included. Tom Murphy, commercial manager at London City Airport, added: “We pride ourselves on offering the best possible experience for customers. This new partnership with DriveNow offers more choice for passengers to make their journey as convenient as possible.” Prior to launching in London in December 2014, DriveNow arrive in Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, San Francisco and Vienna. We spoke with business development manager Rosie Thompson-Agnew at the launch of SEUK in March 2015, when she told Real Business: “I look at small, medium and large businesses, as well as individuals. It’s very much for companies who want a cost efficient and sustainable alternative to fleet/hire cars or taxis. “We’re making car use fit the way people and businesses want to live their lives, on-demand. For some people and businesses it doesn’t make sense to own a car when you just need one on an occasional basis.” By Zen Terrelonge
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