BMW is joining the growing list of automakers that are experimenting with different ownership models by launching a new monthly subscription service that gives customers access to a fleet of BMWs for a set fee.
The new app-based service, dubbed Access, will launch first in Nashville before BMW decides to bring it to other markets, according to Bloomberg. For $2,000 a month, users can choose between models like the X5 SUV, 4 Series, and 5 Series sedans, including all plug-in hybrid versions. For the higher-tier $3,700-a-month fee, they can get M4, M5, or M6 convertibles, as well as X5M and X6M SUVs, but it doesn’t include access to BMW’s highest-end 7 series. The fee includes insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance, BMW says.
fee includes insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance
That would make BMW’s among the priciest of these new subscription services. As such, the German automaker is pulling out all the stops:
Once a vehicle has been requested, a BMW concierge will personally deliver the vehicle most closely matching the member’s needs to their location at the desired time. Vehicles arrive fully fueled and freshly detailed with personal preferences already pre-set. There is no limit to how often members can switch vehicles within a given month.
“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,” said Ian Smith, CEO of BMW’s financial services in North America, in a statement.
BMW joins the likes of Audi, Cadillac, and Porsche in offering customers a simplified payment structure and the flexibility to swap to a newer car sooner than a traditional lease or finance plan, or a higher-quality vehicle than a daily rental from the airport.
Still, the top-tier $3,700-a-month plan is almost three times the cost of leasing an M5 sedan in the Nashville area (though a lease requires a down payment of $5,724 and doesn’t include insurance and maintenance).
BMW’s new service puts it on par with Porsche’s Passport, which ranges from $2,000 / month for models such as the 718 Boxster, the 718 Cayman S, and six other Porsche models, to $3,000 / month for all 22 models, including a Cayenne E-Hybrid. Cadillac charges customers a flat $1,500 a month for its Book subscription service.
The news comes after BMW announced that it would be merging its car-sharing and other mobility businesses with its archrival Daimler. The deal means that Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow/ReachNow services would operate in tandem.
BMW is also the rare car company that plans to charge a monthly fee to owners who want to use Apple’s popular CarPlay system in their vehicles. Most automakers offer CarPlay or Android Auto as a standard feature.