Audi on demand
Want…nay, demand an R8!
Audi is aiming to take a bite out of Uber, car rentals and cab companies with its new Audi on demand service, now in beta mode in San Francisco. People needing a car, for a minimum of four hours, can swipe their iPhone a few times and boom, an Audi shows up. Everything from a simple A4 to an RS7 and the new TT can be had, with a two-hour notice. We were in the Bay Area recently, semi-unrelated, and AOD hooked us up with a slick, red R8 V10 to cruise around for a few days.
The service works like this: Customers can download the free app, sign up with a credit card and rent an Audi for the day, week, or month. The app is easy to use. You start by picking your dates and times for the rental. After that you pick your car, and like we said, the service offers everything from small sedans to supercars, of course at varying prices. The A4 will run you $155 per day plus fees. A Q5 is $200 per day and the R8, which is the most expensive, will set you back $1,195 for the coupe, $1,285 for the Spyder. Audi was quick to point out that the cars shown in the app are the actual cars you get. Same color, trim and engine configuration.
Audi on demand i1
After a car is chosen, buyers get to select delivery and return modes, which include picking the car up at the company’s garage in San Francisco, curbside at any location or a private parking spot, as long as it’s within the city’s 7-square mile area and accessible 24/7. As of now the service is only available in the Bay Area, but expansion is in the works.
The first rental from the service comes with concierge delivery. That means an employee will be with the car waiting to hand over the keys, or your keycard, show you how to use the features and answer any other questions. They’ll also install bike and ski racks, if necessary. The keycard, which all customers get on their first rental, will open the car door and start the engine without the real key. This way after the first delivery customers can just have their car dropped off without meeting with anyone. The keycard works with the phone app too, transforming your smartphone into a key fob.
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Mileage is only limited for the S7, S8, RS5 and R8. Everything else is only limited by time. Audi on demand execs told us they could see customers renting a car to drive to Los Angeles, or even Lake Tahoe for the weekend, with something that will hold their family and luggage comfortably. All of the cars are the Premium Plus trim and above with navigation, and they’ll all have less than 10,000 miles.
Will this new service crush Uber, Lyft and other car sharing services into oblivion? Probably not, but it’s better than a short test drive if you’re looking to buy, and as convenient as any other service, as long as you’re in the San Francisco area. Audi says we can look for news of expansion next year. Go to audiondemand.com for more information.