BMW Begins Testing Rental Service for Motorcycles

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BMW Motorrad is looking for new ways to get motorcyclists on the German brand’s two-wheelers, and as such BMW has created its “Rent a Ride” program. The name sort of gives things away, as the BMW “Rent a Ride” service is a short-term rental program that will be based out of BMW dealerships.

The concept is in its pilot phase right now, and focused on the German, Austrian, and French markets, with  two dealers from each of these markets having a small fleet of motorcycles that renters can choose from.

If successful, the BMW “Rent a Ride” program will be rolled out to all BMW Motorrad dealers, effectively giving the German brand the largest motorcycle rental network in the world.

This is a strong move by BMW Motorrad, as it not only adds a keen revenue-creating service to the brand, but it also creates a clever no-pressure way to cultivate sales from interested motorcyclists.

While some BMW dealers already offer a rental services like the one BMW Motorrad is developing (I have personally used the rental service at BMW Motorrad München, for instance), the “Rent a Ride” program seeks to unify these efforts under one easy to use mobile application.

Seeing how mobile apps have changed the rental car business, the goal with “Rend a Ride” is to make renting a motorcycle painless and easy. Bookings and payments are easily secured via the app, while BMW dealers handle briefing the rider on how to use the machine, as well as servicing the vehicle post-ride.

The first step in a larger process, BMW sees the “Rent a Ride” program as being analogous to the company’s “DriveNow” car service, which allows drivers to make short-term rentals on BMW cars, as part of a car-sharing network.

Of course, the larger goal here is to create a “motorcycles as a service” (MaaS) for motorcyclists. This is a trend we are almost certainly going to see more about in the coming years, and it is certainly a topic for a future conversation.

Until then, it would appear that BMW Motorrad just got on the ground floor of something much, much bigger than a rental service. Stay tuned.

Source: BMW Motorrad

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.