The sharing economy has exploded in the past couple of years as we become more socially connected and more mindful of our impact on the environment. With the touch of a button, It’s now possible to rent your possessions, space and services with a rapidly growing community of peer-to-peer sharers. Gone are the days when you’d have to purchase an item for a single use before throwing it into landfill or let it gather dust in storage. Sharing cuts down on waste, and breathes new life into underutilised assets. MINI is looking to make their mark in this field by launching a new peer-to-peer car sharing platform that allows owners to rent their cars when not in use, while also giving drivers the opportunity to experience what driving a MINI is all about. A win-win for everyone.
One of the coolest aspects of the platform is how easy it is to use. Owners can register up to ten guests to have access to their car. The availability of the vehicle is displayed in a calendar on the app, which lets guests reserve the car when there are openings. The owner can also upgrade people to VIP members who will have access to the vehicle at any time without a reservation. Once the arrangements have been made, your smartphone acts as the key, able to unlock the car and start it with the ignition button. When you are finished, you simply drop it off at a predetermined location and the app will automatically charge your usage to your account. The initial car sharing trial will occur in Madrid, but MINI plans to expand its locations in the near future.
We’re big fans of the technology involved, with only a smartphone being required to gain access and get you on your way. It makes sense in contrast to many car rental options that require you to travel to their dealership to pick up the key. As this project continues to expand we expect that there will eventually a constantly moving fleet of available vehicles, with options consistently available closer to your doorstep.
We predict this car sharing platform will be a big hit down under when it arrives. It’s ideal for those living in a city with decent public transport that may not need to own a car. No strangers to the range of MINIs, we can vouch for the unique experience and enjoyment you get from driving one. It can take the most mundane journey and turn it into an exciting one. We’re excited to see where it goes next and hope other car manufacturers join in soon too.