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Audi's on-demand rental service expands

Audi on demand is less a subscription service and more a high-end rental program

Audi has become the latest car maker to roll out an on-demand new-car service as the wider industry continues to prepare for a post-ownership future.

The new service is called Audi on demand, and it has just made its debut in the UK, along with the United States, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Germany.

The idea is pretty straightforward; acting as a kind of premium new-car rental service, UK residents can choose a car from Audi’s fleet to borrow for periods of between one hour and 28 days. Each booking generates a QR code, and the driver then just needs to present a valid driving licence to grab their chosen Audi.

Audi handles all additional costs - like insurance, registrations and roadside assistance - with rental pricing starting from around 70 pounds ($122) per day, and stretching to around 190 pounds ($330). The on-demand fleet currently includes a range Audi hatchbacks, sedans and SUV, and the service will even deliver your rented wheels to wherever you are (within a 30-minute radius).

Audi isn’t alone in preparing for a future in which car ownership looks very different to today. Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, Porsche and FCA - among others - have all recently launched or announced subscription services that either bundle ownership costs into a monthly payment that gives a customer access to one or more vehicles in a company’s fleet, or allow you to borrow cars on an on-demand basis.

"Audi on demand is the premium mobility service with a difference. It neatly packages convenience, flexibility and ease of use into every booking and enables our customers to tap into a bespoke experience that is fitting of the Audi brand and maintains the exceptionally high levels of service that we are committed to from start to finish,” Audi’s UK director, Andrew Doyle.

"The traditional model of ownership is consistently evolving and this innovative concept firmly puts Audi UK ahead when it comes to meeting consumer demand and transforming into a digital premium car company."

Are on-demand services the future of new-car ownership? Tell us in the comments below.