FILE PHOTO: A smartphone displaying the DriveNow app with cars available in Berlin’s city centre is held up next to a car from the DriveNow service in this picture illustration taken in Berlin, Germany, May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Stefanie Loos/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – BMW is expanding its car-sharing service DriveNow into five more London boroughs as the carmaker overcomes some of the barriers to operating across the city where firms need to strike agreements with separate local authorities.
Daimler axed its car2go operation from London in 2014 after it proved more difficult than anticipated to coordinate between 33 districts and encourage motorists out of their own cars.
BMW’s car club, which appeals to those who want to ditch vehicle ownership, has over 1 million users and 6,000 vehicles in several German cities, Vienna, London, Copenhagen, Brussels, Milan, Helsinki and Lisbon.
The scheme launched in London in 2014 and will go from four boroughs to nine with its expansion into Westminster, Barnet, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Brent, widening its total fleet to 720 BMW and Mini cars in Britain’s capital city.
“It was always the vision of DriveNow to expand to more parts of London and underlines the great potential that we have seen in this city from the start,” said DriveNow CEO Sebastian Hofelich.
Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison