Forget leasing. Drive a new e-tron Sportback for a year instead and then trade it in.
Audi has announced it will follow Porsche into longer-term rentals with its new Audi on-demand service.
Audi has rebranded its Silvercar rental service to follow the Porsche subscription model more closely. Like Porsche, which expanded its Porsche Drive service to include electrified offerings, Audi is also doing the same by adding the e-tron Sportback to its rental fleet.
Audi says the rental offerings will be app-based but only available via participating Audi dealers. Presently, there are 38 dealers on board across the country, and more are expected to join shortly. With the rebrand, the service grows to include more cars, dealers, and access for the brand's customers. The expanded effort and rebrand are there to "meet and adapt to consumers' evolving mobility needs," says the carmaker.
Via the Audi on-demand program, dealers will offer rentals with flexible terms. Those can include daily, weekly, and monthly options. Dealers will also provide a range of pickup and delivery options for customers. Audi, however, does not specify what its longer-term options will look like.
It says it will offer rentals "in some cases up to 1 year." We should also note that if you're looking to rent an e-tron Sportback, Audi on demand is the only place you'll be able to do it. Unless someone has one on offer via Turo or a similar private-party rental app.
"Consumer behaviors are changing and Audi is listening. Audi on demand allows us to meet the growing need for short-term and long-term mobility experiences - local rental options, longer test drives, flexible short-term transportation, and lease bridges - addressing consumer demands and expectations in today's rapidly changing travel environment," said Sara Whiffen, VP of Strategy, Mobility & Retail Operations at Audi of America."
Currently, Volkswagen Group companies like Porsche and Audi are the only ones offering long-term rental strategies as an alternative to a traditional lease. If these brands continue to see success from this new type of business model, we could see more manufacturers begin to enter the space.