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Audi hops on the car-sharing bandwagon with Audi on Demand

Audi wants to give rental car service the red carpet treatment.

Looking to compete with other premium vehicle sharing services such as Book by Cadillac and BMW ReachNow, Audi on Demand gives customers customizable rental options and access to complimentary extras such as bike or ski racks, child seats and whatever else they may need during their rental term.

The service, which launched in San Francisco in 2015, gives customers access to a full fleet of Audis, with the ability to rent for up to 28 days via their smartphone, and an Audi of their choice is brought directly to them.

Rentals range from $120-$1,235 per day depending on the model and customers have access to refueling services, Audi on Demand concierge, FasTrak tolls in the Bay Area, Wi-Fi hotspot services and unlimited mileage on certain models.

Though both services deliver the car to you, Book by Cadillac is a monthly subscription, and customers can keep the car as long as they’d like.

Book by Cadillac's subscription service lets customers keep their Caddy's for as long as they'd like for a hefty premium.

Audi appears to be following other automakers in shifting its focus away from direct sales as a way to appeal to customers in densely populated metro areas, where owning a car can be a nuisance.

This is not Audi’s only dabbling into the car-sharing business. The German automaker recently launched a pilot program out of Durham, North Carolina at the American Underground, a 115,000 square-foot tech incubator where it will test three fully-loaded 2017 A4 sedans that will be available to book via a corresponding smartphone app.

Audi also isn’t the only automaker dipping its toes into the car-sharing market. BMW’s ReachNow service in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City neighborhood lets customers share four i3 plug-in electric hybrids and two 3 series sedans. The bimmers can be booked via the ReachNow app, and there are plans in the near future to offer ride-sharing and valet service, as well. The service is part of a larger public fleet of 13,000 vehicles that charge by users by the minute, with flat rates for hourslong blocks, and day rates for up to five days.

BMW's ReachNow car-sharing program in the Battery Park City neighborhood of Lower Manhattan lets users share i3 electric plug-in hyrbids and 3 Series sedans for a fee.

General Motors’ Maven lets customers rent Chevrolet Volts and Sparks by the hour in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Mercedes’ parent company Daimler has the Car2Go app, which lets users access a fleet of street-parked Smart cars, primarily in urban areas such as the New York City area, Seattle and Washington D.C.

Though the service is only available in San Francisco, Audi on Demand has possible plans in development to expand elsewhere in the U.S., so you may soon be able to book an Audi of your own on your phone.

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