It’s only available in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but could expand to other locations.
Members of General Motors' ride-sharing service Maven can now hold cars for up to 28 days in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The new offering is called Maven Reserve, and it expands on the daily and hourly service already in place in those areas. Users interested in a month-long commitment have only two vehicle choices – a Chevrolet Volt or Tahoe SUV – and it’s not exactly cheap. The Volt service costs $1,100, while the Tahoe jumps to $1,500. Those prices include insurance, a dedicated parking space, and $100 worth of fuel. There is no membership fee or other signup cost.
If it all sounds a bit steep, Maven Reserve does match up relatively close to what similar vehicles would cost through a traditional rental company, once insurance and add-ons like GPS are figured in. Few rental companies offer the Volt anyway, and reserved parking anywhere in a place like Los Angeles is something city dwellers can appreciate.
GM launched its car-sharing program in January 2016, offering members hourly and daily rentals on a variety of GM vehicles. Initially limited to the Southeast Michigan college town of Ann Arbor, the program has since expanded to include 17 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Once users have registered for the service, they download the Maven app to search for and reserve vehicles. The app is also used to unlock the vehicles and control a variety of other functions.
Since expanding to Los Angeles in October 2016, the car sharing service has seen local memberships grow an average of 56 percent each month. San Francisco has experienced similar growth since gaining the service in September. According to Urban Mobility and Maven Communications Manager, Annalisa Bluhm, Maven Reserve was developed due to these increases, but also out of demand for longer-term service in these areas.
For businesses or travelers requiring a long-term vehicle, Maven Reserve could be a viable alternative to a typical rental. For day-to-day life in the city, however, daily or hourly service is where car sharing is coming into its own. According to GM, Maven has more than 25,000 members that have made 32,000 reservations since the service began. Prices vary by location and vehicle, but the average cost for an hour of use is $8.00, and yes, you can reserve a car for just an hour.
In places like Chicago or New York where parking is limited and quite expensive, nixing car ownership in favor of a car-sharing program like Maven certainly has some appeal. If Maven Reserve takes off in LA and San Francisco, expect the program to become available in other cities soon.
Source: General Motors