BMW and rental car company Sixt have launched a car sharing service in London. The DriveNow program made its U.S. debut last year and it has been live in Germany since 2011.

The service already has 360,000 customers in seven locations (Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Vienna and San Francisco) and is today available in three London boroughs – Islington, Hackney and Haringey.

Initially, 210 BMW 1 Series and MINI Countryman models will be available. DriveNow furthermore intends to add 30 all-electric BMW i3 cars to the London fleet in spring 2015, expanding it to a total of 300 vehicles during the course of next year. The program will start off by serving an area around 65 square kilometres (25 sq. miles) in size.

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Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG and responsible for Mobility Services, comments: “DriveNow is already an international success, with more than 360,000 regular customers in Europe and America and we are delighted now to launch it in London, Europe’s largest city. DriveNow gives Londoners instant access to highly desirable cars, perfect for the city, in an innovative and entirely flexible way. This program is part of BMW Group’s strategic response to the growth in urban living and shared ownership. Our aim is to expand it into about 15 more cities in Europe and about 10 in North America in the future.”

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Every journey is charged to the exact minute, with each minute of driving in London costing 39 pence. The hourly rate is capped at £20, so that customers save £3.40 per 60-minute hire. Each minute in the reserved park mode costs 19 pence. As in Germany, DriveNow additionally offers saver packages, which allow customers to buy blocks of minutes for as little as 32 pence per minute, as well as blocks of hours. Prices for the hourly packages vary from £35 for three hours, including 40 free miles, to £120 for 24 hours, including 125 free miles. All costs such as fuel, taxes, insurance and parking charges are already included in London as well. The standard one-off registration fee for London will be £29.

DriveNow is a carsharing joint venture by BMW Group and Sixt SE