GM, one of America's biggest automakers, recently rolled out a service called Maven, in an extremely limited service area, that allows users to rent one of GM's cars at an hourly rate through a dedicated app. Unlike a rental car, which may end up being used for an hour or two despite costing a full-day rental fee, the service is meant to be priced on an a la carte scale, depending on how much users need to drive. Lacking an annual fee also sets it apart from similar services, making it even cheaper in the end than solutions like Uber for some users. Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac models are available at an hourly rate of $6 to $8, with pricing depending on the model of vehicle rented. The service, once only available in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and to the residents of a single apartment building in Manhattan, will be expanding to Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Boston. The service will also be coming to a few new apartment buildings.
In Chicago, users can now rent Maven vehicles on an hourly basis from 15 locations around the city. The spinoff service, Maven Express Drive, has been allowing Lyft drivers to rent Chevy Equinox units in the city at a weekly rate. The Express Drive service has a fleet of 200 cars available for weekly rental in Chicago, at the moment. The normal Maven service will be coming to Washington, D.C. and Boston later on in the summer, while the Maven Express Drive service will be hitting those cities and Baltimore, Maryland by the end of this year.
As for more apartment buildings getting a personal version of the program, those living in the Aqua luxury apartments in Chicago's Lakeshore East area will have access to Maven soon, as will those in the Hepburn, a 195 unit luxury affair set to open on the grounds of the Washington Hilton in the Kalorama district in June. GM did not announce any other expansion locations for their car sharing service, for the time being, but success in current markets will likely be a good indicator of how fast and how far the service may spread. With over a million total miles currently driven by the user-bases of Maven and Maven Express Drive, it seems that the unique service can only grow from here.