Currently, BMW’s Rent a Ride is available only in continental Europe. BMW claims it’s the largest motorcycle rental service on that continent, with 89 dealers participating in seven countries. The plan is to aggressively expand that number in coming months; BMW says it’s aiming for 100 rental partners in 12 countries by the end of 2020. In 2021, BMW says it wants to become "the worldwide leader in this segment of motorcycle rental.” For the rest of 2020, BMW plans to expand its offerings in Germany, Finland, France, Norway, Austria, and Thailand, and open new rental opportunities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania, and the U.S. Bold plans, indeed!
How does Rent a Ride work? Motorcyclists can rent BMW motorcycles through a dealership, along with accessories and riding gear if needed. The rider shows up at the dealership, gets a run-down on the motorcycle and its functions, and then zooms madly off in all directions until the rental’s up. BMW even works with regional tour providers to offer riders routes for day rides, or sets them up on longer tours.
A for-hire service is obviously much more expensive than owning your own motorcycle if you’re a regular rider, but bike rentals have their place. If you want to try out a machine before buying a new model, or if you’re traveling and want a few days’ scoot aboard a BMW, then Rent a Ride makes sense. Or, maybe you’re just too busy to get your money’s worth out of full-time motorcycle ownership.
BMW has long been a favorite with the moto-rental crowd. Hertz Ride, EagleRider and similar outfits have offered Beemers for years. BMW saw its opportunity for a piece of that action, and in 2018, opened its own rental program, Rent a Ride, through dealerships in Germany, Austria, and France. It was a natural move for BMW; the company has been offering a similar rental service for cars since 2011.