Penske Corp. gave its car-sharing platform, Penske Dash, the green light despite trying times for similar services.
The transportation giant’s short-term car rental service launched in Washington, D.C. and nearby Arlington, Virginia on Tuesday.
“Penske Dash provides members with convenient, on-demand access to Volkswagen Jetta SE vehicles that may be rented by the minute, hour or day through the Penske Dash app,” the company said in a press release.
Users make their purchase on the app, connecting them with a fleet vehicle parked nearby. The car can then be taken for any length of time, and customers have the ability to pause while they leave the car to run errands or visit friends.
“Our app automatically calculates our most efficient and affordable trip,” the company says, “so you only pay for what you actually need.”
Penske Dash allows its customers to leave the car in a number of designated parking locations in the cities, allowing for added flexibility of one-way trips.
While pricing is dynamic, a chart displays rates ranging from 45 cents per minute to $85 for a full day. A one-hour rental, meanwhile, costs $15. Rates include parking in designated parking lots, insurance, fuel costs (up to $25, provided you report the transaction details to customer support), and 24/7 assistance.
Foremost among rental limitations is mileage – Penske Dash users cannot exceed 200 miles per rental without an exception from the service team, and a 45-cents-per-mile fee applies to overages. Customers are also responsible for any tolls, parking fees and fines accrued while using the service.
The release of Penske Dash comes on the heels of several failed attempts at similar ideas by the automotive industry. BMW abruptly cancelled its ReachNow service in July, and GM-backed Maven scaled back its operations in May.
Penske partnered with Ridecell’s technology to power the app. Ridecell powers several carsharing and ridesharing platforms, including ReachNow, raising $73.8 million over a series of funding rounds dating back to 2012.