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Porsche trials two new short-term rental programs

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Porsche Launches New Short-Term Access Pilots ‘Drive' and ‘Host' in U.S.

Although vehicle subscription plans are not exactly commonplace at the moment, it appears a lot of major vehicle manufacturers have a lot of faith in the idea and plenty of trials are on the go right now. At the moment it's largely luxury manufacturers getting behind the idea, and Porsche seems to be particularly enthusiastic about these new ways of supplying vehicles to its customers. As well as its relatively simple Porsche Passport scheme, the German automaker is now trialing a couple of new shorter-term rental programs.

The two new programs are called Porsche Drive and Porsche Host, and for the moment they're only being tried out in selected areas of the United States. While Porsche Passport is a monthly subscription scheme, Porsche Drive allows consumers to get behind the wheel of a Porsche for as little as a few hours, to a day or a week. The cars are delivered to their user in a concierge-style, on demand, and bookings for the service can be made online or over the phone. The technology itself and the customer care aspect of the service is provided by a company called Clutch Technologies, and not directly by Porsche.

Prices range from as little as $269 before taxes and fees for a four-hour period in a Macan, 718 Cayman or Boxster, and all six Porsche model lines are available under the scheme. At the top end of the scale, getting a 911 for a week will set you back a cool $2,909.

Like most of these schemes, subscribers are asked to pay a hefty premium for not having to sign up to the long-term commitment of a lease. But to give an idea of how expensive this particular scheme is, a base 911 can be had on a conventional lease agreement for little more than $1,100 per month. That looks seriously cheap compared to $2,909 for just a week under the Porsche Drive program.

Porsche Drive is being trialed in Atlanta, Georgia at the moment but the other new plan, Porsche Host, is only available on the West Coast. Host is being run in collaboration with car-sharing provider Turo, and this scheme uses cars owned by special Porsche-approved and trained Turo hosts in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Under this scheme cars can be booked using the Turo app or website for a day, a week, a month or even longer, and the program launches on October 8.