I’ve developed a recent soft spot for rental car companies, after my own DIY car rental service experiment. The abuse and maintenance issues that cars endure at the hands of merciless renters who follow the standard ‘it’s not my car, dude’ protocols is enough to make most break down in tears. The various on demand car rental companies across the country are brave and I’ve made it my duty to support them. Recently growing bored with Turo’s rental service due to rental rejections, poor pricing and low availability, I decided to turn to another service this weekend: Audi on Demand.
Located in Potrero Hill of San Francisco, Audi on Demand – run by Audi of America – offers an on-demand rental service where you can rent Audi vehicles at the push of a button. The services gives you the choice to pick up the car at their office, or have it delivered to your driveway. If you live in San Francisco.
Wrapping up a long week at work, I wanted to something fun and classy for a night and tried to book the S7 for $355/ day. It was already taken, despite being shown on the page as available, which was a bit of a let down. I eventually narrowed down the choice to the new Audi TTS for $230 a night. I was able to use take advantage of $75 off of my first rental which made it more justifiable for a regular Friday night.
Complete with “go-fuck-yourself” yellow paint, Audi Drive Select, Audi Virtual Cockpit, and the latest high output four cylinder engine, the TTS was the perfect car to check out Audi’s latest technology and the new MQB platform.
Photo: Audi on Demand
The Rental Process
Completing the rental process was easy. I entered in my insurance info, driver’s license and address and set the pick up time to 8pm of the same day.
Heading up to San Francisco from San Jose on a Friday night is hairy. Traffic can change in an instant and a 45 minute drive can turn into an hour and a half. Leaving myself about an hour to reach the city, I ran into traffic caused by an accident and would be 15 to 30 minutes late. I dialed Audi on Demand to let them know I was going to be late and was able to reach someone with zero wait. Completely understanding, they assured me it wouldn’t be a problem.
Arriving at the office about 10 minutes late, I was greeted by an employee, who had the car ready to go. I was also able to park my car in the secure garage during the time I had the TTS. Talon spent a few minutes walking me through the car features, including some of the intricacies of the Virtual Cockpit which weren’t intuitive at first use.
Talon also told me the price of the rental included unlimited FasTrak toll fees and roadside assistance. Filling up the gas before returning wasn’t necessary, either, as they would charge me for the gas used at market price.
With that, I left with the TTS for the next 24 hours which I’ll walk through in another article.
Upon return the following day, I was instantly greeted by another Audi on Demand employee after getting out of the car. After some brief and friendly small talk and a damage inspection, I retrieved my car and said my farewells. The entire return process took about 5 minutes.
With the easy booking, pick-up/drop-off processes and the incredibly friendly employees, the Audi on Demand service nails the white glove, premium rental car experience. The app mostly works well and makes it really easy to rent. Though prices initially seem a bit high for the vehicles, the value is there with driveway pick-up/drop-off services, free parking, toll coverage, and roadside assistance. The selection of available Audi vehicles is diverse, and the pick-up and drop off is frictionless. Suggest some sort of closing statement?