Entering the world of automotive subscriptions, I decided to use caution and reserved the cheapest car available — a 2016 Kia Forte LX from Flexdrive. It’s white with a black cloth interior and approximately 36,500 miles on the odometer. In other words, it’s typical rental car fare with the exception of the mileage, which is beginning to creep toward the higher side for rental cars prior to their end of service.
Reserving a car was simple enough. Flexdrive already had my driver’s license and credit card from the initial registration process, so all I had to do was open the app on my phone and choose a car from the 10 or so that were listed via year, make and model and accompanying picture. I accepted the required Terms of Agreement, and from there was prompted to choose what time I wanted to pick up the car — which could be as soon as 30 minutes and spanned consecutive 30 minute increments throughout the business day. I chose a time one and a half hours later, and then treated my spouse to brunch for chauffeuring me the 40-minute drive from our home to our destination in Marietta.
My wife enjoyed her eggs and turkey bacon, my omelet and potatoes were wonderful and Flexdrive’s dealership was fairly nondescript with minimal signage — for Flexdrive, that is. In fact, we drove right past it since it’s located on a busy street populated with a number of new and used car dealerships for miles. Trusting Google’s preciseness over our own eyes, we circled back, stopping at a gray and white building that was surrounded by cars and had idrive prominently displayed on its marquee. As I mentioned in my previous article, Flexdrive partners with local dealers for inventory, and idrive is a dealer that the Atlanta location works with.
Upon entering the office, I was promptly greeted and invited to take a seat while my reservation was retrieved and the car was washed. During this time, Lana, the Market Manager, introduced herself and elaborated on the basics of the company and her role, then inquired about my needs and how I heard about the company. She mentioned that she did not remember speaking with me previously, and to be honest, I had no recollection, even though she personally calls all new Atlanta subscribers. At that point I realized we hadn’t spoken because I declined the call when I didn’t recognize the number. I did receive her voice message, though.
Beyond the personal touch, Lana went on to explain another reason for her call. Sometimes there are other vehicles available for rent that may not be listed on the app. One in particular was a late model Mercedes-Benz C-Class that she pointed out as we viewed idrive‘s lot of cars for sale. This particular car had just been added to the fleet, but unfortunately, cars like that aren’t available for long, since Flexdrive subscribers tend to rent then hold on to those cars, using them as their own for a manageable price compared to buying. Lana did inform me that they’re working to increase their stock of these luxury vehicles due to demand.
In total, 15-20 minutes had passed, at which point my freshly cleaned Kia had been driven to the front. A walk around was conducted, and I was on my way. The process was simple, and if a vehicle exchange is too, I may have another vehicle to drive soon!
Flexdrive is partially owned by Cox Automotive, the parent company of Autotrader.