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General Motors Launches New Car-Sharing Service

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2016
  • GM's Maven car-sharing service will rival Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare
  • The service is starting up operations in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Maven has a few benefits over rivals, such as cheaper pricing and more smartphone access

General Motors has officially announced that it's launching a new car-sharing service. Dubbed Maven, the service was born out of GM's alliance with car-sharing firm Lyft, and it's designed to take on major competitors such as Zipcar, Enterprise CarShare and more.

According to GM, Maven will enhance car sharing with several benefits that are entirely unique to the service. For instance, while the automaker says the service offers a seamless interaction between your smartphone and vehicle access -- which is impressive in itself -- GM also says drivers will be able to start vehicles and even turn on heating or cooling from their smartphone. That's a neat trick.

Facing steep competition from popular rivals such as Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare, Maven also has a few other tricks up its sleeve. Most notably, the new company says it has no startup costs or activation fees -- which rival car-sharing firms typically require -- and further stresses that the $6 hourly cost and $42 daily fee are lower than competitor prices.

If you're interested, you'll have to wait for Maven to come to you. While the firm is starting up operations immediately in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it'll take a while to reach other cities. But if Maven arrives nationwide, it will give General Motors a key position in several growing areas: through Maven, its own vehicles and a newly announced partnership with ride-sharing firm Lyft.

What it means to you: Car sharing is getting more and more popular, and now General Motors is entering the fray with a competitor of its own.

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General Motors Launches New Car-Sharing Service - Autotrader