London is home to a number of car-sharing services, but over the past few months car makers have also been getting in on the action. BMW brought pay-as-you-go vehicles to the capital late last year, with Ford piloting a new service called City Driving On-Demand just a month later. For Ford, it appears those tests were successful, because the American car giant today announced the launch of GoDrive, an expansion of its existing service that will offer 50 cars in 20 locations across the city.
Ford's cars are reserved using a smartphone app, which also doubles as a makeshift taximeter. It charges by the minute (17 pence) and factors in congestion charges, fuel and insurance by default. Half of its fleet comprises of the zero‑emission Focus Electric, with the low-emission Fiesta EcoBoost making up the other half. If you're new to the company's cars, the company says it'll offer a "five-minute grace period" free of charge so you can gets to grips with the vehicle before you set off.
With BMW operating 270 cars (30 of which are electric) across London, Ford is a little way behind its competition. However, GoDrive is still firmly in "beta" stage and the company could expand the service if there's sufficient demand. There are already pickup spots in Waterloo, Barbican, Leicester Square, Marylebone or Victoria, but new locations are expected to open in the "coming months."