Luxury car-sharing service HiGear is announcing a new product called “Swap Club,” which will allow its existing car owners the opportunity to swap cars among each other in exchange for HiGear points. To participate in the “Swap Club,” vehicle owners will either need to accumulate points by renting out their cars on HiGear or they can optionally purchase points via HiGear’s website.
Now live in the Bay Area and L.A., HiGear differentiates itself from car-sharing competitors like RelayRides, Getaround, Zipcar and others, by specializing in “high-end” luxury vehicles only, like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Tesla.
The company will begin to roll out its new “Swap Club” service to select members next week for testing purposes, says CEO Ali Moiz. The feature should serve as an added incentive for vehicle owners to rent out their own cars on HiGear, as doing so means more points that can be used towards swaps – swaps which, given enough points, will be free.
The number of points a vehicle owner is awarded depends on the type of car and the rental length. A BMW 3 Series may go for 40 points per day, for example, while an Aston Martin DB9 could be 140 points per day.
“Our vision is to bring down the cost of access to awesome cars, and the new ‘Swap Club’ will create the world’s first luxury car-swap program that gets you into a sports car starting at $0,” says Moiz. “If you’re into cars, this is godsend.”
HiGear has now logged over 25,000 hours of car shares on its service since its beta launch in August. Over 2,000 of those hours were in L.A., where HiGear arrived just a week ago. If the current growth rate continues, Moiz says he expects to see 40,000 to 50,000 hours over the next 90 days.
The company also plans to launch in five additional markets, including Portland and San Diego, by year-end.
HiGear has raised $1.3 million in seed funding from BV Capital, Battery Ventures, 500 Startups and angels including Zipcar investor Craig Sherman and Kevin Chou.