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Traditional car rental firm Sixt together with NZ’s very own Giltrap Group have added an extra dimension to getting more bums into vehicle seats with their locally-developed ‘subscribe’ service. To help explain more about the Sixt new car subscription service we were invited to an experiential day where we sampled their suite of EVs and luxury vehicles, whipped around a track in a Mclaren, and spent time with Giltrap Group’s CEO Retail & Mobility, Dane Fisher. 

Founded in 1912, Sixt is an internationally renowned car rental company offering mobility services in over 2,200 locations across 105 countries worldwide. However, along with their impressive selection of premium and luxury vehicles, it’s the unique, NZ-developed subscription service that is making our pulses race. 

“MaaS (Mobility as a Service) is where the vehicle is owned by a business and consumers use it as a service,” began Dane.

He explained that when it came to cars, there are four key pillars to MaaS, car as a service (rental and subscription), ride hailing and taxi and that right now MaaS as a segment is estimated to be around US$250 billion, expected to grow to $800billion by 2030.

“Sixt shares the Giltrap Group’s vision of new mobility space. [They are] Traditionally a rental business, but are wanting to be the Netflix of car to car services. So Sixt in NZ is focussing on the biggest and fastest growing element, rental and subscription.”

Dane said that at Sixt NZ they have three core offerings, rental, but with a premium focus as 60% of the fleet is premium, luxury or super luxury. And two ‘subscription’ options where the consumer (albeit B2B or B2C) can have a car for a month, ‘or something of a world first’, new car subscription where you can have a brand new car for six, nine or twelve months.

“You can choose one month from our ‘near new’ rental fleet or a brand new car for [up to] twelve months – 364 days to be exact as 365 becomes a credit contract. We have eighteen brands [that traditionally] you could buy finance or lease for three years, but now with new mobility you also have a one-day to three year solution.”

The Sixt NZ site only shows cars that are in the country now, (there’s a list under ‘new subscription’) and Dane proudly says that the process only takes around seven minutes to complete – ‘then someone will call and tell you when the car will be ready’. All cars require just a deposit up front and one month’s advance payment and they include service, maintenance and insurance regardless of the model. 

“But I want labour that this is not an alternative to car ownership, if you know the car for you, it’s still slightly cheaper (5-10% of a year traditional finance lease) to own a car. Subscription is about flexibility or certainty, this is what we offer.”

With our knowledge of the new car subscription service full to the brim, it was time to hit the road and get a feel for what customers of Sixt NZ experience with a route that took us around the west of Auckland and switching between six (or is that Sixt) premium vehicles.

First up for me was the Mercedes GLS (243kW – up to 7 seats), a luxurious SUV that boasts power and German refinement. Then the off-roading Land Rover Defender 110, Audi Q5, Skoda Kodiaq, VW Tiguan and VW T-Roc. All were well kitted out and underlined the company’s up market target.

With the long loop completed we arrived at Mt Smart Stadium and took to the go kart track with a number of exercises (acceleration, brake, handling and regen driving) in three EVs – a Mercedes EQA, a Polestar 2 and the top performing Audi e-Tron GT.

Then last but not least, some thrills and fun in their McLaren GT – yes you can rent (or Subscribe) a McLaren! Acceleration, handling and hot lap joy with the team from Downforce

Dane ended by saying that the Sixt offerings were constantly evolving. “We’re changing our packages all the time – this is not a ‘we know everything’, it’s evolving with both the data and the consumer.”

With that, we headed to Cazador for a sumptuous feed.

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