Car ownership in London is generally a luxury over a necessity. So why not get the best of both worlds – flexibility and service – with The Out, the new luxury car hire app from Jaguar Land Rover…
Rolling up to the in-laws’ house in a brand new Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE is a pretty neat feeling. But car ownership is getting tougher for Londoners, since most of the capital is in a perpetual state of gridlock, the Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone conspire to cost you a fortune, and parking is extortionate.
Speaking of parking, you’d be lucky to have a driveway to keep the thing on these days anyway. On street parking is not only a faff, it bumps up your insurance premium (and I’m sure we’ve all had a wing mirror incident or two). Add that to the fact that many of us are now living in high rises that have no or very little parking, and you have to wonder why anyone owns a care these days.
Well, on-a-whim runs to B&Q and IKEA aside, we do know. It’s the freedom. FREEDOM! Heading out on the open road (once you’re free of the dastardly M25, of course) to adventures in the green and pleasant English countryside. Drives to the coast. Hassle-free trips to family members who have inconveniently settled nowhere near a decent train station (huge garden, though).
Yes, it’s that devil-may-care let’s-get-out-of-here feeling that we all so cherish, and now, there’s an app for that – The Out. The latest in a range of shared mobility services launched by InMotion, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital and mobility services arm, The Out is the one-click solution to your next road trip.
Sure, we can all hire a care or join a car-sharing company like Zipcar. But what if you want more than that? ‘More’ being a road trip right from your doorstep. ‘More’ being a fuss-free on-demand premium car rental service. ‘More’ being a top-of-the-range Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE.
And it’s not just the in-laws that were impressed, neighbours’ curtains were all a-twitch too as we hopped into our shiny new wheels (not that we’re into all that keeping-up-with-the-Jones’s palaver, mind, life is too short, but still, I can’t deny that we did feel kinda fly).
‘The app is easy as pie. Just enter your details, book your car, add your drop off and pick up addresses and times and wait for your chariot to arrive’
My partner and I live in one of those new high-rise blocks on Greenwich Peninsula. The views over the Thames are great, but one thing the Peninsula is not built for is cars. Have you ever tried to get out of the O2 Arena car park after a gig? Exactly.
The Peninsula, because of its shape, is a natural bottleneck, so part of the deal when the planning went in for all these new flats was that driving would be discouraged. Suits us just fine. The tube, Uber and National Rail take us everywhere we need to be. But when those Bank Holiday weekends swing around and you decide to visit both sets of parents consecutively, the logistics can get a little tricky.
Enter, The Out. The app is easy as pie. Just enter your details and driver’s license number to set up your account (which you’ll only have to do once, obviously), book your car, add your drop off and pick up addresses and times and wait for your chariot to arrive.
Our car arrived a respectable 20 minutes early. The drop-off driver ran us through the controls (so many buttons! I’ve barely driven a car since my G-reg Ford Fiesta with 1L engine and go faster stripes, to be fair, so all new cars look like space ships to me), showed us how to reconfigure the layout from five seats to seven (handy), and then toddled off to get the tube back to HQ. A nice, eco-friendly touch, I thought. I’d fully expected a second driver to be waiting to whizz him back to the office.
The app aspect is super handy. If you change your mind on the pick up time, or address, just pop it into the app (with 24 hours’ notice) and worry no more about it. It’s a great service for the indecisive, and feeds directly into that sense of adventure The Out seeks to channel. stay another day? Sure babe, why not?
‘The app aspect is super handy. If you change your mind on the pick up time, or address, just pop it into the app and worry no more about it’
The Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE itself, with 2L engine, 180 BHP and a top speed of 117 MPH (0-60 in 8,9s), is glorious. Smooth as silk when you’re cruising along the M40 – I could have sipped from a tea cup filled to the brim with Darjeeling First Flush without wasting a drop. Oh and it’s an automatic, too, which is handy for us city types who rarely hit the road in the driver’s seat.
Sadly we didn’t have need to hit the off-road button – a trip along the A-roads to Oxford (the built-in sat nav decided the M25/M40 combo was just too busy, and a missed turn meant a glorious detour through Wendover near Stoke Mandeville, where the panoramic roof really came into its own) and the M1/M18 to South Yorkshire simply don’t require it.
Do stop at The Village Gate on Aylesbury Road if you find yourself westbound on the A41 or A413 – it’s a lovely pub to stop for a lemonade and a loo break.
And the best bit? You don’t have to fill up the tank on the way home – I mean, it’s a step too far after wrangling with the M25 and the Blackwall Tunnel, right? Just make sure there’s enough in the tank for the pick-up driver to get the car back to the central London depot and they’ll fill ‘er up for you. The fuel will simply be added to your bill.
It’s the most hassle-free service, and actually owning a car seem like far too much trouble – insurance, MOTs, servicing, valeting… Plus, studies have shown that more than half of consumers (52%) would rather pay for a memorable experience than material possessions.
So opt out of ownership and get The Out instead. The pricing is transparent, with comprehensive insurance, unlimited mileage, child seats, additional drivers and even the congestion charge all included.
Book you Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE from £295 for a weekend – £195 for first day and £100 per day thereafter. The Out delivers anywhere in central London from zones 1-3, covering Gatwick, Heathrow and City airports too.
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