Croove is different to initiatives from other car makers in that it’s completely peer-to-peer. Mercedes-Benz likens it to an “Airbnb for cars” that is open to all brands and models. Owners simply log their car on the service, which involves creating a profile that contains all the necessary data and features provided, and are asked to share when it can be rented. Vehicles must be “in good condition and not more than 15 years old,” the company says.
Customers looking to hire a car must also register on the app, proving that they are over 21 and possess a valid driving licence, which allows them to go through a digital checklist on the vehicle’s condition (before and after pickup) and pay for the ride. Once it’s returned to the designated drop-off point, the renter can leave a rating via the Croove app and the car will be immediately made available for the next user.
Mercedes-Benz says Croove folds into the company’s CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric) strategy, sitting alongside its “Generation EQ” electric car initiative. The service is currently being piloted in Munich, Germany and is only available on iOS devices — if it proves popular, the scheme may be expanded to more German cities (and possibly beyond).