BMW 1-series and Mini models will be available to rent in Munich and Berlin from April

BMW has launched a new car-sharing scheme in Germany that it hopes will create one million new customers for the brand by 2020.

The new scheme, called DriveNow, is a 50-50 joint venture between BMW and Germany’s biggest car rental firm Sixt. DriveNow will launch in Munich on 1 April with 300 Minis and BMW 1-series available to rent and a launch will follow shortly after in Berlin, which will have 500 cars.

Drivers will be able to book cars parked around the cities using the internet or a smartphone app, and will then access them using a chip embedded in their driving licenses.

Read more on BMW's new i range of cars

BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson said the firm was always looking at launching new businesses and adding new customers to the brand. The scheme will extend to other European cities and potentially other continents. New cars will also be added to the scheme according to demand, including BMW’s i range of electric cars from 2013.

Robertson said the scheme would offer people living in cities an alternative to car ownership that allowed people to use a car “on the spur of the moment” without many of usually associated costs.

Similar schemes are offered in cities around the world by Peugeot, Citroen and Mercedes.

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