Blacklane’s chauffeur-on-demand car service comes to DC

Blacklane, a Germany-based car service, is bringing an app-based chauffeur-on-demand service with luxury sedans and SUVs to D.C. (Courtesy Blacklane)

Germany-based car service company Blacklane is bringing an app-based chauffeur-on-demand service with luxury sedans and SUVs to D.C., part of its expansion to 21 cities in 11 countries this month.

Blacklane, whose investors include Daimler, operates a standard, scheduled chauffeur car service business in 50 countries. It launched its ride-hailing version of the black luxury car chauffeur service in New York last week. It will be available in all 21 cities by March 26.

Blacklane partners with local chauffeur companies to provide service. Rates are based on distance and are higher than a standard Lyft or Uber ride.

A morning trip from Reagan National Airport to Dupont Circle is about $75 for business class, according to its website. First-class rates, which use larger vehicles, are more.

Fares area based only on distance, not higher-demand times, traffic or tolls.

The company also has hourly rates and city-to-city service. A four-hour ride from New York City to D.C. is $399.

Drivers use luxury cars, including Mercedes-Benz E Class an S Class, BMW 5 Series and 7 Series, Audi A8 and Cadillac XTS. It also offers van service and large SUV service.

In London, Blacklane uses all-electric vehicles, including the Jaguar I-PACE and Teslas.

For airport service, drivers will wait up to 60 minutes free of charge.

Drivers greet guests “with a slight bow instead of a handshake,” according to Blacklane’s website.

Uber and Lyft still operate their higher-end luxury sedan and SUV services, Uber Black and Lyft Lux.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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