When StyleBlueprint hosted our Access by BMW Mother’s Day Giveaway last spring, we had a tremendous response from people looking to win a free month’s subscription to this unique and coveted program. The winner, who won by random drawing, was Connie Cathcart Richardson. Known locally as co-founder of Nashville Fashion Week, Connie and husband (and high school sweetheart) Eddy both were able to take advantage of their free month of Access by BMW. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect as Eddy was in the market for a new car, and this subscription allowed him to sample a variety of luxury vehicles throughout the month.
We caught up with Connie to find out more about their experience with Access by BMW. Here’s an insider’s look at this unique vehicle subscription service (which, btw, they highly recommend!).
StyleBlueprint: Which vehicles did you use, and how did the way in which you used them differ? For example, did you take an SAV on a roadtrip? A convertible on the Natchez Trace? A sedan to a social function?
Connie Cathcart Richardson: We took advantage of the opportunity to try out a variety of vehicles over our 30 days. We switched vehicles eight times to test the M2, X5 xDrive35i, 540i, X6 M, M4, 440i, M5, and X5 M. We kept a few of them for close to a week and flipped the others in a day or two.
Eddy drives a sedan and I have a convertible, so we especially enjoyed the benefits of driving an SAV. Now we know why half of Nashville drives them! The M5 Sedan made the biggest impression on us both. It had the room and presence of a luxury sedan, but drove more like a sports car.
One of the best things about this program is the opportunity to request the perfect vehicle to meet your needs. We got an SAV for a road trip with friends, a luxury sedan for a fancy event and a sporty convertible to cruise around in on a cool weekend. It was so fun to have access to many different types of vehicles.
SB: Did you have any prior experience with or knowledge of Access by BMW prior to winning the sweeps?
CCR: Eddy and I both drive BMW’s so we are very familiar with the brand. Eddy’s in the market for a new car and has been considering something different than the sedan that he currently drives. We had heard of and researched other similar programs, so as soon as the StyleBlueprint sweepstakes was announced, we both entered. We were so surprised to win! The Access by BMW program is a great way to experience and compare a wide variety of vehicles.
SB: How was your experience with the program? How easy or difficult was it to arrange for car switches?
CCR: We had so much fun with all of this! It was seriously the highlight of June for us. We were planning our schedule around the vehicles! The program was as easy as downloading the app and selecting our desired experience. You use the app to request your next vehicle, including when and where you would like the vehicle delivered, and you can switch into a new vehicle as often as you like. The concierge notifies you when the vehicle is on the way and again when it’s ready for you in the driveway. They transfer all of the settings over to each new vehicle so seats, radio, phone sync, etc., are ready to go. You walk out, and a sparkling clean new vehicle can be yours every day just by using the Access by BMW app.
SB: How was the interaction with the concierge staff?
CCR: The concierge team was very professional and so eager to help. They were very familiar with every vehicle, and each had their own favorites. I actually missed our chats with them when our time was done.
SB: In what ways did Access by BMW meet or exceed your expectations? How did the experience compare to owning/leasing a vehicle?
CCR: We were thrilled with the Access by BMW program. It was so much fun to drive all of these vehicles and very practical. The concept makes so much sense. You have access to whatever car best suits your needs at the time. The monthly fee includes unlimited switches of low mileage vehicles, insurance, maintenance and repairs comparable to a car payment. Access to all of these beautiful vehicles only confused the issue of deciding on what vehicle best meets our needs. Some days are made for speed, and others call for more space. With the Access by BMW program, you can have them all. We are seriously considering going this route rather than purchasing a new vehicle. At least for a while.
SB: How would you describe the program to someone who is unfamiliar? Would you recommend it to friends?
CCR: We loved telling anyone who would listen about the program and the vehicles. Everyone loves the idea. Very few people had heard of the new program, so we felt like we had a wonderful secret to share.
SB: What was your favorite aspect of Access by BMW? Did you have a favorite vehicle? If so, which one and why?
CCR: The sweepstakes prize was for the M Tier, which gave us access to BMW’s highest performance vehicles with free gas for the month. We felt so special in each and every one of these luxury vehicles. All of these beautiful vehicles feature the latest state-of-the-art technology and are very fast! People were giving us the thumbs up at red lights and stopping to ask about the vehicles in parking lots. We were blown away by the bells and whistles of the M Series vehicles. We had no clue that vehicles have full-body massages and the option to press a button to make the motor roar even louder. I was dancing around being silly one day, and the volume suddenly went sky high. We quickly realized that you could turn the volume up by just waving your finger in front of the control panel! The new BMW navigation system and the heads up display are now on our must-have list.
To learn more about Access by BMW, visit accessbybmw.com.
This article is sponsored by Access by BMW. All photography by Leila Grossman.