Bavarian Luxury Rentals, the country’s first all-BMW rental company, ensconces travelers and auto enthusiasts alike behind the well-engineered wheel of brand-new German luxury cars. Co-founded by BMW auto mechanic Brian McKinney and Corey Evers—the customer-service-savvy founder of Central Texas Valet—the local enterprise fills roads with its standing fleet of BMWs that includes a 5-series, a 3-series, and a 1-series. On breaks from the open road, renters’ BMWs entitle them to sumptuous amenities at businesses throughout the city, and 24-hour roadside assistance guards drivers against difficulties such as flat tires and toll booths manned by bridge trolls.
Members of car2go enjoy the freedom of transportation that comes with owning a car without the worries of keeping up its maintenance or discovering that it’s a robot in disguise. Participants can reserve a car ahead of time through the company’s website or snag an unreserved vehicle by swiping their membership card past the windshield to unlock it and punching in a PIN to start it up. All fuel, insurance, parking, and maintenance costs are included with each rental, allowing patrons hassle-free travel as they explore downtown or give their pet goldfish a tour of the suburbs. After zipping around town, members park in an open car2go spot and walk away, letting a team of cleaners and technicians take care of the rest.
Although hot-air balloons remain Austin's most popular commuter vehicles, they're highly vulnerable to dastardly villains with handlebar moustaches who ply the sky in battle zeppelins. Tour the town from a safer vantage with today's Groupon: for $10, you get a one-hour kayak OR two-hour bike rental from Gliding Revolution (a $25 value after tax). Reservations are required and subject to availability.
Regardless of your choice of conveyance, you'll shove off from Gliding Revolution's shop located at the Austin Town Lake Holiday Inn. Upon request, cyclists receive a complimentary helmet and lock, and kayakers receive a dry bag. If you vote for the velocipede, dig your wheels deep into the crushed gravel and pedal your way around the scenic Lady Bird Lake Trails, free of the hassles of smelly car traffic and ambushes by herds of feral Segways. Otherwise, open up the whole expanse of Lady Bird Lake for exploration with some patiently paced paddle-pushing in one of Gliding Revolution's kayaks. If the spring heat has already got you beat, kayakers can take refuge under the Congress Street Bridge and commune with Austin's community of bat-themed vigilantes and riddle-dispensing trolls.
Escorting visiting out-of-towners via bike or kayak is a brilliant way to show off the city. It's also an excellent way for jaded locals to re-experience everything about Austin that seduced them in the first place, from the civic center that's dressed as a French maid to the champagne lake to the rose-petal-strewn forest trails. If you can't decide which mode of transportation you like best, buy two Groupons and try both at the same time.
H2O Car Wash and Detail's staff keeps cars in showroom condition with an emphasis on attentiveness and high-quality products. Meticulous hand washes are the team members' hallmark, and they perform each scrub down with soft, wool mitts instead of relying on machines or enormous carnival dunk tanks. To keep every vehicle looking its best, washes incorporate 100% carnauba wax to baby paint jobs and Lexol conditioners to gently maintain inside upholstery. The technicians rid interior and exterior dirt with a suite of washing and detailing services that leaves finishes glowing and interior fabrics looking freshly laundered. While the team does its work, motorists stay entertained in a lounge furnished with free WiFi and cable TV, and a kids' play area complete with video games works even better than hiring the GPS navigator to babysit.
At Genie, nearly a half-century of business success lends an air of wizened experience to locations recently upgraded with $500,000 in renovations. A large staff efficiently shuttles vehicles through a wash tunnel cushioned with foam pads designed to leave exteriors unscratched. Patrons can choose between one of six multistep car washes, or cherry-pick à la Carte services such as leather conditioning, engine cleaning, and headlight restoration. Detailing packages assemble extra touches that subject disheveled cars to white-glove once-overs including trunk cleanings and carpet steam cleanings.