Polaris Expands Subscription Rental Service to Midwest
Medina-based Polaris Inc. on Monday said it’s expanding its subscription-based vehicle rental program to Minnesota and three other states in the Midwest. Known as Polaris Adventures Select, the pay-by-the-month program enables customers to rent a range of on- and off-road recreational vehicles.
The company first launched the membership program on a pilot basis in Arizona last year, said Gray Rentz, senior director of Polaris Adventures. Polaris later expanded the program to Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Starting today, however, the Select program is now available in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
“Polaris Adventures has proven to be a successful business and we’re excited to see continued growth,” said Rentz. “The overall goal is to meet customers wherever they are – and we are happy to be able to provide rental, membership, and ownership options,”
Polaris Adventures Select is an offshoot of the Polaris Adventures rental program, which gives customers a chance to rent Polaris vehicles on a one-time basis without a monthly membership. The company launched the initial iteration of the program in 2017.
Both versions of the program are targeted at customers who want to enjoy Polaris vehicles without the long-term commitment of ownership, Rentz said. Based on their chosen membership plan, customers receive a designated number of credits each month. Those credits are then exchanged to rent vehicles. Membership plans range from $149 a month to $799 a month.
To become a Polaris Adventures Select member, customers must provide a valid driver’s license and credit card. Once credits are redeemed, members can rent vehicles from local outfitters in their market. Customers then choose whether to pick up the vehicle directly, have it delivered, or reserve it for select trails. As part of the process, members are educated on how to safely operate their vehicle of choice. The outfitters also equip riders with the necessary safety equipment along with a standardized insurance and damage waiver.
Rentz said that the most popular Polaris product to rent is the RZR side-by-side off-road vehicle, though he noted there is increasing interest in boat rentals for the upcoming Spring season.
It remains to be seen whether the Polaris Adventures program will motivate customers to buy vehicles of their own, or whether it’ll serve as a healthy revenue stream by itself. But a company exec told the Star Tribune that he expects the program to be “one of the biggest levers, if not the biggest, to new customer growth.”
Interest in the Polaris Adventures program has indeed been growing: In 2021, Polaris reported that customers took more than 400,000 rides with the program, up by 50 percent over the prior year, according to the company’s most recent annual report. “First-time Polaris customer growth is up 16 percent over the last two years. Part of the credit goes to the Polaris Adventures network that makes exploring the outdoors on our vehicles possible without the commitment of ownership, storage and maintenance,” Polaris officials wrote in the report.
Whether customers are renting or buying, Polaris continues to rake in profit. In 2021, Polaris reported total sales of nearly $8.2 billion, up by more than $1 billion over 2020. The company’s net income also grew to $494.3 million in 2021 compared to $124.9 million in the prior year.
In the meantime, Polaris is considering whether to expand the program to even more markets.
“You can expect us to continue to evaluate market expansion over the coming months and continue to bring new riding opportunities to consumers across the country,” Rentz said.