Husband-and-wife team Alex and Danielle Schefer had worked in federal contracting and professional IT services for years when they realized they were ready for something new.
So, they founded Drive Society, a car club in which members get access to some of the hottest sports cars on the market.
“We both love cars and thought D.C. deserved a car club like this,” said Danielle. “We handle all the pain of car ownership, such as maintenance and depreciation. Members get to just enjoy the cars and hanging out with other car enthusiasts.”
The only such club in the D.C. area, Drive Society offers driving access to a garage full of high-performance vehicles — four manual and five automatic. Membership in the Arlington, Virginia, club allows members to drive the vehicles without the hassle of insurance, maintenance and associated drawbacks. Members buy points and “spend” them only when driving the cars.
Drive Society also coordinates membership social events, such as Cars & Champagne, Scenic Drives and others. Members have previously participated in selecting vehicles to add to the club through events such as a Great Car Debate that resulted in the addition of a Mercedes-Benz AMG GTS to the Drive Society fleet.
Other vehicles include the sleek and polished Ferrari and the visceral ‘69 Camaro.
“Alex has been racing cars since he got his driver’s license and will squeeze his 6-foot, 8-inch frame into any car at all because he loves the experience of different cars — the sound, the feel, the way each drives,” Danielle said. “I love cars and have had a crush on Tesla since they launched their first car in 2008. So, the first car I wanted in the club was the Tesla Roadster.”
The Roadster is a tiny electric sports car with manual steering.
“It has all its torque from zero, so it’s really quick,” she said. “Alex loves Porsches, so that’s why we have three in the club.”
Corporate packages allow companies to thank employees with specially designed privileges.
“Car lovers want to drive every car out there, and they can do that with Drive Society,” Danielle said.
Gordon Foster, a club member and federal services executive, said Drive Society fit perfectly into his lifestyle.
“I am an auto and motorcycle enthusiast and ran out of space in my garage for more vehicles,” he said. “I was looking for a way to experience different high-performance cars without all the hassle of ownership, and Drive Society fit the bill.”
The club, he said, has “been a blast.”
“It’s easy, convenient, and the team is a pleasure to work with,” he said. “My brother and I have shared some great days exploring Virginia and Maryland backroads in the Ferrari, the Mercedes, the BMW and the Porsches. There is no other option to make that happen.”
Member Shankar Pillai said he was originally drawn to the niche service for its wide range of high-performance exotic vehicles of dramatically different styles without making a losing investment in ownership.
“The process for ‘checking out’ a car couldn’t be easier — just visit the online calendar to verify availability of the car you want and send an email to Danielle and Alex with the dates you’d like to reserve,” Pillai said. “No annoying paperwork. No topping off the gas when you bring it back. Just pick it up, or have it delivered, drive to your heart’s content, and drop it off. What could be easier?”