10 min read

    10 min read

    UPDATE: Uber drivers, please note that the Fair Car Rental program for Uber Drivers is shutting down.

    There are many reasons why drivers nowadays are looking to rent or lease a vehicle vs. using their own for rideshare: to avoid putting miles on their car, to be able to drive while their car is in the shop, or because their vehicle doesn’t qualify to drive for Uber/Lyft. But how do you know which rental program is right for you? Today we have a guest post from Steve Johnson, a full time rideshare driver for the last 6 years, on how the different rental programs stack up for drivers.

    For a full list of Uber car rental options, check out our Uber Vehicle Marketplace.

    Whether you are new to driving rideshare or a veteran driver, you may at some point need to use one of the various rental options available to drivers.  I’ve found that there are currently three key players in the ‘rideshare rental game’ that work with Uber and Lyft, each of them are very unique in bonuses and cost per week.

    I have been driving for Uber and Lyft for almost 6 years now, and I have used all three of these programs.  Hertz is probably the most commonly used and has been around the longest.  Fair and Hyrecar are two newer options that have both become popular all over the country.

    1.) Hyrecar

    Starting with the best car rental option for Uber drivers, Hyrecar. The perks of HyreCar are that you can drive for both Uber and Lyft renting one vehicle, it is available in 50 states and it’s the only company that offers rentals less than a week (ie a few days).

    Click here to sign up for HyreCar.

    HyreCars are privately owned and rented, but all the coverages are still there. After you select a vehicle from that price range, you can see all the details.  Here’s an example of how the cost breaks down: let’s say there’s a car on Hyrecar for $50/day. When you click for more details it might say that the car also has limitations on the miles you can drive. For the car I’m looking at, I see per day mileage from 150 miles to 350 miles and after that I pay an additional $0.25/per mile.

    For this example, let’s say the car I selected had a 250 mile per day limit.  Now at the end of the month what does this look like?  In a 30 day month, $50 per day = $1,500, 250 miles per day = 7,500 miles before having to pay per mile rate, and the $29.99 one time background check, making your first month total $1,529.99.

    While picking your options, this amount hopefully included full time insurance, both work and personal, and taxes. With HyreCar, having insurance depends on the car you choose- every car varies on HyreCar in regards to miles per day allowance, rate, insurance since they are privately owned.

    When selecting a vehicle, you will reach a point you have to commit to the car, if the owner accepts, you will be billed for the dates you selected and locked into that vehicle.  It is great they let you drive for both Lyft and Uber, but they need to rethink the affordability and make it easier to use.

    A great example of when you might want to use Hyrecar is when your daily driver needs to be in the shop for 3-4 days. In this case you will still be able to work in a short term situation.

    You can sign up for Hyrecar here.

    2.) Fair App

    Fair is only available on the Uber network, but if that is not an issue, this is the way to go.  Through the Uber app, you can view cars and their weekly cost.  If this is the route you choose, you need to download the Fair app.  First, you fill out all needed information through the app, then browse cars. Fair currently has two programs running – their original one available to drivers outside California and their new one, available only for CA drivers right now.

    Sign up for Fair using our referral links:

    Outside of California, the cars start at $130 per week, but there are other cars that cost more.

    Cars start at $130 per week

    Price varies depending on the car you are looking to use

    The Uber Rental Rewards Program makes this an amazing deal, especially for full time drivers.  If you do 90 rides in a week, you get $214 back from the Rewards Program, which means you have paid off the car and taxes for that week.

    ***Keep in mind that trip thresholds to cover the cost of your Fair car payment is different for every city so this number will vary. 

    If you do 98 rides in a week, you get $248 back from Rental Rewards which means you have paid for the car and have $75+ left from rewards that perhaps covers your gas for the week as well.  Just like with the Hertz option, the car is yours with unlimited miles when you are working or using it for personal use.

    I loved the fact as long as I drove 98 rides, the rewards bonus covered the cost of the car, taxes, insurance and gas for the week.  With Fair, you can pay $25/week through Fair for insurance or you can use your own insurance; I prefer using the paid Fair insurance, which gets added to the car you choose total price. See the Fair insurance policy below.

    You can also shop around for rideshare insurance though and cover the car yourself if you think it will be cheaper.

    In this scenario, the bonus doesn’t go to your account, but you also have zero expenses related to driving.  This way all the money you make driving is yours to keep, which is huge.  I recently started to use my car to drive, but I am already thinking of going back to Fair.

    The one downfall of Fair right now is that they have a $500 non-refundable deposit, so you are paying a usage fee right out of the gate. Even with this non-refundable usage fee, this is the only way I would rent a rideshare vehicle at this point.

    In California, Fair is testing a new way of doing Uber car rentals.  You can now rent your vehicle for $214 (plus taxes) per week and $214 refundable deposit.  Obviously the per week charge has gone up, but the deposit is smaller and refundable when you return the vehicle.  Hopefully this will go well in the California market, and we will see Fair make this change in all states.

    In my opinion, Fair is great but I would give Fair an A- and the only reason I added the minus is because of the current non-refundable deposit in most states.

    Sign up for Fair:

    3.) Hertz

    Despite the fact that Uber and Lyft have worked directly with Hertz the longest, the first challenge you’ll face with Hertz (using Lyft) is a reserving a car.  Often when you try to rent a Hertz car through the app you will get a response, “Sorry, no cars available at this time, please check back later.”  Obviously this is because there are a limited number of vehicles and so many drivers who do not have a car or do not want to use theirs.  If Hertz is from where you want to rent, you will need to check a few times a day until one is available.

    If you’re a new driver, you’ll need to apply to drive with Lyft here and then you can get a car through the Lyft Express Drive Program.  If you’re an existing driver, you can check the “vehicles” tab of your dashboard within the Lyft Driver app and scroll to the bottom to reserve a car for Express Drive. You can read more about Lyft Express Drive here and read about the experience of actually finding/renting a car here.

    Once a car through Hertz becomes available, you will be prompted to fill out online documentation as well as put a deposit of $250 down.  The deposit is the same as renting a car for personal use, only in the case of ride-share rentals the charge will be deducted from your card.  The deposit will be refunded to your card when you return the car as long as there is no damage.

    When I rented from Hertz, it took a couple weeks before a car was available from either Uber or Lyft.  When you rent a vehicle through Hertz rental program, you do it through Uber or Lyft, not both.  You can’t drive both platforms with a Hertz rental.  

    After making my reservation and putting my $250 deposit down, I received an email that my car would be available for pick up the following day at 2 pm.  When I showed up, I went to the Lyft check-in, where a Lyft associate walked me through how it all works.

    It’s pretty straight forward—your payment is taken out of the money you earn at the end of the week, and if you have not made enough to cover the rental, they take any remaining amount from the card associated with your Lyft account. The rental with all taxes and fees is right around $240 per week.  This amount includes insurance while you have the car, unlimited miles whether you are driving for ride-share or personal, and you have a $1,000 deductible while under this insurance.

    Learn more about the Lyft Hertz rental program (Express Drive) here.

    There are also reward levels you can reach by doing a certain number of rides.  After you finish with the Lyft team, they send you over to the Hertz people.  They take your driver’s license and ask some questions, then assign you a car.  After that, you are ready to turn on the app and start driving.

    You need to bring the car in every four weeks for a check-in and if needed, an oil change, but you are able to keep using the vehicle. If you miss your four week check-in or oil change, you will not be allowed to keep the car and it can be very hard to get back.  In fact, it can even put you back in the waiting game.  Even though this program is straight forward, it is not my first choice because of how much money you end up spending on the vehicle. I would give Hertz a solid B grade.

    In Summary

    It would be great if there was another rental company that accepted both Uber and Lyft and allowed you to buy out the vehicle at a certain price at any point.  But, at this time, with the limitations and rules to ride share rentals, I think Fair leads the pack with price, accessibility, quality and ease.  But don’t forget, that only works for Uber drivers!

    Looking for more vehicle options as a rideshare driver? Check out our Vehicle Marketplace page here.

    Steve Johnson is a full time rideshare driver. When he is not on the road, he is doing laser and lighting production gigs. Steve has done over 15,000 rides in his 5 years of driving for Uber and Lyft. He runs the Rideshare News website

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.