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7 min read

    7 min read

    Recently, senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur covered the Fair rental car program. Many of you had questions about how Fair works, particularly how much you can make and how Uber bonuses factor in. Jay breaks it all down for you below after driving with the Fair rental program for two months.

    The lease on my Prius had expired and the folks at Xchange Leasing wanted the car back.  After three long years, it was time to give up the trusty blue Prius and move on.

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    I was not sure if I wanted to lease or rent another car, or buy a car, so I took the easiest route and secured a Hyundai Elantra through the Fair Car Rental program.  I drove that car for eight weeks, assessing the program, and evaluating whether I still wanted to buy a car.

    In the end, I did purchase a 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, which I am now driving for both Uber and Lyft but here’s what my earnings looked like while renting with Fair for the two months in between. Also, it’s important to note that Fair currently has a special program available for California drivers and since I’m in California, that’s what I’ll be reviewing. But it may be expanding to other states later this year so stay tuned.

    If you’d like to sign up with Fair, please use our affiliate links below

    What Kind of Money Did I Earn Driving Exclusively For Uber with Fair?

    I am not the power driver I once was as it seems I have quite a few projects that are taking root and requiring my time these days.

    For three years, I was good for a minimum of 50 hours per week.  As you will see in the pay statements below, I am nowhere close to those hours.  This does impact my hourly earnings.

    Virtually all bonuses get better as you build up the number of rides.  The earnings per hour almost always get better with more rides since both Uber and Lyft are providing incentives to drive more hours.  They are competing for our loyalty.  For example, look at my current Lyft bonus offering:

    The first tier of the bonus pays $1.23 per ride ($101 / 82).  The second tier pays significantly better at $2.46 per ride.  The final tier pays even better at $3.12 per ride.  Therefore, when I don’t hit the 165 ride mark, I am not maximizing my bonus revenue.

    The same applies to Uber and the Quest bonuses.  The more rides you can do, the better the bonuses pay on a per ride basis. Obviously, your market may differ and some markets may not offer bonuses at all, so be strategic about what works for your market to maximize your time on the road.

    The Uber – Fair Car Rental Bonus Structure

    The bonus is definitely the best part of the Fair Car Rental program.  Uber offers a tremendous bonus opportunity when you rent a car through Fair.  Here are the details from the Fair website:

    What we see here is that when a driver completes just 70 trips, that driver will earn $214.  This calculates to $2.64 extra per trip for your first 70 trips.  That is a strong bonus, especially when we just saw that Lyft is offering me only $1.23 per ride on my first 82 rides.

    Then, if you decide to go for another 50 rides, you can earn an additional $120, or $2.40 per ride.  This is very smart on Uber’s part because as a driver, it is easy to set your goal at 70 trips (a relatively low target) to achieve a significant bonus and cover the majority of your vehicle expenses.

    Best of all, Fair now offers a first week free program for California drivers. This means that if you’re a California driver, you can now get your first week free (a $214 savings) and be able to access a pre-owned rideshare-ready car through Fair. In addition, Fair has doubled their inventory throughout California, increasing your chances of getting a car today.

    How Much Did I Earn With Fair Over 8 Weeks?

    Let’s take a look at the eight screenshots for the period of time I drove my Fair Car Rental vehicle:

    As you can see, my hours fluctuated greatly, from a short week of 23 hours, to a long week of 51 hours.  In order to get a better fix on my results, let’s break out a spreadsheet:

    You can access and download this spreadsheet for yourself here.

    We can look at this and make a few observations.  During the eight weeks, I averaged 35 hours per week.  This is a 30% drop from my 50-hour weeks.  I made it mandatory each week to at least hit the 70-ride mark to earn the $214 bonus.

    My earnings per hour were almost $37 per hour.  I took advantage of all bonuses and earned as much in tips as possible.  However, when we deduct the $201 ($214 plus taxes) Fair Car Rental payment from my earnings, we see a significant drop to $31 per hour.  Essentially, I paid $6 per hour for the rental car, which includes unlimited miles and rideshare insurance.

    Important note: Recently, several Uber drivers let us know that Uber changed the bonus structure for Fair drivers. As usual, Uber made these changes abruptly and without any notice. With this change, Uber has made it tougher to achieve the bonuses offered.

    Changes to Uber’s bonus structure courtesy of RSG reader Avtar

    Changes to Uber’s bonus structure courtesy of RSG reader Avtar

    It’s important to keep in mind that Uber makes these changes to bonuses, not Fair, so there’s not much drivers can do except make sure to take advantage of Fair’s first week free program and drive during times when it makes the most sense for your market.

    Why Did I Stop Using Fair?

    This is a “fair” question.  After all, I was earning a tidy per hour revenue figure above $30 after paying for my car and rideshare insurance.  I was cashing in on one of the best bonuses available at the time, $214 for just 70 trips.

    In the end, my decision came down to less financial reasons.  First, I wanted to buy a car to put a car loan on my credit report.  I intend to buy a home soon, and adding a car loan to my debt portfolio will help to boost my credit score.  Second, I wanted to drive a nicer car than a Hyundai Elantra.

    My 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid is getting me 45 miles per gallon driving all up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.  It is a quiet ride so I can revel in listening to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan.

    It also has a moonroof, which I have always found to be essential to my happiness.  These are the reasons why I stopped with the Fair Car Rental program.

    Key Takeaways of the Fair Rental Car Program

    The Fair Car Rental program in California is a strong option for drivers.  It is clean and easy.  Since insurance and unlimited miles are included, it is a no-brainer for many drivers.

    If a driver wants to try out rideshare driving and does not want to invest in a new car, the Fair Car Rental program is a simple way to get started and try it out.  It was great for me, and even after the deduction for the car payment, I was still able to earn over $30 per hour in San Francisco.

    Fair does offer many automobile makes and models to try out.  They are not all Hyundai Elantras.  Another driver told me he was loving his Hyundai Sonata.  When you check out the Fair app, you can see all the available options.  Be safe out there.

    Readers, would you try the Fair car rental program with Uber? What questions do you have about Fair?

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    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur, a graduate of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, is a full-time driver with over 26,000 rides. Jay has a driver-focused podcast: Rideshare Dojo with Jay Cradeur. When Jay isn’t writing articles or making videos, he is traveling the world. You can see what Jay is up to at www.nomadjay.com.