One of the biggest requirements holding a lot of new and prospective rideshare and delivery drivers back is an eligible vehicle. Below, senior RSG contributors Christian Perea and Paula Gibbins review a popular rental service called Hyrecar.
These days there are lots of different options for drivers in need of a rideshare-eligible vehicle. But figuring out which one makes the most sense for your personal situation can be a daunting task.
We’ve received a lot of questions from drivers about HyreCar so we did some research, talked to the company, and spoke with drivers who have used the service to put together this HyreCar review.
What is HyreCar?
HyreCar is a marketplace specifically designed for rideshare drivers that allow drivers to rent a car to drive with Uber, or any other on-demand company like Doordash, Instacart, Grubhub, etc.
Private vehicle owners list their cars for rent on the site and potential renters/rideshare drivers can sort through the listings and rent a car.
Most of the vehicles have already been inspected and approved for rideshare platforms and HyreCar provides insurance too.
With HyreCar, you can rent a car to drive for Uber if you don’t have an eligible vehicle or you can even rent out your own car to those who want to drive for Uber and make some money that way.
Renters can often get on the road in under 24 hours and, since it’s a marketplace, there are a ton of different cars to pick from: we found everything from a bare-bones Hyundai to Mercedes E-Classes.
But during our HyreCar review, we found that most listings were for economy cars best suited for gas mileage and rideshare.
Keep in mind that HyreCar is a marketplace similar to AirBnB so the company itself doesn’t own any cars. Instead, they connect car owners with rideshare drivers in need of a vehicle.
Is HyreCar Legit?
In order for a platform like this to work, there have to be safeguards to ensure that listings are real, insurance is adequate, and things are handled well for drivers and car owners.
HyreCar’s inventory is made up entirely of individual car owners and has already been inspected by Uber before they are rented out on their site.
This is important for rideshare drivers since you don’t want to spend time getting a vehicle inspected if you’re only going to use it for a few days at a time.
HyreCar will actually call the owner of every new listing to make sure it is not a scam or a false listing. I tested this by posting a listing for a Ford Fiesta using fake information and a fake photo from the internet.
They called me the next day to verify that I wasn’t making things up. Apparently, they wouldn’t let me rent out my fake listing because my safety form was a picture of Chewbacca 😂
Previously, HyreCar shared the following information on its insurance for renters:
When a driver is driving for a Transportation Network Company (TNC) like Uber and a ride is in-progress (the driver has pushed the button to accept a ride) our policy is secondary to the TNCs (Uber) policy. For all other instances, our policy is primary and the driver does not need supplemental insurance. Our insurance covers up to $50,000 of vehicle damage and up to $1,000,000 for liability. The deductible amount varies for each protection plan.
HyreCar’s insurance policy is pretty similar to a standard rideshare insurance policy although the deductible may be a bit higher than what you’re used to.
And remember, if you get into an accident while you’re on a trip or en route to a passenger, you would go through the TNCs for coverage (Uber has a $1,000 deductible).
HyreCar’s insurance was generated specifically for rideshare drivers. If you do not pay with a credit card, you will be assessed a $200 refundable deposit. If you choose to pay with a credit card, you will not be assessed this deposit.
Background Check: If you are new to HyreCar, there is a background check that you need to pass before you can rent a car. It can take some time but you only have to do it once. There’s also a fee but it’s refundable if you don’t pass the check.
Is HyreCar A Good Deal?
During our Hyrecar review we found that prices vary, but here’s an example of a typical deal in Los Angeles:
You can get a 2020 Toyota Corolla for $280 a week plus $13 per day for insurance and a 10% transaction fee. This comes out to about $375 per week or roughly $1,500 per month.
That’s an adjusted total of $50/day to rent a car and drive for Uber.
There is a lot of diversity in the vehicles available on HyreCar though, so pricing will definitely vary based on whether the vehicle can drive Select, XL, the age of the vehicle, gas mileage, etc.
$1,500 per month is steep but this lease could still make sense for people without a lot of other options.
- If you don’t have the credit to finance a vehicle on your own or be approved for a loan
- HyreCar is in dozens of markets across the US so if you live in a smaller market, this could be your best and only option
- If you want a short-term flexible solution compared to other longer-term leases
- If you want to try driving any variety of new vehicles such as Select or XL before purchasing your own vehicle
How to Use the HyreCar Driver Website
The HyreCar website is fairly easy to navigate, but it also has a lot of information, which it can be intimidating. Whether you’re a driver or car owner, the website is the same, but it is broken into sections with individualized information for each.
1. Start with the How It Works Page
You’ll want to start on the How It Works page for a basic breakdown of what becoming a HyreCar driver looks like.
It’s laid out in a timeline fashion showing what order you need to get things done in so that you can get on the road as quickly and painlessly as possible. The left side of the page is specific to drivers and the right is for car owners.
There are some steps that a car owner needs to take before you do your step to move forward in the process. So, while you’re focusing mainly on the driver’s side of the timeline, keep an eye out for the owner’s side to make sure you’re not getting ahead of yourself.
If after reading through the “How It Works” page, it sounds like something you’re interested in trying out, the next step would be to sign up for a HyreCar account, as you can’t do much of anything else on the website without it.
2. Rent a Car
Once you sign into your account and choose the option “Rent A Car” while logging in, you’ll be brought to a page that looks similar to this:
From this page, you’re able to scroll through the cars that are currently available to rent through HyreCar.
You can click on each available car to learn more information about it including how much it would cost if you wanted to rent it, plus the insurance and transaction fees. It also will show a brief description of the car as written by the owner.
The cost of renting a car will vary and is chosen solely by the owner of the vehicle. There’s no minimum or maximum an owner can charge for their vehicle to be rented. Be sure it fits into your budget, especially if you’re planning on renting long-term.
While you’re within the car profile, you are able to select the number of days you’d like to rent it for at a time.
Keep in mind, the total that you’ll see is due in full before you’re able to rent the car. Do not fear, you can always choose to extend your rental at any time during the rental period and pay a new amount for the extended number of days.
From there you complete the process of renting the vehicle.
Application for Renting out a Vehicle:
3. Utilize the Support Link
If you have questions about anything, the easiest way to get answers is to scroll to the bottom of the page you’re on and click on the Support link or the Help button depending on where you are on the website.
The Help button will bring up a search bar for you to start a search for whatever you’re questioning. Similarly, the Support link will bring you to a search page that will link you to their pre-made articles to answer any questions you might have.
4. Pick Up Your Vehilce
Once you’re approved for renting the vehicle and passed your background check, the next step is picking up the vehicle. You’ll need to organize with the owner of the vehicle the time and place for the exchange.
Then the car is yours for the duration of the rental period. If you rented it for 3 days, you’ll have 3 days exactly to get the car back to the owner.
During that 3-day period, if you decide this is pretty awesome and you want to keep renting the vehicle, you can extend the lease for the number of days you’re willing/able to pay for upfront as long as the owner is willing to allow you to do so.
HyreCar Claims App
Let’s say someone rear-ends the car when you’re renting it. What now?
First, review this Damage Claim Policy that HyreCar has posted on its website. The long and the short of it is, if anything were to happen during the rental period such as an accident, you as the driver would be responsible for it.
When you rent a car, you pay for HyreCar’s insurance policy which covers quite a bit but keep in mind, it does not cover:
- scratches, dents, punctures, window cracks, or dings under 6 inches in length (these are considered normal wear and tear)
- tire damage
- loss of income, vehicle downtime, or storage fees
- an alternative rental vehicle during an ongoing claims investigation or during a repair
- failure of a vehicle’s engine or mechanical components (this is regular maintenance)
- interior stains, tears, or rips
- lost car keys
- damage that occurs outside of the active rental time
According to a support representative,
“As a driver, if you get into a big or little fender bender, you have to return the car [to the owner] because we don’t want anything else to happen to it. When you confirm drop off, [the HyreCar website] is going to ask you a couple of questions… ‘is the car in the same condition it was picked up’ and you hit NO, then it auto generates a claim.”
He went on to say that
“If you are the owner, then you can simply log into the mobile app and create a claim to send to us.”
The claims app is to be used only by the owner of the vehicle.
Pros and Cons
- Multiple Driving / Delivery Platforms: HyreCar allows drivers to test multiple platforms without restricting them to Ube
- Fixed Costs: Costs for things like wear and tear are built into the price of renting the car.
- No Strings Attached: One of the trade-offs for a higher weekly payment with HyreCar is that it is extremely flexible. HyreCar allows you to rent a car for as little as a couple of days and there are no fees to return a car.
- Customer Service: HyreCar has a phone number to call (888-688-6769) and a human answers the phone. In my experience, they were very friendly, responsive to my questions, and knowledgeable in guiding me through the signup process.
- Not the Best Long-Term Solution: Most monthly rentals on HyreCar go for around $1,200 a month. Add in $10 a day for insurance, plus the 10% fee and you quickly get above $1,500 a month for a rideshare vehicle.
- Mileage Limits: Each car on HyreCar has a daily mileage limit set by the owner of the vehicle, but fortunately, these mile limits seem to be pretty high; between 150 and 300 miles a day.
- Getting In/Out of Cars: Since each car is owned by an individual, you need to coordinate the pick-up/drop-off of the car. Some owners may offer free delivery of the car but otherwise, you need to figure out a cost-effective way to get to/from your car.
Best Use-Cases of HyreCar
I think HyreCar’s best strength is its flexibility, since there are a lot of situations for rideshare drivers where they may only need a car for a few days, weeks, or months.
Here are some of the best use-cases according to our HyreCar review:
1. UberSelect or UberXL Test
Investing in a car that is eligible for UberSelect or UberXL is a big decision with heavy financial ramifications.
So it’s smart to see if you can get enough business on those platforms in your city before committing to a more expensive Select/XL vehicle.
HyreCar is the only platform we’ve found with Select/XL-eligible vehicles. It would also be a good test to rent an UberXL-eligible vehicle on HyreCar for a week if a big game, event, or convention came to your market.
2. Car in the Shop or Broken
If your car is in the shop or gets into an accident, you can use HyreCar to get back into a car and get on the road.
This goes a long way since a lot of drivers don’t realize that when you get into an accident, you will be temporarily deactivated from Uber until your car is fixed.
So, if you normally rely on your Uber income, HyreCar would be one of your best options to make money while your car is being repaired.
3. Testing The Waters
Rideshare driving isn’t a great fit for everyone so this could be a great way for new drivers to rent a car and test the waters without having to commit to purchasing a car.
And the best part about testing the waters with HyreCar is that you can also test out different cars for a few days at a time; giving you a good idea of whether or not you like any particular make or model of car.
There are a lot of services out there that pair with or complement the rideshare services jobs out there. Three of them are HyreCar, Turo, and Lyft Express.
On Turo’s website, the first thing you see is the message
“Way better than a rental car. Book unforgettable cars from local hosts around the world.”
This brings to mind that Turo is a worldwide company, that allows you to rent cars abroad as well. Turo seems to have a wide array of cars available as well.
They range from the Volkswagen Jetta to a Porsche or Tesla and the price per day costs for those vehicles range from $30 to $128 per day accordingly.
Turo’s website doesn’t seem to push the idea that these are for rental purposes of rideshare driving. On their timeline showing how the operation works, they state;
“Go explore! In the city or the woods, for a few days or a few weeks, rain or shine, grab your shades and go create something to write home about,”
which makes it sound like they are using their service as a way to replace the average, everyday car rental business and putting a twist on it.
Lyft Express Drive
Renting through Lyft Express Drive is obviously linked directly with Lyft. You are required to give a minimum of 20 rides every seven days.
With that though, you are given unlimited miles and they specify you’re allowed to use this vehicle for personal use as well. Instead of being charged separately, Lyft takes the cost of the car out of your earnings.
It appears that these are open contracts where you can return the vehicle anytime you want after seven days. It is currently available in several large cities across the United States.
The vehicles available to choose from are with Avis Budget Group, Flexdrive, and Hertz. They too require a starter fee which is non-refundable as well as a refundable security deposit. The payments include maintenance and insurance.
The biggest difference between Hyrecar and Hertz is that you have to pick either Uber or Lyft to drive with, you can’t drive for both companies at once through Hertz.
Other than that, you have to rent out the vehicle through hertz for at least 7 days, but then there is no other long-term contract required. In addition, you receive the following for around $214-219 a week, depending on if you’re driving for Uber or Lyft, respectively:
- Liability protection and standard maintenance are included.
- Unlimited miles for driving with Uber and personal use.
- Vehicle damage protection is included.
- 24-hour, 365 days a year roadside assistance.
Renting Out Your Car with HyreCar
Considering renting out your car with Hyrecar? We tried it, and this was our contributor, Paula’s, experience:
1. Listed our Toyota Camry
We listed our Toyota Camry for $32/day, which seemed pretty reasonable to us. We’d done some research on what vehicles similar to ours were being rented for in other cities to make sure we weren’t asking way too much or underselling it.
Here is what the potential drivers saw on HyreCar when looking to rent our vehicle:
2. Met with Potential Renter
Now, the second driver who contacted us had heard of HyreCar when he was driving for Uber out in Los Angeles and decided to give it a shot when he moved back to the Twin Cities area.
He wanted to see the vehicle before committing to renting it, and I was happy to be able to meet the potential renter before just handing over the keys.
We met up at a time that worked for all of us and chatted for a good 30 minutes or so.
He looked over the vehicle and asked us questions about Uber in the area and what we thought was an average amount to earn as a full-time driver so he could calculate if the expense of renting our vehicle was worth it.
3. Received Official Rental Request Contract
A few days later we got the official request through HyreCar along with the contract.
The contract outlined how many days the person was planning on renting the vehicle, how much we would be earning for that rental period, and how to proceed should any issues arise.
The way HyreCar works is that he is able to extend his rental contract as often as he wants as long as we want to continue renting the vehicle out.
There was only one instance where he forgot to renew it before the rental period was up, but we knew he still wanted to rent it, so we just sent a friendly reminder and gave him one day to renew it before we would have taken any kind of action to get the vehicle back. He paid it up the next morning and the rental continued.
He typically paid for 3 to 5 days at a time, so we received one or two payments a week directly to our bank account without any effort on our part.
Keep This in Mind When Renting Out on HyreCar
One thing we hadn’t taken into consideration until we were handing over the keys and talking with the driver is the permit every driver needs to pick up at our airport. I’m sure the rules are different for every airport around the country, so keep in mind this is specific to Minneapolis/St. Paul.
With HyreCar being new to the area, this process was a bit clunky, to say the least, and that is, I’m sure, in part because HyreCar didn’t know about this kind of regulation.
We ended up carving time out of our day in order to meet the driver at the local TNC office in order to make sure he was able to pick up riders from the airport as a rideshare driver.
We realized after the fact that we didn’t need to be there for this part, but since HyreCar was so new to the area, we felt it would be important to be there so that the driver and the TNC officials understood what was needed and how to get the correct permitting on the first try.
These permits are essential and the police around the airport have been known to do random checks to make sure you have the proper paperwork for picking up passengers at the airport.
So, if there are similar laws in your area, you might want to look into what needs to be done before renting your car out so that no one gets in trouble for not having the proper permitting or paperwork.
How Do Repairs and Maintenance Work When Renting Out Your Car on Hyrecar
We were lucky in that there weren’t any major repairs needed during this rental period, just typical maintenance things like oil changes and tire rotations.
When that kind of instance came up, we just organized with the driver when he wouldn’t need the vehicle so we could pick it up, get the oil changed, and then drop the car back off again before he’d need it.
It was pretty slick and was a lot easier than I had imagined it would be. All maintenance items are the owner’s responsibility once the driver indicates something needs to be done. We kept in regular contact with the driver just to make sure things were going smoothly and whenever anything came up, he just gave us a quick phone call to let us know what was going on.
The biggest thing that cropped up was at the very end of the rental period. He’d mentioned something about a nail being stuck in one of the tires.
We told him we could pick up the vehicle and have it looked at, or he could take it to any Discount Tire location and tell them our name and that the tire would be under warranty for patches.
He said he’d take care of it because he only had a couple of days left before he’d be returning the vehicle anyway and wanted to be able to drive it as much as possible before that time came. We hadn’t heard anything else from him about it, so we assumed he’d gotten it fixed and that everything was fine.
Three days later when he returned the vehicle to us, everything looked fine and there seemed to be no issues. But, a few days after that, when my husband was out driving the car he noticed one of the tires was lower than it should be and got it checked out.
Sure enough, the nail was still stuck in it. It wasn’t a huge issue, but it was a bit inconvenient and we just wish the driver had been upfront with us about it when turning the vehicle back over to us. We would have taken care of it that day instead of having it inconvenience my husband while he was out driving.
Luckily, he never got into an accident or had any major repair issues come up while he was renting it. If that had happened, however, HyreCar has the drivers pay for insurance on the vehicle, so we would have been covered if there had been an accident. That was another plus side for us as the owners.
With Hyrecar, we wouldn’t have to pay our deductible with our regular insurance or go through any of the hoops you’d normally have to do in order to get the car taken care of. All of that would be on the driver and HyreCar to handle. However, since we didn’t actually experience that first-hand, we don’t truly have an idea of how smooth or how difficult it would be to get the repairs done in a timely manner.
Earnings vs Expenses When Renting Out Your Vehicle on HyreCar
Here’s where we get to the part where we finally learned if it was worth it to try out HyreCar. Overall expenses on the vehicle during the time period we had it rented out came to a grand total of $413.94.
This included two oil changes, one engine air filter replacement, and getting one axle rotor and brake pads replaced.
Keep in mind, the brake pads we had replaced previous to renting the vehicle but they were wearing too quickly for our liking, so we upgraded them to the high-performance ones.
Our mechanic allowed us to just pay the difference since we had just replaced them about a month before renting the vehicle out and were already seeing too much wear on them, plus we’d gotten ones that were under a warranty.
Overall, we net $2,899.52 and we’ll be able to claim $2,256.80 as deductions when doing taxes because of the insurance and fees HyreCar takes out of the gross earnings.
At least, that is our understanding. We’ll get a clearer idea of that when we sit down with our tax guy at the beginning of next year, but we know, if nothing else, we’ll be able to claim the fees that HyreCar takes off the top. Here is the breakdown:
So, we walked away (before tax deductions and before paying taxes on it) with $2,485.58 on a vehicle that would otherwise have just been using up gas weekly to take me back and forth to work.
The driver rented the vehicle for a total of 108 days. Meaning, without lifting a finger, we earned $23 a day or about $690 a month, which more than covered the car payments and insurance we were already paying.
Granted, there is increased depreciation of the vehicle, perhaps more than if we were using it instead of someone who was driving it as a full-time Uber driver. Plus, if he had a heavier foot with the brakes than we do, that would wear down faster and need to be replaced sooner.
We didn’t have those kinds of issues this time around, but that’s always potential and would be an added expense that may tip the scales in the other direction, possibly making me rethink ever doing this again.
Would We Do It Again?
The short answer here is: Yes.
Now, here’s the long answer. We would, BUT we would do some things differently.
We Would Want to Have an Extra Vehicle at Hand
For one, we wouldn’t use one of our vehicles that we use on a regular basis.
We’ve been talking about buying a more efficient vehicle that we would use for Uber and then we’d turn our Camry into a car that will strictly be for renting out with HyreCar.
- Cost of Gas: One reason for this decision is that while the Camry was being rented, my husband used my Grand Caravan as his full-time vehicle for Uber, and just paying for gas for the van was ridiculously expensive. He was still able to make well enough to make up for that by doing XL rides as well as X, but we’d like for the venture to be even more worthwhile before we do it again.
- Limited to One Car: Also, it did get a little annoying at times to be limited to just one vehicle for both of us. I was able to take the bus to my regular job, but all of our errands would have to work around our schedules to get taken care of. Plus, if anything were to happen to the van, we’d be out of a vehicle and stuck, which actually did happen. The steering went out on my van and it was in the shop for four days. So, those days my husband was not able to work because our “backup” vehicle was being rented out.
- Unpredictable Weather: Another factor for us is the unpredictable weather we get. Leading up to the winter, we would have ended the rental if the driver hadn’t already wanted to return it. This is mostly because the bus system becomes noticeably less reliable when bad weather hits, which happens pretty frequently here in Minnesota. So, we would only consider doing this during the winter if we had a third vehicle to rent out instead of hindering ourselves by renting out one of our main vehicles.
Overall, we don’t have any regrets and we’d certainly consider doing HyreCar again in the future. The passive income was great because it covered the car payments, insurance, and extra on top of that each month we had it rented out. That to me is worth it on its own.
Should You Use HyreCar
As a driver who was on the road full-time for rideshare, I will say it is very valuable to have HyreCar as an option in case of a breakdown or accident.
When I drove, there were no rental options anywhere. If your car broke down or got into an accident, you would be completely TOAST if you didn’t have any savings or an emergency fund.
So even though it’s obviously more expensive than a regular car, it’s good to know that HyreCar is there in case the transmission drops out of my car or I get rammed by another angry cab driver. I know at the very least I would be able to get back on the road and pay my bills.
However, I think this service is best used for shorter-term rental periods or for those drivers without other options.
I Do Not Recommend for Long-Term
I would not recommend it as a first option if you need a vehicle beyond that time period since the costs come out to $1,200-$1,500 a month after rental fees and insurance.
No matter how you mash that, it’s not a prudent way to operate your business. Especially since earnings fluctuate so much on Uber and there is no guarantee that what you are making today will look anything like what you make tomorrow.
But if you’re out of other options or like the flexibility that HyreCar offers, their platform works well and they have good support. Additionally, the insurance is real and their process is much more streamlined compared to other options we’ve tested. It’s easy to see which cars are available in your area, and exactly how much they will cost and then you can book your new rideshare vehicle today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use HyreCar for Lyft?
Not anymore! While HyreCar used to be a popular option for Lyft driver car rentals, Lyft works exclusively with Express Drive Now.
How long does it take to get on the road with HyreCar?
Sometimes it takes Uber a few hours to accept a vehicle on a driver’s profile. But you can avoid this by going directly to an Uber Greenlight hub to expedite the process.
How do I know if a HyreCar listing is legit?
The quality of each car and listing varies from person to person. You will want to make sure you do your research to get into a good car. I suggest checking the ratings and feedback from previous renters and choosing appropriately.
I also saw a few 2-door cars on their listing and I know they are not eligible for Uber yet they were listed as Uber verified.
So make sure you check the Uber car requirements too.
How do damage claims work?
Rideshare vehicles tend to get damaged. If someone throws up in your HyreCar and the rideshare fee doesn’t cover the full extent of the damage, you are on the hook for the difference.
Every time you rent a new HyreCar and return it, you will want to complete a vehicle checklist with the owner. I also suggest taking pictures of everything on the checklist when you get the car, and when you return it for your personal records.
Can you make money with HyreCar?
Yes! You can rent out your car through Hyrecar and earn money – see our above section on ‘Renting Out Your car with HyreCar’.
How old do you have to be for HyreCar?
You must be at least 21 years old to use HyreCar.