Are you a Fair rideshare driver, or someone who wanted to sign up with Fair and get started driving? Unfortunately, it looks like if you wanted to use Fair to become an Uber or Lyft driver, you may be out of luck (see other options here though). Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins breaks down the story of what’s going on with Fair below.
Rideshare drivers looking to rent a car using Fair look like they’re in for a difficult time. If you go on their website or app, you’ll see that leases for rideshare drivers are non-existent.
What is Fair?
Let’s step back for those who don’t know. Fair is a leasing company that has paired up with Uber to provide cars for lease specifically for rideshare drivers. The payment is taken out of your weekly Uber earnings at whatever rate you’re given for the kind of vehicle you decide to lease. The inventory of cars available changes constantly, so it’s always good to check back in if the car you’re interested in is not there.
Fair’s legacy program started at $130/wk with a $500 start payment. Every car includes unlimited miles, vehicle warranty, routine maintenance and 24/7 roadside assistance. Their newest program though was $214/week (but the price has crept up lately) with no upfront payment.
Fair also has deals with Uber that allows your weekly payments to go away or disappear.
However, that comes with a little caveat. You will not be able to participate in any other bonuses that Uber offers when you’re part of the Fair program. So, you wouldn’t be able to get quest bonuses or any other promotion.
Drivers have indicated to us though that these bonuses have gone away in many markets.
What’s Up with Fair?
So, all of that sounds pretty great, right? But what’s going on with them? Why are rideshare drivers unable to find any cars right now?
When I went to Fair.com, I was able to see cars as a regular person wanting to rent a car (not for rideshare), but when I switched it to “rideshare” all of the options disappeared.
This might be because I live in Minnesota and the program is not available to me here, but others on Facebook have expressed similar issues.
No actual response was posted from Fair that would answer when inventory would be updated and many drivers have reported similar issues. (Editor’s note: We have reached out to Fair for a comment and they did not respond.)
Similarly, on Google Play Store, I saw a rating that stated the following:
So, here’s another person unable to lease a car. Only this time the reasoning is that there are updates happening to the app. Supposedly, those updates will be pushed through at the end of January, but does that really mean that no one is going to be able to lease a car for the entire month? That seems like a surefire way to lose customers and revenue.
What More Could be Happening?
There is more than just the signs of not having cars available and using the excuse of revamping their app happening behind the scenes right now. It was announced in October 2019 that Fair would be laying off 40% of its staff. Soon after that announcement, Scott Painter, the founder and CEO of Fair resigned. He said in a statement that he wasn’t leaving the company, just stepping down as CEO.
The layoffs were touted as being part of a restructuring of the company, but it wasn’t made clear what exactly was being restructured or changed aside from the layoffs. Fair is just one of many Softbank backed companies going through major turmoil right now.
Much like other startups, Fair is working toward becoming more profitable. Fair claims that some of their markets aren’t pulling in as much as they had expected or hoped. So, basically, Fair needs to make some business changes to make sure profits are coming in on all sides.
Here’s the statement Fair released:
As we discussed at our last Fair Family Lunch, today’s companies must demonstrate a path to sustainable growth and profitability. Fair is no different. As one of the pioneers in automotive fintech, we now need to focus on being a profitable company. Our technology, our simple product design, and our focus on the customer are second to none. While we are proud of our growth, we are here for the long term. This means that we’ve decided to take proactive steps now to ensure we are a profitable public company later.
With the help and guidance of our leadership team, I’ve decided to focus the company’s resources on strengthening Fair’s core technology and reducing costs associated with the capital-intensive supply side of our business. Going forward, Fair will be a smaller team, focused on doing fewer things well. As part of the process of achieving profitability, we’re reducing our headcount across the business.
While these are the decisions that every entrepreneur dreads making, these are important for us to be able to safeguard the future of the business we’ve all worked so hard to build.
I remain grateful for this team’s hard work and optimistic for the future. We have created an entirely new category that consumers love. We’ve served tens of thousands of customers. We’ve powered Uber drivers’ livelihoods. We’ve helped everyone get access to the car they want, when they want, for how long they want — all on their phone and without taking on debt. We all did this together. We should all be proud of these achievements and I am personally grateful to all those who have given their time and expertise to deliver the future we set out to build.
Now, we will set out to transform the supply side of our business over the coming months, focus on building a profitable model, and operating with the rigor of a publicly traded company.
I expect everyone to have questions about what this means for them and the health of Fair, and while I can’t promise to have all the answers, I commit to keeping you informed along the way. These types of changes are painful, as I know from my previous experiences building companies. Our leadership team is responsible for the long-term sustainability of Fair, and no matter how difficult these decisions are, we believe they are the right steps in ensuring we have a bright future as a company. We thank you for being on this journey with us.
So, What Can Drivers Do?
Shop around. If you were thinking of getting a car with Fair, you likely have similar options nearby. Here are a few companies we’d recommend you look into if you’re in need of a car for rideshare driving.
HyreCar is not a leasing program, per se. It’s renting vehicles from individuals, not a company. You pay the fee set by the car owner along with added fees and insurance placed on it by HyreCar. You can choose how long you want to rent the car and many owners offer a little discount for longer rentals.
Learn more with our review of HyreCar.
Similar to HyreCar, RideShare Rental hooks drivers up with owners of vehicles to rent out their cars. You “shop” for a vehicle in your area and choose which one works best for your needs. Within 24 hours, the owner of the vehicle will confirm or deny your booking. From there, you’ll coordinate with the owner to pick up the vehicle.
Only available in the LA area right now.
KINTO Share is another car-sharing service where you pay for the hours you use the car and the miles you drive with it. Insurance, fuel and maintenance are all included. Currently they are only available in the Los Angeles area, but they hope to expand.
So, even if Fair doesn’t pull out of their slump, you as a rideshare driver will always have other options for renting or leasing a car if you don’t want to or can’t use your own.
Take a look at your full list of options for vehicles at our Vehicle Marketplace here.
Readers, have you run into any issues renting through Fair?
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-Paula @ RSG