There aren’t a lot of requirements to become an Uber or Lyft driver, but one thing that holds a lot of people back is an eligible vehicle. In most cities, Uber requires a 2002 or newer 4 door sedan in order to drive on UberX while Lyft requires a 2004 or newer vehicle.
But for those without an eligible vehicle or even a vehicle at all, there are a whole host of options available: everything from buying and leasing programs to daily and hourly rentals. As Uber and Lyft have exploded in popularity, so have these vehicle start-ups, and many of them are specifically tailored to a rideshare driver’s needs.
Here are some of the most popular options for drivers:
Select an Option
Lyft Express Drive
Lyft has a popular rental program and it costs between $185 – $235 a week. Uniquely, Lyft offers a “Rental Rewards” program that greatly reduces the cost to rent the vehicle each week (sometimes making it free). So basically this program incentivizes you to do a lot of rides on Lyft, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
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.
Hertz Rental Partnership With Uber
Hertz offers weekly rentals for as little as $165/week plus tax. The rentals include unlimited mileage, maintenance, and insurance. You must be an approved driver in order to qualify for the rental. Once you are a driver, rentals can be reserved a day in advance and must be renewed each week for up to 4 weeks. Here are additional details:
- $250 Deposit.
- No Credit Check.
- Roadside Assistance.
This program is only available in select cities, specifically (as of October 2017):
- Atlanta, GA
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Denver, CO
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- New Orleans, LA
- San Francisco, CA
You can find more information on the Uber-Hertz Rental Partnership here.
HyreCar is a vehicle rental market specifically designed for Uber, Lyft, and delivery drivers. It’s actually pretty cool because you can filter by price, model, and location to find what fits your needs best. You can rent a vehicle for as little as 2 days, and it is a great way to test the waters for Uber and Lyft if you want to give it a try without the hassle of car shopping.
HyreCar is unique in that if you already have a car, you can rent it out on their platform. This means if you want to take a few days or a week off as an Uber driver, you can still put your car to work for you without leaving your house. They have designed the process to be as quick and easy as possible for drivers to get on the road in as little as 24 hours.
A good strategy with HyreCar is that you can rent an UberXL or Uber Select when a big event comes to town. This allows flexibility in operating different Uber products. It is also very useful for when your car is in the shop.
You can read our review of HyreCar here.
Private Fleet Owner
Another option that drivers have is working for a private fleet owner. Fleet owners allow you to rent a vehicle on a per week basis, and they cover all of the maintenance and associated costs. All you’re responsible for is the weekly rental payment and gas. This setup is very prevalent in New York where UberX drivers are required to have commercial insurance and TLC licensing (only UberX market like this).
In other cities, many UberSelect and UberBlack drivers will rent their vehicles through a fleet owner. You can learn more about what it’s like to drive for a fleet owner here.
San Francisco: Uber + Get Around Pilot
Currently only available in San Francisco and Oakland, Uber + Getaround allows drivers to rent cars by the hour and use the cars for rideshare driving. It’s a new pilot, so right now Uber + Getaround is letting drivers have their first day (up to 14 hours) free. There’s no minimum or maximum amount of time to rent.
After the first 14 hours are up, drivers will be charged $5 per hour to use the Getaround car. Also, Getaround’s $1 or 3% booking fees are reimbursed for Uber drivers.
You can find out more and get $20 credit here: Uber + Getaround.
Turo is an online vehicle rental marketplace (similar to Airbnb) that connects car owners looking to rent out their personal vehicles with consumers looking to rent cars. So how does this benefit Uber drivers?
- List your car on Turo: One of the best ways to leverage your vehicle is to rent it out on Turo’s marketplace since then you can effectively earn passive income without having to drive.
- Rent a car from Turo: As an Uber driver, you can’t use one of these vehicles to drive for Uber/Lyft but you can rent a car from Turo and use it with many delivery services. Or you can also rent a car for your personal needs since the selection is much more diverse than your typical rental company.
Please click here to sign up with Turo (affiliate link).
Rideshare Rental will help you rent an Uber and Lyft-approved car to get on the road quickly. You’ll still need to sign up to drive for Uber and Lyft (you can sign up here) but Rideshare Rental will help get you into a professionally cleaned, ready to go vehicle. Learn more about the rental program here.
GM is offering drivers a product called Maven Gig. With Maven, drivers get access to new Chevrolet models including the Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Trax, and Bolt EV. You’ll pay a weekly rate depending on the car model you choose, and you’ll have access to:
- Unlimited miles
- Maintenance included
- Insurance (minus the deductible)
- OnStar roadside assistance
From drivers we’ve spoken to, this program is pretty popular and it can be tough to get a car, so you have to be patient and persistent if this program is available in your city. Right now, Maven Gig is available in select cities but they are adding more.
Fair recently acquired Uber’s Xchange Leasing portfolio and partnered with Uber to offer rideshare vehicles to Uber drivers, and now they’re one of the go-to options for those looking to get a car to drive for Uber. They’re currently available to drivers in California, Philadelphia, and Seattle. They expect to expand to the rest of the U.S. by the end of the year.
They’re official partners with Uber and, if it’s available in your area, you can actually use the Uber Driver app to start your application with Fair. Alternatively, you can also download their app from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store and sign in with your Uber account to find a car. They also have cars available for non-rideshare drivers, so make sure you sign in using the Uber option of the app.
According to the company, “Fair is trying to revolutionize the way people get access to cars by offering a way to get a car with no long-term contract.”
Uber Xchange Leasing
Uber’s XChange Leasing program started in 2015 and was designed to get drivers into cars, on the road, and making money faster than traditional methods. The program leased cars to drivers who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for a loan on their own. Unfortunately, Uber shuttered this program in 2017.
You can read more about the reasons why Uber ended the XChange Leasing program, but for drivers who currently have an XChange lease, Uber will continue to support you as normal going forward.
Uber Enterprise Rental Car Partnership
In 2015, Uber also partnered with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, where drivers had access to a discounted rental car for which they would pay weekly. Unfortunately, in 2017 it looks like this program is ending as well.
Ford Fusion Hybrid
Ford Fusion Hybrid – I’ve been testing out a Ford Fusion Hybrid over the past few months and been pleasantly surprised. The car gets great gas mileage since it’s a hybrid (42 MPG) and you don’t have to sacrifice style or speed. Click here to check out my overview video review of the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Drivers, what do you think about all of the available leasing/rental options? What’s your experience been like?
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-Harry @ RSG