Driving for Uber or Lyft poses an enticing option for workers who like a flexible and literally mobile schedule they control. It also appeals to those looking to make money on the side, such as part-time workers, students, and full-time employees looking at carpool benefits.
As enticing as the opportunity sounds, would-be drivers may encounter some obstacles. Driving full-time can add wear-and-tear to a vehicle as well as cause insurance rates to increase with the extended exposure to risk factors on the road. Additionally, rideshare companies have requirements about the age and condition of vehicles used. Uber doesn’t accept vehicles made before 2002, and Lyft 2004. Potential drivers may not even own a car, such as college students or public-transportation dependent city-dwellers.
Luckily, as the farthest reaching ridesharing businesses, both Uber and Lyft allow their drivers to rent the cars they use for the job. By submitting a specialized application, the companies will move forward with your background check under the assumption you will be renting a car and won’t require a vehicle-eligibility check. By partnering with rental companies, the driver typically pays a weekly fee that includes insurance and mileage costs.
How to Rent a Car for Uber
Uber partners with several different rental companies in select cities across the country to provide cars for drivers who need them. The rental cost is deducted from your weekly pay, and insurance is included in the rental price. The car comes without a mileage limit, meaning you can use it for personal use, and routine maintenance. To rent a car to be an Uber driver, follow these 4 steps:
- Sign up with Uber, pass their background check, and select “I need a car” to start rental process.
- Have the requisite deposit (usually) $200 ready — it will be returned when you turn in the car.
- Once you’re approved as a driver, know that rentals are first-come-first-serve, and you can’t reserve a specific type in advance. Select your car based on what offers are available at the time.
- Follow Uber’s provided instructions for accessing your rented vehicle.
Remember, you can only use your Uber rental to drive for Uber. Both Fair and Getaround work exclusively with Uber to provides rentals for its drivers.
Fair lets Uber drivers select a car for a $500 start-fee, from there on making weekly $130 payments. It gives drivers unlimited mileage and the option to renew rentals every week with no long-term commitment. Fair provides standard maintenance, vehicle warranty, and roadside assistance with every rental. Fair’s flexible policy lets drivers return the car anytime within a 5-day’s notice, allowing the driver to determine the period of use.
Fair is available in over 25 markets across the US, and has a pilot program in California that lets Uber drivers rent vehicles for $185 per week plus taxes. Unlike the standard program, the pilot also includes insurance and, instead of a start payment, only requires a refundable $185 security deposit. Fair focuses solely on its Uber partnership for the benefit of all current and prospective drivers.
Only drive Uber a few hours a day? Getaround allows rideshare drivers to rent cars parked nearby. Though only available in a few cities across the country, first-day rentals are free for 12 consecutive hours. After that, they pay a flat hourly rate. Getaround cars come equipped with Uber stickers, phone mounts, and phone chargers. The rental also includes insurance for each trip, basic maintenance, and easy-access to Uber’s 24-hour customer-support through the Uber app.
Each car is equipped with the company's patented integrated hardware and software Getaround Connect that lets users book and unlock the car through the app. This eliminates the need to exchange keys between the owner and renter and helps remove wait times associated with renting cars. Getaround makes paperwork, information, and everything needed for the rental process easily accessible through their app and the internet.
How to Rent a Car for Lyft
Lyft’s rental car program is called Express Drive, and also involves a weekly fee covering mileage, insurance, and maintenance. Cars are rented on a weekly basis, with a renewal option available instead of returning it. Every rental allows drivers to use the car for Lyft as well as personal driving within the state it was rented in, and both insurance and maintenance are covered by the rental fee. You can also switch between rideshare use of your Lyft rental car and your own personal car if it’s also a Lyft-approved vehicle. To rent a car as a Lyft driver, follow these 3 steps:
- Apply through Lyft’s Express Drive program if it’s available in your city.
- Meet Lyft’s driver requirements, including being over the age of 25.
- Schedule a car pick-up and be ready to provide a refundable deposit.
Lyft does not allow rideshare drivers use their Lyft-rental for any other rideshare services. Lyft-exclusive rentals are provided through Flexdrive and Avis Budget Group.
Lyft and Flexdrive partnered to start their Express Drive program to allow qualified drivers to find a ride sharing vehicle. This partnership lets Lyft control car type, quality, and driver experience. Drivers can find the car they need through the Lyft app and pay the standard weekly rate — anywhere from $185 to $235. Users can view their rental agreement anytime they’re in Lyft’s Driver Dashboard
Available in several cities throughout the US, Flexdrive covers physical car damage, liability claims, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage when the car is being used for personal driving. While waiting for a request or while the ride is in progress, the driver is covered by Lyft’s insurance policy. Flexdrive rental prices also include routine maintenance and repairs.
Avis Budget Group
Lyft announced its partnership with Avis Budget Group in Fall of 2018, and currently only operates in Chicago. One of the world’s largest car rental services, Avis Budget Group moves with forward-thinking trends through its app to provide on-demand mobility services and a personalized customer experience. Avis partners with Lyft’s Express Drive program to make their cars directly available through the Lyft app.
Drivers pay between $185 and $235 a week and can qualify for a rewards program that reduces the weekly rental cost based on ride amount. This occasionally provides a free weekly rental, incentivizing drivers to drive multiple rides for Lyft. Avis also covers scheduled maintenance, basic repairs, as well as personal driving insurance. Lyft’s insurance covers incidents while the ride is in progress, while both Lyft and Avis split the protection while waiting for a request.
Companies Renting to Both Uber and Lyft Drivers
Hertz partners with both Uber and Lyft, providing rental cars to the most cities across the country on each platform.
Uber: For Uber, Hertz cars are available at a cost of $214 a week in addition to a $200 refundable deposit and unlimited mileage. Hertz provides insurance and weekly renewal options. Cars can also be rented for up to 28-day periods. In populous parts of California, Uber drivers using Hertz can receive an extra $185 a week if they complete 70 trips that week. If they complete 120 trips, they can receive a bonus $305. These costs can go toward the original rental fee, making it practically free.
Lyft: Driving for Lyft with Hertz gives drivers unlimited miles, insurance, standard maintenance, roadside assistance, and no long-term contract. The weekly rental cost can be extended at any time — though the driver is required to return the vehicle every 28 days for a full inspection. Hertz also includes a Loss Damage Waiver for additional insurance coverage.
Outside of a direct partnership with Uber and Lyft, HyreCar operates as a carsharing platform for rideshare drivers. According to company CEO Joe Furnari, HyreCar connects current and potential rideshare drivers with car owners and dealers who want to rent out their underused vehicles. It is accessible in all cities across the US with car availability dependant upon driver and owner usage in each area.
HyreCar allows would-be drivers with unqualified cars access to reliable vehicles and income while also generating income for car owners. A rideshare driver working for both Lyft and Uber can rent a car through HyreCar without worrying about violating either company’s rental agreement. Dealers also benefit from HyreCar by letting them gain income from their used-car inventory, reduce wholesale losses from aged inventory, and turn renters into potential buyers.
Renting and Ridesharing Made Easy
Rental car services provide access to the ridesharing industry for otherwise unqualified drivers. As the future of car ownership and driving styles change, the importance of mobility access alters as well. Uber and Lyft offer a source of full and part-time income. The numerous car rental agencies working in partnership with rideshare companies and drivers expand the amount of available jobs and revenue. Qualified drivers without qualified cars can provide services to ridesharers all across the country.