Uber, Getaround Offer Carless Drivers With Alternative to Leasing

As the auto industry shifts further away from traditional car ownership to a shared economy, there is a new incentive for carless Uber drivers, which allows drivers to rent out cars by the hour from Getaround’s platform.

The cars are not made available through Getaround’s peer-to-peer carshare service, but are yet another offering through Uber’s subsidiary Xchange Leasing.

Uber has long been an advocate for offering flexible options for its drivers. “There is a lot of variability in how drivers use Uber, from the reasons they drive to the amount of time they spend on the platform,” the company wrote in a July 2015 blog post. “But one thing is clear: the key to flexible earnings is flexible financing.”

Xchange, launched in July 2015, enables those who do not own cars drive for Uber, and connects them to loan or lease providers and collects payments. However, Uber also offers other products and discounts through its Vehicle Solutions program as well, including discounts on vehicles from auto manufacturers, special financing through captives like Toyota Financial Services and General Motors Co.’s Maven carshare program, and short-term car rentals through Hertz, Zipcar, and now Getaround.

The new Getaround program offers on-demand rentals to Uber drivers in San Francisco. First-time drivers using the program can rent the car for free for up to 14 hours then pay $5 per hour thereafter, with the fee also covering insurance, gas, and mileage, according to a company press release.

Uber’s not the only one with a driver program, as its main rideshare competitor, Lyft, has also teamed up with Shell, Hertz, and others to offer similar benefits.

Separately, Uber opened up its financial book last week, revealing that the ride-hailing giant more than doubled gross bookings in 2016 to $20 billion, according to a published report, and net revenue was $6.5 billion. Gross bookings increased 28% to $6.9 billion in the last three months of 2016, from the previous quarter, according to the report. Losses rose 6.1% in the fourth quarter to $991 million, as compared to the prior quarter.

Those interested in learning more about the evolution of the transportation industry should join us at the second annual Auto Finance Innovation 2017 conference, May 17-18 at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. Visit www.autofinanceinnovation.com and to learn more.

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