New Los Angeles Rideshare Offers Free Cars to Drivers

YayYo Inc., an app for researching rideshare services, launched its own rideshare on May 11, and is offering drivers brand-new vehicles — free of charge — through a partnership with Penske Auto Group’s fleet division, Mobility Finance has learned.

The new rideshare, called RideYayYo, is in beta in L.A. County. The company received more than 600 driver applicants within two weeks of launching, according to a company press release. RideYayYo drivers will receive guaranteed salaries, benefits, flexible shifts — and, of course, the brand-new car.

“One of the differences in the YayYo business model is the offering of company-owned cars to drivers without them making a car payment,” Laurie DiGiovanni, head of fleet operations at YayYo, told Mobility Finance. Drivers are even able to use the car for personal use if they comply with the guidelines for basic car maintenance, vehicle storage, and a limited mileage designation within their contract.

As part of the use criteria, drivers cannot use the vehicle for other rideshare services, she said. An onboard camera is located in each vehicle to monitor all activity, and the vehicle will be relinquished if the driver no longer works for YayYo.

“YayYo is securing a company-owned fleet of vehicles that will include Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” DiGiovanni said. For RideYayYo’s first round of vehicles, the company is working with Penske while it assesses and explores an OEM partnership, she added. “Clearly, urban mobility is impacting the business of selling cars, and we intend to leverage the market shift. As an emerging mobility service, we intend to craft a strategic long-term OEM relationship that serves our fleet’s requirements and serves our rider experience.”

Drivers will partake in an extensive training program as part of the onboarding process. Background checks and in-person training will enable RideYayYo to avoid issues related to existing driver qualifications of other services. “We believe we can learn from other rideshare company mistakes — on what is missing with existing drivers qualifications and characteristics — and fill in the gaps,” DiGiovanni said.

YayYo plans to complete the driver hiring process and debut its fleet throughout L.A. County in the coming weeks. RideYayYo will then be available exclusively through the YayYo app. “We anticipate rolling out through Southern California through the rest of the year, then Northern California, and then nationally next year,” DiGiovanni added.

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