Why should I try a rideshare rental program?
If you’ve ever been a vehicle owner, you have no doubt experienced the financial responsibility of maintaining the car. In Washington DC, it costs an average person $392/year for repairs/maintenance, $1273/year for car insurance, and $618/year for gas. That’s a total of $2283 every year going toward just having the vehicle, not including what the car actually costs or what you’re paying in financing. If any of your income comes from driving, you’re putting more money into your car than majority of drivers on the road. Whatever commutes you make outside of work affect the total number of miles on your car just as much as those you make on the clock.
To take some of the financial burden away from the drivers, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are providing opportunities in Washington D.C. and other major cities to make driving more affordable and accessible to anyone looking to become a driver. There are now programs that offer low-cost rental options for interested drivers who don’t wish to use their personal vehicles for rideshare.
Lyft’s Express Drive Program
This is a worthwhile option if you’re looking to drive full-time for Lyft. Your rental fee could be waived entirely with a sufficient number of drives every week. Currently, providing 75 or more rides every week offsets the rental price. You are incentivized to give as many rides as possible when choosing this option. With a full-time work schedule, that averages to about one ride every 32 minutes. It’s manageable with an average of 2 rides each hour, although any number of conditions (i.e. weather, congestion, road conditions, etc.) could make it harder to keep up with that average. If you’re not interested in driving full time, then you’ll need to pay a weekly fee. For the lowest payment option, choose a compact or mid-size sedan rather than an SUV. Any personal miles cost $0.25 each, regardless of how many trips you take every week.
Uber’s Rental Programs & Incentives
Enterprise has partnered with Uber in D.C. to allow Uber driver partners to rent out their mid sized-sedans for rideshare. A weekly fee of $245/week (plus fees) affords the driver unlimited miles and liability coverage. It requires that the driver put down $350, with flexibility and no-notice returns to their Falls Church, VA location after the first week. The reservation must be for at least a week in order to be eligible.The driver must be an approved Uber partner with a current, valid driver’s license. He or she must also be at least 25 years of age.
Hertz offers a similar rental program, but with a few more restrictions and alternative features. The vehicle can only be taken out for 7-28 days, as opposed to the Enterprise program which incentivizes having the vehicle for long periods of time.
This program is less for the full time driver and more for the folks who wish to drive while on an extended trip into the city. As in, you already had a need for a rental car when you got Washington D.C. If you have the free time during your stay, this could be a simple way to make extra cash or perhaps simply offset the costs of renting the vehicle in the first place.
On the other hand, this program may not make much sense for you financially. You need to pay $245 per week to rent the car with Enterprise, for instance, plus the $350 down payment you would need to make at the start of the rental. The average trip pays out at $12.87, so you’ll need to make close to 20 trips just to pay back the weekly fee. If you’re dependent on the income you obtain as a driver, and you can set aside 20+ hours of the week toward driving for Uber, then this is a net positive investment.
HyreCar is exactly the service for personalized driver rental. People with unused, dust-collecting, rideshare-eligible vehicles can list their vehicles out for rent. Rideshare drivers can then take their pick of the cars listed and take it out for however long they would like. Hyrecar takes care of insuring the vehicle for you, and you can take off without a hitch within 24 hours of signing up. You can rent out on an hourly, weekly or monthly basis, with most of the discounts applied at the monthly level. The average users are earning $12,000/year from loaning out their cars to Uber and Lyft partners.
The choice of daily, weekly or monthly payments give you options if you’re taking a shorter trip into the city. Hyrecar can be an expensive if you’re looking to rent long-term, especially compared with owning or leasing a car. On the other hand, the service covers insurance and removes the burdens of maintenance.
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