Driving for Uber sounds great to many of us. All we have to do is drive our car from one place to the next, and magically … we make money!
Well … that’s a little simplistic, although being a rideshare driver is pretty easy. But there is one thing that can get between you and that pile of cash at the end of the day.
What’s that one thing? Not having a car.
It may surprise you to know, however, that driving for Uber is not contingent on owning a car. Instead, you can rent one. Even if you are a car owner you may want to give your vehicle a break from wear and tear and/or heavy mileage for a while. Whatever your reasons, renting might be a good option for you. Read on to learn more about what’s involved.
Some things to ponder
Before you get too excited, be aware that there are some restrictions. You can’t simply run down to the local car rental place and rent one of their vehicles to drive for Uber—it doesn’t work that way. Issues involving insurance, not to mention Uber’s approval requirements, prohibit that.
Still, there are ways for you to legally and safely rent a vehicle to use for Uber driving. How does it work? Uber partners with a group of companies that rent vehicles to drivers who need them. We’ll dig into that later in this post.
Know the rules
If you decide to go with the car rental option, it’s important to understand the requirements and restrictions that are in place. One pertains to age. You must be of a certain age, which is typically 21 or 25, depending on the rental company’s regulations. You also need a credit or debit card. In most cases a debit card will be accepted, but the rental company will take a deposit and hold it until the car is returned. In other words, you’ll need to have a “spare” lump sum (usually a few hundred dollars) that you can live without for a while.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a good driving record and be able to pass a background check, just as you would if you want to drive for Uber with your own car. If you’re ready to drive enough to pay for the car and make a profit, and you meet all the other qualifications, you’re all set.
If you haven’t already done so, download the Uber app and sign up to become a driver. If you’re an Uber driver already, you’re good to go. Now, from the home screen tap on your photo in the upper right hand corner. On the next screen, also in the upper right corner, tap where it says “H..P?”. This will open the Help section.
Here, you’ll tap “Signing up,” and then, on the next screen, tap “Getting a vehicle.” Next tap “Can I use a rental car to drive?” and you’ll see a message stating Uber’s policy regarding approved partnerships and locations for Uber drivers. The vehicles are insured by the rental partners specifically for Uber drivers, so you won’t get in trouble for using them.
Next, tap “Uber-approved rental car providers,” and you’ll be whisked to a screen that tells you to send a message to learn more about what’s available in your location.
Note: Some cities don’t have the option to rent cars, but even if yours doesn’t, don’t give up. There will probably be deals that offer flexible leases and discounts on new cars. You can check with Uber to see what might be available to you, either through the app or the Uber website.
Uber’s approved providers
There are several Uber-approved rental car providers, and they vary from city to city. That’s why it’s crucial for you to go through the Uber app to find out which companies and locations will work for you.
You’ll want to know more about each of them before you make a commitment, right? Here’s a rundown of the companies Uber lists—but remember, all of them might not be available in your location. Also, think about whether you want to rent on an hourly or weekly basis, and if you don’t know, look at the rates and let the numbers help you decide.
One option is the Fair program, which offers weekly rates as low as $214. Auto liability insurance is included, as are basic routine oil and filter changes, multi-point inspections, tire rotations and fluids. Fair also charges a $200 security deposit, but it is refundable. When you return your car, the deposit can be applied to any amounts you owe, including past payments, damage, or gas charges.
Another rental option is Getaround, a program that allows you to rent by the hour or the week. Getaround’s rates begin at $4 for a day, $239 per week, or $219 per week if you rent for four weeks at a time. You can book on your phone and use Getaround’s app to extend your agreement. Insurance, unlimited mileage, 24/7 support, and roadside assistance come with every rental. So far, drivers in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C. can get hourly and weekly rentals. In Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, it’s hourly rentals only.
Hertz and Avis
Uber has an agreement with Hertz that allows drivers to rent a car for $214 per week plus a $200 refundable deposit. The cost includes auto insurance, basic maintenance, and unlimited miles. Hertz highlights a “lower credit requirement” in its offer, and currently the company’s cars are available to Uber drivers in 32 American cities.
Avis lets you rent a car to drive for Uber, too. The company has offers starting at $214 per week, plus a $250 security deposit. Insurance, unlimited mileage, and vehicle warranty are included in the price. Applicable taxes and fees, gas, and other products (think windshield wipers) are not.
If you like the idea of renting by the hour, Zipcar might be a good option to consider. The company’s rates start at $5.50 per hour on weekdays, which includes gas, insurance, and 180 miles per day (you’ll be charged 45 cents per mile after that). So far, this service is available in Baltimore.
A new concept in car rentals is HyreCar, a company that facilitates rental transactions between drivers and private individuals. You must already be an approved Uber driver to apply, and you can rent from people who list their cars with Uber.
Here’s how it works: You download the HyreCar app, create an account, enter your location and desired pickup and dropoff dates, and you’ll be able to search through the selection of cars listed by local owners.
Once you book the car and are approved, you receive the three documents (inspection, registration, and insurance) that you’ll need to upload to your Uber account. Be sure to upload the documents right away so Uber will have time to approve them before you want to start driving. You’ll do this by adding a car to your account.
After that, you make arrangements with the owner to either pick up the car or have it delivered. At the end of your rental period, you replace the gas you used, return the car to the owner, and you’re done.
Check it out
Renting a car to drive for Uber makes it easy for everyone to enjoy the freedom and financial benefits of the rideshare business. Find the solution that works for you, and get on out there!