Should I buy, lease or rent a car for Uber and Lyft?
If you’re asking yourself whether you should buy, lease or rent a car in order to work for Uber or Lyft, it’s advised to do your research beforehand.
The best case scenario for you to begin working for Uber or Lyft is that you already own a vehicle that qualifies for a ridesharing app service. In most cases, people do not have cars that qualify for Uber or Lyft, which forces them to buy, rent, or lease, which can set them back a lot of money.
More often than not, you’ll have to go in debt to be able to work for Uber or Lyft, which is counterproductive for what you’re trying to achieve. For instance, a driver who participated in Uber’s leasing program ended up making $70,000 a year, but $50,000 of that went to Uber to cover his vehicle costs.
Below we will give you a run down as to what your car options are so you can make the decision that best suits your needs.
What if I already have a car?
Having a vehicle doesn’t mean that you can automatically begin working for Lyft or Uber. This is because Lyft and Uber each have different car requirements that vary from state to state.
For example, New York City has some of the strictest laws in regards to being a ridesharing driver because these apps negatively impact the income of other taxi drivers in the city.
General Uber Vehicle Requirements
- Car must be a maximum of 10 years old (Depends on the city)
- Must have four doors
- Manual Transmission is allowed
- Can be a minivan or truck
- Goes through a mechanical vehicle inspection & pass
- Full name of the driver must match that of insurance for the car
- Full name of the driver not needed to be on car registration
- Pass background check & driving record check with flying colors
General Uber Vehicle Restrictions
- No Full-sized Vans, Taxis, & marked vehicles
- No salvaged cars
- No Advertisements
Read more: Uber vehicle requirements
Based on the information above, you might be sad to find out that your car doesn’t qualify for Uber. Well, you’re in luck because you could become a Lyft driver since the requirements for this app differs from Uber.
General Lyft Vehicle Requirements
- Minimum age: 21 years old
- Four-door car model
- 2006 or newer
- Passes mechanical & physical inspection
- In-state insurance (Must be in Drivers Name)
- One Year of Driving Experience in the USA
- Car registration with in-state license plates
- Must pass a background check
- Own a smartphone
Lyft XL Drivers
Drivers who have bigger cars can qualify to sign up for Lyft XL, which consists of minivans for groups of five or more people. Keep in mind that Lyft XL costs more than 1.5 times the amount of a standard Lyft, so you might end up making more money driving a vehicle that qualifies as a Lyft XL one.
Moreover, as a Lyft XL driver, you can accept requests for regular or XL rides, so imagine all the options at your disposal.
What if I don’t have a car? Buy, Lease or Rent a Car
Those who either have a vehicle that is not approved by Lyft and Uber or simply don’t have a car are forced to think outside the box. You won’t be the first driver to deal with this problem, so you should take advantage of the multiple solutions already available to you.
You have three options to choose from, and depending on your particular situation.
Renting a Car: The Uber Method
In a majority of cities, Uber partners with both Enterprise and Hertz to equip their drivers with vehicles. The weekly rate for a car rental is a minimum of $180 a week, which is something you have to keep in mind before you sign over your time to Uber.
Before you even pick up the car, the car rental requires a $200 deposit that is returned to you after you hand in the car.
People are often taken aback by the weekly rate for the Uber car rental, but you shouldn’t it be. Uber deducts the rental fee from your paycheck, so unless you didn’t make enough money that week, your expenses for your car should be covered.
You also don’t have to pay for insurance since it is already included in the overall price of the rental. Another perk of renting through Uber is that you have unlimited mileage, which includes personal use. Whenever it’s time for an oil change, that’ll be free of charge as well.
The downside to renting a vehicle is that the option to reserve one in advance might not always be available to you. Whoever gets to the rental car lot first chooses the car. If there aren’t any cars free, then you’re out of luck.
And if you wish to make some more money on the side by driving for another ridesharing app, you can’t do so with a car you rent from Uber.
As of now, Uber offers car rentals through services such as Fair and Hertz, which you may have used in the past for traveling purposes.
– Hertz OR Fair
Driving with a Hertz vehicle means you have to provide a $200 refundable deposit while Fair requires you to pay a $500 one time fee. The upside of choosing Fair is that weekly rates are much lower than those of Hertz. For example, Hertz can cost as much as $200 a week while Fair is $70 cheaper a week.
If you plan on using a car rental for more than a month, then you should rent with Fair since it offers better deals for long-term rentals. Hertz, on the other hand, is ideal for those who aren’t sure as to the length of their rental.
Renting a Car: The Lyft Method
Lyft has their rental vehicle program called Express Drive. Lyft rental program is similar to Uber’s in that in order to access a car; you pay a weekly fee that ranges anywhere from $180 to $235 a week. The payment includes car maintenance, unlimited miles, as well as insurance.
– How Does Express Drive Work?
Express Drive functions to the benefit of Lyft drivers since it will offer drivers exclusive rates on car rentals from Flexdrive or Hertz. To make money off Lyft, the app matches you with people who request rides. Thanks to Express Drive, a portion of your check will go to your weekly rental fee.
You should think of Express Drive as a rewards program for drivers that will give you the incentive to drive more through Lyft. The more you drive, the less your weekly rate ends up being. When you reach a specific number of rides, you can offset the rental cost, which is good news for drivers who want to do this full-time.
Make sure to click on the “Rent Vehicle” option when you’re applying to be a Lyft driver. Those who want to stop using their car can opt out to rent a vehicle only meant for Lyft driving purposes.
Unlike with Uber, Lyft allows you to make a reservation beforehand which saves you time. If there are no cars available, you can try again a couple of hours later because someone is bound to return theirs.
Don’t forget that a refundable deposit is a requirement and that the amount will be specified in your application. Once everything is in order, you simply have to wait for an email from Lyft confirming your pickup time.
Leasing a Car
A standard car lease is the typical route Uber, and Lyft drivers take if they are in the market to lease rather than to rent or buy. You’ll have to acquire a lease from a private dealership, but you need to read the contract carefully.
Most dealership car leases don’t permit rideshare drivers to use their car for commercial reasons, which includes Uber and Lyft. As an alternative, you could find leasing companies that specifically lease cars to Lyft and Uber drivers. Plenty of these companies have sprung up in the last couple of years, so you won’t have a problem locating a car.
Buying a Car
The optimal route to take when it comes for working for either Lyft or Uber would be to purchase a car. Only take this route when you can afford it. It wouldn’t make any sense to take out an auto loan on a vehicle you will use only for ridesharing purposes.
The apparent benefit of owning a car is that it’s yours and you can choose to sell it if you want. Keep in mind that your car won’t be worth what it was when you bought it so prepare to be settled to sell it for less.
Before you dedicate yourself to a profession, you need to find out how much you’ll be earning an hour. On average, rideshare drivers make about $14 an hour, and this is before expenses such as gas, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation. At the end of the day, you’ll probably make about $8 an hour, which is not worth the effort of buying a new car.
Ultimately, owning a car is a definitive way of making a profit off of ridesharing apps such as Lyft and Uber. If that isn’t an option for you, then renting a car from a vendor working with the applications or one that permits you to rent straight from other drivers is the best solution for you.
Renting allows you to give up the car on a weekly basis, so you don’t have to fret about having to pay bills from month to month. The amount of money you’re willing to spend on a vehicle will determine whether you should buy, lease or rent a car for Uber and Lyft.