No car? No problem. You don't need to be a car owner to drive for Uber or Lyft anymore. New deals between car rental agencies and ride-sharing services are making it easier than ever to for people to start making money by driving for Uber and Lyft.
Hertz announced deals on Thursday to supply rental cars to Uber and Lyft drivers in San Francisco and Los Angeles, with more cities to be added soon. Hertz plans to start renting out its fleet to Uber drivers in Los Angeles and Lyft drivers in San Francisco before expanding to other major cities.
The partnership between Hertz and Lyft got off the ground with successful pilot projects in Las Vegas and Denver last year, but the deal with Uber is a first for Hertz. Uber already has arrangements to rent vehicles from Enterprise in many cities, with their drivers paying an average weekly rate of $210, not including taxes and fees.
Hertz is just the latest major car company to jump onto the ride-sharing market bandwagon. General Motors (GM) launched a program called Express Drive, in March, to allow Lyft drivers to exclusively rent its vehicles and use its OnStar vehicle-monitoring services. GM also provides insurance, maintenance, warranty, and servicing, although Lyft drivers have to pay for gas.
The cost for a Lyft driver to rent, for example, a Chevrolet Equinox SUV, is about $99 a week. Drivers also pay $0.20 per mile. If drivers make more than 40 rides per week, however, the mileage fee will be waived. If drivers complete 65 rides and above per week, or about 10 per day, then all fees including the $99 car rental are waived. Therefore, the more Lyft drivers drive, the lesser they shell out for car rental.
The partnerships between GM, Lyft, Uber and Hertz are making the process of becoming a driver easier than ever. In response to requests from drivers, Lyft launched Express Pay in October last year, which lets drivers receive payment for rides on the same day they provide the service.
But of course, since Express Pay utilizes push to debit transfers, the exact amount of time that banks take to process the Express Pay transfer can vary from just a few hours to even a few days. Lyft drivers can retrieve their earnings on a debit card through Express Pay when they've made $50 or more, after any applicable Lyft fees. The $0.50 transfer fee applies each time drivers collect Express Pay earnings, though.
Who doesn't appreciate flexibility in today's day and age anyway? Uber and Lyft drivers cite flexibility as the main reason why they like their job. Together with more partnerships between car manufacturers like GM and car rental agencies like Hertz and Enterprise that seek to heighten flexibility, it's safe for us to say that perhaps more people will be keen in making driving their career going forward.
On a side note, GM paid $500 million for a 9% stake in Lyft in January and plans to partner up with the ride-sharing company to develop self-driving vehicles. GM and Lyft are trying to get ahead of heavyweights like Google and Tesla that are pioneering self-driving vehicles, but in the meantime there's still a lot of demand for human drivers, and the GM-Lyft partnership is making it easier for people to get behind the wheel and start earning money.
Walmart recently announced a pilot project to start delivering groceries via Uber, Lyft and Deliv. The world's 2nd-largest retailer is upping its game in challenging Amazon, which recently started its own grocery delivery business, Amazon Fresh. Walmart's grocery delivery service will be available in Denver via Lyft, and Phoenix via Uber, with more markets added if the pilot project churns out positive results.