One of the big changes that came to Uber drivers is the closing of the Xchange Lease program, add to this the cessation fo the Enterprise Rent-a-car rental program as well, and you have an interesting signal coming from Uber. This article will look at these changes and review what might be coming in their stead.
Its Official, Xchange lease is dead. This exceptional service for drivers, starting 2015 by ex CEO Travis Kalanick was finally closed Sept.2017 after a slow sputtering process that started in July 2017. The main sufferers are the 500 employees that are now jobless and all the Uber drivers that are signing up and don’t have a car. These are all important to note as well as the $9,000 loss per car that Uber suffered under this program which is multiplied by the 40,000 cars in the program, a whopping $360 million loss. It is over 10% of the company’s reported losses for the last year of operations. The new Uber executive was correct in cutting this service, and have reduced the potential future losses by a minimum of 10% per annum.
What happened in July 2017
First of all the CEO was removed, so Xchange leases main instigator was out of the picture. Uber's board immediately shelved the plan as well as the rental partnership. This is what car leasers and renters got in their mail.
If drivers with Xchange lease cars return their vehicles, they will receive a $450 gift voucher. Now, this might sound like a great incentive but weigh in the fact that drivers need a car to drive and you see how the incentive is not so fast a booster.
Uber also closed the doors on Enterprise rent-a-car deals, which is not as bad as Xchange lease closure, but it does cause immediate issues with drivers needing to rent another car immediately.
Let's start with the simple stuff, rental programs. The only Uber rental program in play is with Hertz, and this is only open in certain cities, they are:
- Atlanta, GA
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Denver, CO
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- New Orleans, LA
- San Francisco, CA
This, of course, translates directly into the fact that drivers are seeking a rental solution, don't have an Uber program to enjoy. Uber drivers with no financial restrictions (other than access to cash) can rent cars as anyone does, its just a matter of budget and return ratios.
Now let's look at the heavy stuff, all the other car options available after Xchange Lease's extinction
Maven Gig is a GM initiative for Uber drivers as well as for other companies such as Lyft, Doordash and more. The models that GM offer are all new and include:
- Bolt EV
The deal includes:
- Unlimited miles
- Maintenance included
- Insurance (minus the deductible)
- OnStar roadside assistance
Although the program is met with great results, it is only offered in the following cities:
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Washington D.C.
When adding these cities to the Hertz list, we can see a wider network of Uber options opening up to drivers.
Another option includes the electronic car rental service:
This company operates in Chicago, IL and offers exclusive deals for the Nissan Leaf only. They also offer their service to most rideshare companies and set their pricing plan on a per-week basis. The service includes:
- Insurance included
- No gas costs
- No charging costs
aGO is a subscription service, their rates are around $5.50 per hour for a minimum of 10 hours, so if a driver drives an average of 30 hours a week, the payment will reach $165. The Platinum membership price is lower and set to $4.38 per hour; this is based on a more you drive the less you pay rate.
HyreCar is an Uber and Lyft Drivers rental company that allows drivers to rent cars for as little as two days. While it seems like a perfect solution, HyreCar is notorious for being slow in solving problems.
Lyft Express Drive
While Uber has terminated Xchange Lease, Lyft has a rental system that offers cars for a rate of $185 to $235 per week; the actual rental fee can be zero if the driver provides some rides per week. This is a ride incentive rental process, so it does have its upside. This program is for Lyft drivers only, just thought to mention it here anyway, in case an Uber driver cant get a car, they can go work with Lyft.
Private Fleet Owners
Drivers can find private fleet owners and drivers for them at a base price. This option is quite good since it enables UberX drivers that meet the requirements to drive for Uber Black, Uber Select, and Uber SUV. It's all about budget, and how many rides a driver is willing to make to meet the different ride solutions.The only issue a driver need be certain of with a private fleet owner is the contract; some are very good others can be quite restricting, so be very careful and don't sign anything until you are 100% sure. In some cities, there might be more than one and in others none, you can check on Craigslist or ask on social media.
San Fransisco Solution
If you live in San Fransisco, then you have a Get Around Pilot solution provided by Uber. This program provides drivers with a by the hour rental solution in San Fransisco only. It offers 14 hours free on the first day, and there is no rental limit. The rent is $5 per hour after the free time is up. Uber drivers get reimbursed the $1 or 3% booking fee.