A lot of ride-share drivers cannot decide whether to buy a car, borrow a car or lease a car. The major factor, of course, is their budget and the requirements set by Uber. The Uber Xchange lease program has many benefits for even the richest of drivers since it offers a quick alternative to saving money on a car buy as well as providing a good three-year lease payment option with minimal risk at the offset.
There are two levels of Xchange leasing:
Level 1: Xchange leasing; the driver can go to any Uber partner dealership and pick out a new or used car. Most dealers like to sell new models and will not let the driver buy a used car. So, go-to a few dealers and see which cars they will include in the lease package. It might take some time to find the right one.
Level 2: Xchange leasing access: This gives the driver a choice of the vehicles that were returned within 12 months of their lease and not to all the vehicles in level 1.
Here are the Good and Bad issues with the program.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is about evaluating the costs of car ownership. If you already own a car, don't go out and lease or buy a new one. Use the one you already have. It will allow you to start driving immediately (so long as it meets all the Uber vehicle requirements) and is fully tax deductible. If you don't own your car, or of your car will not pass the Uber requirements, then you should consider buying one if your budget allows for this.
The difference between a lease and return the car to a buy and sell a car is approximately 33%.The difference between a Lease and Keep car to a Buy and keep car is closer, around 22%. Either way, those percentages represent thousands of dollars when discussing car prices, even if they are for used cars. In some instances, the price differences will reach up to 150%, which is financial death on wheels!
If you already own a car and it's not good for ride-sharing, either sell it, trade it in, or if you can, buy a new one. Just try to avoid generating a 150% over-cost to your car.
Part-time driving: if you plan to drive only 500-750 weekly miles, then there is no reason to lease a car, the income you get will only cover the extra payment fees you have to cover. In other words, you will be driving for the lease company and not yourself.
You want to choose your model. This is great, but not in the Xchange lease program, where you are limited to the following models, and that is only if the car is in the following list:
- CHEVROLET: Cruze
- FORD: Focus
- HONDA: Accord, Civic, Fit
- HYUNDAI: Elantra, Sonata
- NISSAN: Altima, Maxima, Sentra, Versa
- TOYOTA: Camry, Corolla, Prius, Yaris
—Uber limits these cars:
- 2009 or newer
- No salvage title
- Four full-sized doors
- Minimum of 5 seat belts (driver and four passengers)
- If you are seeking low payments, remember that buying a car in installments will cost you less then paying lease installments. In fact, it is probable that the installments in exchange lease will be double what you pay for a car purchase installment plan.
- Uber does not allow drivers the privilege of using Xchange Lease more than once, so if you already used the program once, and after the three years are up, or sooner, Uber will not let you use Xchange lease buy a new or different model.
- Xchange lease will require another credit inquiry that you might not want to go through, and too many credit inquiries in a short time can lover your credit score.
- You don't want to use your car or put on too many miles on it. This is a reasonable decision for buying or using Xchange lease as an alternative.
- You don't have the resources, money or credit rating to buy a second new or used car. Uber Xchange covers this problem and generates an easy application process for getting a second car.
- Xchange lease is a predictable total cost of ownership process, and once you decide to buy a car using exchange lease, you can work out your car costs very easily.
- If you rent a car, which is always a bad idea, you will get less tax education then if you lease a car. Since Xchange leasing is another way of owning your car, every mile is tax deductible, something that rental cars will not provide.
- Just as you wanted an easy way in, you want an easy way out too. A way to get rid of the car with not too much hassle. The Uber Xchange lease program allows you to notify them two weeks before termination of the lease. You can do this anytime from 30 days after taking the car. Other lease companies will have charged you two to three months leasing fees as well as early finishing fines.
- Xchange lease will give you free oil changes, now for some cars that negligible, but for others, it can mean a lot, especially if you are out there driving full time rather than part-time.
Buying a car is better than leasing, Xchange leasing is better than leasing and leasing is better than renting. If you don't mind spreading an extra cost and just paying the $250 down payment for a Xchange lease car, it can be advantageous to take this program. If, however, you have a car, or money or don't intend to drive a lot, you should reconsider taking the Xchange lease.