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Lyft Rental Car: How The Program Works

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Have you ever needed to rent a car and just dreaded all the steps, decisions, and paperwork that the process entailed?

If you relate to this and feel confused or bothered by the standard car rental experience, you may find the information in this article.

Lyft is attempting to make the car rental process easier, faster, and more convenient for its users with the Lyft rental car program, formerly named Express Drive.

This article will detail the ins and outs of reserving and using a Lyft rental car and answer some frequently asked questions regarding the new program.

What Are Lyft Rental Cars?

Lyft rental cars are cars provided by the Lyft ridesharing app to users who make a reservation.

The difference between Lyft rental cars and a standard car rental service is that you do not have to go into a counter-service establishment or sign lengthy paperwork to rent a car whenever you need it.

Benefits of Renting a Car With Lyft

Ultimately, Lyft wants to make it easier for drivers to rent a car, with some added benefits.

There are different benefits depending on whether you book with Lyft Rentals or whether you book with SIXT, a partner rental program available only in select cities.

Booking with SIXT is still considered a part of the Lyft rental program.

Below is each highlight of the Lyft rental car program explained.

1. Convenience

Lyft promises convenience with its new car rental program.

One way it makes car rental more convenient is that users can order their car straight from the Lyft app, and they only need to put in their driver information one time.

They don’t need to search on many car rental websites, fill out new information each time, or go into a car rental service store to get the rental.

This process is beneficial for short-term car rentals, where you don’t need a very specific car for a long time.

If a user is simply looking for a car to use on a quick trip or weekend getaway, this may be a more convenient way of booking a rental car that can save them a couple of hours or more.

2. Free Lyft Credit

You can get free Lyft credit when using the Lyft rental car program, either through the Lyft app or on the Lyft website.

When Driver Books With Lyft Rentals

When you book using Lyft Rentals, you’ll receive a $10 credit for getting to the lot where you’ll pick up the vehicle.

You will also receive a $10 credit for leaving the lot once you drop off your car at the end of the rental.

Thus, you get a total of $20 in Lyft credits.

When Driver Books With SIXT Through Lyft

If you book a rental car with SIXT but use the Lyft app or website to do so, you’ll get a $10 Lyft credit that you can use anytime, for any reason.

You can even use it for Lyft bikes or scooters if you choose.

3. Bonus Perks

The bonus perks of Lyft car rentals help it stand out for this rental competition.

When Driver Books With Lyft Rentals

Each time you book with Lyft Rentals, you will be allowed to choose optional add-ons at no additional charge.

These add ons may include child seats, ski racks, a USB phone charger, etc.

Additionally, Lyft will not charge you any additional fees for additional drivers, which most car rental companies do.

When Driver Books With SIXT Through Lyft

Often, car rental companies promise you a certain type of vehicle (compact, SUV, etc.) or something similar to that vehicle.

If you book with SIXT through Lyft, you will get to choose the exact car model you want from what’s available.

The same car you choose will be available when you go to pick it up.

Suggested Read

Earn even more credit by joining the Lyft Rewards program.

4. Car Maintenance and Care

Car maintenance and care are essential factors for many renters, and the Lyft program provides benefits in this area as well.

When Driver Books With Lyft Rentals

When you book with Lyft rentals, you do not have to fill up the tank before dropping off the car.

Lyft will simply charge you for the gas and fill it up themselves.

Lyft also will not charge you a higher gas rate than the market rate or any additional fees for this service.

When Driver Books With SIXT Through Lyft

SIXT promises a fleet that is stocked with newer car models that are professionally maintained.

You don’t have to worry about showing up to any outdated cars.

5. Unlimited Mileage, No Fees

Finally, for both rentals through Lyft Rentals and through SIXT, booking through Lyft will ensure you get unlimited mileage without any mileage fees.

This is great, as it is common practice to enact these limits.

For example, both Zipcar mileage limits and Turo mileage limits limit your driving ability and the distance you can actually go.

How Do Lyft Rental Cars Work?

Lyft rentals work by the user, or the driver, booking cars through the Lyft app or Lyft website.

Once the driver selects their location, dates, and vehicle, then confirms their driver info, they get to reserve a car rental for future pickup.

Once it is time for pickup, the renter can meet an onsite concierge at their selected location to pick up the car.

If you have to meet at the counter service, you can access the faster priority line.

Lyft partnered with SIXT rent-a-car company to provide more car availability around the country.

This entire process is fairly standard for the industry, with Uber rental cars operating the same way.

Where are Lyft Rental Cars Available?

Lyft rental cars are available in select states and cities across the United States.

The states that are included in this part are as follows:

  • Arizona (Phoenix)
  • California (Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose)
  • Colorado (Aspen, Denver)
  • District of Columbia / Virginia (Dulles Airport)
  • Florida (Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Tampa)
  • Georgia (Atlanta)
  • Hawaii (Honolulu, Kahului)
  • Illinois (Chicago)
  • Massachusetts (Boston)
  • Minnesota (Minneapolis)
  • Nevada (Las Vegas)
  • New Jersey (Newark)
  • New York (New York City)
  • Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
  • Texas (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio)
  • Washington (Seattle)

What Do Lyft Rental Cars Cost?

Lyft rental car pricing will depend on the type of car you wish to rent, as well as how many days you wish to rent it for.

vector graphic showing a hand holding the key to a lyft rental car, with the lyft rental cars in the background of the image

Lyft Rental Car Pricing

The average price for a Lyft rental car is around $219 per week for a standard car, but the price can go up to $479 per week.

Lyft Rental Car Pricing vs. Going Direct

Lyft car rentals are usually a bit cheaper than going direct.

However, Lyft may send renters various charges depending on how long they are renting for, tolls, going over your allotted personal miles, and more.

Lyft Car Rental Requirements

In order to reserve a Lyft car rental and pick it up at a Lyft loft, you need to have a valid driver’s license and be at least 22 years of age.

Your driver’s license can be from the US or outside of the US, as long as it is valid.

There will be an onsite ID check to ensure you can legally drive the vehicle.

Additional drivers will also have to present valid licenses, so it is necessary for everyone who will drive the car to show up for pick up.

If you are renting through SIXT, you only have to be 21 years of age.

However, SIXT will charge you a Young Driver Surcharge.

You are ineligible to book a Lyft rental car if you:

  • Do not have a valid payment method on file with Lyft
  • Have not previously met your rental requirements: if you don’t pay rental costs or complete any of the inspections or maintenance required, you may be deemed ineligible
  • Have received three or more traffic violations or reported accidents
  • Have caused an accident while driving a Lyft Express Drive vehicle
  • Have allowed another person to drive your rental vehicle when they were not listed as an additional driver – that it is considered a violation of the rental agreement
  • Have violated the Lyft Terms of Service in one way or another

Lyft Car Rental Insurance

Lyft car rentals are either insured through Hertz or Flexdrive.

vector graphic showing a lyft driver outside of a lyft vehicle and holding an umbrella to signal Lyft insurance has him covered

Do the Vehicles Come With Insurance?

Yes. Lyft rental cars come with insurance, and the insurance is included in the rental cost.

The level of coverage will depend on the time in which an incident occurred and the specific circumstance.

In brief, both Hertz and Flexdrive will provide some level of coverage for auto physical damage (regardless of fault), auto liability coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist during personal driving, waiting for a request, or having a ride in progress.

You can read more specific information regarding the level of coverage for each circumstance here.

Should I Purchase Additional Insurance?

Hertz and Flexdrive may provide coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists depending on the specific local and state laws.

If you are renting in DC, MA, MD, MI, and VA, the insurance from the Lyft rental program will be the primary insurance.

That said, it is always a good idea to have some level of personal insurance to back you up if the Lyft rental insurance won’t cover all the expenses from an incident.

Alternatively, if you rent in AZ, CO, GA, NC, OH, OR, RI, TN, TX, WA, or WI, this will be excess insurance.

In other words, if you already have personal coverage in these states, there is no need to purchase the additional insurance offered by Lyft.

Are Lyft Rental Cars Safe?

Yes. Rental cars are newer, highly maintained cars that are safe to drive.

In addition, when renting a car on the Lyft lot, drivers can feel rest assured about the cleanliness of the cars.

They have a strong cleanliness procedure that includes cleaning and disinfecting the keys, ventilating the vehicles for three hours, removing lost and found items and trash, vacuuming the interiors of the vehicles, disinfecting all contact surfaces, wiping down windows, and completing a final safety check.

SIXT also has cleaning and hygiene measures that can be found here.

Related: Is Lyft safe?

How to Rent a Car With Lyft [Tutorial]

Here are step-by-step instructions for renting a car with Lyft:

  • Open the Lyft app to the home screen and click on the key icon, which is located at the bottom right corner of your screen
  • Next, select the city you would like or pick up the Lyft rental car from
  • Then, you’ll get to see a list of your rental options. Select the car rental that best suits your needs. If you’re in Los Angeles and San Francisco, you will be renting directly through Lyft (and not through SIXT). Make sure to review the daily prices to the right side of the cars in the listing as well.
  • Select the dates on which you will need the rental car, in addition to your pick-up and drop-off times.
  • Then, you will see the final cost. If you are okay with this price, select Next.
  • On the next page, you’ll have the opportunity to add insurance, as well as add any optional free add-ons.
  • Lastly, you’ll have the opportunity to review your driver information, which you’ll only have to complete once.
  • Once you are ready, hit the Reserve button to reserve your Lyft rental car.

Lyft Rental Cars vs. Uber Rental Cars

The main similarity between the Lyft rental car and Uber rental car programs is that they both provide a convenient and easy way to book a car rental through their respective apps.

Uber, like Lyft, provides a $10 credit to pick up your vehicle.

They also both provide helpful add ons such as car seats, bike racks, and express check-in.

There are a few differences between the Lyft rental car and Uber rental car programs.

First off, Lyft is partnered with SIXT to provide cars, while Uber partners primarily with Hertz and several other companies.

Secondly, Lyft provides an additional $10 credit to return the rental car, while Uber provides 10% cashback in Uber Cash after returning the car.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are two frequently asked questions about the Lyft rental car program.

What happens to the Lyft Rental Cars When Lyft Is Done With Them?

Once a renter returns their rental car, Lyft or SIXT, depending on which is the rental car provider, will take it in for cleaning and maintenance.

Afterward, the car will become available to other potential renters.

Is a Rental Car Business Profitable?

Yes, rental car businesses can be profitable.

People will continue to travel across the country and be on the hunt for rental cars to use for weekend trips, daily excursions, or long road trips.

The market is there, so a profitable business will depend on solid marketing, helpful customer service, and other significant aspects of a good business.

Wrapping Up

The Lyft car rental program is an alternative to your standard car rental services.

It may be an easier, more convenient way to rent a car for your next trip or excursion.

Although Lyft may charge fees for various reasons, the competitive price of the rental and the ease of pick up and drop off might convince more Lyft app users to use the program.

Check out the Lyft rental car Express Drive program for yourself.

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