- Lyft partners with specific rental companies, allowing drivers to use these vehicles for ridesharing.
- Loaner cars can be used for Lyft, but require insurance and must be registered specifically for Lyft driving.
- Renting is less commitment, ideal for short-term or periodic Lyft driving, while leasing is a longer-term agreement.
- Major rental companies partnered with Lyft, like HyreCar and Lyft/Hertz Express Drive Program, offer rental cars approved for Lyft driving.
Can I Use a Car Rental For Lyft?
Yes, you can use a rental car for driving with Lyft, but there are specific conditions and restrictions.
Lyft has partnerships with certain rental car companies, allowing drivers to use these vehicles for ridesharing. However, not all rental companies permit their cars to be used for this purpose.
When applying as a Lyft driver, you must provide details of your car, including its make and model, and show proof of insurance. This can be complicated with a rental car, as you may not always have the same vehicle and might not have insurance for it.
Additionally, many rental car agreements have clauses that prohibit using the vehicle for commercial purposes, such as carrying passengers for a fee.
When Renting May Not Be the Best Option
Ideally, renting is rarely the best option while driving for Lyft.
However, there are certain situations where renting is a bad idea to the point you might lose money after rent, fuel, and taxes. These include:
- Long-Term Driving Lyft: In that case, it’s better to spend the rental money on owning the car instead.
- Market Saturation Areas: In those regions, competition drives down fares, making it harder to recoup rental costs.
Read More: Lyft car requirements every driver must meet before getting approved
Daily Rental Options
There are different types of car rental options out there, and we can classify them using various aspects. These include rental rates, types of cars, rental locations, and requirements. However, the most reliable method to categorize rental cars is through rental duration.
Daily car rentals are not always the best choice when using a car for ridesharing. This is because they typically charge more per day than other types, which takes more from your potential profits.
Yet, they can be an excellent way to try different types of cars without spending a lot of money.
In this section, you’ll find brief overviews of companies offering daily rental plans for Uber driving.
Hertz is a widely established car rental company that offers competitive advantages for Lyft driving.
The company is one of the few that offer reliable daily rental services. However, it has a high minimum age requirement , as you need to be at least 20 years old to rent cars through Hertz.
Unfortunately, Hertz will also add additional charges to the rental rate if you’re under 25, which affects its profitability even more.
Hertz charges a hold-up refundable deposit of up to $200 for daily rentals, but the actual rate depends on your location and type of car.
Luckily, Lyft recognizes Hertz rental cars, and the two companies have a rideshare program together.
While not all Hertz locations offer cars for Lyft driving, the list includes over 20 different locations across the US.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a Missouri-based car rental company with a fairly large fleet of options. But unlike Hertz, Enterprise isn’t a vehicle provider partner to Lyft anymore.
This means that not all Enterprise branches will allow ridesharing with their cars, so you have to check that first.
Enterprise’s daily rental rates come at a reasonable price, ranging from $70 to $90 . This makes it a good option if you only drive Lyft on weekends or specific days.
Besides being eligible for Lyft’s requirements, you need to be 25 years old with an active driver’s license for at least a year to rent Enterprise’s cars.
Daily rental with Enterprise will also include additional charges , such as security deposits and taxes.
Weekly Rental Options
Weekly rental options typically come with advantages that aren’t usually available with daily rental.
These include lower rental rates, unlimited mile insurance, a larger variety of pickup locations, and a larger variety of payment options.
Lyft Express Drive Program
Lyft Express Drive is an official program that helps people drive with Lyft using rental vehicles.
The rideshare company doesn’t own any of the cars available in the program. Instead, it partners with Hertz and FlexDrive to provide them.
The best thing about this program is that it’s already sponsored by Lyft. This means you won’t have to worry about the vehicle’s eligibility .
You can also pick from a wide range of vehicles, including hybrids and electric vehicles to save on fuel consumption bills.
The rental rates are fairly affordable, although slightly higher on average than other options. The program also offers additional features like standard maintenance/repairs, roadside assistance, and car insurance .
One thing you should keep in mind here is that Lyft Express Drive isn’t available in all locations where Lyft is available.
Currently, the service is available in around 42 regions , so you need to check the official website to ensure its availability where you’re planning to drive for Lyft.
The weekly rental rate will vary depending on several factors, but you should expect to pay between $150 to $400 . Additional fees may also apply in some situations like extended insurance or extra features.
Avis is one of the most affordable car rental services out there. In 2018, Avis partnered with Lyftto offer car rentals available for ridesharing.
The company has a remarkably wide range of options, with a fleet of over 600,000 vehicles of different budget levels and features.
Avis is also more flexible when it comes to requirements like age, as individuals aged 21 years or older can rent its cars. The company also offers an option to lease a vehicle if you’re looking for a longer rental period.
You’ll also need a valid driver’s license and an Avis-approved credit or debit card to rent cars from the company.
Renting a car with Avis for a week can cost between $300 to $800 or more , depending on the type of car and the location you rent from.
Keep in mind that seasonality and add-ons like extended insurance can also affect your rental rate.
Long-Term Rental Options
Keep in mind that this isn’t always the best idea because it would make more sense to buy the car and pay the monthly fees towards buying it, as the difference in that situation would be quite small.
Here’s a quick look at some of the car rental platforms that can offer leasing options for long-range rideshare use.
Technically speaking, Fair is a car rental company, but that term doesn’t quite capture the full picture.
This is because Fair operates like a leasing company, except it doesn’t lock you into the agreement for such a long time.
After paying a one-time initial fee, Fair charges you monthly to access a variety of vehicles. You also retain the option to trade your rental for other cars within the same tier at any time.
The only downside here is that Fair’s rates are somewhat high. Since they don’t contribute towards owning the car in the end, it’s not always a good investment for long-term Lyft drivers.
HyreCar is a unique car rental company that relies on the peer-to-peer model. This means that it doesn’t own any of the cars it offers. Instead, it provides a secure medium to connect renters with car owners.
What makes HyreCar a good choice here is that it doesn’t prohibit using cars for ride-sharing.
After all, car owners are the ones who decide the duration of the rental and whether renters can use the vehicle for ridesharing.
One downside of HyreCar is that it has a relatively small user base. The platform aims to have 50,000 listings by 2025. However, this is the total number of listings, not only the Lyft-eligible options.
Specialty and Niche Rental Services
There are different types of Lyft cars and ride modes. While economy is the most popular one, there’s also Luxury, Extra Seats, and Assisted, among other options.
One of the best ways to make more money driving for Lyft is to opt for those special services. While not all car rentals can satisfy this demand, some offer an exceptional range of unique cars.
Similar to HyreCar, Turo is also a peer-to-peer rental service . But what makes it unique is that it offers a remarkably wide range of cars, including electric vehicles and other high-end options .
Since Turo doesn’t own the cars , the rental rates can vary significantly from one owner to another.
Finding a good deal on Turo can take a while, but a decent one can net you remarkable profits that may not be possible without owning such unique cars.
Analysis: When Renting Makes Sense for Lyft Drivers
Since Lyft takes away a sizable chunk of your earnings, you should always limit your spendings by working on your own car.
However, there are a few scenarios and situations where car rental for Lyft can make sense, such as the following:
Limited Lyft Driving Time
If you’re not sure about your decision to drive for Lyft, short-term rentals might be a good idea for you.
This is especially advantageous if you don’t have a car already. Additionally, it allows you to try different cars until you settle on the most cost-effective option with long-term use.
Avoiding Wear and Tear
If you have a car that costs a lot to maintain, you can rent a car for Lyft driving to avoid costly repairs. This also applies to cars with low fuel efficiency.
Focusing on Specific Lyft Programs
Driving luxury cars for Lyft can be more profitable than regular cars. This also applies to new Lyft programs that offer a decent sign-up bonus or better rates.
However, to apply for those programs, your personal vehicle must meet the program’s requirements.
One way to get around this issue is to rent a car that meets these eligibility criteria, especially from peer-to-peer platforms.
Legal or Insurance Implications on Using Personal Vehicles Commercially
In some cases, your car would be eligible to be used for ridesharing, but the insurance policy you’ve signed up for doesn’t cover commercial use.
In that case, any damages to the car that occur while you’re driving for Lyft will be on you. To avoid that, you can rent a car and subscribe to a decent insurance plan.
How to Add a Rental Car to My Lyft Account
How to Change a Vehicle on the Lyft Driver App
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Lyft Driving Profitable?
The average income for a Lyft driver is around $21.59 per hour. However, this is gross income, not net income, as you still need to spend money on gas and standard maintenance.
So, despite the decent earning potential, the profitability of Lyft driving can vary depending on various factors. These mainly include the type of car and spendings necessary to pass Lyft’s inspection.
Who Pays More – Uber or Lyft?
Both Uber and Lyft deduct a base percentage of the ride fare along with some fees. While on paper, Uber takes a smaller percentage of the driver’s fare than Lyft, they both end up deducting around the same percentage of the ride fare (around 50%) because of additional fees.
This means that Uber is usually slightly more profitable than Lyft. Yet, other factors can also affect how much you earn with both, such as location, bonuses, type of vehicle, etc.
Conclusion: Making an Informed Decision
Becoming a Lyft driver through car rental is a viable choice but not always a perfect one. That’s why you must always consider your individual circumstances and needs before making up your mind.
In most cases, renting a car would be a suitable solution if you’re just trying out the service or not planning to drive for the long haul. This saves you the hassle and consequences of long-term commitments.
Luckily, with this guide, you should have the necessary information and key aspects to consider in order to make a confident decision.