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We can all agree that working as a rideshare driver is a pretty sweet profession. Choosing your own schedule means there is no ceiling on how much you can earn.
That being said, every rideshare driver is on the hunt for ways to earn more money in less time. One of the most effective ways to boost rideshare earnings is to acquire a different vehicle, such as an SUV or a luxury car. With these automobiles, rideshare drivers start to drive passengers on the hunt for luxury rides, which commands a higher hourly rate.
Unfortunately, getting to this level of financial stability is challenging. Purchasing a luxury vehicle is difficult. Everything from upfront payments to loan applications adds additional stress to your life and take your focus away from work.
Fortunately, there’s an easier way to get into the high-end rideshare driving space. Let’s take an in-depth look at how rideshare drivers can obtain a new vehicle.
Identify the Best Vehicle Financing Option
Everyone has their own preferences in regards to becoming the owner of a new vehicle. One of the longest financing options is saving up enough money to pay for a vehicle in full. Purchasing a vehicle outright often takes months and months of savings. However, paying for a vehicle upfront means paying the lowest total cost for a high-end vehicle.
Paying for a vehicle upfront eliminates loan payments and lingering debt. Although this is a great way to start making a profit immediately after buying a new vehicle, the time it takes to accomplish this may not be feasible.
Taking a Faster Route
Fortunately, there are more feasible financing methods available for rideshare drivers who do not want to wait to upgrade their ride. One such option is taking out an auto loan.
With an auto loan, dealerships will check your credit history to understand how likely you are to cover your monthly loan repayments. Being a rideshare driver gives you a leg up above other drivers. Most dealerships lower their auto loan requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers. Take advantage of this perk by contacting any of the following financing companies.
- Upstart – Qualifies borrowers based on unique history traits, such as education, and uses a peer-to-peer system to improve the odds of getting a loan.
- EasyAutoLoan – Specifically for auto loans, drivers may be approved within 48-hours.
- BlueTrustLoans – Offers a small loan to drivers that can pay the amount back quickly.
Leasing a Rideshare Vehicle
Rideshare companies have an age regulation on vehicles. Due to this rotating timeframe, drivers may want to consider leasing a vehicle, rather than owning it outright. There are several ways to accomplish this. The most commonly known option is to simply lease a vehicle from a local dealership.
Unfortunately, drivers take the chance of overpaying for their vehicle when leasing from a dealership. There are many fees involved, including the following.
- Acquisition Fee
- Security deposit
- Rideshare Insurance
- Sales Tax
- First Month’s Payment
- Title, Tags, and Registration Fee
Due to these additional fees, rideshare drivers may decide to avoid a lease. After all, why pay all of that money when you are never going to own the vehicle?
Fortunately, Lyft has an ExpressDrive leasing option available to its drivers. This program makes it possible for drivers to obtain a bundled leasing option.
The plan combines all of the fees associated with leasing, which ultimately lowers the final payment. ExpressDrive also makes it possible for drivers to get a vehicle and return it whenever they want. Typically, this option is not available with a dealership, because drivers are required to keep the same vehicle until the end of the lease.
Uber had a similar plan called the Uber Xchange Leasing Program. Unfortunately, the rideshare company decided to shut down the program. According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber discovered they were losing far more money on the deal than they expected. Total expenses per vehicle were 18 times more than they initially anticipated.
1. Uber Rental Car Program
Nevertheless, Uber drivers currently have the option to rent a vehicle from Hertz. The rideshare plan offers unlimited mileage and a way to use a vehicle beyond the normal seven-day limit. Other perks include the bundled insurance package. The payment for this protection is included in the weekly fee and provides coverage regardless of whether the Uber app is on.
The Uber Hertz rental program is only available in select areas. On average, the weekly fee for renting a vehicle through this program can easily exceed $210. Drivers should also be aware of the authorization hold of $200 that is immediately charged. Although this fee is returned at the end of the rental, it can catch drivers off guard if they are not anticipating it.
Another rental partnership Uber has is with Enterprise. This rental option is similar to the Hertz program. However, the Enterprise rental option is more widely accessible for the time being. Unfortunately, Uber appears to be officially winding down this rental program.
2. Short-Term Rental Options for Rideshare Drivers
HyreCar is a great rental option for savvy drivers that like the idea of using short-term rentals. This rental system uses a peer-to-peer program to reduce overall expenses. The end result is that rideshare drivers can easily obtain their ideal vehicle without overpriced strings attached.
This prestigious program is exclusively for rideshare drivers. Candidates must have a clean driving record and meet a few other restrictions.
HyreCar provides rideshare drivers with a phenomenally low weekly fee. On average, rideshare drivers pay about $200 a week to drive their preferred vehicle, which is usually located within a 30 minutes radius.
Maven Gig, a subsidiary of General Motors, is another great rental option. To rent a vehicle, drivers undergo a four-step process ending with drivers meeting a representative on a dealership lot.
Electric cars are available to drivers and there is no penalty for returning the vehicle early. Unfortunately, weekly prices are on par with the average rental company and the service is not available everywhere.
Finding the Right Financial Plan
Drivers that seek a way to gain access to the high-end ride requests have plenty of options available to them. For drivers that want to level up their rideshare vehicle quickly, consider getting an auto loan, leasing a vehicle, or renting a high-end automobile for a low weekly price.
Have you used one of these vehicle financing options to get a car for Uber or Lyft? What was your experience? Drop us your opinion below!
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.