Most Uber drivers use their own cars, but renting is on the rise

Elizabeth Barry 19 September 2017 NEWS

uber driver

Almost twice as many people would prefer to rent than buy a new car to drive with Uber.

Drivers are starting to cotton onto the benefits of the expanding Uber vehicle rental market, with a recent finder.com.au survey revealing 11.6% of people would prefer to rent a car to drive with Uber. This is compared to the 6.7% of people that said they would purchase a vehicle to drive with the ridesharing platform.

While the number of renting enthusiasts from the 1,001 respondents is still dwarfed by the 81.6% of them that said they would use their own car to drive with Uber, it may indicate a shift in the mindset of rideshare drivers.

CEO of Uber rental platform Splend, Chris King, says he was "not at all" surprised at these results.

"People want to drive Uber for a variety of different reasons such as saving for a holiday, paying off a credit card debt or as a full-time income to support a family," he said.

"Purchasing a vehicle means you are committing to being a rideshare driver for the long haul, which isn’t for everyone."

It's important to remember that the 81.6% of people that indicated they would use their own vehicle to drive with Uber have a car that meets the eligibility criteria. For example, in Sydney these criteria require that the vehicle is in excellent working condition, is less than 10 years old, has no more than eight seats, is free from cosmetic damage and commercial branding and is a four-door car or passenger van.

There are also various insurance requirements to meet as well as the vehicle needing to undergo an inspection.

While the eligibility criteria can be stringent, King says it ensures vehicles on the platform are of a certain quality.

"Quality vehicles were one of the main reasons behind customers swapping from a taxi to Uber. However, we know that not everyone has access to a vehicle or a vehicle that passes Uber’s eligibility criteria," he said.

"Rather than buying a second vehicle just for Uber, we are seeing a trend where people are selling their existing asset, pocketing the cash and then renting a vehicle for rideshare. Because the rental vehicle can be used for personal use as well, it often doesn’t make financial sense to run two vehicles."

Splend's most recent addition to its product offerings, for example, lets you rent a new Suzuki Ignis for $169 per week. With a discounted fuel program and insurance covered, drivers won't need to work many hours with Uber each week to cover this cost.

"When you are behind the wheel of a brand-new Splend vehicle," explains King, "all you need to look after is putting fuel in the tank and ensuring you have a toll tag installed in those cities with toll roads. That’s it. We take care of everything else."

There are also various other providers available for drivers to compare to find the right Uber rental option for you.

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