New vehicle subscription service Splend targets Uber drivers

Elizabeth Barry 20 April 2016

uber driver

A new startup can help you get a car to become an Uber driver as well as give you the chance to drive a Tesla S.

Tesla S no longer available

UPDATE: The Tesla S promotion is no longer available as an incentive

Splend has entered the sharing economy market, offering an option to those looking to sign up to ridesharing service Uber without having a vehicle of their own. By paying a weekly fee, partner drivers, or those looking to sign up, can have access to new vehicles as well as having their registration, insurance and servicing covered.

One intriguing benefit of the startup's offer is the move to incentivise safe driving. Each month the safest driver is chosen from amongst Splend's platform and is rewarded with two weeks of driving the Splend Tesla S 90D. Other safe drivers who miss out can also look forward to fuel cards from Caltex.

The incentivisation and business model is very much in line with Uber's strategy. With Splend, the focus is on encouraging safety and covering insurance as part of the weekly subscription. Safety is also a focus of Uber as well, but the difference lies in how the technology is utilised by the startups.

Splend utilises telematics technology installed in the Splend fleet, while Uber relies on a mutual rating system. If an Uber partner driver's rating drops below 4.5 out of 5, they cannot accept new rides.It's an interesting alternative to car ownership, as people looking to sign up as Uber partner drivers don't have other specialised options outside of Uber car loans to help them get them on the road.

Splend is currently operating in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, south east Queensland and Perth, and has invested $60 million into its vehicle acquisition.

About Splend's service

  • Drivers have access to a new vehicle valued at $40,000
  • Weekly cost is $275
  • Price includes registration, stamp duty, comprehensive insurance for drivers and passengers and servicing
  • Vehicle changeover every 12 months
  • Driver incentives including the Tesla S, Caltex fuel  cards and discounts on fuel purchases and vehicle cleaning.

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