Should I Buy, Lease or Rent a Car for Uber and Lyft

Ideally, if you want to work for any ridesharing company it is expected that you own your own vehicle. But there are instances where willing drivers don’t have their own cars or their cars don’t qualify for these ridesharing services, forcing them to either buy, lease, or rent. Unfortunately, this can set you back a lot of cash. In the end you may land yourself in debt, which defeats the entire purpose of working for the ridesharing company in the first place. Below is a rundown of your options, which can assist you make a more informed decision;

What if I already have a car?

The fact you already have a vehicle doesn’t automatically qualify you to be a driver for Lyft or Uber. Each of these ridesharing services have unique requirements for their cars which is state dependent. Below are some of the general Uber vehicle requirements;

– Cars must not be older than ten years

– Cars must have four doors

– The vehicle can be either a truck or a minivan

– The car must have gone through and passed mechanical vehicle supervision

– The name of the driver must be same as that which appear on the insurance of the car

– The driver’s full name is not needed on the car registration

– Drivers must perform well in their driving record check plus they must possess exceptional background record

Below are some of the general Uber vehicle restrictions;

– The use of full-sized vans, marked vehicles, and taxis are not allowed.

– Salvaged cars are not allowed

– Cars must not carry any form of advertisement

The requirements for Lyft is somewhat different to that of Uber. So, if going by the above requirements you don’t qualify to be a Uber driver, you can apply to Lyft instead. Below are some of the general Lyft vehicle requirements;

– Drivers must be 21 years or older

– Cars must have four door

– The model must be 2006 or older

– It must pass mechanical and physical inspection

– The insurance of the vehicle is expected to be in the driver’s name

– Drivers in the United States must possess at least 1-year driving experience

– The vehicle must be registered and must use state-owned license plate

– Drivers must have a good background record

– Drivers must use a smartphone

Lyft XL Drivers

If you own a bigger car, then you can go ahead and sign up for Lyft XL. This option is for drivers who own minivans that can carry five or more people. It is important to know that Lyft XL costs more than the standard Lyft, so as a driver you are likely to make more using a vehicle which qualifies for the Lyft XL category. Aside from that, Lyft XL drivers can also accept regular rides, thereby improving the alternatives available to you.

What if I don’t have a car? Should I buy, lease or rent one.

If you do not have a car or perhaps your car was not accepted into the Lyft or Uber ridesharing program, then you may need to be inventive in your thinking. There are a couple of options available to drivers in this situation. Below are three options from which you can choose from, considering your specific situation;

Renting a car: The Uber method

Uber partners with Hertz and Enterprise to provide vehicles to drivers in a lot of cities. Drivers would be required to pay a minimum weekly rate of $180 for a car rental. You will also be required to make a deposit of $200 before you can pick the car. This would be refunded after you return the car. It is important have all of these costs in mind before you sign up as a driver on the platform.

The rental fee for the vehicle would be deducted by Uber from your income, so if you earn enough money that week your expenses for the car would be covered. Some of the advantages of renting is that there would be no need to pay insurance as this is covered in the overall cost of the rental. Drivers who rent also have unlimited mileage, which can be used for personal use.

The disadvantage to renting is that you can’t reserve a car in advance; it works on first-come-first-serve basis. Also, you won’t be able to use the vehicle you rent from Uber on another ridesharing service.

Leasing a car:

For drivers who prefer to lease instead of buying or renting, a standard car lease is often the preferred route. While securing a lease from a private dealership you must study the contract, as most dealerships don’t approve of their cars being used for commercial purposes. However, that is up to the discretion of the dealership itself.

Buying a car:

This is the optimal option when it comes to working for Uber or Lyft. But you should employ this option only if you can pay for it comfortably and you plan to use the car for other personal purposes. On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense to take an auto loan to buy a car solely for ridesharing uses. However if you’re dedicated to making it work for your income, you can make a decent wage around $20/hour. On top of it, the benefit of owning a car is that it is yours and you can choose to sell it at any time you feel like.

Final thought

The best way to make a profit while driving for Uber and Lyft is to own a car of your own. But if you can’t afford this, then renting from a vendor is your next best option. With renting you don’t have to worry about paying monthly bills, you can simply give up the car weekly. Basically, what you are willing to spend on a car will determine if you should buy, rent, or lease.