Getting access to a qualifying car is one of the main things that holds people back from becoming an Uber driver. Services that connect drivers with qualifying Uber cars are becoming a big industry, and more and more Uber drivers now use leased or rented vehicles. Evercar, a rental service, stands out from other vehicle solutions because it offers hourly rentals of electric vehicles and hybrids instead of weekly or monthly leases and rentals.
An hourly rental from Evercar includes the cost of unlimited miles, gas, insurance, and cleaning. It’s an enticing deal if you’re looking to drive for Uber without committing to a lease or even a weekly rental, but is renting a car from Evercar actually a good choice for drivers? Let’s take a look.
Update: Evercar shut down on 10/10/2016. It is no longer available.
Evercar offers hourly rentals for ride share drivers
Most other vehicle solutions for Uber drivers are leases (Uber Xchange and Hyrecar) or weekly rentals (Hertz and Enterprise). Evercar offers hourly rentals that you pick up from local Evercar lots. You could potentially only rent the car for a few shifts each week, which is much more appealing for part-time drivers than weekly rentals or monthly leases that essentially force you to become a full-time driver.
An important distinction is that Evercar is strictly for commercial purposes, so unlike other leases and rentals, you don’t take the car home overnight and you’re not supposed use the car for personal reasons. If you do take it home overnight, you’ll be charged a full 24-hour rental, which is around $55. $55/day is a not a profitable price, so you’ll want to stick to your prearranged rental schedule.
Another feature unique to Evercar is that the majority of the available rentals are fully electric vehicles or hybrids. Their most affordable rental is the Nissan Leaf, which would require a charge or two if you’re driving full time. Evercar says that their user orientation will teach you how to adjust to driving an electric car and provides resources like the locations of charging stations throughout the city.
How Evercar works
The basic idea of Evercar is that you schedule shifts and reserve a car in advance, then pick up and drop off the car from a designated lot. You pay an hourly fee, and you are charged once each week.
Sign up and get your rental approved on your Uber/Lyft profile
- Apply online, pay $25 for background screening
- After you’re approved, you can download the Evercar app to reserve shifts and select cars
- Evercar automatically uploads insurance and registration documents to your Uber profile, so when you sign onto Uber to do your shift you can select the car you’ve rented
How to schedule your shift and pick up your car
- Use the Evercar app to reserve the day, week, and times that you would like a car. You can schedule to pick up a car at any hour of the day
- On the day of your shift, you begin by responding to a text from Evercar and entering a special text code
- The text code unlocks the car remotely, and the keys are inside the car
- Arrive at the Evercar lot, enter the car, and begin your shift. There may or may not be a person at the lot, but Evercar has 24/7 phone service
- At the end of the shift, you have to return your car to the correct designated lot
Restrictions: Things you can’t do with Evercar, quirks
- You’re not supposed to keep the car overnight. If you do, you’ll be charged a 24-hour rental, around $55
- No personal use. Evercar’s insurance only covers commercial activity. If you’re looking for an hourly car rental for personal use, Zipcar is much better
- If you rent a Nissan Leaf, you’ll have to take a break to charge the car every few hours
Evercar requirements: Age 23 or older and a clean driving record
Evercar requirements are similar to Uber driver requirements, but for insurance reasons age requirements are different.
- You must be 25 years or older (23 years old with clean driving record and 2 driving years experience)
- Valid California driver’s license
- At least 1 year of U.S. driving experience. 2 years if you are between 23 and 25
- Pass a background check: No felonies, violent crimes, drug-related, sex-related, theft or property damage offenses on your record
- Pass a driving record check:
- No major traffic violations in the last 3 years: for example, driving on a suspended license or reckless driving
- No more than 2 of the following in the last 3 years: moving violations, distracted driving, accidents
- No DUI or drug-related driving violations in the last 7 years
- No more than 3 vehicle-related violations in the last 3 years
- You don’t need your own personal auto insurance policy
How much Evercar costs
- Nissan Leaf: $5/hour
- Hybrid: $7/hour
Evercar sends you an invoice each week, typically in the day or two following the Wednesday/Thursday direct deposit from Uber. They don’t deduct your pay from your Uber earnings, you have to pay the bill yourself.
- Unlimited miles
Evercar is more expensive than Uber Xchange for full-time drivers. Xchange leases typically start around $150/week, and 40 hours of Evercar each week costs a minimum of $200, or $800/month.
What drivers say about Evercar
Evercar is a fairly new service available in only a handful of cities, so not many drivers have tried it out. I found a few Reddit comments from drivers that seem to reflect how drivers really feel about it.
This driver thinks that all the included costs make it worth it: “Not just no gas and no insurance, but also no maintenance and no depreciation. At a rough estimate of 54 cents per mile by IRS rules, if you are driving more than 10 miles in an hour, this seems to pay for itself. Not to mention the pukers. If you timed this right, and parking near an Evercar lot was secure and inexpensive, then yeah, this looks on the surface to be a huge win. IE, always better to drive someone else’s car!”
One driver thinks it’s too expensive: “$5/hr brings my profits down to $10-15/hr. Nope.”
Another driver broke down the numbers: “Letz do some numberz. So letz say you do 5 hours with myevercar they gonna charge you $25. Now letz say you made $100 in that 5 hours (Good luck with that). Now Lyft/Uber gonna take they 20 plus percent now your $100 is at $55. Oh shit don’t forget yo uncle taxin that ass. He’ll take about $5 or more. Now we at $50 and that’s if you made $100. Good Luck! Youl’ll need it.”
The good and the bad: Is Evercar a good choice for drivers?
Overall, I think Evercar is a good choice if you’re looking to get your feet wet in the world of Uber without committing to buying a car or signing an expensive lease. Evercar isn’t a good choice if you want ride sharing to be your full-time job. If that’s the case, buying your own affordable car is the best option, followed by leases or rentals.
Good things about Evercar
- Good if you don’t have your own qualifying car and you only want to drive a few days a week
- Good for experimenting with Uber: Find out if you like the job with one of these rentals, then get a more affordable car in the future
- None of the typical responsibilities and depreciation that comes with using your own car
- Gas, insurance, and cleaning are included. Those are big expenses when you use your own car or lease
Bad things about Evercar
- It’s expensive. If you drive 40 hours each week, it costs $200/week
- It will probably be inconvenient to pick up and drop off the car
- You can’t take the car home, so if you need a car for everyday use this is not a solution
- It’s only available in LA and SF