Need a car to drive for Uber or Lyft? Your two main options are renting a car or buying one.
Uber and Lyft have rental car programs for drivers, with rentals starting at $200 per week—auto insurance and routine maintenance included.
Renting is a great way to get started with Uber and Lyft without making a big financial commitment.
But is buying a car the better financial decision?
Read on to learn how to rent a car from Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare rental car companies. And see if we think buying or renting is the better move!
- Uber Rental Car Programs
- Lyft Rental Car Programs
- Third-Party Rideshare Rental Options
- Should You Buy a Car for Uber & Lyft?
The top ways to get a vehicle for Uber and Lyft
- Use a car you already own. See Uber and Lyft requirements
- Rent a car for Uber through their partnerships with rental agencies
- Rent a car for Lyft through the Lyft Express Drive program
- Rent a car with HyreCar, or other rideshare rental agencies
- Buy a vehicle, typically used
How to apply with Uber or Lyft when you don’t have a car
Uber and Lyft allow you to apply even if you don’t currently have access to a qualifying car.
Uber: Apply to Uber and select “I need a car” to find out if Uber will hire you without providing vehicle information on the application.
Lyft: Apply here and select “I need a car” to apply with the Express Drive rental program.
Rent a car with Uber and Lyft vehicle rental programs
Both Uber and Lyft partner with rental car companies to provide rental car options for drivers. You pay a weekly fee to rent a car, with insurance and basic maintenance included in the weekly rental cost.
One limitation to remember is that you can’t use your Uber rental to drive with Lyft, or your Lyft rental to drive for Uber. Drivers who use a personal vehicle don’t have that limitation.
Upsides to renting
- You can drive for Uber and Lyft without purchasing your own car
- Insurance and mileage are included
- You can get approved for some rentals with no credit or bad credit
- You don’t have to be concerned about vehicle depreciation or maintenance costs
Downsides to renting:
- High weekly cost
- Not available in all cities
- Rentals are in high demand, so it can be hard to get a car in busy cities
How to rent a car for Uber: Uber rental car programs
Uber currently partners with the services below in many cities to provide rental vehicles for Uber drivers.
Hertz Uber rentals
- $200 refundable deposit
- Around $200 – $255 per week
- Unlimited miles
- Must be 21 or older
Avis Uber rentals
- No deposit
- Around $200 – $295 per week
- 700 miles included, pay more for unlimited
- Must be 25 or older
KINTO Share rentals
- No deposit
- Around $240 per week
- Unlimited miles
- Must be 21 or older
Sally Uber rentals
- Deposit required
- Starting at $275 per week
- Must be 21 or older
- Available in Chicago, LA, NYC, San Francisco
Getaround Uber rentals
- Rent cars by the hour
- Unlimited miles
- Our full Getaround review
Essential facts about Uber car rentals
- Uber rentals cost $200 per week and up
- To qualify, sign up to drive and pass a background screening
- Age requirement is 21 or 25, depending on the rental service
- A refundable deposit is required in some cases
- The deposit is returned after you turn in the car
- Insurance is included the price of the rental
- Unlimited mileage is available for an extra cost. Personal use is allowed
- Routine maintenance is included
- You can’t always reserve your car in advance. First come, first served
- You can’t use your Uber rental to drive for Lyft or other services
How to see Uber rental options available to you
Uber rental options aren’t the same in every city. To see what is available to you, open the Uber Driver app, tap the menu icon in the upper left, then Account, then Vehicles. A button labeled “View Rental Options” should appear. Tap that button to see a list of all rental options in your area.
How to rent a car for Lyft: Lyft Express Drive
Lyft offers a vehicle rental program for drivers called Express Drive. With Express Drive, you pay a weekly fee that covers rideshare miles, insurance, and vehicle maintenance.
Lyft rentals cost around $209–$240/week. Additional personal miles may cost extra.
Lyft currently partners with Hertz and Flexdrive for the Express Drive program. You can only use a Hertz rental to drive for Lyft, but you can use a Flexdrive rental for other companies.
You must be 25 years or older to qualify for Lyft Express Drive rentals.
Can you use an Uber rental for Lyft or a Lyft rental for Uber?
Generally, you can only use a rental from Uber to drive for Uber, and a Lyft rental to drive with Lyft.
The rental agreements for both Uber and Lyft strictly prohibit using the vehicle to drive for another platform.
One exception is Lyft rentals through Flexdrive. Flexdrive allows you to use the rental for other platforms.
HyreCar allows you to use their rideshare rentals on any platform
- HyreCar – Rentals for any gig economy app. Use code HYRE10 for 10% off your first rental
Other Rideshare Rental Options
Many drivers choose to rent vehicles through Uber and Lyft, but several third-party companies also offer rentals for rideshare drivers.
HyreCar, a peer-to-peer rideshare rental service
HyreCar is a vehicle marketplace that allows you to rent vehicles from private owners for use on any rideshare or delivery platform.
You can rent a car on HyreCar for as short as two days. Map and filtering tools make it easy to find a vehicle that fits your budget. Insurance is included with every rental.
KINTO Share is a service by Toyota that offers rentals for rideshare, delivery, and personal use. Rentals are available by the hour or by the week.
Rentals start at $9 per hour and $225 per week. Unlimited miles and insurance are included. Payments are charged upfront when you begin your rental reservation.
KINTO Share is currently available in Southern California and Texas.
Getaround: Hourly & weekly rentals (Uber Only)
Getaround is another peer-to-peer rental service that rents cars for Uber drivers. You can rent the vehicle by the hour or by the week.
Getaround uses technology that allows renters to get inside the car with a smartphone, so you never have to meet with the vehicle owner to get the car keys.
Getaround for Uber is currently available for drivers in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Miami and state of New Jersey.
What’s the difference between the rideshare rental options?
Now that there are several rideshare rental options, it’s hard to keep track of all the benefits and drawbacks of each service.
The table below shows the features of each major rideshare rental service to help make it easier for you to see which one might work for you.
|Price||~$200 per week and up||~$200 per week and up||~$30/day and up, $200/week and up|
|Deposit||~$200 refundable for Hertz, no deposit for Avis||~$250 refundable||$200 refundable|
|Rental Period||Weekly||Weekly||Daily, weekly, or monthly|
|Insurance||$1000 deductible||$1000 deductible||$2500 deductible|
|Use for other services?||No||No for Hertz, yes for Flexdrive||Yes|
Rent a car for Uber Black on Craigslist
Some fleet owners offer their vehicles for rent to use on higher-end services like Uber Black. The car will already be registered with Uber, and the owner will have to list you on the vehicle insurance policy.
Renting from a fleet owner is a common way to drive for Uber Black.
How to rent a car for Uber on Craigslist
- Search your local craigslist for “Uber rental,” “Uber Black” or similar keywords
- Contact the owner and review any offered leasing arrangement
- The vehicle owner will then add you to both the vehicle’s insurance policy and their Uber Partner account
- If you haven’t already, you will have to undergo background screening
Renting via Craigslist is one way to get experience driving for Uber without having to make a big investment in a new car or figuring out the complexities of becoming an Uber Black driver.
Part-time drivers: Use the car you already own
If you already own a car that qualifies for Uber and you’re planning to drive part-time, use it!
Even accounting for vehicle depreciation, your earnings will likely exceed your costs if you don’t put too many miles on your car.
But for full-time drivers putting 1000+ miles on their car each week, rideshare rentals may be the best option.
When you drive that many miles, vehicle depreciation and maintenance become major expenses that might not make sense for your everyday vehicle.
Should you buy a car for Uber & Lyft?
Owning your own car to drive for Uber can be the cheapest option, with fewer restrictions than leases and weekly rentals. You can do whatever you want with the car, and the monthly payment will almost always be cheaper than the monthly cost of rentals.
If you decide that buying your own car for Uber is the way to go, buy the type of car that can realistically make you money with current Uber rates.
An older used car in great condition that costs $5,000–$10,000 will be nice enough to please your riders and won’t dig too deeply into your weekly ride earnings.
Always make sure to closely check Uber vehicle requirements before you purchase a car, and email Uber to make sure your car qualifies, especially if you’re aiming to use your vehicle for UberXL or Lyft XL.
Upside: You’ll own the vehicle, so you can use it as you wish, sell it whenever you want
Downside: If the vehicle is too expensive and Uber isn’t very lucrative in your area, you might get stuck with a car payment you can’t afford
Find a rideshare-friendly insurance policy at Insurify
Get a Quote at Insurify! — Easily compare rideshare-friendly car insurance quotes.
Don’t buy a car until you’re approved to drive!
Some people buy a car before they get approved to drive by Uber or Lyft.
In many cases, these people were confident they could pass the driving record check and background check, so they went ahead and got the car before Uber approved their application.
Then something happened in the application process—delays or a rejection—and now they’re stuck with a car payment that they can’t afford. Don’t put yourself in that position.
Get approved to drive before you get the car! You can get approved in only a week or two.
Uber and Lyft applications allow you to sign up without a car, so you won’t need to enter vehicle information to complete the application. You can figure out how to get the car after you’re approved.
Is it worth it to buy a car just to drive for Uber and Lyft?
Buying a car exclusively to drive for Uber or Lyft is a big investment that may not pay off if your market isn’t busy with ride requests.
According to our research about how much Uber drivers make, you should expect to make around $15–$25/hour after expenses.
Many drivers can make money with an affordable used car ($15,000 or less), but other drivers who splurge on a more expensive model find that it can become a breakeven or a loss.
Try before you buy: If you’re new to Uber and are not sure how strong the local market is, try renting a car through Uber or HyreCar to see if the gig will pay enough to make it worth investing in a car.
Insurance is NOT included in the Flex Drive weekly cost. It is billed on top of the weekly cost and is $25.00 per week ($100 per month).
Also, the per mile rate paid to Lyft Drivers is lower if you if you are driving a car through flex drive ( around $0.18 less per mile). So you earn less but still have to cover weekly rental cost.
Thanks for that info on Flexdrive. What state are you in? I wasn’t able to find that same info at help.lyft.com
I have been trying Lyft and Uber for moths and I can not seem to be able to get through I load up my driver’s license everything they need a nothing I don’t have a car that’s why I was trying to rent one
For Uber, try calling 18005937069. For Lyft, try to log into the app and follow any instructions you see.
Douglas Anderson says
Dear sirs. This program does interest me . I would love to get a rental for Lyft . I am already a driver with Lyft & and Uber for 2.5 years . I had a Kia optima 2013 but the main memory module went bad . I spent months trying to repair only to find out it’s real problem . I need to get a rental so I can return to driving . I need the added income . I need assistance to get this started. imeadiately .I appreciate your assistance
Check the Vehicles section of the apps to see the rentals available in your area.
I am a Preferred Plus renter with Avis. Personally, I rent almost weekly with Avis (due to a really good corporate rate from one of my corporate clients). Do you think I could use a weekly or even a monthly rental as my personal car rather than going through their rental programs given how steep their prices are? I have my own car insurance that I keep current as well. I plan to upload my weekly/monthly car rental into the app with all required info.
Also, how long does it take for newly added car info to be verified?
I’m not fully clear about what you mean, but you can’t use a ‘normal’ Avis rental for rideshare. It has to be through the Lyft-Avis partnership and I don’t think that they currently can ‘see’ your Preferred Plus status. You can use the rideshare rental for personal miles, but it’s not very economical unless you’re also doing a lot of rideshare driving.
Thanks for this read! I have a car that is almost paid off (less than a year left). I’m interested in getting a new car anyway, so I was hoping to trade in the car to get a new one as a part of getting a job driving for Uber or Lyft. Is this something I could work out with them?
Lyft and Uber currently only offer rentals. You could use your new car for them, but they won’t offer anything special for it.
You need to update this information with everything that is going around.
As far as I know most of the rental options are the same, but the cost has gone down. Let me know if you which info seems inaccurate or outdated! Thank you.
Is there a down payment o n renting a car to lyft??
There is a deposit, but it’s not a down payment. The deposit is around $250 and you can get back when you return the car