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Uber drivers in Los Angeles and Lyft drivers in four markets will be able to rent cars from Hertz
More cars! More drivers!
Hertz today announced that it has inked agreements with both major ride-hailing companies in the U.S., Uber and Lyft, in order to provide vehicles to individuals who want to drive for the services.
Both agreements appear to be fairly similar, allowing Uber and Lyft drivers (or “partners” as the companies call them) to rent vehicles from Hertz at dedicated off-airport locations. Hertz says they will be able to rent cars at “set rates” outlined in the agreement, but no word on what these rates are.
I’ve reached out to Hertz to see if they’ll confirm for me what the rates might be, and will update when I hear back. Presumably, Uber and Lyft both enticed the rental car company with a new source of heavy order volume so they could bargain for lowered rates.
The agreement between Hertz and Uber will first take hold in the Los Angeles area, though other markets are likely to follow as the agreement is for a national rollout. The agreement with Lyft also detailed a national rollout, but so far Los Angeles and San Francisco are the only new markets.
Lyft and Hertz will also continue their prior arrangement in Las Vegas and Denver: While this is a completely new agreement for Uber, Lyft has been working with Hertz in this capacity since late last year. The two companies piloted a rental car program for Lyft drivers in Las Vegas and Denver eight months ago, so today’s expanded agreements indicate both parties are happy with the results.
"Based on that experience, Hertz and Lyft were ready to take the next step, which resulted in this U.S. supply agreement,” said John Tague, president and CEO of Hertz Global Holdings, in a prepared statement. "Utilizing cars that are rotating out of our consumer rental fleet creates a model that works for Hertz and for Lyft drivers by providing them with well-maintained, good condition cars. We consider this agreement to be largely complementary to our car rental business, and it enables us to leverage our fleet and distribution infrastructure to participate in the dramatic growth in the ride sharing, or e–hailing, segment."
(Ride sharing? E-hailing? Ride-hailing? On-demand? I like that even the CEO of Hertz doesn’t know what exactly to call these companies. )
In today’s ride sharing (or e-hailing) market, success seems to come down to huge supply meeting huge demand, which is why Uber and Lyft always seem to be grasping for new ways to get drivers behind the wheel.
As part of its partnership with investor General Motors (GM), Lyft in March launched Express Drive, a car rental program for those individuals to rent cars at "affordable" rates. Upping the ante, Lyft says that drivers who meet a certain threshold of rides per week (65) don’t have to pay for the rental.
Another example: In April, Uber partnered with an international nonprofit called the Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) to make it easier for people who are deaf to drive for Uber.
While Lyft and Uber continue to expand their respective programs with Hertz, it will be interesting to see if other rental car companies jump on the bandwagon.
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Uber is a ridesharing service headquartered in San Francisco, United States, which operates in multiple international cities. The company uses a smartphone application to arrange rides between riders and drivers.