How Does the Lyft Express Drive Rental Program Work?

Lyft Express Drive Rental Program

What Is the Lyft Express Drive Rental Program?

Most people have heard about rideshare programs such as Lyft or Uber, which allow individuals that own a car to make money by providing rides to passengers in the same way that taxi cab companies operate.

Lyft has taken this one step further and provides rental cars to individuals that wish to drive for the service even if they don’t own their own car, or if their personal car does not meet the requirements necessary to participate in the Lyft Platform.

How Does Lyft Express Drive Work?

Drivers that would like to work as a Lyft partner (but do not own a car) are still able to apply to drive for Lyft.  By simply filling out an application on lyft.com/expressdrive, and selecting ‘rental car’ in the vehicle information section of the application, they’ll be able to start the process of leasing a vehicle directly from Lyft, in order to drive regularly for the service.

Rental vehicles for Lyft come from either GM Maven (*drivers must be age 21+) or Hertz (*drivers must be age 25+).

Prospective vehicle renters must also be willing to provide a refundable deposit (which is returned when the driver stops using the Express Drive program, and has returned a vehicle to its dealership – or if they are not approved during the application process). The deposit will also be returned if the driver decides not to pick up the car and ends the program before beginning a lease-term.

In some cases, a driver’s deposit will be used to pay for outstanding payments on the Express Drive rental.

Express Drive Fee Structure

The fee for an Express Drive rental car is based on the amount of rides provided. The Express Drive Program’s fee structure is organized as follows: the more rides a driver provides, the less they pay for the vehicle rental. When driving a rental car, there is a set fee for mileage while in ‘driver mode‘, and a set fee for driving ‘personal miles‘.

Rental fees are prorated (so that if a driver only picks up their rental and uses it for three or four days, they will only be charged for those days).

Weekly billing begins on Monday.

Usage Tips & Analysis

When using the Express driver rental program, there are certain ways in which a driver can increase their earned income. Drivers who provide 65 rides per week don’t have to pay a rental fee, while those who complete 40 to 64 rides per week only pay the base fee.

Under 40 rides involves a base fee and a per mile fee.

There are also bonuses to the Express driver rental program including sign-on bonuses, referral fees for referring new drivers, and access to the Accelerate Rewards program, which provides tax support, cell phone discounts, personal savings assistance, and even free roadside assistance when a driver reaches 200 rides per month.

Is there an advantage for drivers who use Lyft’s Express Drive program?

Using the Express driver rental program can provide a profit advantage to those living in areas with high ride volume, as rental fees can be eliminated. However, it is important to note that when driving in personal mode, there is a $0.20 to $0.25 per mile fee applied. In most cases, this amount will still be much lower than the cost of leasing or buying a vehicle, paying for insurance, and maintenance.

With the Lyft Express driver rental program, insurance and maintenance are covered, so if the rental car breaks down the driver won’t find themselves having to pay for expensive repairs.

Drawbacks to the Express Program

One of the drawbacks to the Express driver rental program is the inability to use Express Pay, which allows driver’s to cash out their earnings prior to the regular weekly deposit. Drivers in the rental program are also not eligible to earn back their commissions or qualify for hourly guarantees. When weighed against the cost of using a personal vehicle for driving passengers, the drawbacks may seem minimal.

It’s also worth noting — Lyft’s Express Drive Program has been criticized by some observers as being unfairly priced for regular Lyft drivers. As with other rideshare rental initiatives (like UberXchange) there are ongoing concerns about the program’s convenience and profit-advantage for drivers.

Is Express Drive worth using?

It all depends. Depending on a driver’s particular situation, there are certain advantages to using the Express driver rental program.

Individuals who are interested in trying out rideshare or driving for Lyft (but who do not own a car) can participate and earn money without having to commit to purchasing a vehicle.

Simultaneously, car-owners with vehicles that do not qualify for Lyft (i.e., older vehicles or vehicles that do not meet Lyft’s standards) can also participate. Drivers that do own their own vehicle but would prefer to avoid adding extra miles and maintenance costs to their personal vehicle can also choose to participate in the Express Drive rental program.

One interesting advantage is a little-noticed perk, which might incentive high-frequency drivers: if a passenger becomes sick in an Express Drive vehicle, Lyft covers the cost. A renter simply needs to return the rental to a dealership, and Lyft deals with the cleaning fee (as compared to a Lyft driver who owns & uses their own vehicle – and must deal with the cleaning costs independently).

Are there any major difference for drivers who use an Express Drive vehicle, versus drivers who use a privately-owned car?

For drivers renting a vehicle with Express Drive, the Lyft experience is identical to Lyft’s regular service — except that they are renting a vehicle, as opposed to driving their own privately-owned car.

Everything else is exactly the same:

Accessing the Lyft Platform (and being matched with passengers) is done through the Lyft App. Once installed on a compatible phone or mobile device, a Lyft Driver simply needs to turn on their Lyft App to ‘driver mode’ and wait for a ride request. Drivers are able to see a passenger’s photo and name before picking them up. Once the passenger has been picked up and dropped off at their location, both parties rate each other. Payment is handled through the app, so money does not physically change hands between the driver and passenger.

Drivers are able to see their hours driven, the number of rides they have provided, and their earnings through the Lyft app.

Interested in becoming a Lyft Driver? Sign up today and receive a cash bonus!

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