Uber Car Rentals and Other Alternatives: How to Be a Rideshare Driver Without a Car


uber car rental - how to be a rideshare driver without a car

You love the idea of picking up some extra cash by driving people around on the weekends, but you’ve been making do without a car and it doesn’t seem worth it to buy one just for a side hustle.

But wait! There are actually a couple of ways to become a rideshare driver without owning your own car:

  • Renting a car to use for rideshare shifts
  • Borrowing a car from someone you know to use

But for either option, you have to make sure the way you do it is legit. Here are the main things you need to know about becoming a rideshare driver without a car of your own.

Rideshare Driving with a Rental Car

You can’t rent just any car before heading out on a shift with Lyft. Any car you use when driving for a rideshare company has to be registered with the company. If you drive a car that isn’t registered, you risk being booted from the app and not being covered by their insurance if you get in an accident. It’s definitely not worth that kind of risk.

But have no fear, you do have rental options that will keep you on the right side of Uber and Lyft’s rules.

Where to Find a Car for Rideshare Driving

You’ve got four main choices for rideshare-friendly Lyft/ Uber car rentals:

Maven

Maven’s whole business model is based on renting cars to people wanting to do gig economy work like ridesharing or grocery delivery. They’ll provide you the information you need to get your car registered with the rideshare company for the length of your rental. Maven rents cars by the week, starting at $189 a week. They’re only available in a few main cities at this time, though.

HyreCar

HyreCar matches the cars of people who don’t use them much with the people wanting to rent them for rideshare shifts. They provide you all the information you need to register the car with Uber or Lyft, and their cars are available for rentals as short as two days long. They usually cost somewhere in the range of $25-$40 a day, with some car owners offering discounts for longer rentals.

Uber Rentals

If you want to keep everything in the same app, you can go directly through Uber’s rental program to get a car to drive. When you apply to be a driver, you can mark that you need a car and (as soon as you’re approved) you’ll be able to see your rental options. You can rent by the hour or the week, and prices vary based on the city.

Lyft ExpressDrive

Like Uber, Lyft offers their own rental program for drivers. You simply let Lyft know during the application process that you need a car and you’ll see available options after you’re approved. They also offer a Rental Rewards program where you can end up paying less on your rental based on the number of Lyft rides you give with it. Minimum rental periods and pricing vary based on the city you’re in.

Potential Car Rental Issues to Consider as a Rideshare Driver

These programs are designed to address most of the issues you might be worried about. Your insurance coverage is included in your rental fee, and these programs usually make it easy to load the car’s information to each of major rideshare apps. Once you add the car to your profile, it’s covered by the rideshare company’s insurance while you’re driving as well as any insurance provided by the rental company, and the correct picture will show up for riders looking out for your car.

Be aware that if you get in an accident in your Uber rental car, it may still influence your future car insurance premiums.

“Any claims you have would be covered under the rental company’s policy but would appear on your CLUE report,” The Zebra’s licensed insurance agent Ava Lynch said.

Insurance companies routinely run the CLUE report before starting a new policy with a customer to verify their driving record and determine their rates, and some run it for each renewal as well.

woman driving car in reverse

Rideshare Driving with a Borrowed Car

If you have a friend or family member with a car who is willing to let you borrow it for rideshare shifts (which is a big if), then this could be an option. Whether or not it’s a good idea depends on the particular circumstances, and Ava advises against it.

“It’s not as easy as ‘borrowing’ their vehicle,” she explains. “They would need to be added to the owner’s insurance policy as they would be using the vehicle frequently. This would cause the vehicle owner’s insurance policy to increase.”

That said, if you’ve discussed it and they’re on board, then all they need to do is add you to their insurance for the rideshare companies to be ok with you adding their car to your account.

Potential Issues to Consider When Using a Friend’s Car for Rideshare

The main concern is your friend’s car insurance and liability. Any accidents you have can influence what your friend pays for their monthly premiums – which is a real risk to ask them to take on.

If you drive their car regularly for rideshare shifts, you’ll also be putting wear and tear on it, which will lead to higher maintenance and repair costs over time.

If you end up using more than one car (either rentals or borrowed cars) for your rideshare driving, make sure everything you drive is added to your account on each app. Showing up in a car that looks different than what the rider expects can lead to low scores and complaints that could get you booted from the app. But both Uber and Lyft allow you to add multiple vehicles to your account and switch between them as needed.