How does the Uber Xchange leasing program compare to the Lyft Express Drive program? Uber has spent a lot of time and dedicated a lot of money into building up their Uber Xchange Leasing program, and Lyft similarly has done the same thing with Lyft Express Drive. There are a few other rental and leasing options, but these are the two biggest one, so I want to focus on that today and give you a quick overview.
Take a look at my video, then check out the transcript below if you prefer to read.
Basics about Uber Xchange and Express Drive
Xchange is really Uber’s leasing program, where they partner with dealerships all around the country to offer ride share vehicles to drivers. In the past, they only provided the financing, but now they’re actually starting to open up some of their own showrooms and do sort of a whole full service model.
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Lyft’s Express Drive rental program is more of a weekly rental, as the name might suggest. They partner to provide you with GM or Hertz vehicles for a weekly rental fee.
There are some similarities but there are a lot of differences. These programs really are designed for full-time drivers. You’ve got to drive a lot. These programs, we’ll get into the cost and everything but they are expensive, and if you’re just looking to do this part-time, these two programs probably aren’t the best option. There are others we have on our Uber Vehicle Marketplace, which you can take a look at. Not a great fit if you’re part-time. If you are full time or looking to do full time, we’ll go dive into the details.
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How much does each cost?
The answer is, kind of a lot. That’s one criticism of these programs, is that they’re expensive. But I will say that from a design perspective, they are designed very well for drivers. Usually Xchange is around $120 to $180 a week, but you also need to add ride share insurance, which can be anywhere from $50 to $200 a month. You add all that up, you’re at around $480 for the lease, all the way up to maybe $5-600, all the way up to $1,000 depending on which car you choose and how much your insurance is.
It’s obviously a lot more than a regular lease, but at the same time it’s not the same as a regular lease. You get unlimited mileage, and we’ll talk about some of the details too. But as far as pricing, that’s how much it’s going to cost. You do get that unlimited mileage and free maintenance, so it is pretty different than a traditional lease.
With Lyft Express Drive, the pricing actually depends on the city and whether you go with the GM or Hertz option. Looking at the prices here in Los Angeles, it’s currently $170 a week for a Lyft Express Drive car with Hertz. If you do 70 rides a week though for example, you actually get the rental for free, you just have to pay the tax.
That’s the high level overview, there are a couple other important things on the pricing with that. You don’t qualify for Power Driver bonus with Lyft if you’re using the Express Drive program, so that’s something to consider. The big thing that we’ve seen with Lyft’s Express Drive program is that the terms and prices are super different from month to month, even in the same city, and especially city to city. There might be, the rides requirement might be 70 on Hertz and a different number on GM, or it might be 75 in a different city, and then that might change to 85. Just make sure that you read all the fine print and really do all your research, all your due diligence.
Which program is more flexible?
The next thing I want to talk about is flexibility. The Express Drive program is clearly the more flexible option since they allow for those weekly rentals, but you do have to return the car from time to time since technically it is a rental. With Uber, since it’s a leasing program, you actually keep the car as long as you make payments. With Xchange you have to keep the car for at least a month, and in order to get out of the lease you have to pay a $250 fee and basically two weeks notice. When you had that month plus a two weeks notice, the minimum term is basically one and a half months, which is pretty reasonable. If you’re going to try this out, you want to give it a good shot and at least do it for a month or two, I would say, anyway. The minimum term is a month and a half, which I think is very reasonable.
When it comes to flexibility of payments, it is a hassle with Uber if you don’t drive, because they still need to take those weekly payments out anyways, and so you will run into some problems there. There are a few different options for payment but I have heard that it’s kind of a hassle. They normally take it out of your Uber Earnings, and if you don’t have Uber Earnings it brings a little bit of a hassle.
You can’t do Instant Pay or Express Pay
The other thing to keep in mind too on the topic of pay, is that both of these programs are not eligible for Uber’s Instant Pay, which allows you to cash out daily or instantly. With Lyft Express Drive you also can’t do their Express Pay. That’s definitely one thing to consider.
Are cars actually available?
When it comes to availability of cars, this is one area where I’ve seen issues on both programs, since they’ve been so popular. Basically, cars are in short demand for these programs. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about Lyft Express Drive program period, is that there aren’t enough cars. I haven’t heard this program as much with Uber Xchange, so you may find that there’s better availability for yourself in your situation with Uber Xchange Leasing. Uber has a bunch of dealerships that they partner with. They’re starting to open up their own showrooms, so it seems like they’re investing heavily there. Not to say that Lyft isn’t, because they’re also expanding, but definitely keep that in mind.
Big perk: Maintenance is included
When it comes to maintenance, both services or both options provide free maintenance. Like I said, with Lyft you do have to sometimes switch out that car, which can be a little bit of a hassle. With Uber Xchange you basically keep the car as long as you’re making payments. You’ll get that basic oil changes and things like that done, either at the dealership or one of their partners.
The other thing I want to talk about is customer service. I haven’t heard a lot of negative feedback about Lyft, other than there’s not being that many cars with the Express Drive program. Uber is a much bigger company, so they’re probably doing more volume. I’ve heard all sorts of experiences with Uber Xchange. I wouldn’t say that most of them are negative, but there are definitely some pretty big challenges that have come up.
When those issues come up on Xchange, maybe a document wasn’t filed right or something like that, drivers have told me it’s very hard to get that resolved.
You can’t use your Lyft Express Drive car for Uber, but you can use your Xchange car for Lyft
The last thing that I want to mention is driving for multiple services. With Lyft’s Express Drive program, you can only drive for Lyft. With Uber’s program, since your name is on the insurance card, you can actually go drive for Lyft if you wanted. In fact, you could only do Lyft, but then you’d have to figure out a way to pay them every single week.
Xchange gives you a little bit more flexibility there. That’s why I think if I had to pick one, I’d probably go for that Xchange Leasing, since it gives you that flexibility to do Uber and Lyft. I’m not the type of person that needs week to week flexibility, so that month and a half holding period with Uber Xchange I think is pretty reasonable. Then, hey, if I decide it’s not working for me, or if I want to give up the car, two week notice, plus the $250 fee I think is very reasonable. You aren’t going to lose money. I should say, if you’re working full time, it’s very difficult to lose money with these programs. You may end up seeing though that there are expensive. There’s a big incentive to drive as much as you can, to work as many hours as possible, especially when you think about the fact that there’s that unlimited mileage.
That’s a high level overview of the Uber Xchange Leasing program versus Express Drive. I’d love to know your feedback. What do you like about Uber Xchange program? What don’t you like? Same thing with Lyft Express Drive. I know a lot of people will probably say they’re expensive but remember, when you compare them to a regular lease or traditional financing options, a lot of drivers who are going for these programs may not be able to get financing on their own, or they may not have the funds to buy a car or a used car or anything like that. I think it’s definitely a smart option if your options are making $0 a week, or going with Uber Xchange or Lyft Express Drive and making at least some money a week.
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