As these companies grew, one thing getting in their way in some markets was finding enough qualified drivers who had their own vehicles. To try and combat that issue, Uber launched its Uber XChange program, which allowed drivers to lease vehicles through the company without having to fork over a lot of cash for a huge down payment.
In January 2018, Uber ended its XChange program, choosing to focus on its core product of providing rideshare and delivery service. The program didn’t end, however — XChange merely moved to a new operator, Fair, which continues to run the program, albeit a program that is slightly different.
In this article we’ll give you a brief guide to the XChange leasing program and explain why Uber stepped away from it. We’ll also provide a guide to the new XChange program and give some other alternatives for rideshare drivers looking for a car rental service.
Lastly, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about XChange, vehicle leasing, and more.
A Brief Guide to Uber XChange
The Uber XChange Leasing Program gave Uber drivers who didn’t own their own car the opportunity to make money working for Uber.
In cities with a high demand for service and high competition from other rideshare companies, Uber wanted to eliminate some of the obstacles for people who wanted to drive for them.
If people couldn’t acquire cars through traditional means, Uber would help them do so … and help get Uber drivers on the road to provide service.
For people that lacked enough credit history for a strong credit score, couldn’t meet the financial terms set out by a manufacturer’s leasing agreement, or couldn’t make a big down payment on a car, Uber XChange allowed them to get behind the wheel of their own vehicle through its leasing program.
This program ran until January 2018 when Uber decided to offload the program to another carrier: Fair. That brought about changes not only to who was running the program but how it was being run as well.
Why The Uber Program Ended and How It’s Run Now
Uber XChange was a leasing program. While it was more flexible in allowing drivers to qualify and reduced up-front lease fees (asking instead for a smaller security deposit), it was still a long-term lease program.
XChange leases meant drivers were committed to leasing the car for a set amount of time, and there were penalties for breaking the lease before the contract was up.
For drivers who drove for years, this wasn’t an issue. But if a driver got hurt or sick, or had their ability to make Uber earnings affected in some other way, it could be difficult to make payments … and to get out of the lease.
When the company Fair took over the program, XChange moved to a rideshare rental model. Instead of a monthly lease program, Fair requires weekly payments. While this can add up to more than some traditional leases, the rental program does give you much more flexibility.
The Fair XChange program renews every month. But if you, as the driver, don’t want to renew, you can put in a cancellation that’s effective the following month. Whenever you want to walk away, you can do so without a penalty.
For drivers who were previously locked into a 36-month (or longer) lease, this program gives more freedom and works well as a short-term option. Instead of a lease replacement, XChange now operates more like a kickstart to your Uber career.
Drivers can rent for a few months to earn enough for a down payment on a car through a traditional manufacturer, then they can leave the XChange program to get better terms on a lease and a lower monthly payment.
The New XChange Program
The biggest differentiator of the new XChange program by Fair is that it’s a car rental service … not a car leasing service. But there are a lot of things to know about the program, its perks, and what you have to pay when signing up.
Perks of the Fair XChange Program
The Fair XChange program comes with its own set of perks for people who rent cars to drive with Uber.
The main attractions of the service:
- No long-term contract
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Unlimited mileage
- Vehicle warranty
- Routine maintenance
- Great vehicle options, including hybrids, SUVs, and more
The XChange program is trying to make it as easy as possible for drivers to earn, and earn well, for Uber. It’s well known that drivers don’t make nearly as much as advertised by Uber, so giving them this benefit can greatly impact their earnings.
They take care of the warranty, they provide roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown, and they provide routine maintenance to make sure the car is working well.
Also, there’s no mileage limit, which means you can accept trips without worry, no matter where they’re going.
Uber insures drivers while they are driving for the company, but drivers will need to get their own insurance for the vehicle when they’re off the clock. (This is a requirement.)
Companies like GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, The General, and others have competitive insurance rates that can be bought in increments smaller than one year
According to Ridester, rentals through Fair cost as little as $130 per week and go up from there depending on how large a car you want.
Fair also requires a $500 start-up fee that’s non-refundable. It’s an unfortunate fee, but with many lease options requiring a down payment of $2500 or more, it’s a more affordable option to start out with a rental that’s specifically for Uber.
How to Get Started
To get started with Fair’s XChange program, you’ll need a:
- Working phone
- Bank account or credit card
- Photo ID
- $500 start-up fee
From there, it’s just about signing up through Uber’s vehicle solutions website. To do so, go to their website. Then at the top of the sign-up, select “I need a car.”
You’ll then provide your name, email, the city you want to drive in, a password, and a driver invite code. (Don’t have a driver invite code?
Once you’ve signed up and are approved, you’ll get a code to set up an account on the Fair XChange rental portal.
Then you’ll be able to manage your rental, make payments, and when you’re ready to leave, cancel your rental.
3 Alternatives for Renting a Car for Uber
Not in love with the terms and conditions of the XChange Program? You have other alternatives, including ones that don’t require the $500 non-refundable fee to get started.
Let’s get into some of those options.
Hertz has a special partnership with Uber that allows drivers to take out long-term rentals, specifically to drive for Uber.
While it’s only available in some cities, the program has special offers (including unlimited mileage) with flexible terms for people who are looking to rent so they can drive for Uber.
Pricing starts at $214 a week and requires a $200 security deposit, which is refundable. Check their website to learn more about the program.
HyreCar is a site that lets both private vehicle owners and dealers to rent and lease out their car to people who drive for Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare companies.
It’s currently available in all 50 states. Prices and conditions of the rental vary by owner, though there is a $200 security deposit to get started.
Getaround is very different from most of the other options here in that it’s an hourly rental service. Unlike Turo, which lets drivers rent cars by the day, Getaround is by the hour, standing out from competitors.
For people who are qualified to drive for Uber and want to pull a quick shift when their car is in the shop or not functioning properly, Getaround can be the way to make it happen.
Lastly, while this isn’t a way to drive for Uber, you may also want to look into the Lyft Express Drive Program, which is similar to the XChange Program for Uber but for its main competitor, Lyft.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve covered the old XChange program, the new XChange program, and alternatives for people who want to rent cars to drive for Uber. Let’s get to some FAQs about renting a car for rideshare purposes.
1. Where is the new Fair XChange program available?
XChange is currently available in major cities in the United States, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, Houston, Nashville, New York, Seattle, Orange County, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.
To find out if it’s available in your city, enter your city on the Uber vehicle solutions sign-up page.
2. If I’m only using the car to drive for Uber, why do I need my own insurance for an XChange car?
Even if it’s just rolling out of your driveway, you are required by law to have your vehicle insured in this country. Drivers need to be able to log off and drive home at the end of the day, and you will need to cover that part of the ride with your own insurance.
If you’re worried about insurance payments and want to forego the XChange route, Hertz and other alternatives also have insurance options.
3. What are the terms of the XChange maintenance program?
Fair XChange program provides routine maintenance for users, which includes a tire rotation and oil change every 5,000 miles, and a cabin air filter replacement every 25,000 miles.
Renting a Car for Uber
While the Uber XChange Leasing program is no more, the XChange program lives on as a way for new drivers to get started by renting a car to drive for Uber.
With other options from Hertz, GetAround, and HyreCar, it’s never been easier to start driving for Uber — even if you can’t afford to buy your own car just yet.