Lyft beefs up car rental program for drivers

As of late, Lyft has been doubling down on its messaging that it wants to reduce the amount of car ownership in the U.S. The company’s most recent example of its anti-car ownership efforts is coming in the form of a partnership with car rental company Avis.

As part of a multi-year deal, Avis will add thousands of cars to Lyft’s Express Drive program, which offers drivers a way to rent cars on a weekly basis from Hertz, Flexdrive and now, Avis.

“Our partnership with Avis Budget Group allows us to provide new and existing drivers who are seeking a reliable source of income with more quality options when choosing a vehicle,” Lyft COO Jon McNeill said in a press release. “And as more drivers decide to give up their own cars, they can continue to earn with Lyft as we expand the Express Drive program.”

This comes on the heels of Lyft bringing on Tesla’s now-former VP of worldwide service and customer experience, Karim Bousta, to lead Express Drive. At Lyft, Bousta is also responsible for launching and scaling the next generation of Lyft Hubs, which are Lyft’s driver support centers. He also will be tasked with beefing up driver rewards and incentives.

Similarly, Uber offers weekly and daily car rentals for drivers via Hertz, Getaround and Fair. Uber has since expanded its partnership with Getaround to enable anyone to rent a car for personal use via the Uber app. Dubbed Uber Rent, the platform taps into Getaround’s existing marketplace of cars that are available for instant rentals.

In May, Lyft committed $100 million to better support its drivers by specifically putting the money toward cheaper oil changes, basic car maintenance, serviced car washes and more. Lyft also will almost double its operating hours at its driver hubs in 15 cities throughout the nation.

The idea with that commitment is to help drivers make more money and maximize their earnings by offsetting the costs of driving. Other benefits will include car and SUV rentals, tax education and more.

Lyft also says it expects to more than double its driver base in the next five years. Currently, Lyft has 1.4 million drivers, according to its latest economic impact report.