World News

New Uber Car Rentals

Uber recently announced that it would allow users in the UK to rent cars via its app in a partnership with car rental company CarTrawler. Customers will be able to choose the new “Uber Rent” option from within the app and then browse available cars for their chosen date and location. Rental cars can then be picked up from hundreds of pickup locations. The UK launch follows trials in France and Australia. The process is slightly different from Uber’s bike or scooter rentals. Although you’re booking at the same time as you pick up the vehicle, Uber encourages you to make car reservations at least 24 hours prior to retrieving the car. Rentals can be canceled up to 48 hours ahead of collection and Uber promises discounts of up to 25 percent.

This is not the first time Uber has offered this service. In 2018, it announced a similar plan in partnership with Getaround in the US. However, it was discontinued for regular costumers and instead focused on offering rentals for its drivers. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this could change forever. Even though the company has introduced countless health and safety precautions for its drives in response to the pandemic, sitting in an enclosed space with a stranger feels risky. Uber states that rental cars will be thoroughly cleaned between users. 

This service is just one of the latest Uber is exploring after being affected heavily by the Coronavirus pandemic. Last month the company reported losing about $1.8 billion in the quarter, and their business being down 80 percent compared to the previous year. This has forced the company to lay off thousands of employees and it may have to shut down operations in California after a court ruled that its drivers should be classified as employees. In response, Uber is exploring different options. As of now, it’s acquired meal delivery service Postmates, launched an on-demand grocery delivery service in Latin America and Canada, and partnered with a commuter riverboat service in London called “UberBoat.”

Categories: World News

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