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General Motors and Lyft Announce New Rental Service

By Evan Niu, CFA - Mar 15, 2016 at 3:45PM

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Express Drive will help expand Lyft drivers' access to vehicles at affordable rental rates.

Image source: Lyft.

What happened?
In line with its recent $500 million investment in Lyft, General Motors (GM 1.35%) has announced a new rental program specifically tailored for Lyft drivers, Express Drive. Express Drive is designed to offer affordable rental rates to Lyft drivers that include both insurance and maintenance.

Rates start at $99 per week plus $0.20 per mile and decrease based upon how many Lyft rides are completed. If the driver completes between 40 and 64 rides, there is no mileage fee. Drivers that complete 65 rides or more will be able to keep renting the car at no cost.

Express Drive will roll out later this month in Chicago, but then expand to other cities including Boston and Washington, D.C. GM will provide 125 Chevy Equinoxes for the program. The companies note that there are 60,000 drivers that have applied for Lyft but do not have a car that meets the requirements. Express Drive will solve that problem.

Does it matter?
With all of the ongoing debate about current vehicle ownership models being threatened by the rise of car-sharing, GM has taken a proactive approach with embracing the new trends. Not only is the company releasing the all-electric Chevy Bolt, but General Motors is focusing heavily on a broader range of personal mobility services since that's where a large portion of the market is heading, particularly in urban markets.

Meanwhile, Lyft continues to challenge Uber's dominance, and its recent $1 billion Series F round that GM participated in will help the company fund its expansion and competition. In partnering with Lyft, GM will also gain valuable experience in with car-sharing services -- experience that it will use in building its own Maven car-sharing service.

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