Uber partners with Moove to finance cars for drivers
Johannesburg – Uber has partnered with Moove to allow driver-partners to own and drive their own cars in a rent-to-own model.
The model will see at least 101 drivers benefit initially, with over 5000 drivers targeted to benefit before the end of the 2021/22 financial year.
The move will see Uber drivers – most who typically work for an owner and pay an owner a weekly fee for rental – take control of their own earnings.
Qualifying drivers for the drive-to-own model will pay Moove R1950 weekly for four years and the amount is inclusive of a maintenance plan, vehicle insurance and other extras, including roadside assistance.
Moove Country Manager, Sinako Cetyiwe, said they would not be using traditional market instruments such as credit record checks as a qualification criteria for drivers.
He said the programme had been piloted in Nigeria from June last year, and had also just kicked off in Ghana recently.
He said they would look at the driver’s active Uber profile and determine if they would be able to keep up with the repayment fees.
“What we are doing here is providing access directly to drivers so that they are able to run their own businesses, with their own cars. This is a problem we have seen over the years where drivers cannot get access to a vehicle and the cost of getting access is actually very high.
“With this product we are able to provide them with access to a car, but also with a deal that is very economical for the driver,” he said.
Moove said they were initially targeting a roll-out of compact and fuel efficient Toyota Agyas by the end of the year to 5000 driver-partners in Johannesburg.
“What we are doing is to look at the success of the product in Johannesburg, then it will expand to other cities after that. (The timelines) are dependent on how well it does in the market, we will try to move as quickly as we can with the expansion of the UberGo product.
Cetyiwe said the deal was on a weekly basis and drivers were free to relinquish the deal at any point and drop off the car, if it was no longer working for them.
“We have worked really hard to ensure that this product is really impactful for the driver and cost efficient for any other options available for the driver,” he said.
At the end of the four years, the driver owns the car and will thus have to insure and maintain the car at his own cost, with the R1950 weekly cost no longer a factor.
At the launch event of UberGo, held at Uber’s Sandton head office, Vusi Ngobeni, an Uber driver from Cosmo City, was awarded with a Toyota Agya.
Ngobeni, and another unnamed driver, will have two years free access through the drive-to-own model.
Speaking to IOL, Ngobeni, who has done tens of thousands of trips on the e-hailing platform, said he was excited and grateful for the opportunity to own his own car.
He said he had been renting a KIA Rio sedan for R2600 per week from an owner.
“I am so excited to win this car and have an opportunity to own my own. I have two children who I support through Uber, so going forward I will be saving the R2600 that I was renting and then we will have to see at a later stage what I can do with the money,” he said.
Ngobeni said his earnings on the platform were about R7000 per week – on a bad week, and from there, he would budget about R350 per day for fuel and would also off-set the car owner’s R2600 rental.
“I have not told my partner yet, it will be a surprise, she will see when I arrive at home with my own car,” he said.
Meanwhile, Uber’s sub-Saharan Africa general manager Frans Hiemstra said they were constantly looking for ways to reduce costs for drivers and allow them to make better earnings on the platform.
He said the partnership with Moove allowed UberGo drivers to take control of their own earnings.
“We have a customer obsession. Our customers are our riders, our drivers, our cities and the regulators. We have to make sure we keep all our customers first all the time,” he said.
“This is why we have created economic opportunities. We have over 60 000 drivers serving three millions riders in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.
He said they were also looking to prioritise female driver-partners with the UberGo initiative with Moove.
“We want to turn our drivers into earners, that is why we have fuel rebate deals with BP, we have great cellphone deals for our drivers and we have a tyre maintenance deal with Tiger Wheel and Tyre.
“We need as Uber to be developing to bring down driver-partner costs and boost earnings,” he said.
On safety, he said drivers and riders had access to 24/7 emergency assistance through private security during the duration of a ride.
He said the Uber app was also armed with driver safety toolkits, such as injury protect and speed alerts. The injury protect feature allows a driver to immediately alert emergency services in the event of an accident, while the speed alert reports speeding drivers who are then penalised on the e-hailing platform.