Lyft takes on car rental services in Los Angeles and the SF Bay Area

Following a trial period earlier this year, Lyft this week confirmed it’s operating a new car rental service that’s available right inside its regular app.

The rental service is operating in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, though other locations could be added at a later date.

Outlining the new offering in a post on its website on Thursday, Lyft said: “You shouldn’t have to own a car to get around (or to get out of) your city. But sometimes you need a car to go longer distances. That’s why we’ve launched Lyft Rentals.”

The move by Lyft will be of concern to traditional car rental services such as Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis, though of course, it’s early days for the latest entrant.

Leveraging its current ridesharing service, Lyft will drive customers to and from the rental location for free, so long as the trip doesn’t cost more than $20.

Lyft Rentals’ Los Angeles operation offers two models: The five-seat Mazda3 sedan and the five-seat Mazda CX-5 SUV. In San Francisco, you can choose between a five-seat Volkswagen Passat sedan and a seven-seat Volkswagen Atlas SUV.

The rental service includes unlimited mileage, and you won’t be charged extra for gas. In other words, if you return the vehicle with less than a full tank, Lyft will fill it up but charge only the regular rate for the local area. In addition, the San Francisco-based company promises you won’t be hit with hidden fees or any last-minute vehicle model changes.

Anyone aged 22 or over with a valid driver’s license can rent a car for up to two weeks at a time, with a minimum rental period of one day.

As you’d expect, pricing depends on things such as car type, rental location, rental period, and whether you want to use it during the week or on weekends.

If you’re located in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, you can access the rental service by tapping on the key icon in the Lyft app.

Lyft Rentals is the company’s latest effort to become your one-stop shop for all of your transportation needs, with the company having already expanded into bikesharing and scootersharing to complement its ridesharing service. And with all of the services now folded into its main app, using the different services couldn’t be easier.

Uber, Lyft’s main rival, has also folded its bike, scooter, and ridesharing services into a single app, but doesn’t yet offer any kind of vehicle rental service. The closest it’s come so far was when it partnered with car-sharing outfit Getaround in 2018 for a service called Uber Rent that let you hire cars from private owners. A test phase for Uber Rent lasted seven months before Uber and Getaround decided to shutter the service.

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