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Uber tests car leasing program for drivers

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Uber is piloting a program that will offer drivers the option to lease a car.

(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP/Getty Images)

Uber has spent the last five years connecting drivers with passengers. Now it’s connecting drivers with car leases.

The San Francisco on-demand transportation company announced Wednesday a pilot car leasing program in California, Georgia and Maryland that will offer Uber drivers the option to lease a car.

To be eligible, drivers must sign up with the Uber platform. If they want to lease a car, Uber refers them to its subsidiary, Xchange Leasing, which then connects them with a car dealership. Drivers can choose from new or used vehicles.

According to Andrew Chapin, Uber’s head of Vehicle Solutions, drivers pay a security deposit of $250. Unlike with traditional auto leases, they’re not locked into multiyear contracts. If a driver decides to terminate the lease early, he or she forfeits the $250 deposit, with no other penalties.

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The program includes unlimited mileage and routine maintenance.

An Uber spokesperson told the Times that a driver leasing a 2013 Toyota Camry with a sale price of around $15,000 through Xchange Leasing can expect to pay approximately $120 per week on a 36 month lease term. A lease on a 2013 Toyota Corolla with a sale price of $13,5000 will cost a driver approximately $110 per week on a similar lease term. Both figures include taxes and registration.

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Most auto leases in the U.S. bill monthly. On an annual basis, Uber’s weekly figures come out to $520 a month for the Camry, $477 for the Corolla.

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The leasing program differs from Uber’s Vehicle Solutions, a financing program Uber launched 18 months ago that connects drivers with lenders to buy a new car.

Both products are aimed at drivers who have trouble getting credit to lease or buy.

Twitter: @traceylien

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