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Transportation Businesses

Uber South Africa Launches $500 a Month Car Lease Which Includes Replacing Tires 83

An anonymous reader writes: Taxi hailing platform Uber has experimented with vehicle financing schemes around the world this year: it launched a pilot program for car loans in three US towns in the summer and had a two year relationship with Santander too. It's South African arm has gone one step further, however, with an official vehicle leasing — rather than purchase — scheme backed by local lender Wesbank. For about $500 a month which covers the car, maintenance and even tire wear, drivers get access to a mid-sized sedan. Hertz and other car hire firms are also joining in with similar schemes to boost the number of Uber drivers in the country.
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Uber South Africa Launches $500 a Month Car Lease Which Includes Replacing Tires

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  • Seems a bit pricey. Unless it includes all mileage for a full-time taxi service, it's not all that attractive and if you do have a full-time taxi service, you might as well outright buy the car.

    • by Nutria ( 679911 )

      Exactly. We pay significantly less than that for a minivan in the US.

      • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        For the cost of the vehicle itself, maybe. If you factor in insurance, maintenance and fuel, you'd probably get a bit closer. I believe it's illegal not to carry insurance in all 50 states, but the company's still going to need to have some of their own for the occasional jackass who doesn't. The driver would be paying for their own fuel, but vehicle depreciation from mileage is also something the company has to consider.

        That being said, you can find an older beater car for between $1000 and $2000 if you

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Exactly. We pay significantly less than that for a minivan in the US.

        Don't bother comparing with your US prices. Vehicles generally cost less for Americans than they do in other countries. More important is how it compares with other deals available locally. (That said, $500 USD every month is probably out of reach for most South Africans).

        You also need to take into account the financing costs -- as with all loans, it's likely to be more expensive for those with a weaker credit history. The price has probably been thought through carefuly based on who the deal is aimed at an

        • by Nutria ( 679911 )

          But I guess the biggest point here is to ask what relevance this whole thing has to Slashdot?

          I get down-voted every time I ask questions like this... :(

          • what relevance this whole thing has to Slashdot?

            I get down-voted every time I ask questions like this... :(

            The post is an advert. The question remains unanswered though.

            In the UK, AFAIK long term car hire schemes are total packages, including services and tyres. The sort of people who have such hires, mostly though their company like travelling reps and PHBs, would never dream of stooping to look at their tyre wear anyway.

            • Replying to myself, sorry I didn't read TFA. Now I have and see it is about leasing cars to Uber taxi drivers, not to general public, but the /. article did not make that point clear. It is still not a /. matter though.
    • I'd expect at that cost it is a full cost car lease including fuel and servicing. If that is the case it isn't that expensive.

      I have a full cost lease, which covers finance, fuel, insurance, servicing, registration, tyres etc and it costs $483.15 for fortnight on a $50,000 car budgeted at 27,000 km per year.

    • In addition to this I would highly recommend against buying your vehicle if you plan to do long term commercial work with it. You end up with a capital asset which is not tax deductible except for the depreciation schedule, which is often not that accurate. Also once they reach a certain mileage and age you will start to see problems that can put your business at risk. You are much better operating on a lease and turning the vehicle over regularly.

      • Ex-taxi driver here (late 80's). The oldest taxi I ever drove was 5yrs old and had 1.2 million kilometers on the clock, even the door hinges on the passenger side had been replaced more than once. The average 24/7 cab in Melbourne racks up about 1000 km/day, (if you have more than one cab) the cheapest way to keep them on the road is to buy a late model sedan at a government auction that has ~100K on the clock, and have your own workshop and mechanic. A new car warranty is virtually pointless, if you buy a
        • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

          I agree with the in-house mechanic. The ambulance service where my sister worked for a number of years is co-located with a mechanic. The ambulance service gets their vehicles serviced for practically nothing, and the mechanic pays practically nothing for the space. It's a good deal for both of them.

    • My mid sized sedan repayments are around R4 800/month. Cars are significantly more expensive here then in the US.

      • My mid sized sedan repayments are around R4 800/month. Cars are significantly more expensive here then in the US.

        The last car I bought was at R1.8k/m. Once it was paid off I simply kept it.

        • That was either an entry level vehicle, or a long time ago. I will likely simply keep my car once it is paid off, it seems the best answer. By comparison, my brother in the states pays nearly half what I do for a similar vehicle.

          • That was either an entry level vehicle, or a long time ago. I will likely simply keep my car once it is paid off, it seems the best answer. By comparison, my brother in the states pays nearly half what I do for a similar vehicle.

            Long time ago. Plus, the car was a demo model, not new. The car now has +300000km under its belt and still serves me well. I might have to fork out money for a new car soon, but I sure as hell wouldn't be financing it. Buying cheap, 2nd hand with cash.

  • >> For about $500 a month, (Uber) drivers get access to a mid-sized sedan (that they can use to drive people around for Uber)

    In Soviet Russia*, you pay taxi company to drive for it!

    (*=for values of Soviet Russia equal to "South Africa")

  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @01:58AM (#50913259)

    ...everything they need to do their. jobs.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sorry, that's not a business plan you can sell to the Silicon Valley vultures.

      • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

        Silicon Valley "Vultures", given their ultra intellect, should know better than anyone that can't sustain a viable economy without people who have money to spend on their services.

  • "A prefixal use of uber, adverb and adjective, with the basic meaning "over, beyond."..."

    Soon we can expect Uber insurance company, Uber auto manufacturing, Uber legal defense fund, Uber uniform company, and special Uber discounts at Disney World, all for Uber drivers (who may or may not be employees).

    • It sounds like system D.
    • Sure, a company that doesn't have to follow laws can easily move into any market segment can't it? I mean, it could start manufacturing some medications and skip all the pesky drug restrictions that ratchet up the price for everyone else.
  • $500??! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ginger Unicorn ( 952287 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @07:12AM (#50913893)
    For the kind of cars i drive, $500 would buy me a replacement car every month.
    • For the kind of cars i drive, $500 would buy me a replacement car every month.

      And Uber wouldn't allow you to use that kind of car to transport its customers. Of course, I imagine you have no desire to transport Uber's customers anyway, so it works out, but it means your car-buying habits aren't relevant to the conversation.

  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @08:54AM (#50914211)
    Time to finally finish my Johnny Cab bot and sign him up as an Uber driver! Along with the Go Pros to capture the terrified looks on the vict^H^H^H^H riders' faces.

    "Hellua day, huh?"
  • Now this does make uber more liability in case of accidents and This can also lead to labor issues like with FedEx and there drivers that had to Lease / rent or buy FedEx trucks but where not W2's and the courts said that they can be 1099's due to the rules. Now if this really there car to use then they should be able use it on lift / for other stuff as well.

  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @09:28AM (#50914373) Journal
    Taxi hailing platform Uber. . .

    So Uber is admitting it's a taxi service but doesn't believe it has to abide by rules for taxi companies, nor do its drivers who don't have a business license or insurance to protect their passengers.

    Good to know people can make up whatever shit they want. I think I'll open a theme park, with blackjack and hookers, and call it recreation sharing. I'll make a ton of money since I won't have to worry about paying taxes or dealing with any ridiculous licensing or permits.
    • Im waiting for them to start producing medications. Imagine all the overhead they can save on that, not having to follow government regulations.
    • Taxi hailing platform Uber. . .

      So Uber is admitting it's a taxi service

      Actually it was "An anoymous reader" who called it a taxi service.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      and outsource to "Technicians" to prescribe and fill prescriptions.

  • Yawn.... same old model. Cab companies have been leasing to prospective drivers for years and car companies, rental agencies, and dealership have been leasing for years to other drivers.

    Wake me when they come up with something truly innovative. You know, something that is new and not just has "on a mobile device" or "on a computer" tacked on the end.

  • "Taxi hailing platform Uber"?! At least we know this wasn't written by Uber's PR company, unlike most Uber stories.

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