Lyft Begins Offering Car Rentals in Two California Cities

New feature rolled out to Los Angeles and San Francisco residents

Lyft has come a long way from the days of being "the car-hailing company with pink mustaches."
Tony Webster/Creative Commons

When it initially appeared on people’s radar (or at least their smartphones), Lyft seemed like a friendlier alternative to Uber. And while the question of “is Lyft the ethical alternative to Uber” is one that’s been debated for several years now, Lyft itself has also diversified its business in recent years. Depending on the city in which you live, you might be able to rent a bicycle via the app, for instance.

Now, Lyft has made another big move in terms of its identity, and it could be massive in its implications. It’s now beginning to offer car rentals. At The Verge, Sean O’Kane has the news about the company’s new feature.

At present, Lyft only offers car rentals in two markets, both in California — which suggests something bigger might be on the way. O’Kane has the details:

At launch, Lyft is making the Volkswagen Passat sedan and the Volkswagen Atlas SUV available to rent in San Francisco. The Mazda 3 sedan and Mazda CX-5 SUV will be the launch cars in Los Angeles.

Rates start at $35 per day, and the cars can be rented for up to two weeks. There’s no word yet on when other cities might see this program up and running there.

It’s not hard to see why Lyft would make this foray into a business that exists in close proximity to their core business. Lyft is popular in cities among people who may not own a car, but like to have access to one via the ride-share app. But many of its users might also be renting cars for longer trips through car rental companies — or car-sharing companies like Share Now. If you’re already providing customers with one service, why not offer something similar? The impact on this for both Lyft and the car rental world could be huge.

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