Lyft is partnering with rental car company SIXT to give customers more access to car rentals around the United States. As part of a new pilot program, customers can sign up to rent a car through the Lyft app. SIXT is currently available for customers in Seattle, Las Vegas, and Miami, with plans to expand to several more cities soon. To rent a car, Lyft users can go to the “rentals” tab on the app and put in the make and model of a vehicle they would like as well as their current location and dates needed. Car orders can be placed as soon as thirty minutes before pick-up and include a reduced-contact experience as everything but the key handoff can be done on the Lyft app beforehand.
Lyft already offers several partnership programs, including for scooters, bikes, and public transit. However, its new car rental program allows Lyft to stay closer to its core business while expanding its consumer reach to drivers around the country. Including the rental option on its mobile app also allows Lyft to drive more users to its platform without having to embark on a large-scale marketing campaign, according to a Gartner report. The program’s introduction during the Coronavirus pandemic coincides with an increase in road trips this summer, as travelers embrace socially-distanced ventures closer to home. Rolling out the program now could help Lyft begin recovering from sales lost due to lockdowns and could give it a leg up against other ride-share companies. An overall increase in car travel is a good sign for both the auto and hospitality industries as they recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic. By merging into each market through its new program, Lyft could stay top of mind with road trippers.
As road trips become the travel choice of the summer, working with SIXT could help Lyft engage social-distancing customers needing short-term vehicle access. By making its new service a part of its mobile app, the ride-share brand could increase usership and design a long-term road-map for expanding its car services in the future.