uber-logoOnline cab service Uber has partnered with lending firms like Sriram Finance, AU Financiers and Toyota Financial Services to launch its Vehicle Financing Program in India. Under the program, drivers will be able to avail financing schemes with down payment as low as Rs 60,000 to buy a new car to work for Uber.

Along with providing low down payments, superior finance rates and faster turnaround time for loans, drivers will also be able to avail discounts on car prices from auto companies like Mahindra, Tata Motors, Toyota and Maruti Suzuki.

Uber claimed that drivers will continue to function independently and maintain flexible working hours, the only clause being they need to be active partners on its platform. The company also claimed that driver’s receive enough business to make investing in a new car a viable option and ensure that EMI payments aren’t missed. Other than India, US is the only place where Uber currently provides its vehicle financing scheme.

Competition:

– Olacabs had initiated a similar program to fund drivers, but out of its own pocket, in partnership with Milaap. The program involved sending a ‘message’ to the driver on Milaap’s platform which would contribute Rs.100 towards buying a new car. That campaign is however, now closed. Interestingly, VP of operation at Ola Pranay Jivrajka told ET that it has been helping drivers get cheaper rate on new cars and insurance over the last 2 years, and claims to have helped 10,000 drivers in its network own their cars. After raising $210m in funds last month, Olacabs had mentioned that it was also planning to use the investment to strengthen its driver ecosystem in the country and had earmarked Rs 100 crore towards this initiative for the next one year, a probable extension to the aforementioned project.

– Meru Cabs had started out with owning its own fleet, which it rented to its drivers. A drivers strike in 2012 however, forced Meru to change its business model. Instead of owning its own cars, the company started having driver owned cars and helped facilitate bank loans and insurance for the drivers to buy them. As of August this year, Meru had around 1250 driver owned cars, with as many as 3750 cars still owned by it.