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Uber & Toyota to offer vehicle financing to first time drivers

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Uber has tied up with Toyota Kirloskar Motor to provide a supposed 90% on road financing package through the latter to its drivers, reports Economic Times. This will be only for first time drivers on the Etios and Liva models, according to the report. The financing includes vehicle cost, accessories, service, registration road tax and insurance and will be available till 31 December 2016.

In November 2014, Uber had launched a vehicle financing programme with lending firms Toyota Financial Services, Sriram Finance and AU Financiers to let its drivers buy a new car to work for Uber. In May this year, Uber received an undisclosed amount of investment from Toyota, to partner with Uber to create a vehicle leasing program for Uber’s drivers in the US through Toyota Financial Services. Toyota had also sold a fleet of Lexus and Toyota cars to Uber.

Earlier this month, Uber invested Rs 200 crore in Mumbai-based car leasing firm Xchange Leasing between June and September 2016. In December 2015, Uber partnered with Xchange Leasing to lease cars to drivers and subsequently invested Rs 43 crore in it between January and March this year.

Last month Uber said that it would lease over 200,000 cabs to drivers in India who wanted to join its platform under the initiative UberShaan. UberShaan would essentially work through Xchange Leasing. The company is betting big on leasing – it had said that “With our aim to empower a million by 2018 under UberShaan, we expect that potentially one out of the 5 new drivers would be on the platform through our leasing program.”

Leasing is not new to Uber: it had started its leasing program globally in 2013 in partnership with General Motors and Toyota Motor, amongst others. In May,Toyota Motors invested in Uber and stated that it would offer leases to Uber drivers. Drivers could repay payments with money they earned.

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Driver loyalty program

Last November, Uber launched a performance based driver loyalty programme called UberCLUB for Uber’s drivers in Bangalore, Mumbai and the Delhi NCR region. UberCLUB is a an extension of its Momentum Partner Rewards programme in the United States.

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