Jul 30, 2020
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About this Deal
Lyft is expanding its car rental service, which it says will simplify the rental process for customers and aid its own path to profitability.
Lyft (LYFT) first tested car rentals late last year in Los Angeles and San Francisco. It will expand rentals to Seattle, Las Vegas and Miami in August, and to 30 other cities in the weeks after, according to Cal Lankton, Lyft's vice president of fleet and global operations.
The car rentals are the latest example of Lyft striving to make its app a one-stop shop for transportation services, though it comes as the car rental sector overall has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the largest American car rental companies, Hertz, filed for bankruptcy on May 25.
Lyft has added public transportation information and bike and scooter rentals in some markets in recent years. Its biggest competitor, Uber (UBER), has similar offerings.
Rather than own its rental fleet, as it did in California, Lyft is partnering with the German company Sixt, which will supply the cars. The partnership will keep the costs of owning and operating a fleet off of Lyft's balance sheet. Lyft's business has been significantly impacted in the past few months, and it's had to lay off 17% of its staff.
Lankton told CNN Business that Lyft's focus isn't to compete with other car rental companies on price, but by providing convenience.
"People want easy, consistent access to transportation," Lankton said. "The best thing we can do from a Lyft perspective is provide an easy, friction-free experience."