I would imagine that given a chance. It would be every cab driver’s dream to own their own vehicle. That is those who are either employed or are hiring vehicles to operate the taxi business. For the majority of cab drivers’ finances are the number one factor that stands between them and their dreams. A new car in the class that Uber operates does not come cheap.
In a partnership that is sure to immensely benefit all involved, Uber has partnered with Sidian Bank to afford Uber taxi drivers financing to be able to purchase their own vehicles. This partnership comes hot on the heels of Uber celebrating 1 Million rides in Kenya since it launched here 15 minutes ago.
The initiative which has been assigned a budget of Kshs.10 Billion has a vehicle finance component to be channeled via Sidian Bank. There will also be a leasing solution through Zohari leasing. The money will be released by Centum Investment Group over the next three years.
According to Nate Anderson, Acting General Manager for Uber in Kenya, “by enabling qualifying driver-partners and investors to afford reliable, high-quality vehicles, Uber is not only helping them to establish and grow their businesses,” Anderson points out, “we are also building an even more sustainable ride-sharing network in Kenya which moves us forward towards achieving our vision of being a first-choice transport solution for everyone in the country.”
Under the vehicle acquisition deal, qualified drivers and investors will get upto 100% financing on vehicles ranging between Kshs. Million and 1.5Million. Beneficiaries will have 36 months to repay their loans at 10.5% interest rate. To qualify for the vehicle financing, existing uber drivers have to have clocked 500 trips and have a star rating of 4.6. Qualification for financing therefore depends more on the applicant’s uber record than credit history.
One does not necessarily have to have experience or track record on the Uber platform to access the loans. These ones however have to have good credit records and they can then apply for financing from Sidian Bank for upto 90% of the vehicle price.
Uber will also be launching UberFinder, a platform to help drivers and partners who are not operating on the platform to access vehicles that they can use to build up their Uber track record. They can then eventually qualify for the Sidian financing.
“Through the UberFinder system, fleet partners are able to rent their vehicles to drivers on the platform rather than employ full-time drivers,” he explains, “while drivers have a unique opportunity to rent the vehicle they need to gain the required Uber experience needed to eventually qualify to finance their own.”
Other than helping drivers grow, this partnership is beneficial to the growth of uber as a company in that drivers will eventually have their own cars, increasing profitability and hence growth of the business as a whole.