Business Travel, Rental Cars, Uber/Lyft and Due Care

Old Feb 25, 18, 8:08 am
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Business Travel, Rental Cars, Uber/Lyft and Due Care

The advent of Uber/Lyft and ridesharing (a misnomer, but anyways) has seemingly created an opportunity for business to cut travel costs. By encouraging, and in some cases forcing, employees to use ridesharing in lieu of rental cars, business can realize a cost savings. But at what cost? I've had my share of dodgy rideshare drivers...those rides when you get on the Interstate and think to yourself, what [on earth] am I doing?

So, when a business is pushing employees to use rideshare in place of a rental car, does this satisfy due care? Bear in mind that the majority of Uber/Lyft drivers do not possess a CDL, unless you order "Black Car" service. While I occasionally use rideshare for personal travel, for quick local trips where convenience trumps other factors, I largely prefer that the safety of myself and passengers depend on me, and not a random rideshare driver.

I am curious, what are others doing in this regard, and do you find your employer talking up the cost benefits of rideshare?

Last edited by StartinSanDiego; Feb 25, 18 at 10:15 pm Reason: masked vulgarity
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Old Feb 25, 18, 10:21 am
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Can I ask where you rent your cars from ? They must be awfully expensive for you to ask if companies might start using Uber, et al, as a cost saving option.

Last business rental for 6 days I had was about $235 USD plus about $25 of fuel. We would have easily spent way more than $40 a day using Uber. The inconvenience alone of waiting for the car to show up would have drove me nuts.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 10:36 am
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Typically rent from National, and daily rates range from $40-80/day. The question of which option is more cost effective depends on many different factors. But there seems to be a perception that rideshare is more cost effective, and so company policy travel policy tends to skew in that direction.

Perhaps this also comes down to company culture, i.e. how much does a company value time lost waiting for a rideshare to show up.

Last edited by SouthernCross; Feb 25, 18 at 11:17 am
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Old Feb 25, 18, 11:47 am
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I think there's also a component of whether your home location has a "city culture." Even traveling to more spread out places, where a rental car could be cheaper, people's instinct is to reach for a smartphone and Uber. Suburban offices are probably more likely to have people instinctively booking rental cars to almost everywhere they travel.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 1:50 pm
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By the way, we have a whole thread dedicated to ride hailing apps in the Rental Car section. Maybe this discussion should be moved there?
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Old Feb 25, 18, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by SouthernCross
Typically rent from National, and daily rates range from $40-80/day.
As do we.............but for much less it seems.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 2:53 pm
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There are many different factors that affect the cost equation. But quite simply, the point I am getting at is the personal risk one assumes while using ridesharing with non-professional drivers.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 2:53 pm
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Location is a big factor. If I'm in an area where hotels charge for parking, then ride shares are seen as cheaper. (and often are) This is also favored when the office is walkable from the hotel. As long as the airport RT is less than a rental then it is assumed that renting is more expensive than a few ride shares for dinner. But in suburban locales then renting is the norm.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 3:03 pm
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Originally Posted by SouthernCross View Post
There are many different factors that affect the cost equation. But quite simply, the point I am getting at is the personal risk one assumes while using ridesharing with non-professional drivers.
Does your firm push the use of UberX over UberBlack? What would happen if you hailed cabs instead of relying on Uber/Lyft?

Only time the type of Uber was questioned was when a young associate turned in a receipt for UberPool. LOL. Their manager told them to splurge next time. Personally i sometimes use UberX for local rides where I feel comfortable getting out of the car at any time (short runs in urban setting due to weather) and use UberBlack for anything else. Not worth personal safety risk ... same reason I won't book AirBnB.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 3:10 pm
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How often and where are you ride-sharing that you've had so many dodgy rides? Looking back through email receipts, I've taken about 60 Uber/Lyft rides in the last 12 months, and can't think of any where I was worried about the driver's ability or style.

Since I started ride-sharing, the only safety issue I can think of was not the driver but the car, one short ride where my seat wasn't locked on the seat rails, so every time he braked, I slid forward a foot or two, and when he accelerated I slid back.

But I can recall taxi rides when I've worried, most recently a driver going so fast on local streets that we literally fishtailed on one right turn. So having a CDL doesn't guarantee that the driver isn't reckless.

Car rentals have their own risks. Driving in unfamiliar areas, drivers may end up in the wrong lane and cut over or turn too suddenly. And many business travelers enjoy a couple of drinks with dinner before heading back to the hotel. I doubt safety stats are easy to find, but I wouldn't be surprised if on average, rideshare on business travel is actually safer than renting a car.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 3:51 pm
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Personally I'm wondering which American city has cab drivers who are such paragons of safety compared to UberX/Lyft.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
How often and where are you ride-sharing that you've had so many dodgy rides? Looking back through email receipts, I've taken about 60 Uber/Lyft rides in the last 12 months, and can't think of any where I was worried about the driver's ability or style.
Similar thought here. There has only been 1 Lyft/Uber ride ever where I felt physically endangered by the driver's care or style-- or vehicle. By contrast it's about 1/10 for taxi rides where I feel the driver or the vehicle itself is unsafe.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 5:05 pm
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I use a black car service to go to and from the airport here in YYC all the time. I've had the same driver for 6 years now. When I met him I negotiated a flat rate deal that was $10 cheaper than a taxi, but told him he'd get me 4-8 times a month......and he has.

One return trip at midnight I was with a colleague leaving the airport and my driver walked up in his black suit, grabbed my roll aboard and shook my hand. We got into his car and away I went. The next day I get asked why I am taking limos by my boss........LOL........after I explained the scenario, I hooked him, and two others in my office, up with my driver.

I only use Uber on business when I am going out at night after work and plan on drinking. Otherwise, it's a rental car.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 10:19 pm
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Moderator Note: Please continue the discussion in the Ride Services forum.
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Old Feb 26, 18, 8:04 am
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Our company policy is to use Uber (we have corporate direct bill) when available instead of taxis when traveling. Outside of NYC (where Uber drivers are licensed commercial drivers) I only use Uber Black for work. Never had any pushback.
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