According to Uber, car reservations should be made at least 24 hours in advance, although the company does say that booking can be made the same time as picking up the car. This is not necessarily the case when it comes to renting a bike or scooter via Uber. Moreover, a rental can be cancelled 48 hours after picking the vehicle up and Uber is also being generous enough to offer discounts up to 25% on rentals.
Uber had previously also introduced car rental via its app in the U.S. in 2018, but discontinued it for its consumer community after choosing to focus on offering rental cars only to its driver community.
The company is bringing back car rental for its consumers as a result of the Covid pandemic to take care of health and safety precautions as social distancing can not be maintained in the enclosed space of a vehicle driven by a stranger. Uber has ensured that rental cars will be thoroughly cleaned between users.
Moreover, Uber is re-exploring car rental service after having to suffer a loss of $1.8 billion in the quarter due to the pandemic and being forced to lay off thousands of its employees. The company was even given a warning by the court that it may have to shut down its operations in California.
As a result of the obstacles, Uber is now striving for progress by exploring more areas, such as an on-demand grocery delivery service in Latin America and Canada, and a commuter riverboat service in London in addition to the car rental service it is launching.
Uber's car rental functionality is not yet visible on its iOS or Android app, although the company has announced the launch. Uber is also planning to launch trials of the new service in Australia and France once it is available in the U.K.