Travelers throughout the U.S. can now book a rental car from the major car rental brands through the Uber app. The feature, dubbed Uber Rent, is made possible through a partnership with CarTrawler, a B2B technology platform and online marketplace connecting car rental supply to the global travel industry. The companies rolled out the service last year in the U.K., France, Australia, and New Zealand.
The initiative is another step in ride-hailing companies’ quest to diversify their mobility options amidst shifting travel dynamics following the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Uber Rent, users browse and select rentals using the Uber app and pay for the rental through their account. CarTrawler handles the car rental pricing and revenue management to display on the app. Renters would go to the car rental location and rent the car in as they would traditionally.
Uber is also launching a valet option with the new service, in which the car will be brought to the renter’s doorstep and picked up when the rental is finished. The Valet feature is launching in Washington, D.C. in May and expanding nationwide this year, Uber said. Uber Rent users also gain points to access special promotions like Uber Cash back, which can be used for Uber ride-hail bookings.
Both CarTrawler and Uber are bullish on the partnership, which “will play a helpful role in reshaping urban mobility in positive ways,” the companies said in a statement. “Connecting riders to car rentals represents a key tactic in challenging the need for private car ownership.”
For CarTrawler, which works with major travel brands including American Express, easyJet, Emirates, SWISS, and KLM, working with Uber brings its car rental supply into a new domain. “Our technology connects more car rental supply than anyone else in the world, including corporate and independent suppliers,” Aileen McCormack, chief commercial officer for CarTrawler told Auto Rental News. “We’re delighted that Uber has selected us for this global initiative, and it's because of our global content.”
“We saw during the pandemic, particularly in the U.S., the needs of people that live in cities who don’t own a car. They needed to travel, and have a ‘staycation,’” said McCormack. “With this new partnership, car rental is more relevant again.”