Uber is aiming to make it easier for its drivers to buy their own cars by teaming up with peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Zopa.
The taxi-hailing app's partnership with the world's first P2P marketplace will give drivers renting a licensed vehicle access to a loan agreement with one of Zopa's institutional lenders, allowing them to swap rental fees for monthly repayment costs.
Fraser Robinson, head of business development at Uber, commented:
Our business is based on drivers and their ability to build their business on the Uber platform and as such we want to help them get on the road and start working on the Uber platform as cost effectively as possible. These deals add to the savings our partner-drivers can already achieve through Momentum, our loyalty programme for seasoned Uber partners.
Drivers pre-approved for a loan will be limited to a vehicle from Toyota Jemca, another Uber partner. Loan rates will start from 6.9 per cent APR over three to four years with a maximum value of £22,000.
Last year Uber drivers protested outside their company's New York offices for taking too large a cut of their earnings and making it impossible to make a living.
Zopa chief executive Giles Andrews said the "unique commercial deal offers Uber drivers a low-cost loan to fund their vehicle at an affordable monthly cost" and would help people "fulfill their goals of owning their vehicles and keeping more of their income in the process".
Over a decade old, Zopa has facilitated £750m in loans in the UK – with 36 per cent going on cars and motorbikes.