Uber is Trialling Car Rentals in Australia (But Only Half Of Us Can Use It)

uber rent australia road trip
Image: Getty Images

In a world first Uber has announced its trialling a new car rental service in Australia. It’s called Uber Rent and while it will be tested in six major cities across the country, only 50 per cent of users will be able to access it.

Uber Australia announced on June 2 it would be unveiling a new service for users around the country. Uber Rent will allow you to book rental cars through the Uber app with the help of car rental company, CarTrawler.

Users in Brisbane would be first to use the new function from June 2 while it would become available for those in Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide from next week.

It’s not just for quick grocery runs either — users will be able to select a pickup and drop off location meaning interstate road trips would be possible too.

uber rent screenshot
Image: Supplied

“As we see more positive signs of recovery globally and easing of travel bans, it’s important we enable people to move again. We see car rental as more relevant than ever,” CarTrawler’s CCO Aileen McCormack said.

The catch is Uber is giving the feature to only 50 per cent of us for now.

“At first, it will be available to 50 per cent of users on a randomised basis limited to Brisbane, Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne,” an Uber Australia spokesperson said to Gizmodo Australia.

The feature is also not available to those living in other capital cities such as Canberra, Hobart or Darwin because Uber wants to see how the service functions first.

“Because this is a completely new product for Uber and hasn’t been trialled internationally before, we want to see what the response is like before we expand it to more cities or 100 per cent of users,” the Uber spokersperson said.

“We’ll see how the trial goes before deciding on expanding to new cities or expanding to all active app users.”

How to use Uber Rent

If you’re one of the ones selected for the randomised trial, you’ll need to first update your Uber app. Once that’s done, you should see the ‘Rentals’ option, which will let you see the range of vehicles available. Pop in the details and select the vehicle you want and you’re off.

Uber also announced it would be offering 10 per cent back in Uber Credits on your first hire. That credit could be used on subsequent Uber riders or with Uber Eats purchases. Additionally, if you’re looking to increase your Uber Rewards status, you’re in luck. For every dollar you spend after the first rental, Uber has said you’ll receive one Rewards point to match it.

That might make achieving those higher Rewards statuses a bit more possible for some of us.