Uber and Lyft are turning into mobile billboards so drivers can offset gas prices

The more you drive, the more pain you feel at the pump, and rideshare drivers are a prime example of people who are definitely being left behind right now. Due to record high fuel prices, many are turning to vinyl wrapping their cars in advertisements in order to get a little extra cash, Reuters reported Thursday. The practice helps drivers recoup potentially hundreds of dollars a month, which helps offset the price of gas.

Advertising on rideshare vehicles makes sense because they are on the road a lot. The practice is not really new either. Taxis have displayed ads for a long time, but not in the individualized, app-enabled nature now.

Such a company, carvertize, has been in business since 2012, though business has been particularly good lately, according to the company. Over the past few months, listings have grown at a rate of between 8% and 13%, with further growth expected. Carvertise’s website says drivers can expect $450-1,500 “per campaign,” which the Reuters the report implies can last several months.

It is unclear whether this increase in registrations is directly related to rising fuel costs, but Uber and Lyft have announced fuel surcharges to help reduce costs on the driver’s side. This effort also aims to promote the loyalty of drivers, who are lacking.

Uber and Lyft, the biggest ride-sharing operators, are said to be in talks with companies like Carvertise to form formal partnerships on a larger scale. Reuters claims it’s in an effort to “increase driver income”. Uber already places conventional ads on top of around 3,000 of its vehicles in major cities, claiming to receive 112 million impressions each day. We’ve reached out to Uber to see if drivers are currently getting a fee reduction from these ads, but haven’t heard back yet.

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Casey J. Nelson