Toyota Motor Corp. has formed a partnership with Uber to provide flexible leasing options to the ride-sharing company’s drivers.
Toyota will begin the partnership on a trial basis in countries where ride-sharing is expanding, the company said Tuesday. A Toyota spokesman could not specify whether the leasing program will launch in the U.S.
Toyota and Uber hope to begin providing the new leasing options by the second half of the year, a spokesman said.
Uber drivers will be able to lease vehicles from Toyota Financial Services and make payments earned through their Uber compensation.
Many Uber drivers are not eligible for traditional lender financing because of low or poor credit scores, Chris Ballinger, Toyota Financial CFO and global chief officer of strategic innovation, said during a panel discussion at the American Financial Services Association’s Vehicle Finance Conference in Las Vegas in March, ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.
Ballinger said that 85 percent of Uber drivers have FICO scores below 650, which is generally considered to be subprime. Eighty-five percent of Toyota Financial’s new-vehicle borrowers, by contrast, have FICO scores above 650.