Lyft has turned to a unlikely partner to find drivers: used-car dealerships.
The ride-hailing giant announced this month that it is teaming with the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, a trade group for independent used-vehicle dealers, to pair potential drivers with cars. Lyft will pay dealerships for successful references, let drivers' earnings go directly to vehicle payments and offer a service dubbed Lyft Concierge to let dealers summon a ride for customers whose vehicles are being serviced.
The partnership is part of Lyft's strategy to continue booming growth by putting potential drivers in cars they can afford. For dealers, it lets them experiment with the retail model by allying with a Silicon Valley giant.
Ride-hailing companies have experienced rapid growth in recent years, but rely on a steady supply of drivers with personally owned vehicles to meet increasing demand. In January, Lyft reported having 1.4 million drivers in the U.S. and Canada, four times the number it had just two years ago.