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GM’s Maven renting Holdens to Uber drivers

Sharing is caring: GM-owned Maven has started leasing Holden cars to Uber drivers certain states.

Fleet of Holden Trax, Astra and Captiva models start Maven Uber fleet

Holden logo23 Aug 2017

By DANIEL DEGASPERI

GENERAL Motors-owned car-leasing service Maven has kicked off its operations in Australia, sharing its Port Melbourne headquarters with Holden where it has started renting vehicles to Uber drivers in New South Wales and Victoria.

The GM service, called Maven Gig, has already started leasing a fleet of Holden-owned vehicles – including Trax LT, Astra R hatch and LTZ sedan, and Captiva LTZ SUV – to drivers of the taxi-challenging United States-based ride-share service.

In March this year GoAuto reported that some car spaces at Holden headquarters had been marked for Maven vehicles only, however at the time a spokesperson from the brand said it was for a trial involving company employees only.

Maven is wholly owned by GM and is an evolution of now-defunct ride-sharing company Sidecar, which the Detroit-based giant acquired in early 2016. Until now solely US-based Maven permits any driver to sign-up via a mobile app to then rent predominantly Chevrolet vehicles from $US8 per hour.

“We are testing the adoption of one Maven product – Maven Gig – in Australia through a pilot program, powered by Holden,” Holden confirmed in a statement.

“It’s too early to comment on the number of vehicles or scope of the program at this stage but expect to hear more in the near future.”

A Holden spokesperson this week declined to reveal the number of employees currently engaged in the Maven Gig project in Port Melbourne, nor how many vehicles were currently – or planned to be placed – on fleet and if or when the service would be expanded in line with overseas operations.

According to the Maven Gig website it is, “Pleased to offer Uber driver-partners a great range of the latest vehicles in a package that will help you work worry-free.

“Our low rates include the peace of mind offered by unlimited kilometres, flexible rental terms, 24/7 roadside assistance, insurance, scheduled servicing and no joining or exit fees.

“Our vehicles come to you direct from the manufacturer and include the latest in connectivity and safety technology.”

A minimum rental period is four weeks, with at least seven days’ notice required to return a vehicle, which is priced from $225 per week for the Trax LT following a $300 bond and a maximum $1000 insurance excess for drivers over 25 should an at-fault accident or other damage occur.

An Astra R hatch costs $240 per week, an Astra LTZ sedan asks $260 per week, while the seven-seat diesel-only Captiva LTZ requires a $300 per week outlay inclusive of all on-road expenses with the exception of fuel and cleaning.

Maven Gig has said that it takes as little as three days for an Uber driver to be approved and then collect a Holden vehicle for usage. The collection/drop-off point is either Holden’s Port Melbourne headquarters, or the Peninsula Holden dealership in Bankstown, south-west of the Sydney CBD.

GoAuto has also been advised the service will soon expand to Adelaide.

The service is currently only open for approved Uber drivers, which are required to present criminal background and driving history checks before being accepted onto a system that, in Australia, charges passengers a $2.50 base fare, in addition to a 40 cents-per-minute time charge and $1.40 per kilometre fee at all times.

This compares with a taxi charging regime, in New South Wales, of a $2.50 base fare in addition to a 94 cents-per-minute wait time and $2.19 per kilometre charge – the latter rising to $2.63 between 10pm and 5am.

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