Digital taxi-hailing firm, Bolt, has launched a vehicle financing scheme with leasing companies with the aim of helping drivers on the app own vehicles. The deal will see the vehicle leasing companies import the cars and enter into an agreement with the drivers who will pay either daily or weekly.
According to Bolt, should a driver default on payment, Bolt will step in to offer compensation. The program offers interested taxi drivers an alternative financing model. Currently, most drivers have been forced to take car loans through banks and ended up facing auctions after defaulting on payments especially with the current pandemic that has greatly affected the transport sector.
“Most of the drivers in our pool do not own vehicles even after three years of our operation in Kenya,” Regional manager Bolt East Africa, Kenneth Micah, said. “We are speaking with fleet owners to incur the costs and get cars in nice conditions then enter into a lease-to-own agreement with the drivers,”
Micah said drivers who are most active on the platform will be considered first. “The scheme will be accessible to drivers who have consistent activity on the platform because we are putting our guarantee into it.”
Most drivers in the industry lease vehicles at Sh1,500 per day from their owners, depending on the car. Only a small proportion own the vehicles. The lease program will be financed in part from Kenyan proceeds and from a Kenya shillings 78 billion investor fund which was raised recently.
Some of the funds will also be injected into the company’s food delivery service, Bolt food. Drivers with taxi-hailing companies in Kenya have decried low revenue due to the Covid-19 curfew and increasing fuel prices in the country.