Uber today announced it is expanding its driver perks programme from the US to the UK as part of an effort to sign up more taxi drivers to its service.
Under Uber’s “Momentum Rewards” scheme, drivers can claim free annual MOTs and car servicing discounts of “up to” 35 percent.
There’s also discounts available for car washing, valeting and a number of "lifestyle" offerings, including discounts on coffee at Coffee Republic and online accountancy support software from Crunch, which could help inform drivers of the tax implications of their earnings.
Uber said the benefits add up to over £900 ($1,300) in value per year.
The San Francisco taxi-hailing company said: "Uber is currently negotiating other perks that will be added to Momentum in the coming weeks and months, so this really is just the beginning of what will be a fantastic rewards programme."
In order to qualify for Momentum, drivers need to have been a registered Uber driver for four weeks and have completed 250 trips.
Momentum was launched by Uber in the US last November, offering perks such as personalised healthcare recommendations and discounts on wireless services. The programme has been customised for UK drivers.
Fraser Robinson, Uber's head of business development in Europe, said, “Our partner drivers are a critical part of our business, and the key to our ongoing success. Momentum is all about giving something back to them.”
Uber drivers keep 80 percent of each journey fair and the remaining 20 percent goes to Uber.
Taxi drivers using the Uber app appreciate the flexibility it offers them in terms of when they work but some have argued that the wages are lower than working for private taxi firms.
Fernando, a London-based Uber driver, said: “As a professional driver the cost of running my car is my biggest expense, so it’s great I can now save money on essential maintenance. The lifestyle perks are also a fantastic addition to the programme and I am excited to see what further perks Uber will add in the future.”
Uber said it wants to expand the Momentum programme to other European countries following the UK launch.
The company is currently recruiting for 13 non-driver positions in the UK, which is less than several other European countries and significantly less than Asian nations such as China and India, where the company is targeting particularly strong growth.