New York Post

Uber’s Fair trip

- KEITH J. KELLY MEDIA INK

Ride-hailing leader Uber is working on a deal to sell its US auto-leasing business Xchange Leasing to startup digital car marketplac­e Fair, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Uber said in September it was shutting down the auto-leasing business, which had heavy losses. Over the last few months, Xchange Leasing has started to unwind the business, which was started to lease new cars to Uber drivers, selling cars at auction.

The net book value of Xchange Leasing’s more than 30,000 vehicles was roughly $400 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal with Fair on Tuesday. The newspaper in August said that Uber was losing roughly $9,000 a car, 18 times more than previously believed.

Fair and Uber both declined to comment. Uber is eyeing an initial public offering in 2019, and has been looking to pare its losses.

Uber launched Xchange Leasing in 2015 in a bid to attract new drivers who could not otherwise afford a car because of spotty or poor credit. Xchange Leasing offered more flexible return and mileage limit policies than traditiona­l car leases.

However, many Uber drivers complained of Xchange Leasing’s predatory practices, saying that exorbitant rates forced them to drive full time just to cover the cost of the car, with little or no profit left over.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Fair will offer jobs to about 150 of the 500 or so employees at Xchange Leasing.

Based in Southern California, Fair, which was founded in 2016, matches customers with cars based on what they are able to pay each month. Customers get approved and pay for their car through Fair.

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