Understand why it’s harder (and expensive) to get a car in mobility apps

I’m sure someone has already told you or you’ve noticed: it’s more difficult than usual to get into a car via Uber or 99. The report is multiplied, live and on the internet, in different parts of the country.

According to several drivers interviewed by the report, this is a real problem, not just a consumer feeling.

In fact, a number of issues, such as rising gasoline prices and rising car rental prices, have built up and have affected activity, to the point that some professionals question whether it’s worth pursuing in the app driver activity.

And, despite companies not confirming possible changes in basic rates, the service becomes more expensive for the end customer when there is less offer. Understand:

Gasoline, one of the great villains in the process, had an increase of 51% throughout the year 2021 and these values ​​are likely to remain high.

This is because oil had a huge increase in recent months, reaching more than US$ 60 and there is still no significant increase in production to justify a drop in price.

The dollar exchange rate, which has not fallen as expected, is another factor driving inflation in the country.

As a result, according to a survey by the ANP between August 15 and 21, the price of a liter of regular gasoline at the pump of some gas stations has already reached or exceeds R$7 in four states: Acre, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and Tocantins.

Along these lines, average ethanol prices also rose in 21 states last week. In posts surveyed by the ANP across the country, the value rose 2.23% compared to the previous one, from R$ 4.399 to R$ 4.497 per liter.

Eduardo Lima, from the president of the Association of Application Drivers of São Paulo (Amasp), says that successive increases in fuel prices are stifling profit margins for drivers, worsening a situation that was already critical before the pandemic.

At the state level, the category is negotiating financing with the Economic Development secretariat to carry out the installation of Natural Gas Vehicles (CNG) in up to 60 thousand vehicles in the category.

“It will help with costs and reduce the emissions of cars that work in the sector”, he says. Wanted by CNN Brasil Business, the folder confirms that it met with the category, but does not yet have details on how the project can develop.

Another fixed cost for most application drivers, car rental has also been readjusted in 2021.

And, despite monthly customers being able to negotiate different conditions, the table below shows the upward trend in prices.

Economist Juan Ferrés, responsible for the survey released by Consultoria Teros, explains the movement that has taken place in recent months.

“The market is being balanced by supply and demand, as the economic recovery is pushing demand for rented cars”, he says.

“On the supply side, some of the main rental companies in the country (Localiza and Unidas) took advantage of the high prices of used cars to accelerate their sales, reducing the available fleet.”

He also mentions that, as there is a restriction on the purchase of new cars due to the chip crisis, smaller companies are unable to offer much better conditions to consumers.

A not-so-recent problem, but equally hard for the category on a day-to-day basis, is the relationship with the companies that provide the service.

“Uber has not readjusted fares since 2015, and the 99, which said it would exempt drivers from fees during this period, increased the discounts for passengers. In the end, the transfer stays the same”, says Eduardo Lima.

“We try to maintain a dialogue and we are always sending a series of data, information to companies. What we plead is for there to be at least one readjustment following inflation.”

In note, the 99 states that “there was no change in the number of registered drivers, but an increase in demand for the service, driven by the reopening of cities and the adoption of cars per application by the Class C”.

He also says “it has always been and remains open to dialogue to reduce the impact generated at this time when there is an economic situation that has been putting pressure on the value of fuels.”

Among other initiatives, the company declares that it has already given more than R$ 3 million in fuel discounts to drivers; is resetting the intermediation fee on specific days or times; and reviewing the cancellation policy that blocks the partner driver for violations of platform rules.

THE Uber it also claims that the demand for the service has increased and that “it operates in a dynamic travel intermediation system, so it always seeks to consider, on the one hand, the needs of partner drivers and, on the other, the reality of consumers who use the platform” .

To mitigate the drivers’ difficulties, the company defends that in 2021 it launched several initiatives, such as cashback for fueling vehicles and promotions to increase earnings on short trips.

already the finds he says that the prices charged “take into account availability of cars in the fleet, seasonal demands, specific periods and locations for picking up and delivering the vehicle, in addition to a series of other factors such as car model, location and rental time”.

He also claims to have created a service called Zarp, which “has an exclusive application that allows the customer to manage maintenance, overhauls, car exchanges, in addition to facilitating the financial management of races, accounts payable and fines.”

Unidas and Movida did not respond until the closing of the report.