Leasing more expensive for ridesharing providers

Car in Bolt livery. Photo is illustrative.
Car in Bolt livery. Photo is illustrative. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

With most Estonian commercial banks, a private individual can only use a leased vehicle for offering ridesharing services based on a special agreement. If approved, such a request tends to result in a more expensive contract.

Because ridesharing services, like Uber and Bolt, have become increasingly popular as ways of making money, many Estonian banks have specified in leasing conditions that the customer can only use the vehicle for this purpose if a corresponding agreement is in place.

One such bank is SEB. "The general principle is that a vehicle leased to a private individual is meant for private use. SEB accepts using the vehicle for offering ridesharing or taxi services in some cases, while more intensive use of the vehicle leading to faster depreciation means such agreements are subject to more conservative financing conditions," Rein Karofeld, head of SEB Leasing, told ERR.

He added that the vehicle will also need a special type of insurance to cover risks associated with ridesharing. "The customer needs to have the necessary permits for offering the service. If a customer wants to start offering ridesharing with a leased vehicle, we ask them to file a corresponding application with the bank. We will review all such requests and make our decision considering all relevant aspects," Karofeld explained.

LHV has similar rules in place. While offering ridesharing services is not out of the question, it needs to be coordinated with the leasing provider first. "This allows us to consider potentially more intensive use of the vehicle when drawing up contract conditions," head of communication for LHV Priit Rum said.

Luminor does not allow the use of leased vehicles for ridesharing and, unlike SEB and LHV, offers its customers no exception.

At the same time, one of Estonia's leading commercial banks Swedbank does not see ridesharing as a source of added risk. Karin Saar, consumer and car finance manager for Swedbank, said that no item in the bank's leasing contract limits the use of the vehicle, for example, for taxi services, nor does Swedbank plan to add such a clause to its contracts.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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