April 5, 2017 / 9:03 AM / 6 months ago

BlaBlaCar unveils Opel leasing deal in boost for ride-sharing

BERLIN, April 5 (Reuters) - BlablaCar, Europe’s biggest ride-sharing startup, will offer its drivers lower-cost car deals in a partnership announced on Wednesday with Opel and Societe Generale.

Paris-based BlablaCar, which lets users offer rides for cash to share their own vehicle and mileage costs, said it will begin offering Opels to some of its French drivers through Societe Generale’s ALD leasing units on competitive zero-deposit terms.

The service connects regular long-distance drivers with passengers through its ride-sharing phone app, allowing car owners to cover costs but not make a profit. That shields users from regulatory and tax obligations.

BlaBlaCar, which has 9 million drivers and 40 million passengers in 22 countries, will start by offering the deals to its 28,000 most prolific users in France before deploying the programme more widely, Chief Executive Nicolas Brusson said in an interview.

“The goal is to expand that geographically,” Brusson said. “We can pioneer a new approach to car ownership based on usage.”

Reporting by Eric Auchard, additional reporting by Laurence Frost in Paris and Edward Taylor in Frankfurt. Editing by Jane Merriman

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