Lyft debuts car rentals in Los Angeles and the SF Bay Area

It's hoping that 'free' drop-offs and unlimited mileage will win you over.

Lyft's car rental service now exists as more than just an experiment. Rentals are now available for "select users" in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, giving you an option when you'd rather drive yourself. As expected, the service relies on both tie-ins with Lyft's usual ridesharing and the elimination of a few typical rental headaches. To start, you'll get $20 in ride credit each way for the trips to and from your rentals. Lyft will also refuel your car for you (at a "local market price"), offers unlimted miles and promises cars with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and optional gear like car seats, ski racks and tire chains.

The allure is fairly self-evident: you can rent a car from the same app you'd use to hail a ride or grab a bike, and you don't have to stress about visiting a rental counter or driving limits.

For Lyft, this is part of both a larger effort to cover many forms of transportation and shore up its bottom line. It has long wanted to be your go-to provider no matter how you want to ride. And when Lyft expects to see its steepest losses this year, it needs options like car rentals to boost revenue and (eventually) turn a profit.