Since its launch in 2012, the San Francisco based ride-hailing service Uber has revolutionized the business of cars for hire. It has courted controversy, faced legal challenges and caused criticism and protests from the traditional taxicab industry, but despite the opposition that many in the business have to the service, Uber has thrived and rapidly become a fundamental part of the modern transportation industry across the Globe.
Now in 2018 the smart-phone app enabled service operates in over 370 major cities around the World and it has begun to seriously impact on the long held monopoly that licensed cabs have always enjoyed. With a standard pricing model that typically undercuts licensed taxi cabs, Uber rides are not only cheaper but also a convenient alternative for both riders and drivers. Waiting times are usually much shorter than for traditional taxis and the easy automatic payment system saves both parties time and trouble. Uber offers a range of different levels of service to suit all customers, whether they wish to travel with UberX, the cheapest level that usually costs customers around half the price of a licensed taxi cab, all the way up to UberBLACK, the luxury limousine service that only offers premier vehicles intended for an executive-level of service.
Professional drivers and those simply wishing to make some extra earnings during their free time are turning to Uber due to its simplicity and convenience, as well as the low-cost of joining the service as a driver. Traditional cab drivers typically pay fees ranging anywhere from $500 to $1,200 per month to the operating company to cover administration and dispatching costs, but Uber’s high-tech operation has none of these costs, and therefore it doesn’t need to charge its drivers a monthly fee at all. So if you are considering becoming an Uber driver in 2017 on either a full-time basis, or just to boost your earning power, what exactly are the Uber requirements for 2018 for both you and your vehicle?
Uber do not give too many details away of what their requirements for cars and drivers are. With Uber services available in so many cities the exact requirements can vary greatly from location to location, and the only way to be sure if you qualify to drive for them is to apply online, however below are the standard requirements for both drivers and their vehicles that will generally apply in most Uber service locations.
Uber Driver Requirements for 2018
In order to become a driver for Uber you have to be at least 21 years old and have at least three years of driving experience. If you have recently moved from another state to your current one then you may need to prove the length of your driving experience and you will require your out-of-state drivers licence in order to do so.
Drivers will need to have in-state car insurance in their name and an in-state drivers licence, in order to qualify you will also need in-state car registration, however this does not have to be in the drivers name.
Uber Driver Background Check
Uber will perform a background check on you after you apply to drive for them, for which you must supply them with your social security number. In order to pass the background check you will need none of the following incidents on your driving history for the previous seven years.
No DUI or drug-related offences, no recorded incidents of reckless driving and no incidents of driving without insurance or a licence. You will also need no recorded criminal history for the previous seven years, however in some cases a criminal history with non-violent offences may not automatically make you fail your background check.
The Uber background check can take up to two weeks before you know if you have passed it, although in most cases you should receive an answer from Uber within a week of your application. If you are accepted Uber will inform you by E-mail and you will receive your starter kit containing a manual with all the information you need to start driving for Uber immediately.
Uber Vehicle Requirements for 2018
Uber Vehicle Requirements for UberX
There are individual requirements for Uber depending on where you live, but generally speaking Uber require your vehicle to be no more than ten years old. Notable exceptions to this are in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Nashville where vehicles up to fifteen years old are accepted. All cars should be clean and tidy, well-maintained and in good working order. Precise details of the age requirements for Uber vehicles in your area can be obtained from the Uber Website (Link Supplied Below).
Your vehicle must have four full doors, however cars with center opening doors such as the Mazda RX-8 and the Honda Element will not qualify. The car must be able to seat four passengers and contain working seat belts for all. Manual or stick-shift transmissions are both acceptable, however restored and salvaged vehicles will not be accepted by Uber.
Typical cars that are acceptable for the UberX requirements are the Toyota Camry and Tacoma, Volkswagen Golf and Passet, Nissan Altima, Ford F-150, Chevrolet Cruz, Cobalt and Malibu, the Mazda 3 and the Honda Accord, however due to the many locations that Uber operate in and the large number of varying regulations from area to area, the only way to be sure that your vehicle will be accepted is to apply to become an Uber driver online. Please note that Uber will not allow drivers to use full-size vans, such as the Ford Transit, Ford E-Series or the GMC Savana. Taxis or other marked vehicles are also not acceptable to Uber.
Uber Vehicle Requirements for UberXL
Uber XL offers rides for groups of up to six passengers and the age requirements for your vehicle are the same as for UberX, but your car must seat six passengers, all of whom will have working seatbelts.
Suitable UberXL vehicles include the GMC Acadia, Dodge Caravan and Durango, Ford Explorer and Expedition, the Honda Pilot and Odyssey, Jeep Cherokee, Chevrolet Suburban, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and Quest, and the Toyota Highlander.
Uber Vehicle Requirements for UberSelect
Uberselect, formerly known as UberPlus offers a more luxurious service at a higher price, but it is not available in all Uber operating areas.
In order to qualify as a driver for the UberSelect service your vehicle must be a luxury sedan no older than ten years since manufacture. It must contain a full leather interior and seat four passengers. Acceptable UberSelect vehicles are the Audi A3 and up, Mercedes C-Class and above, the Volvo S60, the Acura, Cadillac, the Hyundai Genesis and all Infiniti models, all Lincoln models and the BMW 3 Series and above.
Uber Vehicle Requirements for UberBLACK and UberSUV
Uber’s high-end service requires a luxury vehicle no more than five years old. It must be in excellent condition and ‘Black on Black’, with black paint and a full black leather interior.
Suitable vehicles that qualify for UberBLACK would be the BMW 5 & 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz E & S Classes, the Jaguar XF and XJ, the Cadillac XTS and Audi A6’s, A7’s and A8’s. Suitable UberSUV vehicles would be the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes GL-Class, the Lexus LX, Yukon XL, Infiniti QX80, the Lincoln Navigator and the Chevrolet Suburban.
Additional Driver Requirements for UberBLACK and UberSUV
UberBLACK and UberSUV prestige service drivers will also require commercial registration and insurance which is expensive and often challenging to obtain, so becoming an UberBLACK driver is not suitable for everyone. In some cities UberBLACK drivers may also require an Airport permit which will require a separate background check.
In Addition to the above requirements, Uber Will Require a Vehicle Inspection before you commence working for them, and annually thereafter. You can get your vehicle inspected at an official Uber car inspection station, known as an Uber Greenlight Hub, or alternatively if there are no greenlight hubs near you you can arrange for an inspection at a local Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) certified auto shop. The test will require you to have fully working lights, brakes, steering and seat-belts and it will generally cost between $20-$50. Please note that the driver will be required to pay this charge but it will be the only payment required to begin working for Uber as long as your car is acceptable to them. You can find your closest inspection station and a full list of the vehicle requirements at the uber website.
Maximizing Your Earnings With Uber
Drivers who qualify for UberX, the cheapest ride option for customers can typically expect to earn between $15 to $25 per hour after Uber’s commission has been paid and tax and fuel expenses have been deducted, although this will vary depending on your area and the size of the local Uber market. Drivers for UberSelect and UberBLACK can expect to earn a good deal more, but driving during peak hours, particularly in the mornings when there can be less competition from other Uber drivers can boost your hourly earnings. Using a fuel efficient vehicle will also help and many drivers drive for both Uber and competitors like Lyft in order to maximize their earning potential.
Again, due to Uber’s reluctance to give too many details of their application process away the only way to be sure if you will be accepted is to actually apply to be a driver, which you can do it by clicking here.
If you are concerned about passing the background check you may wish to apply to become a driver for Doordash, who use a similar checking system for their drivers. If you are not accepted by Uber ask for information about why you failed and when you can re-apply to drive for them. In many cases you will be able to re-apply to become an Uber driver in three to six months time. Uber’s requirements change frequently and the Uber reuirements for 2018 for your area may be altered at any time, so be sure to check the Uber Site and with your local area for recent changes that may affect you. Good luck and safe driving.