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The Main Requirements for Uber Drivers

Today’s sharing economy has made it easier than ever for people to earn money from ride-sharing. Using your car, you can sign up as a driver with companies like Uber as long as you meet the requirements and start taking passengers to places in return for a fee. According to Uber, over three million people currently work as drivers in more than sixty different countries. Around fourteen million trips were made daily using Uber in 2018, and estimates suggest that this has grown to over eighteen million daily trips since.

Many people decide to work as an Uber driver to make some extra money, while others work full-time. Here’s everything that you need to know about the requirements to work as an Uber driver.

Uber App Minimum Requirements

To get started as an Uber driver, you will need a car and access to a smartphone, which will allow you to connect with passengers. However, this is not all you will need as Uber has a list of minimum requirements for drivers that you will need to meet before you can start driving and earning money under their brand.

Uber Driver Apply Requirements

All Uber drivers need to meet requirements regarding their age, driver’s license status, and driving experience. Before you can start driving you will need to pass a driver screening which provides a review of your driving history. Your criminal record will also be checked, and you will need to provide proof of residency, car registration and auto insurance.

There are also car requirements to consider before you can start driving for Uber. You will need to have a car that meets certain requirements in regard to its age, condition and size.

There are also insurance coverage requirements that will vary depending on your state. Uber offers insurance coverage to drivers that will be active when you are logged into the app and driving passengers.

As an Uber driver, you will be considered an independent contractor, so you will need to set money aside to pay income taxes, Medicare, and Social Security.

What are the Requirements to Drive with Uber?

To become an Uber driver, you will need to meet these minimum requirements:

  1. You must meet the minimum age to drive in your city or state
  2. You need to have had your driver’s license and experience driving for at least one year. If you are under the age of twenty-three, you will need to have at least three years’ driving experience
  3. You will need a valid US driver’s license
  4. You will need a four-door vehicle that meets requirements, which vary by region

Uber Driver Required Documents

When you sign up to become a driver with Uber, you will need to share the following documents before you can start driving:

  1. A valid driver’s license
  2. Proof of residency
  3. Proof of car registration
  4. Proof of auto insurance
  5. A driver profile photo which should be in passport photo format and different from your driver’s license photo
  6. Commercial auto insurance in areas where this is required

Uber Requirements – Driver Screening

Before you can start driving, Uber will require you to complete an online screening which reviews your criminal history and driving record. You will also be required to provide Uber with your Social Security Number to perform this screening and for future tax purposes.

Bear in mind that if you have moved to a new state recently, you may need to provide additional information to verify your driving record. You will need to have your driving license and insurance from your old state to do this.

What Do You Need to Be an Uber Driver

To become an Uber driver, you will need to do the following:

  1. Complete the driver application form either in the Uber app or website. When asked, you should upload all the requested documents. You can call Uber for support or visit a local Uber office if you are having trouble with this step.
  2. Provide consent for background screening. You will need to wait for a response which can take up to ten days.
  3. If your application is successful, your driver status will be activated. You can then enable driver mode in your Uber app and start accepting rider requests that you will be paid for.

Uber Car Requirements – What Insurance?

You must have the correct auto insurance to drive for Uber. The type of coverage that you will need will depend on your state. You can get coverage from Uber, but bear in mind that this will only be valid when you are logged into the Uber app and picking up customers. When you are not driving for Uber, you will not be covered so you will need to get your own personal auto insurance.

Uber’s coverage will cover third-party liability if your personal auto insurance does not apply. If you are logged on and waiting for a pickup request, it covers bodily injuries and property damage up to various amounts. Comprehensive insurance is not included.  

If you are en route to pick up a passenger or are actively driving a passenger, Uber’s insurance will cover more if an accident occurs. This includes a $1m limit on third-party liability insurance, insurance for bodily injury by an uninsured or underinsured driver, and comprehensive collision insurance as long as you have this included with your personal auto coverage.

Car Requirements to Drive Uber

Different locations have different requirements for cars. Once you sign up to drive, Uber will provide you with more information on the requirements that your car has to meet in order to be eligible to start driving for them. Most of the time, your vehicle will need to be a four-dour vehicle that can seat four or more passengers, not including the driver.

Your car should not have a reconstructed, salvaged, or rebuilt title, and should not feature any commercial branding. You should also make sure that your car is in good condition. You’ll need to have it inspected for any potential faults before you start picking up paying customers. This is done for free at an Uber centre and is repeated once per year or after 50,000 miles, depending on which comes soonest.

The tier of Uber that you want to drive for may also factor in when it comes to the car requirements. For example, if you want to drive for UberXL, your car must be able to take at least six passengers. To drive for Uber Black, you will need to have a luxury vehicle that is within a certain age range.

If your car does not currently meet Uber’s requirements, you may be considering buying one that does. A used vehicle will usually be sufficient as long as the requirements are met. If you buy a new car, it’s important to be aware of the potential wear and tear on the car.

Leasing a car that meet’s Uber’s requirements is another option to consider. However, before you sign a lease, it’s important to make sure that you are fully aware of any mileage restrictions. Uber partners with a variety of car leasing and rental companies that offer deals and discounts exclusively for Uber drivers that are worth looking into.

How New Does Your Car Have to Be for Uber?

To drive for Uber, you will generally need to have a car that meets all the above requirements and is fifteen years old or newer. However, this can vary depending on your area. You might find that if you want to drive in a busier city, for example, you may be required to drive a newer car model.

How Much You Can Make

Depending on the location where you drive for Uber, you can make anything from $5-$26 hourly before deducting any expenses for car maintenance, tax, and gas. New drivers for Uber can also sometimes take advantage of bonuses. For example, in the past they have offered $500 to Lyft drivers who switch to Uber.

You can maximise your earnings when driving for Uber with a range of strategies including:

  1. Driving a hybrid or electric car, which can help you save money on gas costs.
  2. Driving during surges, which are busy periods where Uber charges passengers peak pricing.
  3. Using the Uber Eats app to make food deliveries as well as picking up passengers.

What Costs Are Covered by Uber?

Before you get started with driving for Uber, it’s a good idea to understand which costs you will be responsible for and which you need to cover yourself. Since Uber drivers are independent contractors, you will be responsible for car-related expenses and fuel costs. However, Uber will reimburse some cars including fees paid by riders for any damage that they cause to the vehicle and reimbursement for any tolls included on a driving trip. These will be added to the rider’s fare.

If you have a suitable car or are considering buying a new car, driving for Uber can be a good way to make an income full-time or on the side.

Bertan is a Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Appjobs. He enjoys building scalable digital solutions with international teams.

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