How to Drive for Uber: What to know
Befitting as an Uber driver is an easy process once you meet the company’s minimum requirements and have access to the appropriate vehicles.
While it may seem like an easy way to make some extra cash, you don’t keep the full cost your driver pays.
And you are responsible for covering expenses, such as gas and maintenance, that can meet your income.
To become Uber’s driver, you must meet the company’s minimum requirements, have access to an eligible four-door vehicle, and complete an online driver test.
If you have a license, you decide when and how much you want to drive. When you log in to the Uber Driver app, you’ll be notified when someone needs to travel near you.
But before you get started, learn about driver and company vehicle needs and the pros and cons of being a driver – as well as how much you can make and how to get a car if you don’t already have one.
How do I start riding for Uber?
Setting up an Uber drive is a fairly straightforward process, but you – and the vehicle you want to drive – must meet some basic Uber requirements.
Uber driver qualifications
To drive for Uber, you should meet the following requirements:
- Meet your city’s minimum age to share a ride
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Drive a suitable four-door vehicle
- You have at least one year of driving experience if you are 23 years old or older and at least three years if you are under 23 years old
- Do a background check
- Get a vehicle inspection if your area needs it
In addition, many states and cities have their own requirements for drivers in Ridershire.
Uber vehicle requirements
Your car must meet the specifications for the level of Uber you want to drive. These criteria may also vary by location, so you must check the Uber website for requirements in your area.
In general, this is what you can expect.
To work as an Uber X driver, your vehicle must have four self-opening doors, as well as five seats and factory-installed seat belts without modification.
Your car must have air conditioning as well and windows that open and close. And, depending on where you live, Uber doesn’t allow drivers to use repaired or modified vehicles, vans, trucks, taxis, government cars, or other marked vehicles.
To be able to drive at the Uber XL level, your vehicle must meet Uber X requirements and have seven seats and seat belts fitted at work instead of five.
Uber Black drivers must have a rating of 4.85 or higher and drive a vehicle that is not older than five years. It must have a black exterior with black leather or a vegan leather interior and have at least four passengers.
All windows and air conditioners must function properly and the car must be in good condition with no cosmetic damage, missing parts, or visible stains. Uber Black drivers must have commercial insurance.
Uber Black SUV
To drive at the Uber Black SUV level, your vehicle must meet Uber Black requirements and seat at least six, not four passengers.
Uber application process
There are a few simple steps you need to follow before getting on an Uber.
Give some information about yourself and your car.
Upload the required documents.
Uber requires a copy of the driver’s license, registration, proof of residence, proof of insurance, and user profile photo. You will also need a background check that includes an overview of your driving history and criminal record.
A serious driving disorder such as a DUI or some misdemeanor can disqualify you, as can a conviction for a felony, violent crime, or sex crime.
Get the app.
If you are approved as an Uber driver, you will be given access to the driver app, where you will be logged in to compare yourself to nearby passengers.
Is it worth driving for Uber?
Just like any other job, there are pros and cons to driving for Uber. Here’s what you need to know.
Advantages of driving for Uber
You can make extra cash driving for Uber – especially on jumps when you can make more than the standard fare.
You can be your own boss and set your schedule so you can work when it suits you. And your earnings are sent directly to your bank account, sometimes even on the same day.
Drawbacks of driving for Uber
While driving for Uber seems like an easy way to make money, these factors must be considered.
Fees and expenses.
Uber charges drivers for each trip. A 2018 report by the Institute for Economic Policy found that these fees amount to about a third of what passengers pay.
In addition, you are responsible for paying for gas, routine maintenance, and vehicle repairs which can come sooner than usual when you get extra mileage on your car.
As an independent Uber contractor, you may be able to deduct some of these costs from your taxes, but they will still benefit from your profits.
While Uber offers driver liability insurance when using the app, you must also have personal car insurance.
You need to notify your insurance company if you become a rideshare driver as you may need to upgrade your insurance coverage to the rideshare insurance policy.
While not required, you can add this coverage to cover the gap in coverage between your policy and the insurance offered by Uber.
Typical usage data for Uber drivers are up to 3GB per month, according to Uber. Charges for exceeding the data limit on your smartphone can add up quickly. For example, Verizon charges $15 for every GB of data you use over the limit.
You can get 8% to 22% off your smartphone bill when using AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon while driving with Uber. However, it makes sense to switch to an unlimited data plan to avoid excessive charges.
Uber drivers are not employees of the company – they are independent contractors, so you won’t get traditional employee benefits like health insurance, paid vacations, or retirement benefits.
Because Uber drivers collect taxes as independent contractors rather than permanent employees, the company does not withhold income tax. But still, have to pay taxes. Depending on how much you earn, you may have to make quarterly payments.
How much money can you earn driving for Uber?
After deducting Uber fees and vehicle expenses, driver compensation averages $1.77 per hour, according to a 2018 Economic Policy Institute report.
How to get a car to drive for Uber
If you want to become an Uber driver but don’t own a car, here are some options to consider.
Given the low average hourly rate for Uber drivers, buying a used car might make more sense than buying a new one, as used cars tend to be cheaper.
However, if you haven’t to buy a car outright, it’s important to carefully consider your financing options.
Mileage is a key factor in calculating a car’s depreciation, and the more distance you drive in your car while riding an Uber, the faster it will depreciate.
If you need to finance all or most of the purchase price, you can pay off your loan quickly and owe more than the car’s value.
Some car manufacturers and dealers offer leasing programs – such as BMW Car & Ride Sharing Leasing – specifically for rideshare drivers. If you decide to rent a vehicle, keep an eye on your rental mileage limit, which is usually between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year.
It can be difficult to stay within limits as an Uber driver and if you switch, you will most likely be billed at the end of the rental period. Excessive kilometer fees are usually between 10 and 25 cents per mile.
Uber has partnerships with Avis, Hertz, Getaround, Kinto, and Zipcar so people can rent cars to drive for Uber. However, keep in mind that renting may not be the cheapest option.
A weekly car rental from one of Uber’s partners costs around $150 to $235, excluding taxes and other fees.
The monthly loan installment for a used car will likely be lower than the monthly rental fee.
The median monthly loan payment for a used car was $413 in the fourth quarter of 2020 according to the Experian Automotive Financial Markets Report for the fourth quarter of 2020.
Our auto loan calculator can help you calculate your monthly car payments.
While driving for Uber can be a great way to make some extra cash for some, it’s not for everyone. Before signing up, it’s important to check the average profit in your area and compare the amount you can make to the costs you will incur.
And don’t forget to check the car specifications in your area to make sure the car you own, buy, lease, or rent meets the Uber driving requirements in your area.