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  • Nicholas Hinrichsen

Uber Vehicle Requirements to Know Before Applying to Be an Uber Driver

Uber is the largest rideshare company in the United States but operates in over 900 metropolitan areas worldwide. The company allows individuals to use their own cars to transport paying customers to their desired destination through a mobile app platform. Driving for Uber is an easy way to make some cash, but there are vehicle and driver requirements to be aware of before getting started.


In this article, we will cover the following FAQs:

  • What are the vehicle and driver requirements for where I live?

  • Is there a vehicle age requirement?

  • Are all vehicles eligible for service?

  • Is there a way I can be an Uber driver if I don’t own a car?

  • What is the application process like?



Vehicle Requirements


To ensure that your vehicle meets all state and city-mandated safety standards, Uber advises visiting your city’s information page to look up regulations specific to your location. Uber's platform doesn't currently direct you to a specific city, but this can be bypassed by using the following link structure:


uber.com/us/en/drive/{your-city}/vehicle-requirements/


Replace {your-city} with the desired city to be directed to the vehicle requirements page. For example, uber.com/us/en/drive/new-york/vehicle-requirements/


These rules and regulations take into account vehicle model year requirement, body style, body damage, passenger capacity, and other requirements that may differ from one region to another. For all U.S states, Uber requires the car to be a 15-year-old or newer 4-door vehicle that is in good condition and does not have any cosmetic damage or commercial branding.


It needs to accommodate a minimum of four passengers and cannot be salvaged, reconstructed, or rebuilt. The car must also have a valid registration (though does not have to be in your name) and follow state and local laws when it comes to insurance (Uber provides automobile liability insurance for its U.S. drivers).


Uber offers various ride types, each with a different driving experience, and gives drivers with qualifying high-end luxury vehicles the opportunity to earn more.


UberX


The lowest cost Uber service offered. Most 4-door cars that are 10 years old or newer in most cities will qualify if the vehicle is in good mechanical and cosmetic condition. It must have seats and seatbelts for at least four passengers (not including the driver).


Example UberX vehicles: Dodge Caravan, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Prius, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Toyota Corolla, Cadillac CTS, Kia Optima, Honda Accord


NOTE: Uber Select offers rides that are nicer than the average sedan, but still at an affordable rate. Visit uber.com/us/en/ride/uberselect to learn more.


UberXL


UberXL offers rides for groups of 5-6 passenger, but no full-size vans are allowed.


Example UberXL vehicles: Acura MDX, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, GMC Yukon XL, Honda Odyssey, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Dodge Durango


Uber Comfort


Uber comfort provides larger vehicles that have more legroom but at a price lower than UberXL and Uber Black.


Example Uber Comfort vehicles: Infiniti Q70, Volkswagen Atlas, Volvo S90, Chrysler Pacifica, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Nissan Pathfinder, Porsche Panamera, Chevrolet Malibu, Land Rover Range Rover

Uber Black


Uber Black is a high-end, high-cost Uber service with the highest standards for these luxury sedans and SUVs. As the name suggests, the vehicle must have black exterior paint and a black leather interior. It must have a valid commercial registration and be covered by commercial insurance, as well as having all city-specific airport permits (when applicable). Use this link to learn more about Uber Black car requirements.

Example Uber Black vehicles: Cadillac XTS, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Tesla Model S, Cadillac Escalade, Audi A8, Genesis G90

Uber Black SUV


Uber Black SUV (formerly Uber SUV) is a high-end, high-cost Uber service with the highest standards for these luxury SUVs. As the name suggests, the vehicle must have black exterior paint and a black leather interior. It must have a valid commercial registration and be covered by commercial insurance, as well as having all city-specific airport permits (when applicable).


Example Uber Black SUV vehicles: Infiniti QX80, Lincoln Navigator, GMC Yukon Denali, Ford Expedition


Uber Lux


Uber’s luxury car service only accepts top model luxury vehicles. It must be 2012 or newer, and commercial insurance is required. Uber Lux is not available in all markets.. Visit uber.com/us/en/ride/uberlux/ to find out if it is offered in your region.

Example Uber LUX cars: Aston Martin Rapide, Maserati Gran Turismo, Rolls Royce Phantom, Buggati Veyron.


NOTE: There may be additional vehicle requirements to qualify for UberX, Uber XL, Black, Black SUV, and Comfort, as well as other regulations specific to your region. Use the link below to find requirements for your city:


uber.com/us/en/drive/{your-city}/vehicle-requirements/


Replace {your-city} with the city vehicle requirements page you would like to be directed to. For example, uber.com/us/en/drive/new-york/vehicle-requirements/


Driver Requirements


In addition to their vehicles meeting the above Uber car requirements, drivers must also meet Uber driver requirements. The minimum age requirement to drive with Uber varies by region and is dictated by your city’s driving laws. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and at least one year (3 years if you are under 23 years old) of licensed driving experience in the United States.


The following shortcuts are directly from Uber and will explain the requirements in greater detail:


Are All Vehicles Eligible for Use?


To provide the most comfortable driving experience for users, Uber does restrict certain vehicles from the Uber platform. Eligible vehicles vary from city to city, but the following vehicles are not permitted to be used for the Uber service whatsoever.

  • No full size vans (e.g. Ford Transit, Ford E-Series, GMC Savana)

  • No taxis or taxi-style painted vehicles

  • No salvaged or rebuilt vehicles (salvage title)

What If I Don’t Own a Car?


Uber is partnered with a variety of rental car companies across the country. The rental program gives individuals access to excellent condition rental cars to become drivers with Uber. Rental vehicles must be obtained through the companies Uber is partnered with to be approved for use on the platform. Check the Rental Vehicles FAQ to find out if their rental partners offer options in your city. The Vehicle Solutions program offers rental cars at varying prices, but you can expect to pay a minimum of $200/week or $4.00/hour. Each rental gives the driver unlimited Uber miles (and Uber Eats) and personal miles, as well as insurance and routine maintenance.


To learn about specific requirements of the Vehicle Solutions program visit uber.com/us/en/drive/vehicle-solutions, or check out the video below!


How Do I Apply?

Applying to be a Uber driver is simple and can be done completely online. You will want to ensure your driver’s license is valid and that you meet the age requirement for your region. You will also have to consent to having a criminal background check completed and to a driving record check.


Finally, if you’re using your own vehicle you will need to upload a vehicle inspection form (within 45 days of activation) proof of your vehicle's current registration, as well as a personal vehicle insurance policy (additional third-party rideshare insurance is provided by Uber). All of these required documents must be uploaded to your Uber profile to be verified.


Uber has even provided tips on uploading your documents if extra assistance is needed. Once you’re approved to start driving for Uber be sure to review the basics of driving with Uber and download the Uber Driver app. The Uber app (available on iPhone and Android) will get you online where you get pick-up ride requests.

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