Uber Car Requirements: Everything You Need To Know To Drive For Uber

Uber is one of the most revolutionary companies of the 21st Century. They completely disrupted the taxi industry, which before the advent of ridesharing was a very close-knit group and a hard industry to break into.

Uber offers customers unprecedented ease of access with their app, allowing anybody to see information about their driver, and track their ride with a built-in mapping system. Uber has also taken the credit for significantly reducing incidents of drunk driving, as they are often easier, cheaper, and more comfortable than the average well-used crown victorias used by most taxi companies.

Aside from benefitting the rider however, Uber has opened a whole new world to entrepreneurs. From the weekend warrior to full-time driver, you get to decide what time you clock-in and how many hours you work. Sounds pretty great right?

The process of becoming an Uber driver is now easier than ever, you don’t need to attend grueling training sessions, and you do not need to apply for additional business licensing. All Uber asks is that you follow a few simple guidelines and requirements to register as a driver and start making money.

Uber Driver Requirements

The first place to start is with you. Although anybody can register as a driver, Uber does have a few guidelines and minimum requirements for their applicants:

  • The driver must be at least 21 years old
  • They must have a valid United States driver’s license
  • Drivers must have valid and up to date insurance
  • They must have had at least one year of driving experience in the United States. For those under the age of 23, applicants must be able to prove at least three years of previous driving experience.
  • Applicants must be willing to complete an online screening. This process will review your driving record as well as your criminal background. Uber requires that all of their drivers have a clean history on both fronts.

Uber Car Requirements

To offer the best experience to their customers, Uber requires their drivers’ vehicles to be clean, presentable, and in full working order. This policy ensures that the rider will not only have any complaints about their trip, but it also ensures that in the event of an unforeseen accident, both the driver and the rider will be in a vehicle which has passed minimum safety tests.

Depending on which city you will be driving in, Uber offers several different levels of service which I will briefly go over, along with the specific vehicle requirements of each of these levels.

Car Requirements for UberX

car requirements for UberX

UberX is the base level service available in every city. It is relatively inexpensive and has the least requirements:

  • Vehicle must be a four-door sedan or mid-size car. It must be able to seat four passengers as well as the driver.
  • The Drivers legal name must be listed on the vehicle’s insurance.
  • Vehicle must have a year model of 2002 or newer for most major cities. Exceptions: New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington DC require a year model of 2007 or newer.
  • Vehicles must clean with no obvious cosmetic damage. For example, small scratches or dings are okay, but a significant dent or cracked windows are not.
  • No Heavy Duty work trucks or large passenger vans. Standard four-door trucks and SUV’s are allowed, however.
  • The vehicle cannot have any commercial branding or appear to be in likeness to a traditional taxi cab.
  • No salvage titles or heavily modified vehicles.
  • The vehicle must be able to pass Uber’s Vehicle Inspection
  • In addition to these requirements, the following models are restricted for all Uber services:
    • Taxis or decommissioned taxi cabs
    • Ford Crown Victoria
    • Decommissioned law enforcement vehicles
    • Mercury Grand Maquis
    • Full-sized vans such as the Ford Transit or Mercedes Sprinter

Car Requirements for UberXL

car requirements for UberXL

UberXL is also available in most cities and provides customers with a larger vehicle like a Minivan or SUV. This is the best option for small parties or for those carrying extra baggage. There is a jump in cost for riders, and Uber has the following requirements for their vehicles:

  • The vehicle must have the capacity to seat six passengers in addition to the driver.
  • Vehicle must have a year model of 2002 or newer for most cities. Exceptions:
    • Pittsburgh, PA, Seattle, WA, and New York- 2006 or newer
    • Atlanta, GA, and Washington, DC- 2005 or newer
  • Vehicles must clean with no obvious cosmetic damage.
  • The vehicle may not have any commercial branding or appear to be in likeness to a traditional taxi cab.
  • No salvage titles or heavily modified vehicles.
  • The vehicle must be able to pass Uber’s Vehicle Inspection
  • Even though large SUV’s and four-door pickup trucks are allowed for UberXL, Heavy Duty or commercial models are strictly prohibited.

Car Requirements for UberSelect

car requirements for UberSelect

UberSelect is available mainly in larger cities. For a jump in price, this service level offers an upgrade in ride quality. UberSelect uses luxury-sport models primarily, and can be considered the “first class” level of Uber. The requirements are as follows:

  • Four-door luxury or luxury-sport sedans which seat four passengers, not including the driver.
  • Year model of 2008 or newer for most cities.
  • All vehicles must have a full leather interior.
  • No noticeable cosmetic damage.
  • No commercial branding or taxi vehicles.
  • Vehicle must be fully registered and insured.
  • Salvage vehicles are heavily modified cars are prohibited.
  • Vehicle must be able to pass Uber’s Vehicle Inspection.

Here is a list of UberSelect approved vehicles:

  • Acura – four-door sedans
  • Audi – four-door sedans and SportCross models
  • BMW – four-door sedans, and the X-series SUVs
  • Cadillac – ATS, CTS, DTS, SRX, XTS
  • Chrysler – 300
  • Hummer – H3
  • Hyundai – Equus and Genesis luxury sedans
  • Infiniti – EX, FX, G, JX, M, Q, QX50, QX70
  • Jaguar – XJ and XF models only
  • Lexus – four-door luxury models and SUVs
  • Lincoln – four-door luxury models, and SUVs
  • Mercedes – C Class, E Class, S Class, G Class, GLK Class, M Class, or R Class
  • Porsche – Cayenne or Macan
  • Volvo – S60, S80, or XC90

Car Requirements for UberBlack

car requirements for UberBlack

UberBlack is Uber’s luxury level chauffeur service and is available in most large cities. Drivers are paid significantly more than UberXL or UberSelect fares. Due to the professional environment, the vehicle requirements are far more strict than Uber’s other services. In addition to maintaining an excellent vehicle, drivers must also be commercially insured and carry a Transportation Charter Permit, which is commonly known as a TCP license.

Because limousines and chauffeur-style vehicles are often very expensive, Uber will usually arrange a deal with a local fleet owner for their driver to pay a weekly rental fee to the said fleet owner. After the rental fee has been paid, drivers get to keep their fares. In most cases, the fleet owner also pays for all cleaning and vehicle maintenance fees. The requirements are as follows:

  • Must comfortably seat at least four passengers, not including the driver.
  • Vehicle must be a model year of 2013 or newer.
  • The vehicle must be a four-door sedan.
  • The car must be fully registered in-state and commercially insured.
  • Must be associated with a TCP permit.
  • The car must be impeccably clean, with no damage to the interior or exterior.
  • The vehicle is required to have an all-black exterior and interior.

Here is the UberBlack list of approved sedans:

  • Cadillac – XTS
  • Audi – A6 or A7
  • BMW – 5 series
  • Infiniti – Q70
  • Jaguar – XF
  • Lexus – GS
  • Mercedes – E class

Car Requirements for UberSUV

car requirements for UberSUV

UberSUV is another branch of UberBlack, and offers the same chauffeur service, but gives customers the option of full-sized luxury SUV’s. The requirements are similar but slightly different.

  • The vehicle must be a full-sized, four-door SUV.
  • The SUV must be able to seat at least six passengers, not including the driver.
  • The vehicle must be a model year of 2013 or newer.
  • The SUV must be fully registered in-state and with commercial insurance.
  • The SUV must be associated with a TCP Permit.
  • Vehicle must have an all-black exterior and interior
  • The SUV must be able to pass the Uber Vehicle Inspection

Here is a list of UberSUV approved vehicles:

  • Cadillac – Escalade ESV model
  • GMC – Yukon XL edition
  • Chevrolet – Suburban
  • Lincoln – Navigator L
  • Mercedes – GL
  • Infiniti – QX80
  • Lexus – LS

Car Requirements for UberLUX

car requirements for UberLUX

UberLUX is also a branch of UberBlack, offering the same chauffeur service, but giving customers a real luxury experience. UberLUX deals exclusively with premium luxury and exotic cars and offers drivers the highest-paying fares. The requirements are:

  • Must have four doors and be on the list of UberLUX approved vehicles.
  • Vehicle must be able to comfortably seat at least four passengers, not including the driver.
  • Vehicle must be a model year of 2013 or newer.
  • The vehicle must have an all-black interior and exterior
  • The vehicle must be able to pass Uber’s Vehicle Inspection

Here’s a list of UberLUX approved vehicles:

  • Audi – A8 sedan
  • BMW – 7 series sedan
  • Jaguar – XJ class sedan
  • Land Rover – Range Rover SUV
  • Mercedes – S class sedan or G class wagon
  • Porsche – Panamera
  • Tesla – Model S
  • Bentley – Any four-door model
  • Maybach – Any four-door model
  • Rolls Royce – Any four-door model

Requirements For Passing the Uber Vehicle Inspection

uber vehicle inspection

Before you begin driving for Uber, they expect your vehicle to pass a full inspection and meet minimum safety standards. These inspections are given at Uber-approved garages and repair shops or special Uber activation centers.

The best way to find an Uber-approved inspection center is to check out Uber’s help website (help.uber.com) and enter your city into the search bar. The results should display a full list of inspection centers. Most auto garage chains such as Jiffy Lube or Midas are usually approved as well.

The Uber inspection is relatively easy to pass and covers basic mechanical and safety aspects that all cars should meet. The items that most frequently fail inspection are the brake pad test and the tire tread depth test. Should you need to shell out any money up front to meet these standards, however, Uber allows you to write them off as a business expense when you file your annual tax returns.

How much cosmetic damage is allowed?

Depending on which Uber service you are driving for the inspector may be more or less strict about the amount of cosmetic damage permitted to pass. If you are driving for UberX or UberXL, you can usually get away with a little bit more than if you’re driving for the premium UberBlack or UberLUX services.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that golf ball sized dings, scratches less than eight inches in length, and some minor upholstery wear are acceptable for most UberX and UberXL inspections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my car eventually become “too old” to continue driving for Uber?

-The answer is yes. Uber requires a vehicle inspection each following year that you continue to drive for them. If Uber decides to change the minimum model year of vehicles in a certain location, you will be given the option to either terminate your employment or update your vehicle to an appropriate model.

What if my vehicle qualifies for multiple Uber services?

-The good news is if your vehicle qualifies for multiple services, you will receive service calls for each unless you request for Uber to only send you certain requests. For instance, if you had an UberSUV approved vehicle, and business was getting slow, you could continue to make fare money from responding to UberXL and UberX requests.

What if I don’t own a car, can I use a rental vehicle?

-The great news is that if you don’t currently own a vehicle, you can easily rent one and drive for Uber providing you are properly insured. Uber has recently partnered with both Hertz and Enterprise. These two rental agencies offer special weekly rates for Uber drivers, which are affordable and require no initial down payment.

Another great option is Uber’s XChange program, which allows prospective drivers to lease lightly used Uber-approved vehicles. These short-term leases usually require a downpayment of less than $300 and offer weekly or monthly payments.

Conclusion

If you are looking to become an Uber driver, we hope that you have found this guide helpful. Uber is an excellent ridesharing company to work for and is known for treating it’s customers well. The Uber car requirements, while a bit extensive, are not hard to meet for most car owners who have a well-maintained vehicle, and even if you don’t have a vehicle Uber will work with you through their programs and partnerships to get you on the road and driving in no time.

Holly Eubanks
 

Hello and welcome to my personal blog, my name is Holly Eubanks and I am the creator of teamstertnc.org. I decided to create this blog about Uber driving because I had a lot of experience that I wanted to share with other people who might want to join a driving company such as Uber or Lyft. If you don’t know if you are qualified for this driving job, then you better start reading because I have several very informative articles that are about being an Uber driver. You can find a lot of valuable information about all the requirements that you have to fill in order to become one. You can learn from my personal experience and avoid some mistakes.

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