How to Become an Uber Driver
Are you looking for a job that lets you be your own boss? One that gives you lots of variety, as well as the flexibility to choose when and where you’ll work? How about control over how much you’ll earn? If all of that sounds good, driving for Uber could be the first step towards a more rewarding future.
Thinking about how to drive for Uber? Here’s some information to get you started. (For information on Lyft, check out our How to drive for Lyft page.)
Different options: Uber, Uber Black, and Uber Pro
Of all the ridesharing services, Uber is probably the most common. Uber X is for trips in cars with up to four passengers; Uber XL covers trips in larger vehicles (minivans or SUVs) for up to six passengers.
These are the basic Uber driver qualifications. You’ll need:
- A valid driver’s license
- At least one year of licensed driving experience (three years if you’re younger than 23)
- Valid insurance for your vehicle
- Valid vehicle registration
Another option is Uber Black, an on-demand luxury black car service. Ideal for riders looking to impress, Uber Black cars are higher–end brands such as Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Cadillac.
Uber Pro is an incentive program that rewards Uber drivers with the highest driver ratings and lowest cancellation rates. Drivers can earn Uber Pro reward points if their driver rating is consistently 4.85 stars or higher. Uber Pro also assigns extra reward points for driving during high-demand times, such as weekday rush hours and weekends between 1 am and 5 am.
Uber Pro rewards include higher earnings per ride, cashback at select gas stations when you use Uber Visa Debit, discounts on car maintenance expenses. Uber drivers and their family members can even earn even free college tuition from Arizona State University’s online school!
What are the vehicle requirements to drive for Uber?
To drive for Uber, your vehicle must meet the following requirements:
- Must have 4 doors and be able to hold at least 4 passengers (not including the driver)
- Cannot be older than 15 years. In some cities, vehicles must be newer than this.
- Rental vehicles are only allowed if they are from an approved Uber lender
- Must not have any cosmetic damage, missing parts, or commercial branding
- You must be listed as an insured driver on the vehicle’s insurance policy
Uber Black car requirements include:
- They must have the model year of 2010 or newer
- They must be in excellent condition
- They must have a black exterior and interior
How to apply to be an Uber driver
First, you’ll need to sign up with Uber. Next, you’ll need to share your documents. You’ll need copies of your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Your car needs to be inspected, and you’ll also need to pass a background check. Once your application is approved, you just need to log into the app. That’s it!
Wondering how long does it take to become an Uber driver? The first step, getting your documents approved, is usually pretty quick, within a few days (2-3 is normal). Getting the background check done takes a little longer, about a week. In most cases, if your application is successful, you can expect to be driving for Uber within a couple of weeks.
Wondering about how to become an Uber Black driver? Just like the cars, Uber Black driver requirements are higher-end. Uber Black drivers must have a commercial driver’s license, like taxi drivers, and they must have a permit to work at the airport. In addition, Uber controls the number of Uber Black accounts in each city, so it’s not always possible to apply.
Signup incentives and driver incentives
The best way to receive an Uber driver sign up bonus is to use a code when you apply. Look for options such as “invite code,” “promo code” or “referral code.” The signup bonus varies depending on where you’ll be driving. It’s generally higher in larger cities where there’s more demand.
In addition to Uber Pro, Uber offers several different driver incentives, known as Promotions. These are available through the Uber app. Promotions include Quest (earn extra money by completing a set number of trips in a given time) and Consecutive Trips (complete a set number of trips in a row, without canceling, rejecting, or going offline).
What’s the average salary of an Uber driver?
On average, Uber drivers in the U.S. earn $19.36/hour nationally. The average Uber driver in the U.S. will earn $40,000 annually if they drive full-time.
Uber fares start with a base amount and go up according to time and distance. These amounts depend on where you live: fares in Los Angeles or San Francisco, for example, will be higher than fares in smaller cities. Uber drivers keep 70 percent of the fares (including tip) for each ride they complete; the remaining 30 percent goes back to Uber.
How to maximize your earnings on Uber
The best ways to maximize your earnings on Uber are to drive full-time and to drive when demand is highest. This is when Surge Pricing comes into effect, and you can earn two, three, or even four times the standard amount for each ride you complete. To make sure you don’t miss any opportunities to earn this extra cash, you’ll want to turn on Surge notifications in the Uber app.
Here are some other ways to maximize your Uber earnings:
- Offer exceptional customer service to every rider. You’ll boost your chances of getting tips, and you’ll also earn the ratings that give you Uber Pro rewards.
- Some of the best self-employed apps and trackers alert you to the lowest gas prices in your area. Fuel is one of your biggest ongoing expenses when you drive for Uber, so savings here will add up.
- Drive when others aren’t likely to drive – bad weather (if you’re comfortable), early mornings, or holidays can lead to increase surge pricing with fewer drivers on the road. That’s a win-win.
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