Uber Car Requirements—Does Your Vehicle Meet the Requirements?
Whether you want to work full- or part-time, becoming a rideshare driver offers plenty of opportunities to boost your income. Uber is the most popular choice for those entering the rideshare industry for the first time, but the company does have a variety of criteria that must be met. While your initial focus may be on qualifying as a driver, you’ll also need to utilize a vehicle that meets Uber’s car requirements. Below is everything you need to know about passing the rideshare company’s vehicle inspection process.
Uber Car Requirements: The Basics
The two most important focuses of the driver application process are Uber driver requirements and vehicle requirements. To drive for the rideshare company, you need to meet the criteria of both aspects. Here’s a closer look at each:
Basic Uber Driver Requirements
Before you can join the Uber fleet, you need to ensure that you qualify as a driver. The rideshare company has a few basic requirements that all applicants must meet:
- Age: Must be at least 21
- Experience: One year of driving experience for individuals over 23 or three years for anyone under 23
- License: Must have a valid, up-to-date driver’s license
- Background: No violent crime convictions
Uber completes a thorough background check to review each applicant’s criminal and driving history. Any more than three tickets within the last three years will cause the system to reject your application. Drivers must also be present on the vehicle’s insurance policy.
Basic Uber Vehicle Requirements
Once you’re sure you meet the basic driver criteria, you can turn your attention to Uber’s vehicle requirements. You’ll need to provide proof of registration, but you don’t have to be the owner of the car to drive it. Here are the basic checkpoints:
- Age: Can’t be older than 15 years
- Doors: Must have four doors
- Seats: Fits at least four passengers with seatbelts
- Insurance: Must meet the state’s liability insurance coverage requirement
- Inspection: Must pass the company’s inspection checklist
The rideshare company doesn’t accept rebuilt vehicles or those with salvage titles. The car, SUV, or minivan must also be in excellent condition and free of any major cosmetic damage.
State & City Uber Requirements
Uber’s company-wide requirements aren’t the only criteria—you also need to meet the driver and vehicle requirements of local and state governments. Many municipalities have put their own laws in place that govern who can and can’t legally provide rideshare services in the area. For instance, a vehicle age restriction of 10 years is common in many cities, which is five years less than the company’s rule. As a result, it’s important that you verify your location’s unique requirements before applying to become an Uber driver.
A Breakdown of Uber Vehicle Requirements
There are a few different ride styles available with Uber. Each level is associated with stricter requirements as well as higher fare. If you qualify for one of the more luxury-focused categories, you can end up earning a substantial amount more per ride than the basic options. Here’s a closer look at each level and the associated requirements:
The most basic ride style is UberX, which offers a no-frills, comfortable, and safe journey. You’ll need to meet all the basic Uber car requirements listed above. If you qualify for UberX, you can also drive for UberPOOL. Some of the most common car examples include the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and Toyota Camry.
UberXL is a larger version of the UberX with a focus on affordability and convenience. To qualify for UberXL rides, your vehicle needs to accommodate the needs of at least six passengers (seven seats total). The higher occupancy level of UberXL means drivers make more per trip. The Ford Explorer and Dodge Caravan are two of the most popular vehicles in this category.
UberSELECT is a step up in luxury from UberX. To meet the Uber car requirements for this option, the vehicle needs to fit four passengers, offer four-doors, and have a leather interior. It must also be under 10 years old. Lexus LX and Cadillac CTS are two common examples of UberSELECT vehicles. Check out our Uber Select driver guide for more information on Uber Select vehicles.
UberSUVs offer the size capabilities of UberXL but with the luxury of a high-end appearance. While there are location variables, typically UberSUVs need to be five years old or newer, offer a black interior and exterior, and have a capacity for six riders. For this category, you’ll see quite a few luxury SUVs, like the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. There are also higher driver restrictions, which usually require commercial driver registration and experience.
UberBLACK is the rideshare version of a traditional black car service. This category features only high-end vehicles in excellent condition to create the luxurious atmosphere riders desire. While this ride option typically utilizes sedans of high-end brands, like Mercedes, SUVs also qualify. However, all vehicles must be newer than five years and offer black-on-black attributes (black interior and exterior). As with UberSUV, drivers must be registered for commercial driving services.
UberLUX is the epitome of class and luxury, and it also pays the highest fares. The Uber vehicle requirements are incredibly strict for this style of ride, so it’s much harder to qualify. As with UberBLACK and UberSUV, all UberLUX vehicles must offer a black-on-black finish along with an excellent interior and exterior condition. Top-quality Audis, Porsches, and BMWs are common, but they must be under five years of age.
Don’t Meet Uber’s Car Requirements? Here Are Your Options
If you don’t meet the minimum vehicle requirements, don’t give up your dream of driving just yet. There are two alternative options available: rent an Uber vehicle or opt for a delivery service.
Rent an Uber Vehicle
To accommodate the needs of more individuals, Uber has partnered with three companies to allow drivers to rent a vehicle for the purpose of rideshare. It’s a fairly new program, but it’s an excellent move because it opens up the market to more contractors. The three Uber car rental options available include:
- Getaround: Designed for short-term rentals
- Hertz: Offering weekly rentals
- Fair: Affordable and flexible leases for Uber, and other rideshare and delivery services.
These partnerships make it easier for drivers to start making money, even if their current vehicle doesn’t meet the minimum Uber car requirements. Unfortunately, the services are only currently available in certain markets. If you live in a major metropolitan area, then it’s likely a solid choice. However, drivers in smaller cities or rural locations will have to wait until the service expands because Uber only accepts drivers with rentals from approved companies.
Delivery Driver Services
If you don’t want to rent a vehicle, you also have other on-the-road options outside of rideshare. UberEats is the company’s food delivery service, which has fewer restrictions on vehicles. For car delivery, they accept vehicles made after 1998, and it only has to have two doors. You can also make Uber deliveries with scooters and bikes.
There are also a plethora of other delivery options. Caviar and Doordash are top recommendations because of their popularity and wide customer base. Instacart is another up-and-coming service, but instead of restaurants, it focuses on grocery shopping and delivery. Each of these options is accompanied by their own requirements, but since passengers aren’t involved, most of the companies are more lenient on vehicle condition and age.
What to Expect at the Uber Vehicle Inspection
All Uber vehicles have to undergo a 19-point inspection before they’re given the all-clear. Once your application is approved, Uber will send you information outlining partnering auto shops in your area where you can schedule the service for free. Here’s what the technician looks for during the inspection:
- Exterior lights – headlights, tail lights, brake lights
- Brake pads and shoes
- Windshield – general condition and wiper functionality
- Functioning seatbelts
- Doors – working condition and locks
- Bumpers – presence and condition
- Exhaust system
- Tires – tread and signs of damage
Each inspection is only good for 12 months, so you’ll need to complete the task again in one year. If there aren’t any partnering auto shops in the area, you can choose any shop that’s approved to provide state vehicle inspections. In such a situation, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the service. You’ll also need to provide the technician with the correct paperwork and have them submit it to the company.
You can also use a mobile inspection company like Rideshare Mechanic. They perform the Uber (and Lyft) vehicle inspection over video chat, so you don’t even have to go anywhere.
Meeting Uber’s Vehicle Requirements: Time to Hit the Road
Now that you know Uber’s car requirements, you’re one step closer to hitting the road and making money. If you’re ready to apply, utilize our Uber driver promo code – i9tz1 – to ensure you reach your full earning potential. Simply click the button below to start your Uber application, and receive a sign up bonus earnings guarantee of up to $2000.