Uber is a great way to make extra money for yourself and your family. Drivers typically make between $14-$16 an hour (Glassdoor). While it is important is important to balance that vs. the wear and tear on your vehicle, there is clearly a lot or money to be made.
How to Apply to be an Uber Driver
The sign up process for Uber is pretty straight forward. It takes about fifteen minutes. You never meet anybody from Uber face to face. Instead you provide them with photos of the required documents.
Applying to be a driver is easy! Just head on over to Uber.com and hit the “become a driver” button.
You’ll fill out basically the same information that you would to sign up for a new email address. You’ll need to provide your.
- Full Legal Name (first and last)
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Tell them if you have a car
After this you’ll go to a section of their site that tells them whether or not you have a car that meets the local vehicle age requirements. Remember, this is different in every city that Uber operates in.
Once you move on from this you’ll need to give them your social security number. They say this is for a simple background check. There’s way more much on that below. It’s not a hard pull and will not affect your credit whatsoever.
Uber Vehicle Requirements
Uber does have stringent vehicle requirements. These vary from market to market. Although they are not very likely to come out and look at your vehicle, they will require you to take thorough photographs of it during the application process.
There are some requirements that aren’t going to change regardless of where you live. Those are:
- 4 Door Vehicle
- Vehicle in good condition
- No cosmetic damage
- No commercial branding
What will change depending on the market is going to be the MODEL YEAR of the vehicle. Typically, Uber wants you in a nice looking late model vehicle. You’ll never see them accept a vehicle from the nineties or older. Most markets require a vehicle 10 years old or newer.
The longer Uber has been in the market combined with the amount of people they have applying to be drivers definitely impacts the vehicle age requirement. If they are having a hard time meeting the demand of their customers, they’re going to be looser with car restrictions to get more drivers. That being said, they certainly would prefer everyone to be in a pristine late model vehicle. It just looks more professional.
Uber Document Requirements
In order to drive for Uber you must be able to provide the following documents:
- A valid drivers licence
- Proof that your vehicle is insured
- Proof that the vehicle is registered
You also must have at least three years of driving experience, and have reached at least twenty-one years in age.
While you don’t need to carry commercial insurance for your Uber vehicle, you do need to keep it compatible with state and local laws. On top of that, Uber carries a liability insurance policy for its drivers.
Also, you don’t need the vehicle to be registered in your name. You just need to prove that it’s registered period.
You must also be able to pass a driver screening. This screening will reject you if you have any of the following on your record within the last seven years:
- A DUI
- Driving without insurance
- Driving without a valid drivers licensce
- Most felonies
If you feel like that may describe your particular situation, take a shot at it and apply anyway. You never know whether or not something made it onto your official record anyway. Or, if you paid an attorney to “fix” your infraction, it’ll probably just appear on your record as so sort “littering fine” or nonmoving violation.
What if you fail the background check?
If you fail the background check, you’ll have a 3-6 month window until you will be allowed to try again. In the mean time, if there is something that wasn’t supposed to be on your record that they found, it would be time to work on having it removed.
If you happen to have something like a DUI or driving without insurance, and you know that you got it less than six years ago, it’s probably not going to be any different if you apply a second time. If you are a felon, check this site out, there’s lots of jobs out there that you can get. Don’t give up. You’ve paid your debt to society. Here’s more on the Uber DUI screening process.
Do You Need to Have a Smartphone to Drive For Uber?
Yes, you’ll absolutely need to have a smartphone. Once you are accepted into Uber, your smartphone will be just as important as your car.
You must have a smartphone that is capable of running the Uber app. Thankfully, the Uber app does not require the latest versions of Android or iOS.
As of Dec, 2017 Uber requires iOS 9.0 or higher, which means that an iPhone 5 (which is now over 5 years old) will run the app with no problem.
Here are direct links to the app:
What if you don’t have a smartphone?
If cash is tight, there are some really affordable options out there. You can get a prepaid iPhone 5SE from wal mart for around $150 bucks depending on the day.
If you want to go android the options get even cheaper. The good news is that while Uber does use data a lot, it doesn’t uss a lot of data.
That is to say it is only downloading info to keep its map up to date. Most heavy data usage comes from photos, music, and (especially) video. If you treat your phone like a tool, you can get by on your prepaid data for months.
What if you don’t have a car for Uber?
You have a few options available to you if you are looking to drive for Uber. The options listed below are all great if you are looking to Uber for a career.
If you are looking to be a weekend warrior, than it’d be way better to look into buying your own vehicle and not doing
Buy a Vehicle
You should be able to buy a used reliable vehicle for under $10,000. While it may seem tempting to get the nicest car you can buy for the money, it’s more important to get a vehicle that is reliable with low maintenance costs.
Do keep in mind that Uber has different car age restrictions for each geographical location that they operate within. You don’t want to finance a vehicle, and then turn around and discover that it has aged out of even being allowed into the Uber ride share program.
Rental Vehicle Partnerships
Both Lyft and Uber have partnered with rental car providers to make sure that you have the option to drive for them even if you don’t have a car, or if your car doesn’t qualify for their program.
Uber in particular has partnered with Hertz to provide vehicles. It’s a great option for people that have vehicles, if you are thinking about driving full time. It starts at $180 a week, but can go down to zero if you cross the 75 ride a week threshold.
Putting that wear and tear on someone else car is a no brainer if you are going to drive full time. If something happens to the car, you can turn it in and keep going. This ads a powerful stability to your life as a driver.
There is a catch though, and that is that you’ll need to add ride share insurance. This means up to a couple hundred extra bucks a month. If you already have a car, it’s like paying double the insurance. If you don’t it still can make a lot of sense.
Also, renting a vehcile negates you from participation in Uber’s instant payment program, as funds are held to insure that the rental is paid.
Uber offers ride share drivers short term lease options on cars that qualify for use in the program. The big advantage of this over a traditional lease is the Xchange offers unlimited miles on these leases, which makes it in your best interest to drive as much as possible.
You only need a $250 dollar deposit to get started. After that you’ll be making payments between $116 and $143 depending on the vehicle that you pic. Again, that’s weekly. You’ll be looking at spending almost $500 a month on these vehicles.
If you plan on making a career out of being an Uber driver than this may be worth it to you. If not, this would be the most expensive lease on an economy car that you’ll ever sign. The value comes from putting heavy mileage on the vehicle.
What cars are available through Uber xChange?
As of Dec, 2017 here is a list of cars available through Uber Xchange:
- Chevrolet- Malibu
- Ford- Focus
- Honda- Fit, Civic, Accord
- Hyundai- Sonata, Elantra
- Nissan- Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Versa
- Toyota- Camry, Prius, Corolla, Yaris
If you wish to be an Uber driver, there’s almost nothing stopping you. If you are looking to do it until you get another job, make sure that you don’t end up doing Xchange, as that requires a three year commitment.
It’s a great way to make extra money. Be safe out there!