How to Qualify as an Uber Driver

How to Qualify as an Uber Driver

What Has Made Uber So Popular?

The reasons that millions of riders have switched from taxis to Uber include the following.

  1. 1

    Hail a Ride with an App

    For smartphone users who are already accustomed to ordering products and services through their smartphones, the Uber experience should be familiar. You install the Uber app on your Android, iOS, or Windows phone. You create an account on Uber, including a credit card to which all your rides will be charged. When you need a ride, request it through the Uber app. GPS lets Uber know your location, of course. The following video guide will help you install the app and create an account:

  2. 2

    You Know Your Ride in Advance

    If there is an Uber driver somewhere nearby, the app will inform you about the cost of the ride, who the driver is, the type of car, and how long you’ll have to wait for the car to arrive. When the car arrives, Uber will send you a text message.

  3. 3

    User (and Driver!) Feedback

    Unlike traditional taxi services, Uber’s rating system provides a significant incentive for their drivers to do their best to satisfy their customers. Uber users get to rate their drivers on politeness, safety, and car cleanliness on a scale from 1 to 5, and they can check the current rating of a particular driver. When rating a trip, a user also has the option of tipping his or her driver via the Uber app. Lower-rated drivers will get fewer tips and probably fewer customers. Interestingly, drivers can also rate users on politeness. Rude or hostile users will probably get poorer service from drivers. Really low-rated drivers or users may even be banned from Uber altogether. Thus, there are incentives for both drivers and riders to make the Uber experience pleasant and satisfying.

Video

Vehicle Requirements

To be acceptable for Uber service, your vehicle must be at least a four-door model and be no more than 15 years old (2002 model year or newer). In addition, your vehicle must be in good condition with no significant cosmetic wear and tear, and it should have no commercial or company branding on its exterior or interior.

Why Are Uber Driver Requirements Necessary?

As a result of some low-quality drivers slipping through the cracks and causing incidents for riders, Uber has tightened the reins on who can actually drive passengers around town.

Enter the Uber driver requirements.

Uber puts their driver requirements in place because they help increase the likelihood that drivers possess positive qualities and will ensure that riders have a good ride experience.

To further demonstrate the “why”, take a look at a few hypotheticals:

  • Younger drivers typically get involved in more accidents than older drivers. That’s why you need a longer driving history if you’re under the age of 23.
  • The four-door requirement regarding your vehicle is essential because passengers need easy access when getting into and out of the car.
  • You need a relatively late model vehicle so that it doesn’t break down as often as older cars do.

In essence, Uber driver requirements are necessary to ensure you’re a safe driver and help passengers enjoy quality ride experiences.

Related: Is Uber safe?

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?

Hourly rates vary, depending on the city where you are driving and the demand at that given time. Gridwise claims that hourly earnings can range anywhere from $5 to $25, on average, with its report showing New York City drivers making the most and El Paso, Texas, drivers making the least.

Ways to boost earnings include fuel efficiency and making yourself available when there are not enough drivers to meet demand. You also may want to consider short trips, which provide you with minimum pricing; signing up for promotions, such as making a certain number of trips per day or week; and being nice to riders to get tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Three common questions asked about Uber driver requirements include:

Do Uber Drivers Pay for Background Checks? No, you don’t need to pay money for the Uber background check. It’s completely free. Uber pays Checkr to perform each check, and nothing comes out of the driver’s pocket. Can Felons Drive for Uber? While Uber maintains that felons won’t make it past the background check, you should personally try. If you have a felony in your past and want to drive for Uber, then it can’t hurt to apply and see what happens. It’s possible that the company may show leniency depending on felony type and how many years have passed since the conviction. Can You Drive for Uber with a DUI on Your Record? Typically, you won’t pass the background check if you have a “Driving While Intoxicated” conviction that occurred less than seven years ago. The time frame can change based on the state you live in. For example, drivers in Los Angeles, California can’t drive for Uber unless a DUI occurred more than ten years ago. Other cities like New York City or San Francisco may have different regulations. Keep in mind that Uber continues to monitor your driving history. If you get arrested for a DUI or significant driving violations while driving for Uber, then it’s likely that you’ll become a red flag in the Uber system. You’ll get dropped from the app and will lose your ability to earn income with Uber.

How Much Money Will You Make?

Depending on where in the country they drive, most drivers can make anywhere from $5 to $26 per hour before accounting for expenses such as gas, tax, and car maintenance. Uber sometimes offers cash bonuses for new drivers, too. For example, the company has been known to offer up to $500 to Lyft drivers to join.

There are other ways to maximize your earnings while driving for Uber, including:

  • Driving a hybrid vehicle, which should save you money on gas
  • Driving during a surge, which is when Uber charges riders peak pricing due to the lack of available drivers in a certain area at a certain time or for rides in a populated city
  • Making food deliveries with the Uber Eats app

“There’s plenty of earning opportunity as an Uber driver, but you can’t just flip on the app and expect to make a ton of money,” notes Harry Campbell, owner and founder of TheRideShareGuy.com. “You have to be willing to try new places, new times, and basically, go above and beyond what other drivers are doing.”

How to Be a More Successful Uber Driver

Tips for Successful Uber Driving

  • Manage your earnings and expenses.
  • Stand out positively.
  • Keep up with the latest news in your profession.
  • Consider new pay options (such as guaranteed pay).

So far, we’ve looked at how to become an Uber driver and how to get your first riders. But how can you become truly successful at this job? Let’s see.

  1. 1

    Manage Your Business

    As an independent contractor, you effectively have a business that you must manage. You must track your own working hours, earnings, and expenses – Uber doesn’t do any of that for you.

    As explained earlier, you are responsible for paying your own income taxes and self-employment tax, so you must track all your earnings and expenses and compute your tax deductions from your expenses. (This includes keeping track of every Uber-related mile that you drive.) Fortunately, there are useful smartphone apps and PC applications for such purposes. Or you can just create some spreadsheets. There are spreadsheet templates available to track hours worked, earnings, etc.

    If you’ve never been an independent contractor before, you may be surprised at how long and complicated your tax return can get. You can’t be earning money as an Uber driver while you’re trying to fill out your tax returns by hand. Instead, consider using good tax-preparation software (such as TurboTax) to speed up the process of filing your tax returns.

    You can get a tax-preparation software at any Walmart or online (Mike Mozart)

  2. 2

    Stand Out from the Crowd

    You’re competing with your fellow Uber drivers for passengers, tips, and high ratings. You want to show prospective passengers that you’re the best.

    How highly you’ll be rated by your passengers will partly depend on what they’ll think of you personally. Certainly, you’ll need to be friendly, courteous, helpful, and outgoing, someone who can make a stranger feel comfortable in your vehicle.

    Also, do something that helps you stand out positively from other Uber drivers. Provide your passengers some extra simple amenities (such as smartphone or tablet chargers, facial tissues, or breath mints) to make them feel more comfortable. Such little touches can mean the difference between receiving a four- or a five- star rating or the difference between a generous tip or no tip. Of course, the purchase of such simple amenities for your customers is tax-deductible too.

    Impeccably clean interior, nice odor and your smile will usually help you get better ratings

  3. 3

    Keep Up with the Times

    Uber has made a name for itself as a company that tries to stay at the forefront of technology. To fend off restrictive regulations, legislation, or judicial rulings, Uber also tries to respond to various concerns of the communities in which it operates. As a result, there will often be changes to Uber’s operations that you’ll need to be aware of, especially those that may affect your pay.

    For instance, in some cases, you may be eligible for Uber’s hourly guarantee. Uber may guarantee to pay you a particular hourly rate as long as you meet certain qualifications such as how many trips you accept and how many trips you perform per hour. To decide whether guaranteed pay is worth it, you need to do a good job of tracking your earnings without it.

    For the longer term, you should familiarize yourself with advances in autonomous (self-driving) vehicles and the extent to which Uber will take advantage of this technology. Uber management has stated their intention to move away from human drivers toward autonomous vehicles, dramatically reducing the cost of a ride. Uber has already performed some preliminary experiments with autonomous vehicles. Here you can see their experiments in Pittsburg:

    Should that technology prove highly successful for Uber, the employment prospects for Uber driving (and indeed for all ridesharing companies) will be diminished.

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