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Uber is one of the most well-established and popular platforms that gig economy workers can use to earn an income. The company was founded in 2009 and currently provides ridesharing services in over 900 cities worldwide. Becoming an Uber driver is one of the most flexible ways to earn extra cash either as a full-time job or a part-time side hustle. All you need to get started is an insured car.
- High earnings potential – Uber estimates that drivers can earn up to $1034 per week (including $90 in tips) driving for around 50 hours per week.
- Instant payment – Uber enables drivers to cash out up to 5 times every day ($0.50 fee each time, no fee with Uber Visa debit card from GoBank).
- Earn more with surge pricing – Uber fares automatically increase during periods of high demand, such as 7am-8am/6pm-9pm so you can earn more.
- Earn more with tips – although tipping is optional and not all riders will tip, you do get to keep 100% of all tips that you get from riders.
- Prior driving experience required – you must have at least 1 year of driving experience to become an Uber driver (3 years if you are under 23).
- Lengthy approval process – registration can take up to 10 days before you can start earning, and includes background checks and verification.
How to Become an Uber Driver? A Step-by-step Guide
Step 1: Complete the Online Application
First, complete an online application through the Uber website. On this page, you can choose the option, “I have a car” or “I need a car,” and provide the following information:
- Your full name
- Phone number
- City you’ll drive in
Then, click on the “Sign Up to Drive” button. From there, you can choose which type of Uber driver service you want to offer: rides, delivery, or both.
After creating your account, you’ll see the page where you’ll complete your online application. At this point, you’ll need to provide information about yourself and your vehicle.
Uber can tell which vehicle to get if you still need a car, as requirements differ depending on the region. It can also help you get a vehicle that fits your needs and budget.
Step 2: Share Required Documents
There are documents that you need to submit before you can start driving for Uber. These include your license, registration, and insurance copies.
After uploading your documents, Uber might take 48 hours to review and verify your documents.
Step 3: Consent to a Background Screening
As part of the hiring process, you’ll need to provide additional information for background screening, such as your Social Security Number. Specifically, Uber will look at your driving record and criminal history.
Suppose you have just transferred from another state. In this case, you’ll need to submit supplemental information, such as your old driver’s license and insurance. Uber will use these to verify your driving history further.
Step 4: Get Approved
After completing your application requirements, what’s left for you to do is wait for Uber’s approval.
Uber typically takes up to seven business days to process an application. You’ll receive a notification about your account activation through text and email. In case the approval takes longer than expected, you can sign in to your account at partners.uber.com.
Check if any application steps are remaining and if there are any rejected documents. In the case of the latter, you can just upload those documents again.
Step 5: Get the App and Start Making Money
Once Uber approves your application and activates your account, you can download the Uber Driver app on your smartphone.
The Uber app allows you to:
- Get alerts for the busy areas
- Choose the best locations to get passengers
- Track your earnings
- Check hourly trends
- Set your preferences
- View promotions
- Receive updates on upcoming events, app features, and earning opportunities
- Contact support
To start earning money, here’s how you can use the Uber Driver app:
- Open the app and tap on Go to go online.
- Your phone will notify you once a request in your area comes in. Make sure to swipe to accept.
- Follow the turn-by-turn directions on your app to locate your customer and take them to their destination.
- Complete a trip and check your earnings right after.
- Rate and leave your feedback using the app.
How Much Can You Make With Uber?
With Uber, you can earn around $10 to $20 per hour after deducting gas and vehicle maintenance costs. If you’re a new driver, you might also receive cash incentives.
Besides that, you can increase your earnings through the following:
- Drive a hybrid vehicle and save up to $200 per month on gas
- Drive during a surge, when Uber charges peak pricing to their riders
- In-app promotions such as completing a set number of trips in a certain period earn you a reward
- Deliver food via Uber eats
- Receive tips directly in the app
Your earnings automatically go to your bank account every week. Additionally, you can cash out up to five times a day through Instant Pay.
What Are Uber Requirements?
Uber has a few driver and vehicle requirements that ensure you’re fully qualified to drive.
Uber Driver Requirements
To become an Uber driver, you’ll need to meet the following minimum qualifications:
List of driver requirements:
- Be at least minimum age allowed to drive in your city
- Have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the US, or three years if you’re not over 23 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Use an Uber-approved four-door vehicle
Once you meet the qualifications, you can prepare these documents for your online application:
- A valid U.S. driver’s license
- Proof of residency
- Proof of car insurance and registration
- Your profile photo, different from your driver’s license photo
Uber Vehicle Requirements
The vehicle requirements significantly depend on your chosen city, and Uber will notify you of these requirements after signing up. Generally, your car must not be older than 15 years old. However, driving in busier or more sociable cities require more recent models.
Additionally, your car must be a four-door sedan, with four or more available seats, excluding the driver. Furthermore, your car must not be rebuilt, reconstructed, or salvaged. A painted taxi is also not acceptable.
If you have other types of vehicles, you might want to check different Uber tiers, such as the Uber Black and Uber XL. Here are some qualifications for these tiers:
- A luxury-class vehicle
- Six years old or newer
- At least six factory-installed seats
- Working windows and air-conditioning
- Not a van, truck, or something similar
5 Pro Tips for Uber Drivers
Driving for Uber means you can either work full-time or earn extra during your free hours. Here are some tips to help you maximize your Uber income:
Master the App
The Uber Driver app has plenty of features to deliver your services. Knowing and getting more comfortable in using the app can help you take advantage of these features. Ultimately, you can better reach your riders, provide excellent service and monitor your performance for improvement.
Learn More About Your Area
As a driver, it’s crucial to know the city you’re driving in like the back of your hand. This can save you a lot of time and provide a smooth driving experience.
More importantly, knowing the city well can get you in your riders’ good graces.
Practice Time Management
Although you can drive with Uber at any time you want, you can earn more in specific time frames. By managing your time, you can drive during peak hours and the busiest times of the day. You’ll also have more time to pick up requests, even outside surge hours.
Go the Extra Mile
Sure, your riders will only spend a couple of minutes in your car. Yet, you have to give it your best shot if you want to make those few minutes memorable for them. And do so in a positive way.
Keeping your car clean is an excellent start to impressing your riders. It also won’t hurt to engage in pleasant chats with your rider if they initiate it. After all, these simple steps can earn you a five-star rating.
Use Phone Accessories
Since your smartphone plays a crucial part in your Uber driving gig, make sure you can use this all the time. Have a separate phone charger that you will use exclusively in your car. Also, use a phone mount to keep your hands on the wheel.
If you’re looking for an additional way to earn money by driving, you might as well review some of the best Uber alternatives.
|Uber||$15 – $30+ per hour (varies by state)|
|Lyft||$20 – $28 per hour|
|Via||$15 – $20 per hour|
|Instacart||$7 – $10 per order|
Uber vs. Lyft
Like Uber, Lyft offers ridesharing services and is available in many locations. The two services are also similar to each other in terms of driver promotions and marketing strategies. However, Uber offers more vehicle options. This is not only advantageous to riders but drivers as well. It means that you have a better chance of driving Uber because they have a more inclusive selection of eligible car models.
Additionally, Uber orients its drivers to be more professional and concise, ideal for business-related travels. Every day with Uber, you’ll learn and practice how to dress well and communicate professionally with your riders.
Uber vs. Via
Sites like Uber and Via provide riders heading in the same direction to share a ride and save transport costs. But, Via offers only that option to their riders. As a driver for Via, your work mainly involves picking up several passengers along a route. This means that to have more passengers, you would need a bigger car. While more passengers give better earnings, you would have to pay for more gas and possibly, car payments.
Additionally, Uber gives you 100% of their tips. Unlike Via, where it does not support tipping.
Uber vs. Instacart
Instacart seems related to Uber since both platforms let you earn money by driving. However, the two significantly differ in what they deliver. While with Uber you’re helping people transport from one place to another, with Instacart, you’d be delivering groceries to your customers’ doorsteps.
Uber also offers a more similar platform to Instacart – Uber Eats. As an Uber Eats Driver, you’ll be delivering food orders to your customers from various restaurants.