Seizing the Gig Economy: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Become an Uber Driver

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Were you aware of how profitable becoming a rideshare driver is?

Uber is one of the most popular ride-sharing services, which makes many people consider working for them. However, you can’t just sign up whenever you want and start making money.

Preparing to work for Uber will require you to look into your state and city’s laws. You must also have a certain vehicle that Uber approves of. There are several more Uber driver requirements that we’ll go over for you.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to become an Uber driver.

Documents and Minimum Requirements

When people get interested in becoming an Uber driver, they often wonder what they need to do to qualify. Fortunately, there aren’t many Uber driver requirements. While some cities and states may have certain regulations, most areas have the same minimum requirements.

Here are some of the minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have one year of driving experience or 3 years if you’re under the age of 23
  • Have a valid US driver’s license
  • Use a four-door vehicle that complies with Uber’s standards

Similar to the minimum requirements, you don’t need many documents to start working with Uber. However, be prepared to present several things that you’d present at any other job.

These are the main documents you need:

  • Valid US driver’s license
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of car insurance and registration
  • Profile picture

When it comes to working for Uber, you won’t need to go through an interview. Instead, they’ll take your Social Security Number (SSN) and look into both your driving record and criminal history. They’ll also use your SSN for tax purposes.

Whenever you move to a new state, you may be required to provide new information. Ensure that you keep your old license and insurance so that you can present them if needed.

Get Car Insurance

Uber driver insurance will be an important investment. Not only will it protect you if you get into an accident, but it will also protect your vehicle. Depending on the plan you choose, you may get coverage for any medical expenses that result from an accident.

Uber provides drivers with insurance, but this is temporary coverage that’s only active when you’re driving with a customer. Whenever you’re disconnected from the app, your own insurance coverages will apply.

There are two different Uber driver insurance policies: one that applies when waiting for customers and ride share auto insurance that applies when transporting customers.

The one that applies when waiting for customers is a driver insurance policy that provides up to $50k in bodily injury per person, $100k in bodily injury per accident, and $25k in property damage per accident. A plan like this is something you’d be required to get for yourself before driving with Uber.

When transporting customers, the insurance policy drastically changes. Instead of offering minimum coverage, it provides liability insurance up to $1 million. It also provides uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage, but the amounts vary by state.

Use an Eligible Vehicle

Fortunately, you don’t need to have a specific vehicle to drive for Uber as they allow a variety of topics. However, every city has unique regulations in which you’ll be informed of after applying to Uber.

In most cases, you’ll be required to have a vehicle that’s no older than 15 years. If you live in an area with a high standard of living, you can expect to be required to have a newer model. You also can’t have a salvaged, reconstructed, or rebuilt title.

All vehicles are required to have four doors and must seat at least 4 passengers, not including the driver. However, you won’t fill up your vehicle often.

Uber has several tiers that customers can choose from to get a vehicle that suits their needs. For example, if a customer wants to have a more premium experience, they can choose Uber Black. Each tier has different vehicle requirements.

Another example is Uber XL. This is a tier that consists of larger vehicles suitable for transporting luggage. These are often used by customers that need to bring a lot with them on a journey, so you wouldn’t be able to use a small sedan.

Buying a Used Car

Although one of the benefits of being an uber driver is being able to drive your own vehicle, many people don’t have an eligible one. If you’re looking to drive for Uber but don’t have a vehicle, you should consider getting a used car.

This is something that many people do because they’re much more affordable than new cars. Aside from that, you can expect to get a lot out of a used vehicle, despite using it a lot. While the car will go through a lot of wear and tear from the car, you’ll earn enough money to maintain it or purchase a new one later.

You may able to find a dealership that offers discounts to Uber drivers, though this will be harder if you’re not in a big city. Before purchasing any vehicle, look into its mileage so you can determine whether it’d be a good fit.

Keep in mind that if you invest in a vehicle that’s qualified for Uber Black, you’ll widen your potential customer pool. Having access to more tiers is something that many people don’t think about when buying a car for Uber.

How Much You Can Expect to Earn

There isn’t a specific amount that you can earn in an hour with Uber, but you can expect to make anywhere between $10-$20, but the exact number varies by city. For example, Seattle just passed a minimum wage law that guarantees Uber drivers $16.39 per hour.

The amount that you earn will also depend on the distance you travel with customers. You can earn a certain amount per minute and mile. However, many drivers have a hard time finding a city with a consistent market. The amount you earn per hour won’t ever be the same.

If you join Uber at the right time, you may be eligible for a bonus. This often happens when a city doesn’t have enough drivers to meet the high demand.

Paying Taxes

Paying taxes as an Uber driver is a simple process. At the end of each year, Uber will provide you with a 1099 form. On this form, you can write off job-related expenses so that you can pay fewer taxes. Because of this, you should log all of your miles and expenses while working with Uber.

When working for Uber, you are considered an independent contractor. You won’t receive the same benefits as someone that’s considered an employee, so you’ll need to work with an account when filing taxes. This will ensure that you aren’t trying to write off things that aren’t job-related.

What Being an Independent Contractor Means

An independent contractor is essentially someone that lends their services to a company. Unlike an employee, you can decide how many hours you’ll work. While you’ll need to comply with Uber’s rules, you’re not forced to do things you don’t want to.

If you accept a ride and see that the customer wants to travel to a city that’s an hour away, you can decline the ride. With this freedom comes the lack of benefits like workers comp, health insurance, and unemployment.

You’ll also be responsible for buying gas, paying for maintenance, and anything else that’s car-related. If a customer damages your vehicle, Uber will cover the costs. Should you decide to work for them, consider installing a camera so that you don’t run into problems when seeking compensation.

Finding a City for Work

Understanding how to become an Uber driver is a simple process, but the harder part is having access to a good city for work. If you’re not located near a large city, you’ll have a difficult time getting consistent rides.

The main thing you’ll want to look for is a city that has a younger population. Think about cities that have colleges. These cities often have more available work because many students don’t drive. If you can’t get to one, don’t expect to make Uber your full-time job.

Now You Know How to Become an Uber Driver

After reading this article, do you think you’re ready to become an Uber driver? Knowing all of the Uber driver requirements will make the process much easier. We encourage anyone that wants to take up a side-gig to consider working with Uber because of how easy it is to get started.

Check out our other articles to learn more about a variety of topics!

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