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With an endless amount of crazy Lyft and Uber stories coming from both drivers and passengers, rideshare apps have become many professional drivers’ worst nightmare. If you want to take your skills to a classier service — and start earning more in the process — driving for Blacklane may be the best gig for you.
Everyday drivers may be affordable, but consumers know that a good experience can be worth every penny. Berlin-based company Blacklane is making it easier for people around the world to get matched with high-quality drivers like you who know what it means to provide excellent service. For long-distance travelers and business owners with clients to impress, the peace of mind you can provide is exactly what they need.
Keep reading to learn how you can get more requests and earn more money with the trusted Blacklane car service.
- What Is Blacklane?
- How Does Blacklane Work for Drivers?
- Blacklane Chauffeur Requirements
- How to Sign Up to Drive With Blacklane
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Blacklane?
Founded in 2011 by Jens Wohltorf and Frank Steuer, Blacklane is a professional chauffeur service that’s best known for connecting travelers to comfortable airport transfers straight through an app. However, its award-winning ground transportation service can also be booked to take riders to conferences, meetings, and more destinations throughout your city in style.
While Blacklane is comparable to luxury black car services like Uber Black and Lyft Lux Black, Blacklane chauffeurs and their vehicles meet even higher standards to ensure every ride is a first-class experience. The global chauffeur service also offers limo rides in select markets.
Blacklane is currently available on every inhabitable continent — including over 60 countries, 300 cities, and 500 airports — with its most expansive operations in the United States, Germany, Spain, Malaysia, Japan, India, France, and China. You can find out if Blacklane operates in your market by viewing its complete list of cities.
How Does Blacklane Work for Drivers?
When you become a Blacklane driver, you’ll be managing your ride requests through the BL Chauffeur app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play store. Unlike Uber and Lyft, this smartphone app doesn’t require you to accept requests on-demand. Rather, you’ll be able to see pick-up times, as well as pick-up and drop-off locations, ahead of time and only accept the ones that work with your schedule.
When it’s time to pick up a rider, you’ll typically be expected to wait longer than you would with a standard rideshare service. Your riders are often on their way to important places, so every Blacklane ride comes with 15 minutes of complimentary wait time. If your rider is arriving at a harbor, you must wait up to 30 minutes (any more than 15 minutes is paid).
Train station and airport pick-ups come with the highest wait times, with one hour of complimentary wait time from the actual time of arrival, even when delays occur. Airport pick-ups also come with the expectation that you’ll meet your passenger at baggage claim. Luckily, your app has automatic flight tracking, so you know if you need to arrive earlier or later than expected.
While no exact commission rate information is available online, fares are pretty much on par with Uber Black rates and sometimes higher. The difference is, you can view your minimum earnings before you accept a trip. Drivers on online forums also report Blacklane to offer more consistent work, so you won’t be stuck accepting low-paying UberX trips to fill in the gaps.
Blacklane Chauffeur Requirements
Blacklane does have stricter requirements for its independent contractors than typical rideshare services. In order to use Blacklane as a professional driver, you must:
- Be at least 25 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have a valid chauffeur’s license
- Speak conversational English (no matter where you’re located)
- Be certified in first aid
- Pass a criminal background check
- Have at least one year of professional chauffeur experience in your city
- Have a headshot of yourself
- Have excellent driving and service skills, as well as knowledge of your area
Some markets may have additional requirements. For example, many cities in the United States require valid airport permits and a full-body photo of yourself in professional attire.
In addition, you must meet one of the following qualifications:
- Be affiliated with a black car service that’s registered with Blacklane
- Be a registered business (even if you’re a sole proprietor) with commercial insurance and a local operating permit for chauffeur services
Vehicles must also meet higher standards than with most rideshare services. In most cases, your car cannot be more than two or three years old. The following luxury vehicles, ordered by the typical cost of the driver services they qualify for, are frequently recommended across the world:
- Business Class: Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Cadillac XTS
- Business Van: Mercedes V-Class, Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, Toyota Alphard
- Green Class: Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X
- First Class: Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8
Acceptable car models vary by market, depending on demand and available services. Black cars are the standard for almost every city, though some may be lenient in some cases. You can complete steps 1 to 3 of the sign-up process outlined in the next section to confirm which vehicle models and colors are eligible in your city.
All cars are required to be in great condition and smoke-free. You must hold valid proof of registration, vehicle liability insurance, and vehicle maintenance records before you sign up. You may also be required to upload images of your vehicle, including your Transportation Charter Permit (TCP) number and license plate.
How to Sign Up to Drive With Blacklane
As we mentioned before, you can sign up to drive with a company that’s already partnered with Blacklane, which allows you to skip the step of registering your business, getting an operating permit, and investing in commercial insurance. This way, you’ll likely only need the additional chauffeur license and experience to qualify. Once you’re employed by one of these partners, you’ll automatically double as a Blacklane driver.
However, if you’d prefer to operate independently of any company, you can follow these steps to sign up:
- Head to this registration page on Blacklane.com.
- Fill in your first and last name under “Company name.” Then, fill in your email, confirm you speak English, and tap “Next.”
- Select your city and confirm that you have one of the recommended car models in your market. Then, tap “Next.”
- Confirm that you have all required documents, then tap “Next.”
An email will be sent to you with steps to complete the verification process, so you can get started on earning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know what you can expect from the highly professional Blacklane car service, here are our answers to common questions you still may have about the luxury transportation company:
1. Does Blacklane offer support for drivers in case there are any issues with a request?
Yes. Blacklane conveniently offers 24/7 support for drivers. You can call Blacklane through the BL Chauffeur app at any time, and even emergency cancel a ride if you run into any extremely time-sensitive issues.
2. How often do I get paid with Blacklane?
Blacklane chauffeurs are paid once per month, rather than weekly like on most rideshare platforms. You’ll receive these payments directly in your PayPal or bank account. If you prefer direct deposits over PayPal payments, you’ll need to upload a voided check during your verification process.
3. Can riders rate my services on the Blacklane app?
Yes. Just like any other rideshare company, Blacklane allows riders to rate their drivers and share their experiences. They’ll also be able to rate your vehicle, separately from your service quality. This allows Blacklane to make sure that you’re providing the excellent services that their users expect. Blacklane will actually send you frequent updates about your quality, so you know if you’re falling behind their standards before it occurs.
4. Will I be tipped when driving with Blacklane?
Riders are not expected to tip Blacklane chauffeurs, as gratuity is already included in their cost. Always make sure that the minimum earnings listed with a ride request are okay with you, given this fact, before you accept.
Provide the Best Service Possible
When you drive for a high-class car service that reflects your professionalism as a driver, you can expect a better ride experience in exchange for your stellar service. Blacklane is a global chauffeur service that has a great reputation among business travelers and riders who simply want a touch of luxury for important events. When you join the platform, you’re likely to get an immediate upgrade from your standard Uber and Lyft expectations.
If you’re sticking to Uber, but simply want to maximize your earnings, check out our guide to Uber cars that make the most money.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.