Disclosure: Ridester.com is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Please refer to our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
When you want to earn more money as a driver or experience luxury as a rider, a basic UberX ride isn’t going to do the trick — and even Uber Black rides can be hit or miss, too. The only ride that’s bound to impress is the one that’s built for professionalism, reliability, and everything high-class: GroundLink.
Although plenty of modern rideshare apps now have operations in the luxury space, dedicated black car services are still trusted to provide unmatched customer service from beginning to end. GroundLink in particular is preferred by thousands of leisure travelers and business travelers, as well as businesses seeking to impress clients, for its consistent service throughout the world. For professional drivers, this makes GroundLink a great opportunity to equally consistent high earnings.
This article will walk you through what GroundLink is, how it works for riders and drivers, and how you can sign up to ride or earn.
- What Is GroundLink?
- How Does GroundLink Work for Riders?
- How Does GroundLink Work for Drivers?
- GroundLink Driver Requirements
- How to Sign Up for GroundLink
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is GroundLink?
Founded in 2003, over five years before Uber came about, GroundLink is a ground transportation service that connects riders to professional drivers of black cars, limos, and even buses around the world.
As Uber and Lyft continue to face criticism on a wide variety of subjects, from driver pay to poor service, GroundLink differentiates itself by offering:
- A high average job value for drivers, made possible by targeting luxury and corporate clients only
- Reliable customer service and driver support, available 24/7
- Flexible booking options, allowing you to book rides via GroundLink’s app, website, or phone number.
- Top-notch drivers and vehicles, which meet stricter than average requirements for safety and reliability
GroundLink is currently available in 460 global cities, including most major cities in the United States.
How Does GroundLink Work for Riders?
Despite serving a niche as a professional black car service, GroundLink actually offers a considerable amount of customization for its rides.
Point-to-point trips — which allow for multiple stops — are the most common type of requests, but riders also have the option to book a GroundLink car by the hour or for a round trip. Most trips are scheduled in advance, but an increasing amount of cities are getting access to GroundLink’s new on-demand Ride Now service.
- Economy: Basic black sedans for up to three passengers and three bags (ex: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord)
- Standard: Comfortable luxury cars for up to three passengers and three bags (ex: Lincoln MKT, Chrysler 300)
- Premium: Top-tier luxury sedans for up to three passengers and three bags (ex: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series)
- Van: Group-friendly luxury vans for up to 10 passengers and 10 bags (ex: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter)
In addition to these primary black car services, GroundLink also facilitates bookings of limos, as well as high-end minibuses and motor coaches, for large groups. However, these services can only be booked via phone call at 1-855-747-6863.
GroundLink includes an on-time guarantee with every trip, so you’ll get your next ride free (up to $75) if your driver is any more than five minutes late. GroundLink rates are based on your city, estimated distance to be traveled, and current demand.
How Does GroundLink Work for Drivers?
To receive requests, GroundLink drivers set their availability the day before they want to drive within the DriveAnywhere app. Then, GroundLink’s unique auto dispatch technology will send you trips to complete throughout your scheduled driving time, based on your current location and the amount of time you’ve been waiting. The platform is also unique compared to most rideshare platforms because it prioritizes drivers who accept a higher percentage of rides and maintain higher ratings.
If you’re located in a major city, you may also receive Ride Now requests, which require you to accept within 45 seconds and immediately head toward the pick-up location.
Much like the Uber app, the DriveAnywhere app contains a heat map that encourages drivers to go toward areas of high demand and can help you increase your earnings. All GroundLink drivers receive a 75% commission, which is on par with Uber rates, just with consistently higher fares.
GroundLink Driver Requirements
GroundLink’s driver requirements aren’t fully listed online — for example, it’s unknown upon the initial sign-up if there are any age requirements . But the company does offer a sizable list of vehicle and document requirements online. Black car drivers must:
- Own an eligible black vehicle with a black interior that’s no more than five years old
- Have a valid driver’s license, plus a public vehicle license or chauffeur’s license in select cities
- Have an active car insurance policy and add GroundLink to their plan
- Have a Social Security number or an Employer Identification Number in the U.S.
- Pass a background check
- Provide a headshot for their driver profile
- Provide a copy of voided check or a completed direct deposit form
It should be noted that requirements vary extremely widely from city to city. For example:
- NYC drivers must have a TLC (Hack) license, as well as a TLC permit or inspection report
- Drivers in Chicago, Boston, and many other U.S. cities are required to be corporations
- Dallas drivers must have a City of Dallas driver and vehicle permit (with a sticker on the windshield), plus a DFW airport permit
Drivers are expected to watch an online training video, after which they can schedule optional further training with their dedicated Driver Success Manager or simply stop by the New York office.
The best way to determine your exact local requirements is by continuing into the next section and following the driver sign-up process to get further information.
How to Sign Up for GroundLink
If you think GroundLink can be the perfect service for your transportation or earning expectations, you’re ready to sign up for free. Below, we’ll walk you through the simple process for riders and drivers.
To sign up as a GroundLink rider, head to this registration page on GroundLink.com. For the fastest possible sign-up, you can simply tap “Register with Facebook” or “Register with Google” to connect your accounts. Otherwise, you can fill in the form with your first name, last name, email, phone number, and preferred password, then tap “Submit Registration.”
You should receive confirmation via email and be able to sign in through the GroundLink app shortly.
If you’re a business owner seeking a corporate solution, you can fill and submit the form at the top of this business accounts page to learn more. Corporate clients are required to speak to GroundLink representatives to set up their accounts, since businesses receive a dedicated booking management platform to track their company-wide usage.
To sign up as a professional driver, you’ll want to head to Groundlink’s driver homepage instead. Then, fill in the form at the top of the screen with your first name, last name, email, phone number, and preferred password and tap “Submit.” You’ll automatically be redirected to a document upload page, specific to your city. Upload them as requested and the GroundLink team will review them as soon as possible.
GroundLink does strangely only have less than 10 cities (all in the United States) listed when you try to sign up, so if you’re located in any of the company’s hundreds of other markets, you’ll likely need to reach out at email@example.com or (888) 546-6715.
If you’re a fleet owner who wants to get requests through GroundLink, you’ll want to fill in the form on the company’s affiliate network page instead to become a partnered car service operator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you’re all caught up on how to take advantage of GroundLink as a rider or driver, here are answers to frequently asked questions you may have:
1. What airports does GroundLink operate at?
GroundLink operates at over 550 airports around the world, including major airports like DFW in Dallas, JFK in New York, and LAX in Los Angeles. You can get a complete list on GroundLink’s airport transportation page.
When booking an airport transfer, the GroundLink app includes an automatic flight tracker tool so pick-ups can occur at the right time.
2. Will I be able to contact my rider or driver to help coordinate a pick-up?
In most cases, yes. As a rider, you’ll receive an SMS notification that includes your driver’s phone number as soon as they’re on their way. As a driver, you can call your rider through the DriveAnywhere app. However, this is granted that the rider provides their phone number, which is optional when requesting a ride.
3. Are riders expected to tip drivers when requesting a GroundLink ride?
In the U.S., gratuity will be automatically included in riders’ final bill, so there’s no need to tip separately or in cash. Because of this, GroundLink drivers in the United States can expect a consistent 15% tip for every ride. Outside of the U.S., independent drivers or fleet companies determine their own tipping rates.
Ride in Luxury
Whether you’re a professional driver or a customer with high expectations, you’ll get the experience you expect with GroundLink. This black car service platform is a global leader in offering reliable luxury rides and you have the opportunity to benefit directly from it. With this guide, your sign-up process should be straightforward, so you’ll be booking rides or accepting trips in no time.
If you want to drive for a luxury service that doesn’t come stacked with as many requirements, but still want to avoid Uber, Lyft may offer what you’re looking for. Find out if your vehicle qualifies to be a Lyft Premier car (now known as Lyft Lux cars).
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.