Driving for Uber is one thing, but the job is much different for an Uber Black driver.
It’s Uber’s luxury line of ridesharing, which means you can make more money per trip.
But there are higher standards for Uber Black.
If you want to step up your side hustle, read on to see how you can become an Uber Black driver.
Table Of Contents
What Is Uber Black?
Uber Black is the ridesharing company’s upscale option
When passengers book through Uber Black, they get a sleek black vehicle that offers more comforts than standard Uber cars.
The Uber Black drivers must meet a higher standard to give passengers a five-star experience with each ride.
People book Uber Black to look professional for business meetings.
They also use Uber Black for fancy nights out on the town.
Getting out of an Uber Black at an event makes it look like you have a personal chauffeur with an excellent vehicle, so people pay more for the privilege.
How Does Uber Black Work?
Uber Black is a premium rideshare option that users book when they want to show up in style or have the most comfortable trip.
Uber Black drivers often help with doors and luggage.
Passengers can choose the conversation level and the music volume.
Uber Black passengers can control the vehicle’s temperature as well.
Uber Black is the chance to get a professional, luxury ride without needing to book a chauffeur through a large corporation.
Uber Black drivers are independent contractors, like any other Uber driver, but they take their service above and beyond the standard.
What’s the difference between Uber Black and UberX?
Uber Black and Uber X are at opposite ends of the ridesharing spectrum.
UberX is the standard option for people who want an affordable ride.
They need to get to their destination and aren’t concerned with luxury.
On the other hand, Uber Black is for riders who want to arrive in style.
They’ll show up in a sleek black vehicle.
They can customize the ride to have the perfect temperature and conversation level, ensuring a comfortable trip.
But they’re paying for this level of luxury, so it’s not a cheap option.
How To Be an Uber Black Driver
Uber Black gives passengers an exclusive experience, but that prestige also transfers to the drivers.
Therefore, you have to meet specific requirements to qualify.
Uber also limits the number of Uber Black drivers in any market, so even if you check all the boxes, you still might not get accepted.
Uber Black Driving Requirements
To drive for UberX, you must first meet the basic Uber driver requirements.
That includes having a valid license, car insurance, a vehicle inspection, and a background check.
But Uber Black also requires a commercial registration for your vehicle.
The documents required for a commercial livery vehicle vary from state to state.
You need commercial car insurance and personal coverage since you’re working as a professional compared to UberX drivers.
Hitting these commercial benchmarks requires paperwork and additional expenses, which takes effort on the front end.
But it’ll all be worth it when you’re making more per trip with Uber Black.
Once you start driving for Uber Black, you must maintain a 4.85 rating.
The app averages the ratings of your last 500 trips.
If you fall below, you have 50 rides to raise the score before Uber reassesses your standing.
Drivers who increase their rating can drive for Uber Black again.
Uber Black Vehicle Requirements
In addition to specific driver requirements, Uber Black also has vehicle requirements.
As the name implies, vehicles for Uber Black must have black exteriors and interiors.
In addition, they can’t be older than six years and must be in excellent condition.
The general requirements for Uber vehicles apply to Uber Black as well.
You need to have working seat belts for each passenger and four doors they can open independently.
However, as an Uber Black driver, you can go above and beyond by getting out and opening the door for passengers.
It’s not necessary, but it improves their experience and can result in you receiving a great rating.
With Uber Black, passengers can’t sit in the front seat.
This rule ensures riders get the chauffeur experience they’re paying for.
So when accepting rides, remember that you have one less seat than usual, even with an Uber Black SUV.
Beyond vehicle make, model, and year, you need to keep it clean.
Uber Black vehicles can’t have dents, paint scratches, or bumper stickers.
It needs to give the impression of an upscale, professional vehicle.
Ideally, you should clean the interior and have it smell great for passengers to impact your rating positively.
You could rent from an Uber Black fleet owner if you don’t have your own black luxury vehicle.
These people own cars that fit Uber’s requirements and lease them to you.
It’s almost like working as a hired driver for a company, except you get to keep all the money beyond the rental fee.
What’s the Best Car To Drive for Uber Black?
Uber might have specific requirements for your city, which you can double-check online.
Otherwise, the following vehicles are ideal options:
- Audi A8l
- BMW 7 Series
- Cadillac Escalade
- Cadillac Platinum
- Jaguar Portfolio
- Lexus LS
- Lincoln Continental
From the sample list, you can see that Uber Black cars are luxury vehicles.
Depending on your preference and driving comfort, you can choose a sedan or black SUV.
How Much Do Uber Black Drivers Make?
Passengers pay twice as much—or more—for Uber Black rides compared to UberX, so it’s not surprising that drivers make more, too.
But how much of that fare finds its way into your bank account?
When you take the base wage and tips into consideration, you’ll see that you make more driving for Uber Black than UberX or Uber XL.
But you most likely pay more for gas and vehicle upkeep, so the profit might not be as large as you think.
There’s also less demand for Uber Black in many markets, so you’re not getting constant work.
The base wage for Uber Black drivers is almost three times as much as UberX drivers.
In major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, an UberX driver earns about $0.80 per mile or $0.28 per minute.
The minimum fare is $6.50.
In contrast, UberBlack drivers earn $2.90 per mile or $0.71 per minute.
The minimum fare is $15.75.
You can often see the upfront payout when you accept a trip.
This screen includes any surge pricing and the estimated timing.
If the trip goes longer, you’ll get an updated payout after completion.
Since Uber Black is more expensive and offers more customization and luxury than UberX, the tips are usually higher.
Passengers book an Uber Black knowing they’ll pay more for the ride, so they’re prepared to tip accordingly.
With UberX, on the other hand, you might get stiffed on the tip because the passenger just needed quick transportation.
Like other Uber services, Uber Black drivers keep 100% of all tips.
So you won’t know what you’re getting when you accept a ride, but you don’t have to pay fees on any of the tips.
Is It Worth It To Drive for Uber Black?
Uber drivers have the flexibility to make their own hours and work whenever they have the opportunity.
Uber Black also allows this freedom, even though there are more requirements to meet regarding your driving and the vehicle itself.
So is it worth jumping through these hoops to drive for Uber Black?
Pros of Driving for Uber Black
Uber Black drivers make more per trip because you’re providing a luxurious ride for passengers.
Customers booking Uber Black are more likely to leave a tip at the end of the ride.
You can rent an appropriate vehicle through a fleet owner if you don’t own one personally.
You can accept standard UberX fares in between Uber Black bookings.
Keep in mind that you’ll get paid the UberX rate, though.
Cons Pros of Driving for Uber Black
You need to have commercial registration and commercial insurance for your car.
Depending on your location, this requires additional paperwork and more expenses.
Your car must have a black exterior and interior.
If you don’t already own this type of vehicle, renting a qualifying car can be a significant expense.
Vehicles can’t have dents, scratches, or stickers.
Keeping your car in pristine condition can be challenging when you’re driving around all day for work.
You’ll also have to put more effort into keeping it clean.
You need to keep your rating at 4.85 or above—Uber factors in your 500 most recent trips, which gives you a lot to pull from.
But customers leaving a bad rating can severely impact your standing.
Uber limits the number of Uber Black drivers in each market.
That could mean you prepare your documents and then find out they’re not accepting new Uber Black drivers.
Always check with Uber before taking these steps!
Conclusion: Is Driving for Uber Black Worth It?
Driving for Uber Black is worth the extra work on the front end because you’ll make much more per trip.
In addition, you can pick up traditional Uber fares between rides, so you’re increasing your earning potential by driving for Uber Black as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve learned a lot about the requirements for Uber Black drivers, as well as how much you might make.
If you need more information, check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Do you need a CDL to drive for Uber Black?
The short answer is no; you don’t need a CDL to drive for Uber Black.
That class of license usually refers to large-capacity vehicles, like semi-trucks or passenger buses.
With Uber Black, you’re transporting a few passengers, so there’s no need for a special license.
The longer answer is that some cities or states have special license requirements.
So it’s worth looking into your local guidelines before taking steps to drive for Uber Black.
Do Uber Black cars have to be black?
Yes, all vehicles eligible for Uber Black have to have black exteriors and interiors.
They also need to be in excellent condition so the passenger feels like they’re getting a luxurious ride.
There are more requirements for an Uber Black driver regarding registration, insurance, and vehicle guidelines.
But the payoff comes in making two to three times more than an Uber driver.
Consider stepping up your game and applying as an Uber Black driver in your market.
Leave a comment sharing your Uber experiences!