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Uber Black Driver Requirements, Income & Ratings

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Key Takeaways

  • Uber Black is a premium service offering luxury rides, requiring drivers to meet specific criteria.
  • Drivers can earn a minimum of $15.75 per trip, with earnings influenced by location and demand.
  • Driver requirements include a minimum age, clean driving record, and maintaining a 4.85 rating or higher.
  • Vehicle requirements for Uber Black include a recent model year, black exterior and interior, and no cosmetic damage.

What Is Uber Black?

Uber Black is the ride-hailing app’s premium service. It caters to passengers who want to travel lavishly in a luxury sedan or SUV. As is the case with other services on the Uber platform, the difference comes down to the number of passengers.

Uber Black customers are willing to pay higher fares to ride comfortably to and from their destinations. Trips typically involve business meetings, but some customers may use the service for personal reasons, such as convenience, date nights, and other special events.

Uber Black hires professional drivers who meet the service’s criteria, ensuring that they deliver a five-star experience to the company’s customers.

Related: What to expect while driving with Uber

What Sets Uber Black Apart From a Standard Uber Ride?

This level of customization and luxury sets Uber Black apart from UberX, Uber’s standard service, which is more focused on affordability and basic transportation needs without the added luxury features.

Uber Black drivers, while independent contractors like other Uber drivers, go above and beyond standard services, offering a professional and luxury experience akin to having a personal chauffeur.

This makes Uber Black a unique option for those willing to pay more for comfort, style, and a personalized riding experience.

How Much Can You Earn as an Uber Black Driver?

Uber Black drivers typically earn more money than their counterparts. You can expect a $15.75 minimum fare per trip and higher tips than people who drive for Uber’s standard services.

The factors that determine your earnings are manifold. Trip locations (the city you operate in), distance, and demand for the service play a role.

Uber Black Driver and Car Requirements

Uber Black’s requirements fall into two categories: driver requirements and vehicle requirements.

Driver Requirements

All Uber drivers, regardless of whether they’re Uber Black or UberX, must meet the following criteria:

  • Age Requirement: Uber drivers must be of the minimum age their city imposes for drivers. Depending on the city, the minimum could be 18 (Seattle, Denver, and Chicago) or 21 years of age.
  • Licensing Requirement: Before driving for the platform, you’ll need an in-state license.
  • Experience Requirement: The Uber app requires US-based drivers to have a year of driving experience. Drivers who are younger than 25 years old need to have driven for three years minimum.
  • Driving Record Requirement: You’ll also need a clean driving history. Uber will subject you to a background check to verify it, as well as your criminal record.

Additionally, if it’s your first time registering on the platform, you’ll need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid driver’s license.
  • Proof that you’re a resident of the state, city, or province you plan to drive in.
  • Personal auto insurance or commercial auto insurance, depending on whether or not you own the car you’re driving. To learn more, read about Uber’s insurance policies.
  • A profile picture or identification purposes.

Finally, you’ll need to maintain a 4.85 rating or higher to drive for Uber Black. This last requirement is specific to Uber Black drivers. It’s significant because Uber bases your star ratings on your most recent 500 trips.

This requirement implies that you need to have a well-worn Uber account to qualify for Uber Black. If you haven’t driven on the platform for a substantial period and maintained a high rating, you can’t become an Uber Black driver.

Uber Black Vehicle Requirements

If you’d like to drive for Uber Black, your vehicle must meet a few criteria.

  • Its model year must be no older than 6 years ago.
  • It must have a black exterior and interior.
  • Its interior must be in either black or vegan leather.
  • Its air conditioner and windows must work.
  • Its exterior mustn’t have visible stains or cosmetic damage.
  • Its interior mustn’t have missing pieces. Broken door handles, for example.
  • It must seat four, or six in the case of an SUV, passengers.
  • It mustn’t have commercial branding on it.
  • It must undergo a vehicle emissions inspection at an NYS DMV inspection facility.
  • It must have TLC plates.

Due to the emphasis Uber’s elevated service places on luxury, the above vehicle requirements are understandably stringent.

An important distinction for Uber Black vehicles is that passengers are not allowed to sit in the front seat, reinforcing the chauffeur-like experience.

Drivers need to remember this when accepting rides, especially in the case of Uber Black SUVs.

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.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I don’t suggest going out and buying a car with the intention of driving it for Uber Black.

One option is to rent a car to drive with Uber, but these can get very expensive, very quickly. The cost of a rental for this type of car can easily reach thousands of dollars per month.

On the contrary, renting a vehicle is a good way to try out being an Uber Black driver before committing to doing so full-time.

Companies like HyreCar or Turo will rent you a vehicle on a short-term contract, sometimes even just days at a time.

How to Become an Uber Black Driver in Three Steps

Here’s a three-step process you can follow to become an Uber Black driver.

Step 1: Create an Uber Account

The first step to becoming an Uber Black driver is joining the platform. Move on to step two if you already drive for Uber.

Download the Uber Driver app on Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

Next, sign up for an account. You can use an existing Google, Apple, or Facebook account to complete the process. Otherwise, enter your email address or phone number in the field provided and tap the “Continue” button.

Once you’ve signed up, follow the prompts to provide your information and the necessary documents. You’ll also have to agree to Uber’s terms and conditions.

Please note that you’ll need to meet the qualification criteria to complete this step.

Step 2: Maintain a 4.85-Star Rating

You need to maintain a 4.85-star to qualify for Uber Black. That’s your goal for this step. Uber provides a guide on its website with tips to help you maintain a high rating.

To summarize, give your passengers a pleasant trip, and they’ll reward your efforts. According to Uber, a pleasant experience from the customer’s point of view entails keeping your vehicle clean, being polite and helpful, and obeying traffic laws.

Step 3: Create an Uber Black Account

After fulfilling the requirements for step two, book an in-person appointment with the Uber Greenlight Hub.

At your appointment, express your desire to become an Uber Black driver. The personnel will check your account to see whether you’ve met Uber Black’s qualification criteria and proceed to open your account.

You have two choices when opening your Uber Black account. Either convert your existing account or open a separate one. Choosing the former option doesn’t preclude you from driving for other Uber services, like UberX. The latter option requires separate details—email and phone number—and a fresh background check.

Also, you’ll need to procure an Uber Black-compatible vehicle. You have several options, including renting one weekly or buying a commercial vehicle. The latter scenario may require that you register a limited liability company (LLC).

With an Uber Black account and a service-compatible vehicle, you’re ready to start making money as an Uber Black driver.

Is It Worth It To Drive for Uber Black?

Deciding whether to drive for Uber Black depends on various factors. The primary advantage is the potential for higher earnings per trip due to the luxury service offered.

Additionally, Uber Black customers are more inclined to tip. If you don’t own a suitable vehicle, you can rent one, and you can also accept standard UberX fares to fill in gaps.

However, driving for Uber Black has its drawbacks. It requires commercial registration and insurance, which can be costly and involve more paperwork.

Your vehicle must be black inside and out, free of dents, scratches, or stickers, and maintaining such a pristine condition can be challenging and time-consuming.

Additionally, a high rating of 4.85 or above is mandatory, and your standing can be significantly impacted by a few bad ratings.

There’s also a limited number of Uber Black drivers allowed in each market, so availability can be an issue.

Ultimately, the decision hinges on whether the increased earnings and tips outweigh the additional expenses and efforts required to maintain the standards of Uber Black service.

If you can manage the upfront costs and maintain the necessary vehicle and service quality, driving for Uber Black could potentially increase your earning potential.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

Drivers in similar markets have reported a wide range of earnings, with some noting that it is challenging to make the projected amounts consistently.

At the end of the day, the success of an Uber Black driver can heavily depend on the driver’s market, as well as their ability to navigate the competitive landscape.

I suggest taking the time to speak directly with other drivers in your area to get a realistic idea of potential earnings, typical demand for this service level, and their experiences with it.

More often than not, they’ll be willing to share with you their honest opinions on whether or not the service is worth driving for.

Final Thoughts

Driving for Uber Black is within your reach, provided you meet the platform’s requirements. Among other criteria, you’ll need to maintain a 4.85-star rating and have an all-black sedan or SUV that’s in flawless condition.

Once you qualify for Uber Black, set up an appointment with the Uber Greenlight Hub and ask to register an account. Whether you convert your existing Uber account or create a separate Uber Black one is up to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a CDL to drive for Uber Black?

No, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is not required to drive for Uber Black. This type of license is typically necessary for large-capacity vehicles like semi-trucks or buses.

However, it’s advisable to check local regulations, as some cities or states may have specific licensing requirements for Uber Black drivers.

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.

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