Uber Car Requirements 2018 Guide

You’ve discovered a new way to make money. Maybe it was your friends who told you about this new way to make some extra cash. Or maybe you heard about it on the news. Or maybe you’ve been following the industry for ages.

Whatever the reason, you know that signing up to drive for Uber may be a solid way for you to make some money, whether as supplementary income, or because you want to quit your nine to five.

Over the past decade, driving services have been hugely disrupted. Ridesharing has become a key part in the transportation industry and isn’t going to disappear.

Before it was a bit of a wild west, where anyone could sign up as a ride-share driver. But now there are strict requirements in order to qualify as a driver for Uber, Lyft or Haxi.

So what does it take to qualify as an Uber driver? In this article we’ll talk about the three main things you need to satisfy including:

  • Uber vehicle requirements
  • Uber driver requirements for new drivers
  • How to take advantage of Uber’s driver bonuses so you can start making as much money as possible.

Let’s get started.

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Uber Driver Requirements for 2018

The first thing to do before applying to become a driver is to see if you meet the Uber driver requirements that the company has put in place.

As a result of some low-quality drivers slipping through the cracks and causing incidents for riders, Uber has tightened the reigns on who can actually drive passengers around town.

These are not super tough, but establish simple minimum criteria for drivers on the road.

There are four parts to Uber driver requirements:

Minimum requirements:

Uber requirements set a baseline that every driver must meet before they can even apply. Every driver be the following:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have at least one year of driving experience
  • Have a valid driver’s license issued by the USA
  • You must drive a 4 door car, truck, or mini-van with a clean title, and that is at least 2006 or newer (year varies by city)

If you meet the minimum requirements, then you need to have the following paperwork.


During the Uber application process, there are a few documents you should have ready. These include:

These are pretty standard documents, and if you have a vehicle and drive it, you should already have all these in place.

Uber Background check

Once you’ve signed up to drive, you’ll also need to submit an application for a background check. This check reviews your driving record and criminal history, which is a vital step in keeping passengers safe.

Each Uber background check varies by state, but in general, driver’s need to pass a few things in their background checks.

According to Uber, the requirements include:

  • At least one year U.S. licensing history (if under 23 years old, must have at least three years licensing history)
  • A valid driver’s license and Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) that shows:
  • No major moving violations, such as DUIs or reckless driving, within the last seven years
  • No more than three minor moving violations in the past three years, such as speeding tickets or failure to obey traffic laws
  • A criminal record that does not include a conviction for a felony, violent crime, or sexual offense within the last seven years, among other things such as a registration on the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public website.

Uber background checks are initiated by Checkr, Inc, a third party source of background checks that is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. The check is safe and secure, and doesn’t cost potential drivers a dime.

Unfortunately it is possible to not make it past the background check. If you’ve been on the wrong side of the law there are a few things that could disqualify you from being an Uber driver.

If you meet any of the following, you will be immediately disqualified from the driver application and not be able to drive.

Drivers will face disqualification if within the past 7 years they had:

  • DUI or drug-related driving conviction
  • Fraud
  • Reckless driving
  • Hit and runs
  • Violent crimes (assault, battery, homicide)
  • Acts of terror
  • Sexual offenses
  • Crimes involving property damage
  • Felony or misdemeanor for theft (burglary, stealing, robbery, or anything similar)
  • Fatal accidents
  • Resisting / evading arrest
  • Any other felony

Disqualification if within the past 3 years they have had:

  • Driving on a suspended, revoked, or invalid license
  • Driving with suspended, revoked, or invalid insurance

Disqualification if within the past 3 years you have had a total of 3 minor violations or incidents including:

  • Accidents
  • Normal speeding tickets
  • Miscellaneous driving violations (traffic violations)

Disqualification for Uber Black if within the past 5 years you have had a total of 5 minor violations or incidents including:

  • Accidents
  • Normal speeding tickets
  • Miscellaneous driving violations (traffic violations)
  • You MUST have a smartphone. Your phone should be an iPhone 4s or newer or an Android 2013 or newer. This is important to being a driver as you need to have a phone that can run the Uber app flawlessly or you will miss ride requests. Uber also offers a service to help you get a smartphone if you don’t have one.
  • If you are driving in the USA, you need to a use a US cell phone number so you can communicate with your passengers. (Believe it or not I’ve seen people from UK asking about driving in Texas with their UK mobile number. That won’t work because your passengers can’t get in touch with you.)

This list might seem long, but if you have a relatively clean driving record, with no criminal history, you should be good to go.

Now let’s move on to the actual types of Uber vehicles available to riders and drivers.

Uber Car Requirements for 2018

The second part of the Uber requirements is a little more detailed, and really just depend on which service you’re looking to drive for.

Types of Uber Cars

Uber offers several different services for their passengers to choose from.

The service allows passengers to choose what type of vehicle and what caliber of service they want. Not all services are available in all cities.

But like passengers, drivers can also select their preference from the list of Uber vehicle types:

  • UberX is the basic Uber service. Any 4 door car, mini-van, or truck can qualify for UberX.
  • UberXL is for larger vehicles such as mini-vans and SUVs that can fit more passengers.
  • UberSELECT is for introductory luxury vehicles with leather interior.
  • UberSUV is for luxury SUVs. This is a combination of UberXL and UberSELECT
  • UberBLACK is for those wishing a luxury sedan experience. These are black on black premium cars and require professional drivers. They also require mid-size or full-size cars.
  • UberLUX is for only the highest end luxury vehicles and drivers.
  • UberPOOL is a basic UberX experience that offers more affordable rates. UberPOOL passengers may end up carpooling with other UberX riders.
  • UberT / UberTAXI is Uber’s taxi service.

It is important to note that because the Uber vehicle types are so different, the Uber car requirements for each type of vehicle will also be different.

After selecting the type of service they’d like to drive for, hopeful drivers and their vehicle of choice must meet some basic Uber car requirements when applying to drive.

This is another step that the company takes to keep riders safe. After all, who wants to ride around in a vehicle with broken brakes or a cracked windshield? Not me.

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The Uber car requirements will vary depending on which type of service you’re looking to drive for.

Before we break these down individually, Uber has put some vehicle restrictions in place. I’m not sure why all of these exist, but I would assume it’s to better the passenger experience.

  • You are not able to drive for Uber with a full-size van (Ford Transit, Ford E-Series, GMC Savana)
  • Taxis and other marked vehicles are not accepted.
  • The use of Crown Victoria is prohibited.
  • Uber does not allow the use of salvaged vehicles.

If your vehicle passes these restrictions, continue reading.

UberX Car Requirements

UberX, the most basic and inexpensive type of service, seats up to 4 passengers. These types of vehicles are regular sedans, and nothing to write home about. They’re reliable and will get you where you need to go.

Of all the vehicle requirements that Uber mandates, drivers will have the easiest time getting approved for UberX since the vehicles are the most common types available, opening the door to extra income for many drivers around the world.

Example UberX vehicles include:

Toyta Camry Honda Civic Chevrolet Malibu
Toyota Corolla Honda Accord Chevrolet Impala
Nissa Sentra Ford Focus Chrysler 200

UberXL Car Requirements

UberXL is the next step up in the vehicle lineup. These types of vehicles must have seating for up to 6 passengers, and are usually minivans and SUV’s.

UberXL drivers make significantly more than UberX when driving for an UberXL fare. This is to justify the extra cost of the vehicle itself, and the fact that more often than not, these larger vehicles will consume more gas than smaller cars.

Please keep in mind, however, that you will also get UberX requests which do not pay the higher rate. Uber requires you to drive both UberX and UberXL, so don’t get frustrated when this occurs. It’s just part of the deal.

Full-time UberXL drivers can really benefit from working the early morning hours around the hotels. This is when a lot of requests for airport rides come in.

Some of the drivers I know work the 10PM – 3AM drunk shift, then eat breakfast and take a short break before the 4:30 AM tourist airport runs begin. They often sleep during the day when part-time drivers are working their day job.

Let’s say for example that in a given week you drove 500 miles at UberX rate of $1.10 per mile.  That’s $550 in earnings. If you drove UberXL for just 100 additional miles that would add $250. You can see how the UberXL fares can really add up!

  • Must have 4 doors and be able to carry 6 passengers
  • Year varies by city – Some are 2002 or newer, some are 2006 or newer
  • In-state car insurance, registration, and plates
  • Vehicle must pass an Uber inspection

Example UberXL vehicles include:

Dodge Caravan Honda Odyssey Ford Explorer
Toyota Sienna Honda Pilot Chevrolet Suburban
Nissa Pathfinder Ford Expedition Chrysler Town and Country

UberSELECT Car Requirements

This is an entry-level way to get into the luxury market without paying luxury car pricing. UberSELECT vehicles must seat up to 4 passengers, and are typically a sedan that’s a step up from an UberX.

  • Must have 4 doors and comfortably fit 4 riders
  • Must be higher-end or luxury. This means at least a leather interior.
  • Year varies by city – Many are 2008 or newer
  • In-state car insurance, registration, and plates
  • Vehicle must pass an Uber inspection

Example UberSELECT vehicles include:

Acura RDX Cadillac CTS Land Rover Discovery
Acura MDX Chrysler 300 Lexus GS
BMW X3 and X5 Buick Enclave Lexus LX

UberBLACK Car Requirements

UberBLACK is Uber’s luxury vehicle service type. Drivers must have commercial livery insurance and be commercially registered. This is one of the most expensive services.

UberBLACK vehicles will be a step up from UberSELECT. For example, a BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C Series may be ok for UberSELECT but you will need at least a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, or Mercedes E Class for UberBLACK.  Additionally, the model year jumps from 2007 to 2012.

  • The vehicle must be a full size SUV, crossover SUV, or sedan.
  • Must be in great, near-immaculate condition
  • Must have a black exterior and interior.
  • Must have 4 doors and comfortably fit 4 riders or more.
  • Year varies by city – Many are 2013 and newer.
  • In-state car insurance, registration, and plates
  • Vehicle must pass an Uber inspection

Example UberBLACK vehicles include:

Audi A6, A7, A8 Lexus LX Porsche Panamera
BMW 5 Series Mercedes E-Class Tesla Model S
BMW 7 Series Mercedes S-Class GMC Yukon XL

UberSUV Car Requirements

UberSUV is a service that combines luxury and size.  Like UberBLACK, UberSUV is also a high-end luxury car offering.

With this service, drivers make the most money since the fares are highest both per mile and per minute.

These types of drivers usually driver for limo companies as well, making it a great part time gig when they aren’t picking up other clients.

Usually, drivers must be commercially registered, maintain a commercial insurance policy, and have an airport permit as well.

  • The vehicle must be a full size SUV with 4 doors and comfortably seat 6 passengers.
  • Must be in great, near-immaculate condition
  • Must have a black exterior and interior.
  • Year varies by city – Many are 2013 and newer.
  • In-state car insurance, registration, and plates
  • Vehicle must pass an Uber inspection

Example UberSUV vehicles include:

Audi Q7 Lexus LX and GX Nissan Armada
Cadillac Escalade ESV Lincoln Navigator GMC Denali
Ford Expedition Platinum Mercedes GL-Class Chevrolet Tahoe

UberLUX Car Requirements

If you want to really level up your earnings game, UberLUX is where you need to be. If you can afford an expensive car, then this service is for you.

There are multiple reports of UberLux drivers earning almost six figures with these types of vehicles, if not even more. And it makes sense: people will pay more to get picked up in a nicer vehicle.

These are also the types of passengers that tip well, so add that to the mix and you’re looking at some serious income.

The most luxurious and expensive service that is currently offered, UberLUX is the cream of the crop when it comes to rideshare vehicles.

This vehicle type is exclusive to exotic cars, meaning you’ll be picked up by a super cool car and driven around by top rated drivers.

  • The vehicle must be a full size SUV, crossover SUV, or sedan.
  • Must be in great, near-immaculate condition
  • Must have a black exterior and interior.
  • Year varies by city – Many are 2013 and newer.
  • In-state car insurance, registration, and plates
  • Vehicle must pass an Uber inspection

Example UberLUX vehicles include:

Audi A8 Mercedes S-Class Jaguar XJ
BMW 7 Series Tesla Model S Infiniti XF
Porsche Panamera Range Rover Lexus GX

Do you meet the Uber car requirements?

he requirements to become an Uber driver can seem daunting, but remember that Uber has a priority: passenger safety. And when you break it down, the requirements are simple:

  • Have your driver and car’s paperwork in order
  • Be a good driver and not have committed a crime
  • Have a decent car that passengers would enjoy to ride in, appropriate to the driver type you want to offer

Ridesharing with Uber can be profitable, and can be an easy way to hustle up a bit of extra cash. We’ve got a few tips here at Ridester to help get you well on your way to making a decent income as a driver.

However, there is only one way to get there, and that is to start your application process. But before you get started, did you know that Uber offers a very generous sign on bonus?

In order to qualify you need to have a valid promotional code. If you sign on without using a code, you’re essentially throwing money away. You can get as much as $1250 from signing on.

Best Uber Driver Code for 2018:


Huge bonus cash payouts for new drivers who meet the requirements.

What vehicle are you going to use to sign up? What Uber car requirements do think are good and which ones would drivers be better without? Let us know in the comments below!

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