The Uber Vehicle Inspection: What to Expect

You’ve done the calculations, you’ve budgeted the hours, and you’re ready to make some more money as an Uber driver.

So it’s a simple matter of installing the app, hopping in your car, and picking up fares. Right?

Nope.

Before you can pick up any fares and make money with Uber you need to pass a few checks.

One of these is a comprehensive vehicle inspection to make sure your car is safe and ready to pick up passengers.

Many would be Uber drivers fail these vehicle inspections over the simplest of issues, costing them time and money over something that could have been easily avoided.

In this article, we’ll help you avoid this fate. By knowing all the details about the inspection, you can be better prepared and all but guarantee you pass.

What is the Uber Vehicle Inspection?

A vehicle inspection sounds daunting. Especially since it could stand in the way between you and earning fares. However, Uber’s vehicle inspection is relatively painless and is a standard practice in the industry.

It’s a process that every Uber driver has to go through to ensure that your car is fit to drive and safe for the road. Most other on-demand service providers require drivers to complete a similar process, with Lyft’s vehicle inspection process being almost identical to Uber’s.

Uber requires drivers to complete a full inspection at least once a year at either an “activation center,” or a pre-approved repair shop.

If you apply for your application online, you’ll be able to complete your mechanical inspection following a full background check. On the other hand, if you apply in-person, you can complete the mechanical inspection straight away.

What is the Uber Vehicle Inspection?

So what does it cost?

The inspection for an Uber vehicle is free if done at an activation center provided by Uber, or at a “Greenlight Hub.” However, if you choose to go with a different mechanic, then you’ll usually have to pay a fee of around $19.99.

Insider tip: Most mechanics or body shops are banking on you to fail your inspection so that they can sell you new parts as a solution to get you on the road as soon as possible (I’m looking at you Jensen Tire). This is a common trap, so try to go to a reputable business that just focuses on vehicle inspections, ideally an inspection business that does inspections specifically for Uber and Lyft.

Uber Vehicle Inspection Requirements

Here are the two questions Uber wants to know about your car:

  • Is it safe to drive?
  • Will passengers get a pleasant riding experience?

Because of this, an Uber car inspection requires you to consider all the safety and mechanical features in your car that make it fit to drive.

There are 19 points included in the Uber vehicle inspection form that a mechanic will consider:

Headlights Stoplights
Turn indicator lights Tail lights
Parking/emergency brake Foot brakes
Steering mechanism Safety belts
Windshield Windshield wipers
Rear window and glass Front Seat
Horn Doors
Bumpers Speedometer
Muffler/Exhaust System Interior/Exterior rear-view mirrors
Tire and tread depth

What the Uber Inspection Form Looks At

As you can see, it isn’t so complicated. Uber wants to make sure that your car is fit for the road, not that it will win a Grease-style street race.

Here’s what the vehicle inspection form looks like.

Sample Uber Inspection Form

Simple stuff right? For instance, the form checks to see that your headlights, tail lights, and brakes are working properly. Safety features which you should already have in order, unless you like making conversation with the traffic police (and driving dangerously.)

Two points on the list that many Uber drivers fail however are the tire tread test and the brake depth test. Some Uber drivers go all the way to an inspection center, fork over $19.99, only to fail inspection because their tire tread is too shallow. If you haven’t replaced these in a while, it can be a significant upfront cost. But there’s some good news! You can write these off as an expense at tax time.

To give yourself the best chance of passing your inspection, consider replacing your brakes or tires if you haven’t had them serviced in a while. This can reduce your risks of having to retake the test at a later time, costing you in inspection fees and missed income.

Here are a few easy things to do before taking the trek to get your Uber car inspection:

What to do if your car doesn’t pass inspection

On the off chance that your car doesn’t pass the vehicle inspection your next steps are simple. Correct the problem, and redo the inspection. Once you do, you can upload your inspection form to the Uber partner dashboard.

However, this shouldn’t happen if you follow the advice in this article. As we’ve said, Uber’s vehicle inspection checks to see if your car is roadworthy and safe to drive. If it doesn’t then you should probably take your car off the road, and invest in making it safe to drive again, lest you hurt yourself or anyone else on the road.

Uber Inspection Locations

Just where can you get your car inspected? Uber provides a list of activation centers in your area at help.uber.com. Simply enter your city into the website and search for “inspections”.

Most of the time, you should be able to get the test done at big chain repair shops, such as Jiffy Lube, Tires Plus, and Midas. Other locations available include:

  • Uber Greenlight
  • Certified mechanics
  • Mobile inspection

Usually, the test will take about 30 minutes depending on what method you choose.

Greenlight hubs, while free, can be hard to access because of their opening hours. Greenlight hubs are often overcrowded, meaning you can wait a long time before you can get an inspection.

Most ridesharing drivers also sign up for both Lyft and Uber at the same time, so they can use one while they have downtime on the other. Since you need to get a vehicle inspection for Lyft, and it covers similar things, it makes sense to get your Uber and Lyft vehicle inspections done at the same time, right?

Only if you don’t get inspected by Greenlight. They will only do the inspection for Uber, and not an extra inspection for Lyft.

Our Recommendation

This is why we recommend drivers use a mobile inspection service. Mobile inspectors either come to where you are or they do it over video chat utilizing your iPhone or Android phone. It saves you wasting half a day waiting for a vehicle inspection at a Greenlight hub, as well as the time and fuel driving to a vehicle inspection point.

It’s the easiest, quickest, and cheapest (competitively) way to get an inspection done.

RideShareMechanic is a favorite of ours. It’s an online video chat inspection service that does full vehicle inspections no matter where your car is. A cool bonus too is that they do both Uber & Lyft car inspections, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone if you want to drive for both services.

Go to their website and schedule an appointment. An agent will reach out to you at the appointed time. Once you pass the vehicle inspection, they’ll send you a text or email with the completed inspection form.

Once you have this, you can save it to your phone’s camera roll and upload it to your Uber Driver App. Or you can click here and add the inspection form under “manage documents”.

If you do this, you can complete your test today to get out on the road as an official Uber driver. Pretty neat right?

What is the most effective way to pass the Uber vehicle inspection? Have you used an online vendor such as RideShareMechanic? Let us know by dropping a comment below!

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