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Uber doesn’t allow just any vehicle to hit the road and start picking up passengers. There are a set of requirements that must be met, including a thorough Uber vehicle inspection.
Current Uber drivers and potential drivers both need to understand the ins and outs of the Uber vehicle inspection. All vehicles must be well-maintained and pass all inspection points in order to be eligible.
Even if you’re already driving for Uber and passed your inspection, you’ll still need to complete an annual inspection to show that your vehicle is in good standing and up to par with Uber’s requirements.
We’ve created a complete guide to the Uber vehicle inspection process for rideshare drivers. Below you’ll find how the inspection works, what Uber is looking for, where to get your vehicle inspected, and more.
- What is the Uber Vehicle Inspection?
- What Are the Uber Vehicle Requirements?
- How Does the Uber Vehicle Inspection Work?
- What Are the Uber Vehicle Inspection Requirements?
- How Much Does the Uber Vehicle Inspection Cost?
- What If You Don’t Pass?
- How Often Do You Need a Vehicle Inspection?
- How to Find Uber Inspection Locations Near You
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 Are the Uber Vehicle Requirements?
Before getting into the inspection details, let’s cover the most basic Uber vehicle requirements. Vehicles must be registered, insured, have four doors, and be less than 10 years old.
Each city has slightly different vehicle requirements, but for the most part, there are a set of general conditions your vehicle must meet. Head to Google and search the name of your city along with “drive for Uber” to check your city’s exact requirements.
The following general requirements encompass most driving regions, regardless of where you live:
- The vehicle is registered and covered by insurance
- Four-door vehicle
- Five seats with seat belts
- Typically only model years that are under 10 years old
- Good condition with no damage or modifications
- Can’t have salvaged or restored title
- Pass the vehicle inspection
The last item on the list — passing the vehicle inspection — is slightly more complicated than the rest. Don’t worry, we have you covered. Here’s what the Uber vehicle inspection entails.
How Does the Uber Vehicle Inspection Work?
The Uber vehicle inspection process follows four simple steps. You’ll need to download the inspection form, find a certified inspection location, complete the inspection, and then send your completed form to Uber.
1. Download the Uber Inspection Form
The first step is downloading the Uber vehicle inspection form. Print out this form and fill out your basic information including your full name and phone number. Once you have your inspection form in hand, it’s time to locate an inspection center.
2. Locate an Uber Inspection Location
Your vehicle inspection can be completed at one of your local Uber Greenlight Hubs. If you’re unfamiliar with Uber Greenlight Hubs, they’re like a local one-stop-shop for your driver needs. They can help with new driver onboarding, driver support, and inspection services.
You can find the nearest Greenlight Hub by Googling your city name and “Uber Greenlight Hub,” although not all cities have Hubs. Appointments aren’t required, but you can make one if you don’t want to risk waiting in a line. You can find more information by looking over our guide to Uber Greenlight Hubs.
You can also make an appointment with a third-party inspection center. Uber has third-party partner auto service providers that vary from city to city. Going with one of these Uber partners — like Jiffy Lube or Midas — will give you a slight discount on your inspection.
You can find third-party inspection centers by Googling the name of your city along with “Uber vehicle inspection.” Scroll down and you’ll find a list of third-party inspection centers in your city. For example, here’s the inspection page for drivers in the Chicago region to give you an idea.
3. Complete Your Inspection
You’ll give your Uber car inspection form to the certified mechanic and let them handle the rest. They’ll look over your vehicle for certain inspection points — for example, properly working brakes, lights, and exhaust system. We’ll cover the complete list of inspection points in the next section. This should take about 30 minutes to complete.
Your mechanic will fill out the form and decide if your vehicle is up to par with Uber’s standards. The inspection is a simple pass-fail examination. You won’t be able to drive on the Uber platform if you don’t meet any one of the criteria on the form.
4. Send Uber Your Completed Inspection Form
You’ve passed your inspection, so what’s next? You’ll now need to send your completed form to Uber. This doesn’t apply to Greenlight Hub inspections because they’ll already have your form and send you on your way.
You can log in to your Uber driver account and upload your completed form if you decide to go with a third-party mechanic. After that, you’re ready to get on the road and start making money picking up passengers.
It’s good to know what Uber is looking for before you get your vehicle inspected. After all, you don’t want to waste your time if your vehicle clearly won’t pass the inspection.
What Are the Uber Vehicle Inspection Requirements?
Overall, Uber wants to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. 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. The inspection looks for mechanical issues, cosmetic damage, and properly functioning safety features.
There are 19 points included in the Uber vehicle inspection form that a mechanic will consider:
|Turn indicator lights||Tail lights|
|Parking/emergency brake||Foot brakes|
|Steering mechanism||Safety belts|
|Rear window and glass||Front Seat|
|Muffler/Exhaust System||Interior/Exterior rear-view mirrors|
|Tire and tread depth|
You must satisfy all of these vehicle inspection points in order for your vehicle to pass. You will fail your inspection if you don’t meet any of the following specifications:
- Lights: Your headlights, tail lights, turn indicator lights, and brake lights must all function properly.
- Brakes: The foot brake pads and shoes can’t be worn out. The emergency or parking brake must work.
- Steering mechanism: Your power steering should be fully functioning and your steering must be aligned. Your ball joints, tie rods, bushings, rack, and pinion must also be in good condition.
- Windows: All of your windows including windshield, rear window, and passenger windows must be crack-free.
- Safety: All doors need to open and lock. You need safety belts for every passenger including the driver. You must have interior and exterior rearview mirrors.
- Muffler and exhaust system: Your muffler and exhaust system must be properly intact and shouldn’t be overly noisy.
- Tires: Tires that have low tread or are bald will not be accepted. You must meet certain tread depth requirements.
- Miscellaneous: Additional inspection points include properly functioning windshield wipers, horn, speedometer, front seat adjustment, and undamaged bumpers.
Additionally, you may need to get an emissions check depending on which state you drive in. You can find location-specific information by checking the Uber driver app or doing a quick Google search.
Here’s what the vehicle inspection form looks like.
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.
If your vehicle fails to meet any of these requirements, you’ll need to correct the issue and start the process over. Repair your vehicle and have a second go at a vehicle inspection.
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:
How Much Does the Uber Vehicle Inspection Cost?
Uber inspections are free of charge if you go through a Greenlight Hub location. This isn’t the case for third-party mechanics. You’ll need to pay a fee if you have your vehicle inspected somewhere other than a Greenlight Hub.
Uber doesn’t cover these costs. They also won’t chip in for any repairs or maintenance that your car needs to pass the inspection.
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.
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.
How Often Do You Need a Vehicle Inspection?
Uber vehicle inspections must be completed before you can drive on the Uber platform. After that, they’re required on an annual basis or every 50,000 miles — whichever comes first.
You’ll need to stay up-to-date with your annual vehicle inspections. You risk having your driver account being temporarily deactivated if you put it off for too long. Keep an eye on your miles and the date you completed your last inspection and you shouldn’t have to worry about a thing.
How to Find Uber Inspection Locations Near You
One issue that many would-be Uber drivers can run into is finding a place to get their vehicle inspected. You want to find a location that’s reasonably close, doesn’t take up to much time and ideally doesn’t charge you too much. To help you find the place that’s right for you, we’ve put together this comparison of the various Uber vehicle inspection options and how to locate each.
1. Uber Greenlight
To start with, let’s look at the official Uber inspection locations. These go by the name of Uber Greenlight, and they include both “Hub” and “Spot” locations. Uber Greenlight Hubs are official offices owned by Uber. They provide inspection services, allow you to fill out an Uber driver application in person, and get answers to questions about being a driver from Uber staff.
Spot locations, in contrast, are pop-up inspection stations with varying hours. They can provide the inspection you need, but you shouldn’t expect the same comprehensive help with questions related to driving for Uber that you would get at a Greenlight Hub.
Regardless of which you choose, the main advantage of Uber Greenlight is that the inspection is free. As with all free things, however, there is a hidden cost. Because the inspections are free, you could find yourself waiting several hours just to get one.
Add to this that the Greenlight locations are in just a few places throughout even major cities, the location hours are comparatively limited — an issue if you have an additional full-time job — and you could be looking at a whole day just to get your vehicle inspected.
Because of this, you may want to look into the other inspection locations we discuss below, especially if you want to save time.
To find Greenlight Uber inspection locations for your city, the easiest thing to do is to Google “Uber inspection locations” + “NAME OF YOUR CITY.” The first result you see in Google should be the official Uber page with your city’s inspection requirements and a map showing all official Uber inspection locations, including Greenlight.
For example, here’s the official Uber inspection locations map for Chicago:
2. Certified Mechanic
If the prospect of waiting for hours at a Greenlight hub doesn’t excite you, then another option to consider is getting your inspection done at a chain location. Uber has partnered with chains such as Jiffy Lube, Tires Plus, Meineke and Midas, as well as smaller certified mechanics, in order to provide you with additional options for receiving a vehicle inspection.
If you go with this type of inspection, you’ll need to bring along a copy of the form for the mechanic to fill out. Note that the specific form required will vary based on your city, so be sure to check your specific city inspection requirements to get the right form.
When it comes to this type of inspection, you should expect less of a wait time and a greater selection of hours to get your vehicle inspected. However, you will pay for this convenience — most inspections will run you around $19.99.
Additionally, many of these locations are looking for any reason they can to sell you parts (that’s where they make their money). Therefore, they may go out of their way to find minute things wrong with your vehicle, creating unnecessary hassle for you.
To find a certified mechanic to perform an Uber vehicle inspection, just Google “Uber inspection locations” + “NAME OF YOUR CITY.” You’ll find a page showing your specific city’s vehicle inspection requirements, a link to the necessary form, and a map of certified locations.
3. Mobile Vehicle Inspection
One final option to get an inspection for your vehicle is to work with a mobile vehicle inspector. This kind of inspector either comes to your location to perform the inspection onsite, or they inspect your vehicle remotely over a video call using your smartphone. Of all the options available, this one is our favorite.
Not only is a mobile inspection more convenient, but it also allows you to get the necessary Uber and Lyft inspection at the same time. Since most drivers work for both platforms, getting an inspection this way will save you both time and money.
There are a variety of mobile vehicle inspection services available, but we recommend RideShareMechanic. The service is easy to sign up for online. Just put in your information, choose an inspection time, and your inspector will be able to meet with you over video chat. They’ll perform the necessary inspection in a timely manner, all without you having to move your car, stand in long lines or deal with pushy sales associates.
Pass the Uber Vehicle Inspection With Flying Colors
Passing the Uber vehicle inspection shouldn’t be too difficult to do. Cars that are well-maintained and in good condition pass the inspection with ease. Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition and head to an inspection location before heading out on the road.
You also need to meet the driver requirements to become an Uber driver. You’ll need to have a driver’s license and pass a background check.
Looking to drive for Lyft instead? The competitor has similar vehicle requirements to Uber. You can learn more through this vehicle inspection guide for Lyft drivers — you can even drive for both platforms if you pass both vehicle inspections.
Best of luck with your inspection and see you out on the road!
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.