Uber Vehicle Requirements for 2017

There is a massive change in the provision of driving services. People are earning money by using their own cars to drive others. The concept is called ride-sharing, and has been formalized by organisations such as Uber, Lyft and Haxi. These types of companies are growing at a record clip, and the demand for new drivers is growing.  For many people, becoming a ride-share driver provides an opportunity for drivers who meet the Uber vehicle requirements to make additional income with relatively little investment, while making use of ‘downtime’.

Factors to Consider

Drivers who want to be part of a ride-sharing service have some factors to consider, however. There have been controversial issues regarding the quality of the operator, level of insurance, and the overall delivery of service. Due to this, some locations (e.g. Berlin, Germany) have placed temporary bans on the operation of ride-sharing services. To address these issues, ride-sharing operators now require drivers and their vehicles to meet a broader range of service criteria and Uber vehicle requirements.

Before you sign up to drive, the three Uber driver requirements you will need to consider are your insurance, your vehicle and your personal standing. This post will take an in-depth look into each and help you make an informed decision before you apply to drive.

Uber Driver Requirements for 2017

Before we dive too deep into the vehicle requirements, it is important to note if you, as a driver, can actually drive for the platform. As a result of some low quality drivers slipping through the cracks and causing incedents for riders, Uber has tightened the reigns on who can actually drive passengers around town.

In order to qualify to become a driver for Uber you will need to pass the following basic requirements. These requirements are current as of June 2017.  Check with the official Uber site to confirm the most recent requirements.

  • You must be 21 years of age to drive for Uber.
  • You must have at least 3 years of driving experience
  • You must drive a 4 foor car, truck, or mini-van with a clean title, and that is at least 2006 or newer
  • You must have an in-state driver’s license, and have in-state insurance with your name on the policy
  • You must have a social security for the background check
  • You must pass a background check successfully, and will be disqualified if you appear on the following:
    • National Sex Offender Registry
    • State Sex Offender Registry
    • Suspected Terrorist Databases

If you meet all the above requirements without failing the background check, great, you can move on and check out the different types of Uber drivers available.

If you didn’t make it pass the background check, however, you may be wondering why. Unfortunately for drivers on the wrong side of the law, there are quite a few things that can disqualify them from being eligible for driving for Uber.

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

Things that will likely disqualify you from the Uber platform (click to reveal)

While the list of items that make drivers eligible for disqualification seems long, if you have a somewhat clean driving record without a history of crime or other offences that are frowned upon in society, you should be good to go. Simply put, if you live a somewhat decent life without doing much wrong, you should keep reading.

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

Types of Uber Vehicles

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

Prototyping and 3d modeling horizontal banner set isolated vector illustration

  • 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 vehicles types are so different, the Uber car requirements for each type of vehicle will also be different. Not all type is created equally, and neither are the requirements to drive for each service. Pay close attention when signing up so you have the best chance of making it when driving.

Uber Vehicle Requirements

Now that we’ve established some basic driver requirements and outlined what types of Uber vehicles are available to riders and drivers, let’s take a more in-depth look at the Uber vehicle requirements that go with each type. These vary widely across the board, so it is important to take a look at each on before singing up.

Vehicle Requirements for UberX

UberX is the most affordable and economical vehicle option that Uber currently offers riders. 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.

One of the most common questions new drivers have is, what kind of vehicle qualifies? Or does my vehicle qualify? We’ll attempt to answer these questions here. However, if you have a complicated issue you may find it best to visit the Uber office. There you can have your vehicle inspected to make sure that your vehicle meets the requirements.

  • Your auto must be a model year 2006 or newer (A few cities may have different requirements.)
  • Must be a 4 door car, mini-van, or truck.
  • No major cosmetic damage
  • Must pass vehicle inspection
  • Driver’s full name must be on the vehicle’s insurance
  • Manual transmission is ok (You’re the driver. If you can drive manual, you are welcome to join Uber.)

Vehicles that do NOT qualify are:

  • Autos with major cosmetic damage (recent accident, not repaired for example)
  • Full Size vans (Ford Transit vans, GMC Savana, etc.)
  • Taxis, police, or other marked vehicles
  • Autos with salvaged or rebuilt titles
  • Autos that cannot seat 5 people (4 passengers PLUS the driver)

If you meet the requirements listed above, in addition to passing the vehicle driving history and criminal background checks, then you qualify to drive for UberX and UberPOOL. Even if your car doesn’t meet the requirements you can apply to become a driver and go through the background checks. You can then become a driver when you obtain a qualifying vehicle.

UberPOOL Vehicle Requirements

All UberX drivers are qualified and required to drive for UberPOOL, where available. If you get approved to drive for UberX, then you’re automatically good to drive for UberPOOL. There really isn’t much more to say about this, so we move on.

UberXL Vehicle Requirements

UberXL is the Uber service for larger groups of people. For groups of 5 or 6 passengers UberXL is the service for you. Passengers may also request a UberXL when they have a lot of items to transport (like luggage.) Other passengers simply like the extra room and will pay a premium for it.

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.

Rates vary by city, and you can check the rates for your city at:  https://www.uber.com/cities

To qualify for UberXL you must meet all the requirements listed above PLUS:

  • Your car must be able to sit 6 passengers PLUS the driver (7 total)
  • Year 2006 or newer
  • Remember that FULL Size vans such as commercial vehicles are not approved for Uber

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!

UberSELECT Vehicle Requirements

UberSELECT is the entry level Uber luxury service. The service comes at a premium fee but riders are guaranteed a nice clean car with leather interior. In order to qualify for uberSELECT, each of the following criteria must be met:

  • You own a vehicle from the “Eligible Vehicles” list
  • Leather interior required.
  • Mid-size to full-size vehicles
  • Spotless interior and exterior

To be considered for UberSELECT, vehicles must have leather seating and must be free of cosmetic and mechanical damage. If your vehicle is not on the list below it may be possible to get your vehicle approved if you have leather seating and interior upgrades. Some drivers have taken their car to the Uber office during office hours to have their car inspected and see if they can get it approved for to drive UberSELECT.

**Even if all of the above criteria is met, the Uber Operations Team reserves the right to disallow participation in the UberSELECT class as seen fit.

To give you a better idea of what types of vehicles should apply, we have create an example UberSELECT list. The list varies by city, but this will help narrow down which service to drive for.

Make, Model (Year or Newer)

  • ACURA MDX/RDX 2013
  • ACURA TL(X) 2013
  • AUDI A6/A7/A8 2007
  • AUDI S6/S7/S8 2007
  • AUDI Q5/Q7 2007
  • BMW 4-Series 2007
  • BMW 3-Series 2007
  • BMW 6-Series 2007
  • BMW 7-Series 2007
  • BMW X3/X5/X6 2007
  • CHRYSLER 300 2013
  • GMC YUKON 2013
  • JAGUAR XJ/XF 2007
  • LAND ROVER LR4 2010
  • LEXUS ES/GS/LS 2010
  • LEXUS RX/GX/LX 2010
  • LINCOLN MKS 2010
  • LINCOLN MKX 2010
  • LINCOLN MKT 2010
  • LINCOLN MKZ 2010

UberBLACK Vehicle Requirements

UberBLACK is more like a traditional chauffeur service. This is the black luxury sedan service you see in major cities. The cars must be luxury cars and require a spotless black leather interior and black exterior. Only the top mid-size and full-size sedans will be accepted. Additionally, drivers must carry commercial vehicle registration and insurance. The driver must also have an airport permit if required in your area.

  • Black leather interior, Black exterior. Clean interior. No accidents, dings, or imperfections.
  • Model 2012 or newer
  • Commercial registration and insurance
  • Must have airport permits if required in your area
  • UberBLACK driver requirements are also stricter. You cannot have more than 5 traffic violations in the past 5 years. (As opposed to 3 in 3 years for other Uber services.)
  • Pass an Uber inspection

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.

This is an example UberBLACK list. The list varies by city. Some newer/smaller cities may have lower requirements.

  • Audi A6/A7/A8 2012
  • BMW 5-Series 2012
  • BMW 6-Series 2012
  • BMW 7-Series 2012
  • BMW X5/X6 2012
  • Cadillac XTS 2012
  • Infiniti Q270 2012
  • Jaguar XF/XJ 2012
  • Lexus GS/LS 2012
  • Mercedes E/S 2012

UberSUV Vehicle Requirements

UberSUV is a service that combines luxury and size. This service is a combination of UberBLACK and UberXL. This service has the highest caliber of vehicle and driver standards. This is the service for people who want to ride in a high end SUV like a Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes GL-Class, or Lexus LX.

To drive with UberSUV, drivers must have a TCP, commercial car insurance, and an airport permit in many cities. UberSUV drivers usually driver for limo companies as well, making it a great part time gig when they aren’t picking up other clients.

UberSUV drivers can oftentimes be found driving a Cadillac Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Suburban (LT or LTZ), GMC Yukon XL, Infiniti QX56, QX80,Lexus LX, Lincoln Navigator or Navigator L, or a Mercedex GL-Class.

UberLUX Vehicle Requirements

The driver requirements for UberLUX are the same as those for UberBLACK. Drivers must carry commercial vehicle registration and insurance. The driver must also have an airport permit if required in your area.

The vehicle requirements are a little bit different for UberLUX, however:

  • Full size four door sedan, SUV, or crossover
  • Excellent exterior and interior condition
  • Black exterior, Black interior
  • Comfortable seats 4+ passengers
  • 2010 or newer
  • Pass an Uber inspection

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


Overall, driving for Uber is a great way to make extra money, driving your own car, and working your own hours. Not only is is a great way to earn money, but also to hone your social skills, hear great stories, make interesting memories, and meet some cool people along the way. If you want to jump on the rideshare bandwagon, and you meet the Uber vehicle requirements, then sign up to drive today.

Now over to you!

Have you signed up to drive for Uber? Have you met the Uber driver requirements? Let us know in the comments below. Ready.. go!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 4.90 out of 5)