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Uber XL cars vary across make and model

Living Large: Your Guide to UberXL Cars That Can Boost Your Income

Last updated: May 25, 2021
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A party of six can’t fit in a sedan without turning it into a clown car, but it can help an SUV fulfill its ultimate purpose: Taking large groups from one place to another.

This is also the purpose of UberXL. While a regular car or black car service comes to mind when you think of Uber, the company also provides excellent options for riders who simply need more space.

In this article, we’ll discuss exactly what UberXL is, how much UberXL drivers make, and how you can qualify to drive UberXL cars. We’ll also reveal four UberXL cars that will help you earn more with the Uber app.

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What Is UberXL?

UberXL is an extension of the company’s most popular economy service, UberX. Whereas UberX cars seat four passengers in a standard sedan, much like the Toyota Camry, UberXL promises room for six so your entire party can join in.

It’s all about providing extra room for any occasion: Lugging suitcases to the airport for a month-long work trip, carpooling to a wedding, or even when you simply need extra distance from your driver.

UberXL is a larger version of UberX. It’s the same affordable experience with a significant volume of requests, only drivers will earn higher fares with every trip.

How Much Do UberXL Drivers Make?

Whether you traverse the streets in a Dodge Caravan or a Toyota Sienna, Uber will reward you for offering high-capacity vehicles on their platforms.

While exact earnings depend on location, time of day, events, and other similar factors, UberXL drivers can depend on earning nearly $2.50 more per trip than UberX drivers, thanks to minimum fares for the product.

Doesn’t sound impressive enough? In addition to earning more on minimum fares, you’ll make over 80 cents more per mile. Given that the average Uber ride is about six miles, you’ll up your pre-Uber fee earnings by nearly $5 per trip just from your riders’ per-mile fees.

This all works to guarantee that you’ll earn significantly more than UberX drivers, who make an hourly average of $14.73 after tips. In fact, our survey found that UberXL drivers will already make $14.84 per hour before tips are even taken into account — all for investing in a slightly larger yet still affordable vehicle.

Requirements for UberXL Cars and Drivers

Man getting out of one of his Uber XL cars

So what exactly do you need to start driving UberXL? As a driver, you’ll simply need to meet minimum driver requirements, including passing a background check and being covered by car insurance in the state you’ll be driving in.

In addition, your car will need to meet all vehicle requirements. This is fairly easy for UberXL drivers. Other than having a high-capacity four-door vehicle, you’ll only have to complete the bare minimum. That said, UberXL cars must be:

  • 15 years old or newer
  • Able to seat six or more with seat belts
  • In good condition with no damages or cosmetic modifications
  • Able to pass an annual vehicle inspection
  • Covered by car insurance in your state

UberXL Cars to Help You Earn More

If you don’t already have a vehicle that’s eligible for UberXL, or you want to use a service like HyreCar to rent out a minivan for your driving gig, it’s important to know what to look for. Cars that meet any of the following criteria will help you save on investments and earn more from your gig:

  • High mpg: You’ll be driving a large vehicle, so the more miles per gallon you can get, the less time and money you’ll spend filling up your tank.
  • Low mileage: If you’re not purchasing a brand new vehicle, it’s recommended that you find a larger car in good condition that has no more than 15,000 miles per year.
  • Eligible for additional Uber services: As an UberXL driver, you’ll already be qualified to increase your volume of requests by driving UberPool and UberX. However, if you also want to increase your per-trip earnings, we recommend purchasing a vehicle that also qualifies for Uber Black SUV (like the Chevrolet Suburban) and/or Uber Select, such as the Audi A3 and Lincoln Town Car.

Keep reading to learn about four vehicle makes and models that meet one or more of these criteria.

Toyota Highlander

A Toyota Highlander is one of the approved Uber XL cars

This mid-size SUV has been a popular selection among drivers for many years. With great gas mileage, wonderful safety features, and a stylish interior, it has everything you need to save on fuel and cash in on tips. If you simply want a low initial cost, models like the Honda Odyssey has this beat by a few thousand. But over time, the Highlander may be worth the extra bucks.

Looking to save even more on gas? The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is one of the oldest hybrid crossovers, and its 2019 version is one of the most fuel-efficient six-seat vehicles out there. It’ll give you approximately 30 mpg on the road, though most of the hybrid’s other model years aren’t far behind.

Cadillac Escalade

This full-size luxury SUV can be a significant investment, but it’s perfect for any UberXL driver who wants to qualify for additional services. When you get it in black, it automatically doubles as a vehicle for Uber Black, the company’s original black car service, and Black SUV.

If this model is your choice, we recommend making sure it’s five years old or newer. You should also get commercial insurance and keep your rating above 4.85 to meet all Black vehicle requirements.

Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica is the ultimate minivan for Uber drivers who want to give their riders a taste of luxury without the cost of Uber’s high-end services — no looking like a soccer mom here. By decreasing the bulk of a standard SUV and increasing luggage capacity and leg room, you’ll surely see solid tips for the vehicle experience alone.

Like the Highlander, this Chrysler model will give you the benefit of fuel efficiency, especially if you select the hybrid version.

Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is one of the most popular high-capacity vehicles among Uber drivers. Not only is it on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, but it’s also a quiet yet powerful ride that offers 27 miles per gallon.

The used 2019 version of this make and model is highly recommended, as it will give you all the modern, high-tech features you need without the hefty cost of a few minor updates. Regardless, if you get any Ford Explorer that fits Uber’s year requirements, you’ll likely be happy with your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

With your search for the perfect UberXL cars, you may have additional questions about driving for this high-capacity service. Here are a few answers to help you out:

1. How much should I expect to make as an UberXL driver?

It’s hard to estimate an exact amount since tips are encouraged but not required by Uber. Using tipping presets on the Uber app, some riders may tip $5 while others may not tip at all. However, from riders who follow general recommendations for tipping in the service industry, you’ll likely receive 15% to 30% of trip fares in gratuity, which will certainly be higher than tips for UberX.

2. Can I drive an UberXL vehicle without receiving UberX or Pool requests?

Absolutely. Many drivers choose to limit their requests to the highest-paying services they qualify for to maximize their per-trip earnings. Your driver app will allow you to select which vehicle requests you’d like to receive, and you can deselect lower-cost economy services.

3. What’s the highest paying service my UberXL vehicle will qualify for?

Lux SUV, Uber’s most expensive overall service, is the highest paying service that an UberXL vehicle could potentially qualify for. However, before you invest in the latest Mercedes-Benz G-Class or a $350K Rolls Royce, make sure your city is both offering the service and accepting applicants. This is important because Uber heavily limits its Lux supply to keep prices high for the product.

Earn Extra With UberXL Cars

UberXL cars are perfect for drivers who want to make additional dollars per trip without having to spend more for a premium vehicle. Put your new knowledge about UberXL cars to use by signing up as a driver and get started on your journey toward extra cash.

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