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How New Must a Car be to Use as an Uber Driver?

E-hailing driver ready for ride uber driver while holding a blackboard.

You’ve decided you want to join the world of side hustling and the gig economy, and Uber sounds like the answer for you. Like other jobs and gigs, though, you have to meet certain requirements – one of the biggest being that your car has to be new enough. How new is that exactly?

Generally, it can’t be more than 10 years old, but that varies – and of course, it’s not the only requirement. Let’s dig in a little to get a better understanding.

Uber Requirements

Again, most places require that your car be no more than 10 years old. However, some locations say 15 years. To check your specific requirements, Uber’s platform has a section called “Uber Help.”

You can put in your location for vehicle requirements in your area. In addition to the age of the vehicle, there are a few other requirements that you and your car need to meet.

Size

Female taxi customer smiling while talking to her driver.

There’s not a specific size, meaning it doesn’t have to be an SUV or van. Instead, it’s about the space – and the doors. Your vehicle has to have enough seats to fit four people besides yourself.

And there has to be four doors.

Title and Condition

The vehicle’s title cannot be rebuilt, salvaged, or reconstructed. Your vehicle also cannot be missing pieces, have any commercial branding, or cosmetic damage. You’ll be driving people around and everything needs to be safe and trustworthy.

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Ownership

You don’t have to own your vehicle – you can be making payments on it. And, actually, it doesn’t even have to be your car. You can drive your wife’s, mom’s, dad’s, best friend’s – whoever will let you drive their vehicle.

It cannot be a rental car, though.

Insurance

Blank car insurance forms with generic car keys in shot.

As I said, you can drive any car that’s not a rental – even if your name isn’t on it. However, your name has to be on the insurance. Uber will not approve a vehicle that you are not insured to drive.

It’s important to be careful about this. I know a man who recently decided to give Uber Eats a try. He is married and the car is in his wife’s name, but he is insured to drive it.

For some reason, his name wasn’t listed on the insurance card, though, and he almost got rejected. After his wife got on the insurance company’s platform and printed out the paperwork, he was able to show that he is insured to drive. But he almost lost his chance over a discrepancy on the card, so don’t assume your name is listed on the card.

Even if you know you are insured, double check the paperwork before you provide a copy.

Is It the Same for UberX and UberXL?

Photo of a car interior with a blurred window.

UberX and UberXL are some of the most popular Uber options that can get you the highest pay. However, their vehicle requirements are a bit more stringent. It’s the same basic requirements for both, but they are more specific with aftermarket modifications.

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For instance, you can have modifications like BedRyder systems or installed seats and seat belts. Also, with UberXL, you have to have seven factory-installed seats and seat belts. Always be sure to check local requirements on the Uber platform, as some locations have additional ones to follow.

And, obviously, these requirements increase for upper-level driving, like UberSelect, UberBLACK, and UberSUV. We’ll assume for now, though, that you are just trying to get in on some of the lower levels. If I’m wrong in that assumption, you can check out those requirements on Uber’s platform.

Beware, though, that unless you have a much newer vehicle, leather interior, specific vehicle colors, commercial registration, and similar items, you’ll likely not qualify for these upper levels.

Is Driving for Uber Worth Meeting These Requirements?

If you already meet these requirements and want to make some extra cash, sure, Uber is worth it. Obviously, it all depends on how much work is available in your area, how much you choose to work, and so on, but even part-time drivers report making at least a couple of hundred per week. That means that you can work just enough to pay for date night this weekend, save for a vacation, or you can pay some bills if you pick up enough fares.

Young teenage female with money.

But let’s say that you don’t yet meet these requirements. You have two choices: move on to another source of income or invest in meeting the requirements. The question here is whether it’s worth it to meet the requirements.

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The answer to that is that it definitely can be. In fact, it can help you pay to meet those requirements. Let’s go back for a minute and think about how I said you don’t have to own the vehicle to drive for Uber.

You just need to be insured to do so. If you think you want to drive for Uber, you could go put a down payment on a newer vehicle that meets the requirements. You can then pick up enough fares to pay your monthly car payment.

Now, if you don’t have a clean driving record and background check, Uber isn’t likely to approve you. In such a case, going to put a down payment on a vehicle with the expectation of paying for it through Uber is not a wise one. If, on the other hand, your driving record and background record are clean, consider the benefits here: you could own a new car by driving for Uber.

For many people I know, this is a huge benefit since fitting another monthly payment into their regular monthly income is – well – nearly impossible. So, if you need a new vehicle and some extra cash, meeting Uber’s requirements is certainly worth it. Before you dive in, though, put your foot on the brakes for just a second.

I don’t care how easy a job might seem or how worth it the job might seem, there is always a chance you aren’t going to like it. That’s work for you. Not everyone is a good fit for every job – and that’s okay.

The point is that before you invest in a new vehicle and dive into the application, you want to do a little more research. There are plenty of Uber drivers out there that share their opinions of the work online. Many give you a rundown of their days – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Take some time to read through many if you haven’t already. Don’t make a decision based on one opinion – compare several to get a good overall idea. If it seems like something you’ll enjoy – or at least something you can tolerate long enough to meet your financial goals – go ahead and get to work.

To summarize, your vehicle will need to be no more than 10 to 15 years old, but you’ll need to check your location for specifics on that. The vehicle also needs to be in good working order. You’ll need to be insured on it as well as have a clean background and driving record.

If you meet all of this – and a few additional requirements – you can usually start driving for Uber within a few days of applying.