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Drive with Uber

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Consider getting started with one of the most flexible gigs around.

Uber is a flexible way to earn cash in your spare time. But how much you make can vary from one day to the next, and you’ll be responsible for wear-and-tear and fuel costs.

How does driving with Uber work?

Uber runs on a simple concept: It connects passengers who need rides with driver-partners who provide those rides. Passengers pay through the Uber app, and driver-partners are paid by Uber based on the length of each ride.

You can drive whenever you’d like and for as long as you’d like. To make yourself available for fares, simply enter the Uber app’s driver mode. You’ll soon be matched with passengers that you can pick and drop them off wherever they need to go.

How much can I make?

Uber doesn’t disclose the average hourly rate of its drivers. Instead, it states that an Uber driver’s earnings depend on where you drive, when you drive and which Uber service tier you drive for. But no matter what you earn, be prepared for Uber’s 25% commission on all fares.

Drivers in major cities make between $16.20 an hour in Chicago and $30.35 an hour in NYC, according to a 2018 Finder survey. But gas and wear and tear on your car can eat into those earnings.

If you’re looking to boost your earnings, Uber’s promotional driving programs may help you earn above the standard fare. Surge and Boost pricing are put in effect during high-demand periods, like rush hour, and offer the potential for higher earnings. Uber Quest offers a cash bonus for completing a set number of trips over a specific time period.

How do I get paid?

Passengers can pay their fare in cash, in which case, drivers are paid immediately. But most passenger fares are processed through the Uber app, with drivers receiving weekly payment by Uber through direct deposit.

If you want your funds faster, you can use the Uber Instant Pay feature to withdraw your earnings through the Uber app up to five times a day. Typically, drivers who use Instant Pay receive their funds immediately, but it can take up to several business days.

You’ll pay a $0.50 fee when you use Instant Pay to cash out to your personal debit card, while cashing out to an Uber Visa debit card is free.

Do I get tips?

Passenger tips are optional and can be paid in cash or through the Uber app. Uber drivers keep 100% of their tips.

Where is Uber available?

Uber is available in all 50 states, but it’s not yet available in all suburbs and smaller towns. To find out if Uber is available in your area, download the app and begin ordering a car or sign up to drive online.

How to sign up as a driver

Want to get behind the wheel for Uber? Here’s how to navigate the signup process:

  1. Go to Uber’s website and enter your full name, email address, phone number and the city you plan to drive in.
  2. Enter your Social Security number. Uber uses this to complete a background check. Your credit score won’t be affected.
  3. Upload a photo of your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  4. Upload a photo for your Uber driver profile. The photo must include your face and shoulders, be forward facing and can’t include sunglasses.
  5. Tell Uber about your vehicle, including your vehicle’s make, model, year, color, number of doors and number of seat belts.
  6. Review Uber’s terms and conditions.
  7. Depending on your state, you may need to book an appointment to have your vehicle inspected. Once your application has been processed, you’ll be ready to start accepting ride requests.

Driver requirements

Eligibility criteria varies by state and city, so you’ll want to check Uber’s website for information on your location before signing up.

Minimum age
  • Varies by city
  • 21 in most locations
How long do I need to be licensed?
  • At least 1 year if you’re 23 or older
  • At least 3 years if you’re under 23
Do I need commercial insurance
  • Yes for Uber Black, Black SUV, Comfort and Lux
  • No for Uber X, XL and Select, unless required by your city/state
Is a background check required?
  • Yes
Additional driver requirements
  • Uber Black, Black SUV and Comfort drivers must maintain a rating of 4.85+

Vehicle requirements

Uber vehicles must have four doors and be manufactured no later than 2004. Salvaged vehicles are not eligible for Uber.

In addition to the above requirements, your city may have its own set of vehicle criteria, like having no cosmetic damage or commercial branding. You may also need to schedule an annual vehicle inspection. When you complete your Uber application process, you’ll be notified of any requirements specific to your location.

If you’re interested in driving for one of Uber’s higher service tiers, eligibility criteria will vary by city. As an example, here are the criteria for drivers in Seattle, Washington:

ServiceVehicle ageVehicle requirementsIneligible vehicles
UberX2009 or newer
  • 5 seat belts
  • Working windows
  • Air conditioning
  • Vans
  • Box trucks
  • Taxis
  • Government cars
  • Marked vehicles
  • Salvaged or rebuilt vehicles
UberXL2009 or newer
  • 7 seat belts
  • Working windows
  • Air conditioning
  • Vans
  • Box trucks
  • Taxis
  • Government cars
  • Marked vehicles
  • Salvaged or rebuilt vehicles
Uber Select2015 or newer
  • 5 seat belts
  • Leather or vinyl interior
  • Working windows
  • Air conditioning
  • On list of Uber’s approved models
  • Town Cars
  • Crown Victorias
  • Vans
  • Box trucks
  • Taxis
  • Government cars
  • Marked vehicles
  • Salvaged or rebuilt vehicles
Uber Black5 years old or newer
  • 5 seat belts
  • Black exterior
  • Black leather interior
  • Working windows
  • Air conditioning
  • On list of Uber’s approved models
  • Town Cars
  • Crown Victorias
  • Vans
  • Trucks
Uber Black SUV5 years old or newer
  • 6 seat belts
  • Black exterior
  • Black leather interior
  • Working windows
  • Air conditioning
  • On list of Uber’s approved models
  • Town Cars
  • Crown Victorias
  • Vans
  • Trucks
Uber Comfort2009 or newer
  • 5 seat belts
  • Working windows
  • Air conditioning
  • On list of Uber’s approved models
  • Vans
  • Box trucks
  • Taxis
  • Government cars
  • Marked vehicles
  • Salvaged or rebuilt vehicles

Uber rental program

While Uber doesn’t rent cars to drivers directly, it does partner with several rental companies. To learn more about how it works and what it costs, read our guide to renting a car for Uber.

Pros and cons of driving with Uber

Pros

  • Sign up to drive whenever you’re free with no rigid schedules.
  • Get paid quickly — weekly by default or up to five times daily when you register for Instant Pay with your debit card.
  • No prior professional driving experience necessary.

Cons

  • Drivers classified as independent contractors — which means no benefits or taxes deducted from your pay.
  • Driving all day or night can become exhausting, especially if you have a day job.

Compare ridesharing services

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Earning structure Signing bonus Insurance support Locations
Uber
  • Earn base fare plus amounts for time and distance
  • Earn tips
  • Surge pricing
  • Earn more for long-distance pickups
No
Yes
All 50 states
The more you drive, the higher your earnings.
Via
Via
  • Earn base fare plus amounts for time and distance
  • Earn tips
  • Earn bonuses
Yes
No
New York City
Chicago
Los Angeles
Washington, DC
Arlington, Texas
West Sacramento, California
King County, Washington
Newton, Massachusetts
Salt Lake County, Utah
Cupertino, California
Birmingham, Alabama
Pickups and dropoffs are always on a street corner.
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Driving for Uber Eats

If you’re a driver-partner with Uber, you can sign up for its food-delivery service by opting in to receiving Eats requests. If you’re not an Uber driver-partner already, apply directly on the Uber Eats site. You get to keep 100% of the tips you earn.

Uber Eats driver-partners are expected to:

  • Have at least one year of driving experience.
  • Have a car that’s newer than 1998.
  • Be at least 19 years old.
  • Have a government-issued ID and insurance.

Some locations allow you to deliver with your bike or scooter. To deliver Uber Eats on your bike, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid state ID. To make deliveries with your scooter, you must be licensed, at least 19 and have scooter insurance.

Bottom line

If you’re looking to make a steady income with benefits, this isn’t the gig for you. But if you’re OK exchanging stability for flexibility, working as an Uber driver allows you to set your own schedule and choose how much you work.

For more information on working as a driver, check out our Uber hub for guides on how much you can earn, how to finance a car for Uber and more.

Frequently asked questions

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