The biggest hurdle you’ll encounter in becoming an Uber driver is getting yourself initially set up (or your “wheels rolling”, as we’d say if we were somebody’s dad writing this).
There are a fair few start-up expenses to consider, and you might be waiting a while before you can get on the road, but the Uber drivers we’ve spoken to have all said that it’s worth the initial sting to get yourself up and running.
First of all, you need to meet the relevant criteria. You can only apply to be an Uber driver if you:
You also need to pass the following checks:
You’ll also need to sort yourself out with the following three things…
The process of obtaining a private hire licence is pretty pain-free, and Uber do offer you help with the application process (see below for details on Uber’s ‘Ignition sessions’).
The price of a private hire licence varies from council to council, but generally you’ll be looking at an average of £300(ish) and it has to be renewed every three years.
Bear in mind that it can take a helluva long time to actually get your licence through after applying. Uber claim on their website that it takes between 2-6 weeks, but the drivers we’ve spoken with have said it’s closer to 3 or 4 months, and one guy said he waited 6 months before he got his through!
This long wait is perhaps due to the sudden rise in popularity of Uber. The company also offer drivers a referral rewards scheme, where they can earn £150 for each new driver they recruit – so it’s no wonder there’s a backlog when it comes to processing licences!
Credit: Abrackin – FlickrIf you already have a car that fits the bill, you’re way ahead of the game. Check if your car is of an Uber standard on their site.
If your car didn’t make the cut, you can also rent an Uber-approved vehicle on a weekly basis. Rental prices can vary widely from £50 per week in Glasgow, to around £150 in London (if neither of these cities apply to you, google’s your man).
Private hire insurance can be steep, but as with any car insurance, the longer you’ve been driving and the safer you are as a driver, the cheaper it gets.
For example, the difference between a private hire policy for someone who’s been driving for three years and someone who’s been on the road for five years can be as much as £100/month!
Before you can apply for a licence, you’ll have a short interview with Uber and will need to attend a free masterclass offered called an ‘Uber Ignition’ session.
This is basically a half-day information session, where you learn about what it’ll be like to work for Uber, and their trained staff will guide you through the whole application process so you can apply for a licence from the local authorities.
They say it’ll take about four hours to complete the Ignition session, which involves the following:
• Training for the maps test
• Guidance in how to get your health and background check
• Advice on obtaining insurance
• Guidance on how to apply for your private hire licence