Today’s guest post comes from Hamed, co-founder of Ridesharemechanic.com. Ridesharemechanic makes getting a vehicle inspection simple and easy, getting you on the road to earning money quickly.
Picture this scenario for a moment: you’re excited to get started with a rideshare gig- you’ve initiated your application, submitted all your personal and driving info, and ready to get on the road when all of a sudden, you are prompted to upload a photo of your vehicle inspection.
So now you have to put the brakes on your application and actually seek out a way to get your vehicle inspected before you can proceed to the next step and start driving. Talk about a buzz kill!
First of all, I think we all agree that the vehicle inspection is an important part of the process- I mean, would you ever want to get in a car that had never passed a basic 19-point vehicle inspection?
But it’s only natural to dread the process of getting the inspection, not because you fear that something is wrong with your car, but because of the inconvenience and burden of actually completing it.
FACT: The #1 reason that rideshare drivers put off their application is the mandatory vehicle inspection.
The reason for the above fact is obvious: with your busy schedule, it can be a real hassle to go to a mechanic to complete your inspection. In addition to it being inconvenient, it can cost you money, consume gas, take time (and of course time = money, especially in the rideshare industry!), and ultimately cause a lot of frustration!
As if that isn’t bad enough, many mechanics may try to upsell you on a bunch you things for your car that supposedly need attention, which may not even be required on the vehicle inspection! Let’s sum up the traditional rideshare inspection experience in a word: headache…!
But don’t despair! There is a fantastic alternative to the traditional inspection for gig economy drivers. Before we dive into the details of this painless and quick alternative, just imagine for a moment what it would be like if you could complete your inspection:
- At your driveway (or wherever your car is)
- During extended support hours 7 days per week
- In under 20 minutes
- With an on-demand or scheduled appointment
- At a low cost (or even Free!)
- With no risk (only pay after you pass the inspection)
With a company that:
- Has completed over 25,000 inspections for gig economy drivers
- Can be a one-stop shop for all your inspection needs
- Has over 1,500 5-star reviews on Google
- Sends you the completed inspection form digitally
Now, you may be asking yourself, “So what is this amazing solution for my vehicle inspection??? The answer: Rideshare Mechanic! It’s a virtual mechanic that conducts inspections for gig economy drivers using video chat.
That’s right- Rideshare Mechanic leverages technology to perform inspections over video chat apps such as Facetime or Duo. Simply book an appointment or request an on-demand inspection and a Rideshare Mechanic inspector will inspect the items that are required on the inspection form with your help, using your phone’s camera.
Inspection options for gig economy drivers in the US
Before you proceed with any inspection, the first step is to make sure that you and your vehicle qualify for the gig economy opportunity you want to drive for. You can generally find this information with a quick search on the internet, or check out our other blog posts for the particular program you want to get started with. Most companies have requirements related to the year and type of the vehicle, your age, driving experience, and other items. In addition to the generic requirements, some programs have very specific requirements in particular regions, such as a business license.
Regardless of the city you live in or the platform for which you want to drive, one of the primary requirements to get started in most cases is that you must pass a vehicle inspection. Let’s review this process together and the options available to complete this step. The options we will cover here are:
- A local mechanic shop (i.e. Pep Boys, Jiffy Lube, etc…)
- A local office of the company for which you applied (i.e. Uber Greenlight Hub, Lyft Hub, etc…)
- Rideshare Mechanic (virtual inspections conducted over video)
Option 1: Get a vehicle inspection at a local mechanic shop
The first option we’ll discuss on how to complete your vehicle inspection is to take your car to a local mechanic shop. In general, any licensed facility should be able to perform your vehicle inspection, but we recommend that you call the shop in advance just to confirm that they can perform the inspection that you are looking for.
Keep in mind that one of the requirements of going to a traditional mechanic, which a lot of drivers tend to neglect, is that you must print the inspection form and take it with you to the mechanic. Yup, this means that in order to get a completed inspection form that you can upload to your profile, you will need to actually print off the physical piece of paper in order for the mechanic to sign it.
Where to obtain the inspection form?
Although the inspection forms for different companies may contain the same requirements required for any of the gig economy platforms in your area, we recommend that you complete your inspection on a company-branded form for the specific program you are interested in. You can usually find their form with a quick online search- i.e. just type in “inspection form for [gig economy program of interest] for [my region].” For example, if you want to drive for Uber in Denver, type in “Inspection form for Uber in Denver.”
Here are the steps we recommend if you want to go to a local mechanic shop:
Step 1: Search for a mechanic near you via Yelp or Google Maps
Step 2: Call the shop to verify that they can complete the vehicle inspection you need
Step 3: Schedule your appointment
Step 4: Print off the inspection form that is specific to your program
Step 5: Check your car to make sure there are no obvious issues (i.e. broken headlight, cracked windshield, bald tires)
Step 6: Show up and get your car inspected (make sure to take the inspection form with you!)
and the Usually you can find whatever iOf course another option you have is to get your inspection through Rideshare Mechanic and not worry about the paper inspection form- all of Rideshare Mechanic’s forms are sent to you in a digital format right to your phone, which you can upload to your Uber profile. We’re all about convenience!
Option 2: Get a vehicle inspection at a Gig Economy office or Hub
A lot of gig economy companies have established local offices to help new drivers get onboarded to their platform. The most common use of this concept is Uber Greenligh Hubs. These serve as customer support centers that drivers can go to in order to take care of their onboarding requirements. In addition to providing the vehicle inspection, many of these places will also provide support to drivers for things such as profile updates, answering questions, and other region-specific needs for becoming an approved driver for the platform (for example, some regions require a special certificate or medical exam, which can usually be obtained in these offices/hubs).
You can typically find the office/hub nearest to you by just doing a quick Google search of the platform for which you wish to drive or contacting the customer support. For example, you may type in “Uber Hub” to see a list of the Greenlight Hubs in your city.
Option 3: Get a vehicle inspection with Rideshare Mechanic
With the use of technology, a lot of gig economy drivers and driver applicants are getting their vehicle inspections completed without ever leaving their driveways. Rideshare Mechanic allows you to complete your vehicle inspection over video chat. Very simply, when it’s time for your appointment, an inspector will initiate a video chat session with you over a phone app such as Facetime or Duo, and will guide you through the process of showing all the items on your car that are needed for your inspection. Of all the options mentioned in this article, this option offers the most convenience and flexibility to drivers. Rideshare Mechanic is a great option for busy individuals because they offer extended support hours and don’t require that you take your car anywhere, so you can save time and gas in the process. All you need is a decent data or wi fi connection, and you’ll be able to conduct the vehicle inspection. You will need to be a bit involved in this process as the inspector guides you through it (i.e. turn on your headlights and show that they work, honk the horn, etc…).
How much does the vehicle inspection cost?
The cost of the inspection depends on the method of inspection that you select from the options mentioned above. Here are the costs broken down for you:
Uber vehicle inspection cost
o At a traditional mechanic such as Pep Boys or Jiffy Lube, you can expect the inspection to cost anywhere from $17 to $30. We encourage you to call in advance and ask about the cost just so you know what to expect. But also be warned that the mechanic may recommend other work that needs to be done on your car, which could end up costing quite a bit more than you had planned to pay for!
o If you go to a local office such as a Greenlight or Lyft hub, the inspection is usually offered at no cost; this is especially the case with new driver applicants who are just getting started with the platform for their first time. Keep in mind that it can take well over an hour to complete the process, depending on how busy the office/hub is. Some of the programs allow you to schedule an appointment in advance, and others do not.
- Rideshare Mechanic
o With Rideshare Mechanic, the cost of an inspection is $25. If you are an Uber and Lyft driver or appliant and need two inspections, you can choose to get a bundle of both inspections for $45. When you consider the time spent and gas consumed to go to the local inspection options, this option may very well be the cheapest and fastest overall (remember, time is money in the gig economy!). For new Uber drivers, Rideshare Mechanic offers inspections for free.
Can you get a free vehicle inspection?
You very well may be able to get a free inspection! There are several ways to do it, but it depends on what option you choose to complete your inspection. Just follow the instructions below for each option available:
– Rideshare Mechanic
o Rideshare Mechanic offers a free vehicle inspection to new Uber driver applicants (meaning that you have never driven for Uber before). In order to qualify, you must request Uber to add Rideshare Mechanic’s referral code to your driver account. This gives Rideshare Mechanic (and You!) an opportunity to earn a referral bonus, so they waive the inspection fee. The inspector at Rideshare Mechanic can walk you through this process. If you are a new Uber driver and also want to do a Lyft inspection, you can pay for a Lyft inspection on its own for $25, and get your Uber inspection for free. Note that using Rideshare Mechanic’s referral code can also help you qualify for a new driver sign-up incentive.
– Company Office/Hub
o The local gig economy offices/hub typically offer free inspections for new driver applicants, and some offer free inspections even for existing drivers going back to renew their inspection. One limitation of this option that you should be aware of is that the inspection form is typically valid for only the specific program supported by that office. For example, if you get a vehicle inspection for Lyft from the Lyft Hub, you likely won’t be able to use that same insepction for Uber, and in most cases, they don’t even give you the insection form to keep.
How often do I need to get an vehicle inspection?
The requirements change from platform to platform, but generally speaking, most companies will require you to get a new vehicle inspection every year or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. And of course if you add a new car to your profile, you will need to complete a new vehicle inspection for that car.
Conclusion: What is the best option for an Uber or Lyft vehicle inspection?
Now that we have discussed the options you have to get a vehicle inspection, let’s look at the pros and cons of each:
Traditional local mechanic in your city
- Can offer both Uber and Lyft inspection
- No free options, must pay for inspection
- May try to upsell you on various mechanical services that can be unrelated to the rideshare inspection
- Must drive to their location, takes time and consumes gas
- In general, you must schedule an appointment, but some offer walk ins (which can take much longer depending on how busy they are)
Office/Hub (such as Uber Greenlight Hub)
- Free for new driver applicants (and sometimes free for existing/returning drivers)
- Can only complete one type of inspection (for example, just Uber but not Lyft)
- Often walk-ins only (first come, first serve) with no scheduling option
- Limited hours of operation
- Must drive to their location, takes time and consumes gas
- Quick- complete your inspection in under 15 minutes
- Convenient- conduct inspection from wherever your car is
- Extended support hours every day of the week
- One-stop shop- can offer both Uber and Lyft inspection
- Free for new Uber drivers
- Only interested in the rideshare inspection; no motivation to upsell you on other mechanic services
- Schedule inspection in advance or request an on-demand inspection
- No risk- don’t pay for the inspection until you pass!
- Existing drivers must pay- $25 for one inspection, $45 for bundle inspection for both Uber and Lyft, although new Uber drivers can get a free inspection.
- You have to be a bit involved by holding your camera to show different items on your car (you can’t just sit back while a mechanic inspects your car)
What is our recommendation for the best way to get a vehicle inspection for Uber or Lyft?
After weighing the pros and cons of each option, Rideshare Mechanic is our recommendation for your gig economy vehicle inspection needs. For new Uber drivers, it’s an easy choice to make because the inspection is offered for free! But even for existing drivers who must pay $25 for an inspection, we believe that it’s still the best option.
It may be tempting to go to an Uber Greenlight Hub or Lyft Hub or other company office and get a free inspection, but when you factor in the time it takes to drive to the location (which must be during their business hours), and the gas you would have to consume to get there, it becomes clear that there is an opportunity cost associated to that option. Instead of waiting for an inspection at an office, you can finish your inspection quickly with Rideshare Mechanic to get on the road quicker and therefore start making money quicker.
In conclusion, when you consider the true costs (all things considered) of doing a vehicle inspection with each of the options mentioned in this article, Rideshare Mechanic comes out as the best option for most drivers; this is true for both new driver applicants and existing drivers.
Are you ready to give Rideshare Mechanic a try? Click here to schedule your appointment or request an on-demand appointment. Once you try Rideshare Mechanic, you won’t want to do you vehicle inspection in any other way.