The life of a gig worker isn’t known as one of luxury, but what if you could make money while experiencing class and glam every day and night?
Celebrity sightings, drop-offs at estates, and luxurious tips are all stories that Uber Black drivers have had on the job.
Uber is typically known for its convenience for an everyday commute or a casual night out.
However, plenty of riders are seeking an experience. They’re looking to impress everyone from their boss and clients to their significant others and significant exes.
As Uber cashes in on the demand, you can make money while providing the ultimate people-pleasing experience.
In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about Uber Black, requirements for drivers, and how much you can expect to earn.
What Is Uber Black?
Uber Black is a luxury vehicle service that connects riders to professional drivers with high-end cars straight from the Uber app.
The first product ever offered by the company, Uber Black transformed the traditional black car service into a convenient, yet equally glamorous ride.
The entire request, pick-up, and drop-off process is as easy as for UberX. However, riders are guaranteed an elevated experience from start to finish: shiny leather seats, a high-quality driver, and perhaps a Tesla to show off to their friends.
For drivers, this means an opportunity to earn more per hour is right at your fingertips.
Uber Black Driver Requirements
The path to driving Uber Black isn’t as straightforward as driving a standard UberX vehicle. In addition to fulfilling minimum requirements expected of all drivers — which include proof of in-state insurance, background check clearance, and at least a year of licensed driving experience — the company takes strict measures to ensure only the best drivers are earning through Uber Black.
Because Uber boasts that Black is a luxury service with professional drivers, one measure they take into account is a minimum rating requirement. Black drivers must maintain at least a 4.85 star rating at all times.
Black drivers must also have commercial insurance. This commercial insurance requirement does create an additional cost, but when driving passengers is your career, it helps for you to decrease your liability.
Our final recommendation: Check your local requirements before signing up. Some city and state regulations do place additional requirements on rideshare and black car services.
For example, Nevada requires some drivers to have a state business license, and Los Angeles International Airport requires the driver to have airport permits in order to receive pick-up requests at the airport.
Uber Black Vehicle Requirements
Because Uber Black cars are one of the most luxurious products on the app, strict vehicle requirements are in place.
In addition to standard cosmetic requirements across all Uber products — such as four doors and at least four seats — drivers must have luxury vehicles with black leather interiors and black exteriors.
Ensuring your car is always in prime condition doesn’t just boost your ratings. A stain-free and undamaged luxury car is a requirement for all
Black vehicles to ensure riders receive an experience fit for special occasions. After all, an impressive date night should be remembered for its class, not for the trash in the backseat of your ride.
Even if the look of your car fits the bill, be aware that your vehicle model must be eligible too. The following are a selection of high-end car models that are accepted in most cities, as long as your vehicle is no more than five years old:
- Audi A6, A8, and A8L
- BMW 5-series and 7-series
- Lexus LS, GS, GX, and LX
- Lincoln Navigator, Continental, and MKT
- Maserati Quattroporte
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class, S-Class, GL-Class, GLE-Class, and GLS-Class
- Volvo S90 and XC90
Larger vehicle models that qualify for Uber Black, including the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon, may also be eligible to receive Black SUV requests.
Whereas Black is the luxury equivalent of UberX, Black SUV is the luxury equivalent of UberXL, which means you can earn higher fares for providing the exact same service.
How Much Should I Expect to Make?
With all the active guidelines for Uber Black drivers, you may be wondering if signing up is even worth the effort. However, Black and Black SUV are the most lucrative products for Uber drivers.
While UberX drivers on average make $13.70 per hour before tips, Uber Black drivers can nearly double those earnings.
It makes sense — riders pay almost four times the base fare and twice the per-minute rate for this higher-end service. Plus, when you drive in busy areas during times of high demand, surge pricing may multiply your earnings accordingly.
Keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for your own expenses as an independent contractor. That said, make sure to save part of your paycheck for self-employment taxes, and keep track of mileage and business expenses (including gas, insurance, and maintenance expenses) accrued for potential deductions during tax season.
Frequently Asked Questions
With all the biggest must-knows about Uber Black covered, let’s answer a few common questions you may have.
1. Can I become an Uber Black driver anywhere?
You can become an Uber Black driver in most cities that Uber operates in. However, there is a possibility that the company will put a temporary hold on Black driver sign-ups in your city if supply is already high.
Make sure to check if you can sign up before spending time looking into rentals, insurance, and more.
2. Can I rent an Uber Black vehicle?
If you don’t have an eligible car and purchasing one is out of the picture, you can still earn money with Uber Black by renting a car.
Services like Turo are built to connect Uber and Lyft drivers with local vehicles, and Fair partners with Uber to provide affordable longer term rentals.
3. What options do I have if I drive a luxury vehicle without a black interior or black exterior?
Luxury sedans and luxury SUVs that don’t quite fit Black car requirements may be eligible to earn more with Uber Select. This mid-tier service accepts additional makes and models, such as the Infiniti Q70 and QX56, Range Rover, Jaguar XF, and Porsche Panamera.
Looking to earn even more than Uber Black drivers? If you have the most luxurious of high-end cars — that includes your classic Rolls Royce and Bentley, as well as the ultra-modern Tesla Model S — you might qualify to earn with Uber Lux or Lux SUV, which are available in select major cities like Los Angeles and Austin.
4. Can I receive requests for multiple vehicle options if I am an Uber Black driver?
If your car is eligible, you will have the option to turn on requests for multiple products. Some luxury vehicle drivers choose not to turn on requests for UberX and UberXL, since earnings are lower.
But if Black or Black SUV requests are slow, turning those on can save you wasted time.
5. How often do I need to get a vehicle inspection as an UberBLACK driver?
You only need to get a vehicle inspection as often as a standard UberX driver. Requirements may vary based on local regulations, but in most cases, you will only need to bring your car into an eligible mechanic once a year.
To make the process easier, many Uber Greenlight Hubs offer inspections for free.
6. How can I contact Uber for support?
Uber offers a handful of methods for you to contact their support teams. This includes in-person support locations, in-app help, and a phone help service.
We’ve created a complete list with all of these methods of contacting Uber so you can easily find the one that works for you.
Earn While Driving in Style
Driving with Uber Black takes a bit more investment, but once you’re on the road, your earnings will fly high above those of an UberX driver. Plus, when you’re representing luxury at its finest, who knows what celebrities you may pick up along the way?
Get the flexible, memorable gig you’ve always dreamed of by signing up to drive now, or learn about more options for making money with Uber throughout the rest of the content on our site.