If you spend enough time in the sharing economy, it may seem like there’s been an Uber for everything. Helicopters, puppies, ice cream — you name it. Uber has used its unique rideshare network in every way possible. Funny enough, the most globally impactful service Uber has provided remains its least imaginative yet: UberX.
One of the first major players in the gig economy, Uber has become synonymous with any platform that connects normal people to the services they need or the earning opportunities they want. While the company began as a luxury service, it’s now best known for getting everyday people to their destination of choice through the affordable UberX service.
This article will guide you through what UberX is, how to start driving, and how to increase your earnings with additional Uber services.
What Is UberX?
When you think of Uber, you’re likely thinking of UberX. Uber is best known for connecting everyday riders with everyday drivers who have room in their vehicles to spare. That’s exactly what this service does. For riders seeking an affordable ride in a sedan and trustworthy drivers seeking cash, UberX may be the perfect option for you.
UberX doesn’t claim to be fancy. Its low-cost convenience is exactly what made it a popular, worldwide phenomenon that you can take advantage of to make extra cash or a full-time career.
UberX Driver Requirements
Every Uber driver has a set of minimum requirements they must meet, and luckily for you, nothing more than the minimum is needed for you to begin driving an UberX car. Still, understanding these requirements can help you feel confident going into the approval process.
All Uber drivers must meet local age requirements — typically 21 years old — and hold a valid in-state driver’s license to even be considered to drive. This can be expected from professional drivers across many companies, but Uber has two additional requirements of note:
- You must have at least a year of licensed driving experienced, or three if you’re under 23 years old.
- You must have a four-door vehicle that is eligible for the UberX service (more on that below).
These requirements may be specific, but they are easy to fulfill and help keep riders safe — as do driver background checks. Uber requires every driver to pass a background check, which looks for red flags in relevant areas, like your driving record and criminal history.
Completing the screening is as easy as inputting your social security number at the end of the application process. For the most part, this screening simply serves as reassurance that you’re not a violent criminal, reckless driver, or sex offender — a safety precaution that requires little effort.
Fulfilling your document requirements is an even faster process. The following, which you will already have, just need to be kept handy to scan and submit through the app when prompted:
- Your valid U.S. driver’s license
- Proof of vehicle insurance
- Your glowing face — you’ll be asked to submit a valid headshot to help riders identify you, starting with your first pick-up
UberX Vehicle Requirements
There’s good news for anyone seeking a gig with a quick start: UberX is a viable money maker for the majority of people who own newer, four-door vehicle models. To pass a few of the relatively lax requirements set by Uber, your vehicle will have to be:
- 15 years old or newer
- Able to seat at least four passengers with seat belts
- In great interior and exterior condition with no major alterations in appearance
- Registered and insured in the state where you’re driving
Your car must also pass an annual vehicle inspection, but Uber uniquely provides free inspections at Greenlight Hubs or partner locations in most cities. A few common car makes and models that are accepted for UberX include the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Toyota Prius.
Earning With Other Uber Services
As Uber’s premier low-cost option, UberX isn’t exactly going to help you bring in the riches without a considerable amount of effort. UberX drivers, on average, make just $14.73 per hour after tip. Taking advantage of surge pricing, which multiplies your earnings for taking fares in busy areas, and other incentives will help increase your expected income, but there is an easier way to give your earnings a reliable boost every ride.
Providing higher-cost or additional Uber services to riders will help your per-trip earnings or the quantity of requests you receive. Here’s a quick breakdown of a handful of Uber services you may choose to provide.
For many riders who consider Uber a part of their everyday commute or casual nights out, the most affordable ride is their go-to choice. UberX is just one of three popular economy services that help you earn by getting riders where they want to go.
A carpool service that allows you to fill your car with multiple riders along a similar route. While Uber Pool is even more cost efficient for riders than UberX, accepting these requests allows you to earn from several riders without wasting gas. When paired with UberX rides, you may see a rise in the volume of requests you receive.
A larger version of UberX, UberXL vehicles comfortably fit six. While still an affordable ride and a popular service, driving this product will give you a slight per-trip income boost, in comparison to UberX.
For riders who don’t mind spending the extra bucks for a taste of luxury, Uber’s premium services provide experiences that exceed your expectations for a normal car ride. If you’re up for a bit of investment, driving premium vehicle options can multiply your income every trip.
An affordable trip in a high-end vehicle, with a highly rated driver behind the wheel. Uber Select cars include mid-tier luxury vehicle models by Audi, Infiniti, and Lexus. Beyond these requirements, you’ll typically just have to meet standard driver qualifications, and you’ll be on your way to earning significantly more.
The original Uber service, Black is a classy, yet convenient service with a professional driver behind the wheel — always with a black leather interior and a black exterior. Uber Black cars include BMWs and Maseratis, and their drivers must have commercial insurance, but the initial investment can double your per-trip earnings for life.
Another black car service offered by Uber, Black XL is to Black what UberXL is to UberX. If you have an all-black luxury car that comfortably seats at least six passengers, you could be earning even more than Uber Black drivers.
The most luxurious Uber ride you can provide. If you happen to have one of the most renowned high-end vehicles — including models by Tesla, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes-Benz — you can make plenty of money by registering it as an Uber Lux car and will likely qualify to drive most other Uber services.
Some cities around the world have historically offered higher-paying opportunities for drivers who meet qualifications for specialty services. For example, you may be able to add WAV and uberASSIST to your list of services if you have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle and are certified to assist people with disabilities. In cities like San Diego, you can earn more by being fluent in Spanish (with uberESPAÑOL) or driving an electric vehicle (with electric vehicle incentives).
Uber Taxi, which is similar to a standard taxi, is also available for you to earn by the meter in cities like Boston and Chicago.
Frequently Asked Questions
Driving with Uber is one of the easiest ways for you to make money in the gig economy, but you may have some questions before you decide if UberX is the right service for you. Here are our answers to frequently asked questions that might be on your mind:
1. Can I drive for Uber if I don’t have a smartphone?
No, drivers are required to use the Uber Driver smartphone app — which is compatible with most updated Android and iOS operating systems — to receive requests. While passengers can request rides without the Uber app, the Uber Driver app has no alternatives.
2. Can I make luxury rides my priority if I turn on both premium and UberX requests?
If you are accepting rides from multiple services, you will not be able to set a preference. For example, if you’re in the middle of an UberX trip, an Uber Black request will likely go to the next closest qualified driver. However, turning on multiple services will ensure that you are consistently making trips, as luxury ride options are often only in high demand for special occasions.
3. What happens if a rider cancels their ride?
Don’t worry about losing out on earnings. Riders will generally be charged a cancellation fee that you’ll receive on your next payment statement. This cancellation fee kicks in as long as your rider cancels their ride after five minutes of being matched or doesn’t show up within five minutes of your arrival at the pick-up location.
Start Earning With Your Vehicle
When you can make money from the comfort of your own vehicle, what’s holding you back? We hope this guide has helped you understand your wide range of options for earning with Uber — starting with UberX — so you can get going on the flexible gig you’ve always wanted.
Dip your toes in the water with the no-hassle application process for UberX. Then, if you decide Uber is the right gig for you, you can consider what additional Uber service or services will be worth the investment for a big income boost. Click here to sign up to drive.