After launching in 2009, Uber now operates in over 700 cities across 63 countries, employing roughly 3.9 million drivers. This has become a popular form of work, offering flexible hours ideal for those who want to earn extra income on top of their regular job, as well as those working for Uber full-time. It’s also very easy to get started, especially if you own a vehicle already, although you can still register without one. Best of all, you could earn up to £565 for a 35-45 hour week.
If you’re considering becoming an Uber driver in the UK, here’s everything you need to do.
1. Make sure you fulfil the minimum requirements
Uber’s minimum requirements include being over the age of 21, holding a valid UK driver’s licence— non-British ones must be converted —and proving a certain number of years’ driving experience. For instance, London drivers must have been on the road for three years, this differs from city to city and is set by Uber. You’ll need to provide documentation to verify the information you disclose, including proof of identity, your driving licence, and supporting vehicle documents like insurance and MOT certificates.
2. Drive an approved car
Uber-approved cars must have a model year of at least 2008 to work in London, or 2006 for drivers elsewhere in the UK. The vehicle needs to be in good condition without dents, scratches, or any commercial branding, and be able to carry a minimum of four passengers. Some of the most popular Uber cars are the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and Skoda Octavia.
As of late, new private hire vehicles (PHV) must meet London’s updated emission regulations. PHV models which are under 18 months old should be zero-emission capable (ZEC), while all cars must meet the Euro 6 standards. If you own a fully electric car or one with a hydrogen fuel cell then you will immediately meet these new regulations.
Don’t worry if you don’t own a car as it’s easy to rent one. There are many companies offering drivers the chance to have a vehicle even if they can’t afford the total upfront cost of purchasing a brand new car. For example, Hirebrid offers PCO car rental vehicles which are fully serviced, with maintenance, repairs and insurance covered in the weekly cost, or rent-to-buy schemes that require weekly payments for a certain number of years before you fully own the set of wheels.
3. Get a PCO (Public Carriage Office) licence
In order to legally become an Uber driver and start earning money, you must acquire a PCO licence (a private hire vehicle license) Your local council can provide one as long as Uber is permitted to operate in the area. You can either apply through Uber or independently. A PCO licence costs £310 which is paid to TfL.
4. Obtain PCO car insurance
Unless you are renting a PCO car that is already insured, you will need to arrange your own cover. Public hire insurance will cover you if your taxi is available to pre-book and can be stopped on the street. Public hire taxis are often company-owned and will have a taxi sign on top of the vehicle. Private hire insurance can cover you if you drive a taxi that must be pre-booked and can’t be hailed in the street. Taxi insurance is a legal requirement for drivers who are responsible for taking passengers to a destination, so make sure you have cover.
There are other policies available, including third party that protects against damage to another car or property, or to passengers who are injured as a result of your driving. Full comprehensive insurance is another option which covers third party, fire and theft, as well as compensation for medical treatment, legal expenses and accidental damage. Other covers you should consider are public liability insurance (sometimes included in a standard taxi driver policy), personal use cover if you plan to use your vehicle outside of work, and an unlimited mileage policy.
5. Register with Uber
Once you’ve completed all these steps, it’s time to register as an Uber driver through their website. Fill in a short form sharing your personal details and car information, then attend a face-to-face meeting with Uber to activate your account. The process is very straightforward and you’ll be out on the road in no time.
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