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Uber Vehicle Requirements For 2018

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Uber vehicle requirements explained

The way this rideshare app is disrupting the transportation industry is phenomenal. As the demand for new drivers grows, it’s not much of a surprise that everybody is looking to cash in on the growing trend. Let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you want to jump on the bandwagon?

There are, however pitfalls, including finding a rideshare-friendly insurance policy, which we’ve previously covered. Though, before you even get to that point, you need to know if your current vehicle qualifies and passes Uber’s requirements.

These requirements can vary greatly depending on the specific service type you are planning to drive under, and as such, we’ll break each of them down in detail for you.

We must note though, that these should be taken as little more than a starting point and the approval of your vehicle is solely at the discretion of Uber – who has the final word. This can sometimes vary on a state-to-state basis. If you have any state-specific questions, be sure to contact Uber to get things straightened out. Now let’s jump right in.

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Uber vehicle requirements for 2018 (updates and more)

As we expected they would do, Uber has updated a few vehicle requirements for the new year. As a company that is constantly evolving, they are always working to refine the system and increase passenger and driver safety.

As a way to accomplish this, the company has changed the vehicle year requirement for the following cities for UberX and UberXL drivers:

  • Atlanta – 2005 or newer
  • Boston – 2001 or newer
  • Chicago – 2001 or newer
  • DC: 2005 or newer
  • Denver – 2001 or newer
  • Dallas – 2003 or newer
  • Milwaukee – 2001 or newer
  • Nashville – 2001 or newer
  • New York City: 2010 or Newer
  • Philadelphia – 2000 or newer (could be 2001 or newer but not updated yet on the platform)
  • Pittsburgh – 2006 or newer (hybrids 2004 or newer)
  • LA/OC/SD and SF – 2001 or newer

While UberX and UberXL vehicle requirements have changed, most other service requirements have remained the same. For example, to drive for UberBLACK and UberSUV, you must have a car that is equal to or newer than 2010. They’re currently working on changing this, and drivers are patiently awaiting what these new requirements will be.

  Initial driver requirements for Uber

First and foremost, there are a few initial ground rules that every driver must pass before being able to drive. It is important to ensure you pass every one of these before applying.

  • You must drive a vehicle that is either a four-door car, truck or minivan. Manual transmission is accepted.
  • You are required to be 21 years of age or older (23 depending on your city).
  • The intended driver is required to be on the insurance for the vehicle used.
  • You must pass a background check.
  • A minimum of three years driving experience is mandatory.
  • Your vehicle must be fit to pass an inspection from Uber.
  • You are required to have a clean driving record.

Vehicle restrictions for Uber

There are also a set of vehicle restrictions that apply for every Uber service type. If you own one of these you do not qualify. These include the following:

  • You are not able to drive for Uber with a full-size van (Ford Transit, Ford E-Series, GMC Savana)
  • Taxis and other marked vehicles are not accepted.
  • The use of Crown Victoria is prohibited.
  • Uber does not allow the use of salvaged vehicles.

Though these are current guidelines, they may chance at any time. It is possible that additional cars or vehicle types may be added to the restriction list for Uber – so it is advisable to continue to keep yourself updated on the requirements set by the rideshare service.

UberX Car Requirements


The most commonly used service that Uber offers, it is also the cheapest. The rideshare service describes it as “everyday cars for everyday use”, whilst maintains the promise that it will be “better, faster, and cheaper than a taxi.” All of which, is certainly the case. The requirements for this level aren’t incredibly stringent, as outlined below:

View UberX vehicle requirements
  • It must seat at least four passengers, not including the driver.
  • The model of the vehicle should be 2000 or newer, though this varies from city to city:
    • In Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco it is 2000 or newer.
    • For those in New York City, cars are required to be 2011 or newer.
    • Those wanting to drive in Philadelphia and Pittsburg should have a vehicle that is 2007 or newer with 100,000 miles or less on the clock.
    • Those in Chicago should have a car produced in the year 2001 or newer.
    • In a number of cities, your car will have to be 2005 or newer to qualify.

Recommended cars for UberX: Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, Mazda3 and Mazda6, Toyota Camry and Corolla, Ford Focus, Nissan Altima, Ford F-150, Toyota Tacoma, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Cruz, Chevrolet Cobalt.

UberXL Vehicle Requirements

uber xl

The next level of service from the rideshare firm, UberXL is “for those times when you need a bit more space”. This service is for those who own either a SUV or Minivan and comes with a higher far price than UberX. Similarly, the requirements aren’t much stricter:

View UberXL car requirements
  • The car must seat at least six passengers, not including the driver.
  • The model of the vehicle should be 2000 or newer, though this varies from city to city:
    • In Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco it is 2000 or newer.
    • For those in New York City, vehicles are required to be 2011 or newer.
    • Those wanting to drive for Uber in Philadelphia and Pittsburg should have a car that is 2007 or newer with 100,000 miles or less on the clock.
    • Those in Chicago should have a vehicle produced in the year 2001 or newer.
    • In a number of cities, your vehicle will have to be 2005 or newer to qualify.

Recommended cars for UberXL: GMC Acadia, Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango, Jeep Cherokee, Chevrolet Suburban.

UberPlus / UberSelect Vehicle Requirements

This service is only available in certain states and cities, but will no doubt expand to more soon enough. Though commonly known as UberPlus, it also operates under the name UberSelect in other markets.

It is a more expensive option than both UberX and UberXL and comes with fare prices that reflect that. The requirements are, as you might expect, a little tighter for this level of service:

View UberPLUS and UberSELECT car requirements
  • An entry-level four-door luxury sedan is required.
  • The car must have a leather interior.
  • Must seat at four passengers, not including the driver.
  • Only vehicles 2007 or newer will be accepted into UberPlus / UberSelect.

Recommended cars for UberPlus/UberSelect: Audi A3 and up, BMW 3 Series and up, all Lincolns, Mercedes C-Class and up, Volvo S60, Acura, Cadillac, Hyundai Genesis, all Infinitis.

UberBLACK and UberSUV


These are higher-grade versions of UberX and UberXL, respectively. Those who hope to drive for this level of service will require a high-end luxury sedan or SUV, in black. This comes with one of the highest fares available with Uber and driving standards are also expected to meet this level of quality.

To get your passenger from start to finish in style, you will be required to meet the following specifications:

View UberBLACK and UberSUV car requirements
  • Sedan or full-size SUV.
  • Black exterior and interior.
  • Vehicle should be at least 2010 or newer. (Updated from 2012 for 2018)
  • Must seat at least four passengers (Sedan) or six passengers (SUV).
  • Driver is required to have commercial registration and insurance.
  • Airport permit is required.

Recommended cars for UberBLACK: Audi A6/A7, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class.


Recommended cars for UberSUV: Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban, Lincoln Navigator, GMC Yukon XL.



This is the top-of-the-range service. They describe it as offering the “finest cars with prices to match”, and only allow drivers with a vehicle from one of the world’s most luxury brands to cater to its passengers, who are looking for that little something extra in their service.

View UberLUX car requirements
  • Those who drive for this service are required to have commercial insurance.
  • Vehicle is required to be 2010 or newer.
  • This service is only available in Los Angeles.

Recommended cars for UberLUX: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Porsche Panamera, Tesla Model S, Range Rover.

What you need to keep in mind with Uber

There are some things worth keeping in mind before applying to become a rideshare driver with Uber. The first, is that those who sign up with UberXL will also receive fare requests from UberX, unless you choose not to.

Though, as the demand is far greater for UberX, you would often be wise not to accept them. Similarly, this is true for those who are driving for Uber Plus/Select. Though, again, you are able to disable this, if you so choose.

However, all of this will impact your earning potential. Which, in itself is based entirely on the amount of hours you put in. Essentially, the more you drive, the more you earn.

It is also worth noting that you should keep your car maintained and in good working order, whilst ensuring that it is kept clean and tidy. No passenger wants to get into a dirty vehicle. Your attitude should also be respectful. This is all critical to receiving a good rating and future fare requests.

Do you qualify? Apply to Uber and find out

Gone through all of the above and feel that you meet the requirements to become a driver? Then the next step is simple. Take a shot and apply to become a rideshare driver through Uber. Upon doing so you will be required to submit the details of your car as well as some information about yourself.

If Uber is happy with everything on their end they will follow up with you soon after. At which point they will put in place a vehicle inspection (for which they will bill you $20), whilst a background check will also be performed. Assuming you pass both you’ll be able to start driving.


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