Driver Articles

Uber Vehicle Requirements for 2019

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 pitfalls, however, including finding a rideshare-friendly car insurance policy, which we’ve previously covered. But 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 down each of them in detail for you.

We must note that these guidelines should be taken as a starting point. 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 2019

As we expected they would do, Uber has updated a few vehicle requirements for 2019. 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 – 2004 or newer
  • Boston – 2004 or newer
  • Chicago – 2004 or newer
  • D.C. – 2009 or newer (2007 for Maryland drivers and 2004 for Virginia drivers)
  • Denver – 2004 or newer
  • Dallas – 2004 or newer
  • Milwaukee – 2004 or newer
  • Nashville – 2004 or newer
  • New York City – 2006 or newer
  • Philadelphia – 2004 or newer
  • Pittsburgh – 2004 or newer
  • Los Angeles/Orange County/San Diego and San Francisco – 2004 or newer

In addition to these changes, be aware of the changes in requirements for other Uber vehicle types. For UberBLACK, for example, vehicles must now be 5 years old or newer. Requirements change frequently, so be sure to check regularly for any new requirements for your city.

Uber Driver Requirements

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

  • You must drive a vehicle that is either a 4-door car, truck, or minivan. Manual transmission is accepted.
  • You are required to be 21 years of age or older (23 in certain cities).
  • You must have a valid driver’s license issued in the state where you want to drive for Uber.
  • The intended driver is required to be on the insurance for the vehicle used.
  • You must pass a background check, which will look for any criminal history such as violent crimes, sexual offenses, and other offenses that can disqualify you from driving for Uber.
  • 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 Uber.

UberX Car Requirements

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The most commonly used service that Uber offers it is also the cheapest. The rideshare service describes it as “everyday cars for everyday use,” while it 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:

UberX Car Requirements:

  • It must seat at least four passengers, not including the driver.
  • Must be a 4-door vehicle.
  • The model of the vehicle should be 2004 or newer, though this varies from city to city.

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 Cruze, Chevrolet Cobalt.

UberXL Vehicle Requirements

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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 an SUV or minivan and comes with a higher price than UberX. Similarly, the requirements aren’t much stricter.

UberXL Car Requirements:

  • The car must seat at least six passengers, not including the driver.
  • The model of the vehicle should be 2004 or newer, though this varies from city to city.

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

UberSELECT Vehicle Requirements

This service is only available in certain states and cities, but will no doubt expand to more soon enough.

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.

UberSELECT Car Requirements:

  • An entry-level 4-door luxury sedan with a leather interior.
  • Must seat at four passengers, not including the driver.
  • Vehicle model year 2004 or newer.

Recommended cars for 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

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These are higher-grade versions of UberX and UberXL, respectively. Those who hope to drive for this level of service will require a black high-end luxury sedan or SUV. 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.

UberBLACK and UberSUV Car Requirements:

  • Sedan or full-size SUV.
  • Black exterior and interior.
  • Vehicle should be at least 2014 or newer.
  • 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.

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


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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.

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 select cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, and NYC.

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

Things to Know When Driving for 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.

The demand is far greater for UberX, so it would be unwise not to accept them. Similarly, this is true for those who are driving for UberSELECT. You are able to disable this if you so choose.

However, all of this will impact your earning potential, which is based largely on hours. 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 for Uber? Apply to Find Out

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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 soon after with a vehicle inspection (for which they will bill you $20). They will also perform a background check. Assuming you pass both, you’ll be able to start driving.

Curious about the vehicle requirements to drive for Lyft? Check out our companion guide.

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Brett HellingProfile Photo Brett Helling
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