For people of all ages across the world, Uber has provided a quick and simple way to earn extra cash.
The premise is simple: match users with a driver, ordered through an online app backed through Google. It’s safe, fast, and cheap.
Unlike traditional taxis, Uber is able to provide real-time information about the car, the driver, the location, and the cost of the journey. This innovate app means that users feel safe with important information at their fingertips, and drivers had the opportunity to break into the (previously taxi-dominated) lift service industry.
But, in the four years since Uber arrived in Australia, it has undergone extreme scrutiny. Safety and regulation of the Uber fleet and their drivers was queried, whilst those working in the taxi industry cried foul on their jobs being replaced.
The legality of Uber as a ride-sharing service was called into question, and it has been a slow process for each Australian state to officially declare it legal.
The ACT was the first state to allow Uber in October 2015, followed up in December by NSW Premier Mike Baird when he announced Uber would be legalised. Other states are yet to follow – it was only earlier this month that QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made a statement on her Facebook page that it would be legalised there, too; until now, there was a hefty $2,000 fine slammed on Uber drivers.
However, the government’s approval comes with a caveat: new regulations have been put in place to create a ‘level playing field’ with taxi services.
So, what do YOU need to know before signing up as an Uber driver?
Your car must be under 10 years old.
For your car to be approved as part of the Uber fleet, it must be a model that is under 10 years old. It must also have four doors and boot space for luggage. Most Uber drivers also provide water and mints.
Your car must be registered and insured.
You must provide a photo of the vehicle’s registration even if the car isn’t registered in your name, and your name must be listed on the vehicle’s insurance card or declaration.
In terms of insurance, the official Uber website states that, “…as a minimum, all UberX ridesharing driver-partners are also required to have a current policy of compulsory third party (CTP) and third party property insurance.”
You will be subject to a background check.
Thanks to the new regulations, all Uber drivers will be eligible for a background check. Those with a criminal history or other serious offences with the Australian Government will be likely declined from driving as part of the Uber fleet.
The background check will review:
● Driving history
● Federal and state courthouse records going back 7 years
● The multi-state criminal database going back 7 years
● Motor Vehicle Records
● National Sex Offender Registry
There are different qualifications for Uber Black drivers.
If you are interested in boosting up your Uber rating from ‘UberX’ to ‘Uber Black’, you will need to have completed a MTMH Accreditation. Most Uber Black drivers are sourced from existing limousine or private luxury car fleets.
You need to have had your licence for a year.
To drive an Uber, you must have had your Australian open licence for over 12 months. P-platers are not accepted, nor are overseas licences.
You might have to pay a government fee.
Each state and territory have varying entry fees under the guise of different costs: in the ACT, Uber drivers pay a $600 ‘application fee’ and a $50 ‘annual fee to operate in the territory’. In WA, Uber drivers pay a $300 ‘accreditation fee’.
You must be 21 years old.
Whilst the legal driving age in Australia is 16, you won’t be eligible to drive in the Uber fleet until you’re over 21.
In some areas, taxis will be given preference.
As part of the agreement to legalise Uber, many state governments have put in place regulations to ensure taxis still have a fair cut of the fares. This means that some areas – including taxi ranks – will be ‘off limits’ to Uber drivers.
One of the biggest barriers to entry, however, is owning a four door car that is under 10 years old. This is where GoGetta can help.
Many of our customers are using GoGetta to finance a new vehicle, suitable for Uber, and taking time (after they start earning!) to pay it off.
Melbourne dad and entrepreneur Mario Silvera took the GoGetta option when he wanted to join Uber as his property business was starting up earlier this year.
Whilst Mario’s 2007 Honda Civic made the cut off, it was not ideal for the large amount of driving he was about to take on. For starters, it was manual – and as a small hatchback, not ideal for accommodating luggage on the frequent airport run.
Mario realised he desperately needed an upgrade on his car before he could start – a challenge without the cash flow he required. But, with help from GoGetta, Mario sold his old car and replaced it with a 2011 Hyundai i30.
“I didn’t want to spend too much on it,” says Mario, “being new to Uber driving I didn’t want to overextend my payments until I was sure. It was a calculated risk.”
“In terms of the funding, I sat down with the GoGetta team on day one, and by the end of day one I had a response. By day two, I had a response from the car broker, by day three I had found the car – and in a week? I had the car, I had the insurance organised, the car dealer had been paid, and I picked up my car the following week.”
Mario has one last tip for those looking to begin as Uber driver:
“Don’t turn up in a hotted up car,” he says. “And don’t play loud music!”
Are you Uber curious? Whether this is something you have considered before, or you are starting to mull over the idea, this how-to guide by GoGetta is exactly what you need in life right now. Don’t worry if you don’t have a car or you think it’s too old because that’s where GoGetta can help, as you’ll soon find out!