Ready to Become an Uber Driver? Not So Fast
Uber, Uber, Uber! The company seems to pop up in the news every other week (just like the Volkswagen diesel scandal was last year). It’s either a beef, where fuming taxi drivers are protesting to get them wiped off the map, or a passenger complaining about a $500 ride home. They’re a polarizing enterprise. But that hasn’t stopped millennials (the 18 – 34 year olds) from jumping on board (excuse the pun), and that’s led a lot of people to try their hand at driving for Uber.
Maybe you entertain the thought occasionally. There’s a lot of murky and off-putting stories about what happens in an Uber car, but that doesn’t mean the opportunities aren’t worth considering. However, you better get familiar with a few things if you’re wondering how to become an Uber driver. There’s more to it than acting like a random driver picking up hitchhikers.
Is it Worth it? Let an Uber Driver Tell You
Here’s the question that every prospective Uber driver asks: “Is it worth it?” The pessimists, skeptics, and the taxi drivers will declare that it isn’t without a hint of hesitation. You’ll have the old-timers – adults who are accustomed to taking an official cab – and the people who are scared of the reported horror stories tell you that they aren’t sure. And then you’ll have the younger crowd and adventurers who’ll tell you that it’s definitely worth it. The controversial news headlines involving drivers and passengers might make it seem like you should avoid the company. However, it’s better to hear about the experience from Uber drivers themselves.
Apparently, the choice to become an Uber driver is rewarding for many. It shows in their experiences, whether it means having a friendly conversation, or turning into someone’s therapist for the ride. Check out these examples from drivers on this Uber forum:
“Picked up a lovely late 20’s woman last night. She was on her way to meet a man for first date. The rendezvous point was a good restaurant in a high-traffic area – good points, right? I asked her if she was nervous and her reply was an emphatic “Yes!” So, I took the opportunity to engage her in conversation about her dog, her work (lawyer,) her hobbies (biking and cooking,) and books she’s read recently. When we got to her destination, I told her that all she needed to do now was continue the current conversation with her date. She told me she was thinking the same thing, then she thanked me for calming her down and told me that she hoped her date would be as much of a gentleman as I was. Awwww, shucks, ma’am (kicks dirt.)”
Of course, you get the bad experiences. A good number of drivers have had to deal with some deranged, disgusting and even dangerous people. So yes, if you aspire to become an Uber driver, accept that some of your passengers may be the kind you don’t really want to chauffeur.
“Funny story actually … My friend is a Uber driver too and he was telling me how this girl peed in his car and how funny yet utterly disgusting it was. I am out driving the following week and this passenger was telling me how she peed in some guy’s car the previous week. I was in such fear and she made a comment how I began to drive faster. When we got to her destination and she got out I told her I knew the driver whose car she peed in.”
You’ll never know whom exactly will sit in the passenger seat. Some will be pleasant, while others will leave you wishing you had ejection seats. But if you’re still bent on driving for the company, don’t let the uncertainty get to you. Drivers of buses, taxis, limos and most other forms of public transit have to deal with the same thing.
Uber RequirementsExperience aside, there are some requirements you have to follow if you want to drive for Uber. They’re nothing unusual (although some may consider them a nuisance), and the purpose is to ensure maximum safety for both you, the aspiring driver, and your soon-to-be passengers.
Passing the Test
- You must drive a 4-Door - You won’t always pick up one person, so the two-seater in your garage (or the garage you drive by) won’t do. Besides, how much money would you make if you kept refusing parties of two or more? Also, your vehicle must be a 2005 model or newer. It’s quite clear the company doesn’t want to deal with car breakdowns due to drivers using beaters.
- You must be 21 years of age or older - Being 21 doesn’t automatically make a person mature, considering some 18 year olds are more levelheaded than their older counterparts. However, a 21 year-old driver may have at least five years of driving experience (assuming they started at age 16), and hopefully, that means a clean record. It makes sense that the company sets the age limit so high.
- You must complete a background check - The background check may seem like a bit much, but how comfortable would you be if an accident-prone or law-breaking bandit drove you around. Uber wants to ensure that all of their drivers are the safest ones on the road. After all, their business is getting people from point A to point B in one piece.