If you get on with people, enjoy driving, and want to be your own boss with flexible-hours, you might be thinking of joining the many thousands who have decided to become an Uber partner driver in the UK.
Uber launched in the UK in 2012 and now has over 50,000 UK partner drivers across dozens of UK cities, with more joining every day. We’ve created this guide for drivers wanting to join their ranks.
Uber requirements for UK drivers
- You must be at least 21 years old
- Have a valid U.K. driver’s licence (EU driving licences must be converted to a UK driving licence)
- Provide a driver profile photo
- You must have a private hire licence
- Your driving experience must meet the requirements set out by the council issuing your private hire licence
- You must have an eligible vehicle
Sign up with Uber
The first step is to sign up with Uber. You’ll be asked to share some personal information about yourself, such as whether you already have a private hire licence, your driver’s licence number, vehicle details and car insurance documents.
Uber will process your application and once everything has been approved, you’ll get full access to the app and start working as an Uber partner driver.
Getting a private hire licence
If you offer rides for payment you must have a private hire licence. Uber will check that you have this. Private hire licences are issued by the council in the area you will work, or by Transport for London if you work in London. If you don’t know who your local authority is you can find out with this government tool.
The licence application process
Each council has their own application process for a private hire licence. Their requirements, application times and costs may vary, so get in touch with them to find out what’s involved.
Alternatively, Uber also runs a free information programme called Ignition which supports anyone who wants to get their private hire licence. Regional Ignition centres around the UK make it easier for you to access local support sessions, which are run by Uber’s experts.
Find your nearest Ignition centre.
An essential step in the licence application process is to complete an enhanced background check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). DBS checks help to determine whether a taxi or private hire driver poses a risk to the safety of members of the public.
You’ll be asked to repeat a DBS check periodically; the frequency varies between councils, but is commonly at three-year intervals.
Medical checks and eye tests
Most councils now require applicants to undergo a medical check before they issue a private hire licence. This requires the applicant’s GP to complete a form that certifies their fitness to drive.
You may also need to go through a similar process with your optician, if your GP doesn’t offer an eye test.
Contact your GP or optician to find out how much they charge for this service.
What vehicles does Uber approve in the UK?
Uber has certain requirements for the vehicles used by its driver partners. These are primarily to ensure the safety of its passengers, and to offer them a choice of comfort and service levels.
The basic criteria for all vehicles are:
- No models older than 2008 in London, or 2006 anywhere else in the UK
- 4-door car or minivan
- Good condition with no cosmetic damage
- Licensed to carry a minimum of 4 passengers
Transport for London also impose other conditions for all private hire vehicles in London relating to their age and engine.
Uber vehicle options in the UK
Uber offers riders different types of vehicle for their journey, depending on the capacity they require, or what level of luxury and comfort they would like. In addition, Uber also offers accessible vehicles for wheelchair users.
Your vehicle must be on the approved model list of one of these five options:
The most popular vehicle option for most drivers, these must have four doors and be able to seat four passengers.
Higher capacity vehicles, such as SUVs, that seat a minimum of six passengers and were registered no earlier than 2008.
Mid-tier luxury vehicles, registered in 2014 or later, providing superior quality, style and service.
Ultimate luxury vehicles such as Audi A8, Bentley, Jaguar XJ, Range Rover and Rolls Royce. Acceptable models offer riders the highest quality service and style. Vehicles must have 2014 registration plates or newer.
Converted vehicles which are accessible to wheelchairs and allow the rider to remain in their wheelchair for their journey.
View Uber’s lists of approved models for each vehicle option.
Insurance for Uber Partner Drivers
Ordinary car insurance doesn’t cover you for carrying fare-paying customers. All private hire drivers, including Uber partner drivers, must take out appropriate private hire insurance before they offer their services to paying passengers.
Uber will check that you have valid insurance before you are able to become a partner driver.
Complete Cover Group offers quotes for private hire insurance for drivers with any driving history, including Uber partner drivers. You’ll get legal cover up to £100,000 as standard. FREE Personal Accident, Gadget and Replacement Vehicle Cover are included with all 3- and 12-month policies. Find out more>UBER