The beginning of the year always signal an update to the Uber car requirements. Last year, they lowered the Uber car requirements down to model year 2000, but this year they increased the Uber car requirements to model year 2001 or newer in all markets.
Does My Car Qualify for Uber?
I took a look around and found out that the below markets have these Uber car requirements for the year of the car for UberX and Uber XL:
- Atlanta – model year 2005 or newer
- Boston – model year 2001 or newer
- Chicago – model year 2001 or newer
- DC: model year 2005 or newer
- Denver – model year 2001 or newer
- Dallas – model year 2003 or newer
- Milwaukee – model year 2001 or newer
- Nashville – model year 2001 or newer
- New York City: model year 2010 or Newer
- Philadelphia – model year 2000 or newer (could be 2001 or newer but not updated yet on Uber)
- Pittsburgh – model year 2006 or newer (hybrids 2004 or newer)
- LA/OC/SD and SF – model year 2001 or newer
UberBlack and UberSUV remains model year 2010 or newer but have closed registration for these services last year in almost all markets. They are in the process of updating the Uber car requirements for UberBlack and UberSUV this year so many professional drivers will be hearing soon about what vehicle still qualifies for UberBlack/SUV and how old it can be. The Uber car requirement also varies by market so check with your local market for more details. If you are not in compliance, they would email you to change to a newer car so that you meet the Uber car requirements.
I only looked in these markets but I suspect that the model year 2001 or newer as an Uber car requirements is very widespread, save for a few select markets listed above.
Why does Uber car requirements change?
The reason why the Uber car requirements change is because there is a mixture of local laws and how their commercial policy is written that drives the Uber car requirements in various markets. They now have a rolling 15 year model year limit for the Uber car requirements in most markets and 10 in some select cities.
How will this affect me as an Uber driver?
This is good if you are already a driver as this will hopefully reduce the number of available drivers on the road as they raised the standard for Uber car requirements by one year. Last year, they suddenly lowered the Uber car requirements down to model year 2000 from 2004 in most markets and this increased the number of drivers on the road by accepting older cars. This year, they have updated the Uber car requirement to be a year newer, so it removed a few drivers off the road. Uber do not grandfather any type of car like Lyft so Uber drivers that are affected would either need to change to a newer car or get deactivated. This Uber car requirement was most devastating for UberBlack drivers when many of them were downgraded to UberX and UberXL when their cars were too old. Last year, Uber had changed the year requirement from 2007 to 2010 almost overnight, so many UberBlack and UberSUV drivers were shifted into a much cheaper category of Uber with only a months notice.
This is bad for interested drivers who are looking to sign up as the Uber car requirement is more strict than before. However, many Uber passenger have complained to me how they sometimes get into these older model cars and they noted the declining quality of Uber cars in the past year. This is bad for both Uber as a brand and for us drivers alike.
How does this affect me as an Uber passenger?
So there are some pros and cons to this change for passengers. The downside is that there will be less cars available with the stricter Uber car requirements, so longer wait times and more surge.
The upside is that you may be riding in a slightly car. The Uber car requirements only improved by one year so it won’t be a major change in the quality of the cars on Uber. If you have been using Uber last year, cars were 2000 or newer on Uber while Lyft was 2004 or newer. If you don’t mind a slightly older car like on Lyft, then this change wouldn’t bother you at all. Just be aware that Uber isn’t as strict on car inspections as Lyft Mentors in many cases so the quality of car may be lower than that of some Lyft approved cars.
What are your thoughts on the change of the Uber car requirements? Did you receive an email about your city having this lower Uber car requirement? Make sure to leave a comment so I can update this post!