Big Changes Are Coming to Uber Black and Uber Black SUV
Uber has been slowly making changes to Uber Black and Uber Black SUV for the past two years. Most of these changes were to update the year, make and model of the cars allowed on the platform to get rid of older cars and to encourage owners to get newer cars to stay on the platform. However, this change is the biggest change in the past two years.
An email was sent out yesterday to Uber Black and Uber Black SUV drivers that changed the requirements needed to stay on the Uber Black and Uber Black SUV platform. Below is the screenshot of the email sent out to drivers yesterday
What Changes are Coming to Uber Black and Uber Black SUV?
The big change that is coming to Uber Black and Uber Black SUV is that they are now requiring drivers to have at least a 4.85 rating on Uber. This will only affect Uber Black drivers in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Orange County, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. This change will take effect on January 2, 2019, so drivers who do not meet the requirements can still drive on New Years Eve and New Years Day 2019.
For those who drive on Uber, a 4.85 is a really good rating to have, especially when you have a lot of bad customers who rate you a 4 for doing a perfectly good job. I have definitely ran into my fair share of passengers who rate a 4 for no reason, but seems as if I have steered clear of those passengers. It could be because I stopped picking up Uber Pool but accept every ride.
I would expect that this will kick out a good number of Uber Black and Uber Black SUV drivers. I believe that driving Uber Black and Uber Black SUV passengers are a little easier but these high-end clients are also harder to please.
The vehicle requirement is also updated to be “5 years or newer.” The change is being implemented on January 2, 2019, so cars will need to be at least 2014 or newer to stay on the Uber Black platform. I believe the last requirement was just 2012 or newer, so this many eliminate a few more drivers as well.
Why is Uber Making This Change?
I believe that Uber still has too many Uber Black drivers even after stopping new Uber Black registrations for the past four years and increasing Uber Black vehicle requirements for the past two years. While we all thought this would remove enough Uber Black cars and drivers, I don’t think it is enough. Every time I open the Uber Passenger app, I still see dozens of available cars around me. I believe that many have also quit Uber Black due to the lack of income but many drivers are still waiting for hours to get a few rides a day.
I also believe that Lyft has become a threat in this luxury segment of rideshare. Lyft has built up their “luxury” segment with Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux Black in order to compete with Uber Black and Uber Black SUV. Uber has Uber Select, but I truly believe they didn’t design that product correctly. Uber needs to severely limit the type of cars on Uber Select since they allow Hondas and Toyotas with leather seats, which is not what I would consider luxury. Lyft Lux is what Uber Select should be, and I believe Lyft is beating them in that segment. Uber Black still has control of market share of the luxury rideshare segment but Lyft Lux is slowly chipping away at it. When I drove on Lyft Lux, I always ask my passengers why they chose Lyft Lux. Most of the Lyft Lux passengers were Uber Black passengers but they didn’t like the level of service by the Uber Black drivers and also that Lyft Lux were always closer to them.
How Will This Affect UberX Drivers?
I do not believe that this change will affect UberX drivers. There may be a few more UberX drivers coming from Uber Black, but I do not believe this will have much effect on the number of requests a typical UberX driver will normally receive in 2019. I suspect that these Uber Black drivers will do a little more UberX just to pay the bills. I do not expect them to be driving their 2012-2014 luxury cars full time on UberX since the expenses are just too high to be earning what an UberX driver can earn.
Will Uber Allow New Uber Black Registration?
This announcement coincides with the fact that Uber is slowly and secretly allowing new Uber Black Registration in a few key markets. I believe Uber expects to lose a number of drivers and to maintain an appropriate number of drivers, they need to onboard more Uber Black drivers. Note that they haven’t allowed new registrations for over 4 years now and it seems that they should have been long overdue to invite drivers to become Uber Black drivers. I believe that Uber should invite highly rated partners to join Uber Black if they truly want better drivers on the Uber Black platform.
You will need to check your own city Uber page and see if there are instructions for Uber Black/SUV registration. You can also go to your local Uber Spotlight locations and ask them if they are currently allowing for new Uber Black registrations.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course! Driver Promotions