If you’re looking to use your personal vehicle or in need of an affordable used car to start driving for Uber or Lyft, there are some minimum requirements you and the vehicle must meet in order to qualify. Especially with Uber, there are unique requirements for different levels of services, so one vehicle won’t fit all, in this case.
Let’s go over the current vehicle requirements for rideshare driving in Arizona. Keep in mind many of these requirements are subject to change as Lyft and Uber continue to determine how to better serve their users.
Rideshare-Friendly Insurance Policy
For starters, if you want to start driving for Uber or Lyft, you’re going to want to make sure your insurance plan covers you and all potential passengers. When you start using your car for business purposes, you can no longer classify the vehicle as “for personal use.” At this point, your insurance company may want to classify the car as a commercial vehicle.
At first, many insurers were hesitant to cover rideshare drivers at all, and would drop the insurance policy right then and there. Over time, more insurers have become comfortable with offering a rideshare-friendly plan to customers.
Just call your insurance company to give them the update and to make sure you can switch to an expanded policy. Be prepared to switch companies and shop around if your insurer offers inadequate or no coverage for rideshare driving.
Insurance Provided by the Rideshare Company
Uber and Lyft do offer their own forms of insurance coverage, but they typically only protect the driver when they actively have passengers in the vehicle or if they are on their way to pick passengers up. At any other time, these drivers are out of pocket if they get into an accident.
You can do a combination of Lyft- or Uber-provided insurance during the times you’re using your vehicle for ridesharing and then personal insurance for all other trips, but the ideal option is to choose a robust, rideshare-friendly plan from a reputable insurer.
Arizona General Requirements for Rideshare Vehicles
Uber and Lyft have some differences in their requirements for a rideshare vehicle, but here are some common denominators – concerning Arizona drivers, at least:
- The year of the vehicle must be within the last 15 years.
- The vehicle must have 4 doors and at least 5 seats, including the driver’s.
- It must be in good condition with no major cosmetic damage.
- The vehicle should not have any commercial branding printed on it.
- It must pass a vehicle inspection at a designated facility or mechanic’s shop.
- Functional windows and air conditioning are a must in Arizona.
- Ford Crown Victorias are prohibited.
- Salvaged vehicles (ones that have been rebuilt after major damage) cannot be used.
- No use of full-size vans, such as Ford Transit, Ford E-Series (Econoline), GMC Savana, etc.
More Stringent Rideshare Requirements for Higher Uber Levels
As mentioned earlier, Uber has escalating levels of service and luxury, so not just any vehicle will pass as you climb up the scale. Here are the minimum requirements for Uber’s various levels of service:
UberX Vehicle Requirements in Phoenix
UberX is the standard and most popular service for customers. Specific vehicle requirements, on top of the general specifications, in Phoenix for this level of service include:
- Must have 5 factory-installed seats and seat belts – no aftermarket seating modifications
- No vans, box trucks or similar vehicles
- No overnment cars, taxis or other marked vehicles prohit
UberXL Phoenix Vehicle Requirements
This is a high-capacity vehicle service for extra passengers. The only additional requirement from uberX to uberXL is the vehicle must have at least 7 factory-installed seats and seat belts. All other general requirements and the last two designations in the uberX list above apply here, as well.
UberSELECT Phoenix Vehicle Requirements
This service is known as uberPLUS in several other markets, but uberSELECT in markets such as Phoenix. UberSELECT features mid-tier luxury sedans that command higher fares from customers.
Additional requirements when going from an uberX vehicle to an uberSELECT vehicle in Phoenix include:
- Model year must be 2008 or newer (as of 2018)
- Must have non-cloth interior with no tears
- Must be able to seat at least 4 passengers in addition to the driver
UberBLACK Vehicle Requirements in Phoenix
This service offers luxury rides to customers in all-black vehicles. UberBLACK commands higher fares and more rigid requirements of its drivers.
In addition to functional air conditioning and windows, at least 5 seats, and all of the other general requirements, uberBLACK has these additional specifications for Phoenix drivers and vehicles:
- Model year must be 2013 or newer (as of 2018)
- Black exterior in excellent condition
- Black, non-cloth interior with no tears
- Commercial insurance required
- Must have Vehicle for Hire license number and Sky Harbor airport permit
Phoenix UberSUV Requirements
This service is similar to uberBLACk in regard to luxury and all-black vehicles, except only SUVs are allowed here, as the name suggests. The only unique requirement for uberSUV compared to uberBLACK is that the vehicle must have seats for at least 6 passengers in addition to the driver.
Uber only periodically accepts new drivers for uberBLACK and uberSUV in Phoenix, so be sure to check before buying a vehicle specifically to drive for one of these two services.
Finding a Used Vehicle for Rideshare Driving
If you’re looking to drive for a rideshare service, Red Mountain Funding in downtown Mesa, Arizona offers a number of high-quality, affordable used vehicles that will qualify for Uber and Lyft.
We can help get you into a vehicle that qualifies for uberX, uberXL or uberSELECT, thanks to our diverse selection of sedans, SUVs and more. Just for reference, at the time of this writing, the model years of our inventory span from 2004 to 2016 – but make note this is subject to change as vehicles get sold and we add new ones to our lot.
And if you don’t find something on our lot that suits all of your needs, we will be happy to help you qualify for a loan to buy a used vehicle elsewhere, even if you have bad credit or no credit. Choose Red Mountain Funding for help in finding a prewoned vehicle that can get you driving for Uber or Lyft in no time flat!