What it takes to be an Uber driver in South Africa

Uber can be a great way to make money while working flexible hours, but drivers are required to meet stringent requirements.

Prospective drivers must undergo a thorough screening process prior to gaining access to the Uber app.

They will need to meet all vehicle, licence, permit, and background-check requirements to become driver partners, and must maintain high quality levels to use the platform.

An outline of the requirements for becoming an Uber driver in South Africa is below.

Requirements

Not considering vehicle categories, the basic vehicle requirements are:

  • 4-door sedan or minivan
  • Model year 2013 or newer
  • Good condition – no cosmetic damage
  • No commercial branding
  • No hatchbacks

Drivers will require a professional driver’s permit (PrDP), roadworthy certificate, and double disk and operating permit (or receipt thereof).

Drivers are also required to have comprehensive vehicle and third-party insurance, a minimum of R50,000 personal accident cover per passenger, and passenger liability cover of R5 million per annum.

Uber said it has partnered with several companies to provide competitive insurance and car rental rates for its driver partners.

Background check

Signing up to become an Uber driver is simple and can be done through the Uber website.

The first step is to create an Uber driver account and upload a copy of your PrDP.

After providing Uber with your ID and licence number, it will verify the information and notify you when approved.

Drivers will also need to provide a screening check document to Uber, proving they are clear of any criminal record.

If a driver has a criminal record which cannot be expunged, they cannot become an Uber driver.

Prospective drivers with criminal records may qualify for expungement if they were convicted for a minor crime, provided they meet a number of SAPS conditions.

Uber track trip

Safety screening

After successfully signing up, applicants will need to complete a background check, safety screening, and evaluation before they can begin driving.

The background check examines the applicant’s fingerprints against the criminal database, and costs R120 to complete.

The driving evaluation tests the driver’s ability in a vehicle provided to them, measuring whether they drive safely and according to road regulations. The driving evaluation costs R130.

Applicants are then required to complete a 15-minute online questionnaire, after which they are activated as Uber drivers.

Maintaining your rating

Meeting Uber’s requirements does not stop there, however, and drivers will have to maintain a certain rating or face action.

Drivers are required to maintain a minimum average rating depending on the number of trips they have completed.

The required average driver ratings based on trips completed are detailed below.

Trips Completed Average Rating to Maintain
20 Rated Trips 4.0
40 Rated Trips 4.2
60 Rated Trips 4.2
80 Rated Trips 4.35
100+ Rated Trips 4.4

An Uber driver whose rating falls below this threshold must attend retraining.

Drivers are given two opportunities to attend retraining and recover their rating. If their rating falls for a third time, the driver will be suspended from the platform.

Making money

Keeping up with the stringent requirements does have its rewards, though, and Uber drivers can make good money.

According to the company’s driver portal, Uber drivers in Johannesburg can expect to make between R80 and R120 per hour, and R4,000-R9,000 gross earnings per week.

Weekends are the busiest time for Uber and the best places for drivers to find riders include Sandton, Fourways, Illovo, Johannesburg Town, and Parkhurst.

Uber drivers can also choose their own hours, which allows them to hold down other jobs or devote time to other activities.

Now read: Gauteng to clamp down on illegal Uber and metered taxis

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What it takes to be an Uber driver in South Africa