This just in, Uber has changed the rules about their free inspection program. We all know jumping into a new job or side-hustle can be daunting. There are usually costs to get started with new ventures, and in the way of rideshare driving, these costs come in the form of taking the time and effort to onboard with Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft.
The onboarding must be completed before you can even start to drive passengers and make money. These start-up costs are made up mostly from vehicle acquisition, maintenance, and inspection. This article will focus on the vehicle inspection and getting started.
The Uber inspection used to be free… not anymore
If you were an active Uber driver in late January or early February, you may recognize the message below that Uber sent to its drivers…
And if you went into a Greenlight Hub during that time, you may have seen a sign that looked like this:
Until recently, most of the Uber Greenlight Hubs across the country offered complimentary, on-site vehicle inspections. As can be seen from the sign above (photo was taken from an Uber Greenlight Hub), as of February 3, 2020, Uber inspections will no longer be offered for free. Notifications of this change were sent out to drivers via the Uber Driver App, and updates were made on Uber’s website. Uber Greenlight Hubs have started to charge for their vehicle inspections. Based on our research, this cost is usually around $15 to $20. So basically, a service that used to be offered for drivers for free will now cost about $15 – $20. We believe that this is a measure that Uber is taking in its quest to get to profitability (that’s a topic for a later time!). The vehicle inspection continues to remain mandatory for all new and existing drivers; the inspection must be completed before a driver can be onboarded to the platform, and also every year (or 50,000 miles), whichever comes first.
Now keep in mind that even though the cost of the actual inspection may be only $20, this does not mean that the total cost of getting an inspection at an Uber Hub is only $20- to get an accurate cost, you’ll need to factor in the cost of your time, the gas consumed, and inconveniences on your schedule as you shuffle your plans to get to the hub during their business hours. A great way to avoid all of these other costs is to get your inspection from Rideshare Mechanic, over video chat, which saves time and gas, and is convenient.
What are my vehicle inspection options?
Drivers have options as to how they can get their vehicle inspected, obtain the proper documentation, and upload these forms to their driver profile in order to become or stay active as a driver on the Uber Driver app.
Option 1: Go to a Greenlight Hub.
As mentioned above, Uber Greenlight Hubs are Uber offices that operate around the country; in these hubs, drivers can get access to in-person customer support, and also complete their vehicle inspection.
- You can get support for your account in person
- Relatively low cost for inspection (~$15 to $20)
- You don’t need to print off the inspection form; they will have plenty of them
- Limited hours of operation
- Limited locations
- No Appointment; only available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and can often have long wait times (sometimes over an hour!)
- This inspection is typically good for only Uber
Option 2: Go to a local Mechanic
Depending on the mechanic, this option tends to be a bit costlier than going to an Uber Greenlight Hub. Be sure to call the shop in advance to confirm that they can conduct your inspection, and it may be best to get an appointment as they can get quite busy as well. In addition to the inspection services, mechanics may find opportunities to upsell on shop products or services that they deem necessary to bring the vehicle to safe working standard, increasing the cost on the bill that drivers will see when settling up with the mechanic. This all adds up, and takes money out of the driver’s pocket before they’re even able to get on the road
- Many mechanics are certified to offer this service, so you have plenty of options
- Can complete Uber and Lyft inspections in one location
- You can usually schedule an inspection
- Limited hours of operation
- Wide range of cost (be sure to call in advance to confirm!)- can be between $15 and $40
- Can try to upsell you on additional maintenance and recommended repairs
Any which way you look at it, these vehicle inspections cost money, eat up drivers’ time, and provide for a good amount of hassle and inconvenience. This brings up the third option (which thousands of happy customers consider the best option!) of getting their vehicle inspections wherever they want, in under 15 minutes, using their phone camera.
Option 3: Virtual Video-based inspections by Rideshare Mechanic
Rideshare Mechanic provides easy and convenient vehicle inspections for Uber and Lyft drivers looking for a quick and painless activation experience. Drivers can set an appointment at their convenience during extended hours of operation (12 hours per day, 7 days per week), or opt for on-demand service for a small fee. All that is necessary for a driver to have to work with a Rideshare Mechanic is a vehicle, a smartphone, and about 15 minutes to chat with an inspection agent. During this process, the inspection specialist engages in a live video chat to inspect the items on the inspection form, making sure the vehicle meets the requirements. Once the process is completed, you will receive the inspection form in your e-mail, which you can upload directly to your Uber or Lyft app. If the vehicle passes, the only cost associated with this service is a $30 inspection fee, and the driver doesn’t have to go anywhere!
- No need to drive anywhere; can complete inspection from wherever the car is
- Extended support hours (12 hours per day, 7 days per week)
- Quick – usually is done in under 15 minutes
- Environmentally friendly (no driving required)
- Receive the form digitally, no need to print it off
- Can complete both Uber and Lyft inspections
- No fear of upselling car parts or repairs – Rideshare Mechanic only focuses on the rideshare inspection
- Price is $30, on the higher side of inspections (but when you consider all the savings, it could actually be much less)
Conclusion: What’s the best option for a vehicle inspection, now that Uber Hubs no longer offer them for free?
Again, when launching into a new venture, costs need to be considered – especially when applying to drive with a rideshare company. One must first have a vehicle, and that vehicle needs to be up to standards, and that takes maintenance and annual inspection. Now that Uber Greenlight Hubs are no longer offering free vehicle inspections, this is a cost that the driver must pay for. Save time, save money, and spare the hassle. Try the fastest and most convenient options that are available Rideshare Mechanic. Schedule a vehicle inspection appointment today, and get activated to drive in no time, with no worries or stress.