by Zara Mohammed, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 24th June, 2019
Being an Uber Driver is a great way to bring in some extra cash as a part-time gig alongside your current job. It can even offer you a full-time income if you want to quit your current work and pursue driving as your main job.
You can choose your own hours, which is possibly one of the main perks of working for yourself as an Uber Driver. So if you want to keep your weekends free or only work nights, you can, because you have the freedom to design your own work schedule.
The other great thing about becoming an Uber Driver is that if you need time off work, let's say for a wedding or holiday, you don't have to negotiate with an employer, just adjust your finances to cater for it yourself, and take off as much time as you are able to afford.
And if you are sick, you have the freedom to get well on your own timescale, which means recovering fully and not spreading your germs. Being an Uber Driver means you work when you want to or when you need to. And being your own boss means that you can mix business with pleasure too.
Enjoy a long lunch with a friend and then carry on working in the late afternoon.
The job also has a social aspect to it because you never know whom you are going to meet while on the job, or what opportunities may come up in conversation. If you love to chat, then you'll love being an Uber Driver, because most passengers will enjoy engaging in some conversation during the journey. The beauty of working out in the world amongst the people is that no day is going to be the same, and you also get the pleasure of exploring the city you live in and discovering new people, places and things.
As an Uber Partner you also get to enjoy driver benefits, such as discounts on your phone bill, tires, oils changes etc. And there are the little things of course, like being able to listen to your choice of music while you work, and being entertained on a night shift by drunken passengers and clubbers on the streets, if people watching keeps you amused.
As the work is very flexible, you can earn as little or as much as you have the time for. The amount you earn will depend on a number of factors, some of which are listed below.
When you are an Uber Driver you are considered to be self-employed, which means that you should be registered with HMRC in order to declare your income and pay tax on your earnings.
There are some minimum requirements to become an Uber Driver, and certain documents will need to be acquired for your application.
You must be over 21 years of age, have a full valid UK Driver's Licence, and the right to work in the UK. If your license is European then you will need to have it converted to UK before you start your work. You will also need to have been driving for a set number of years, depending on the city you are based.
For example, Londoners need to have had a minimum of 3 years driving experience.
The vehicle you use must be less than 5 years old, insured, and be suitable to comfortably and safely seat between 4 and 8 people. The Uber website provides details of suitable models.
If you don't have your own approved vehicle you will need a Private Hire License (PHV), which is subject to a cost according to where you live. Uber helps you with your application for a PHV, but for some people the application has taken quite some time, so be prepared to wait from a few weeks to a few months before you receive your license.
You also need to acquire a full medical examination from your GP and a complete enhanced DBS check, which is a full check of your criminal record ensuring that you are able to legally work with children and vulnerable adults. If you are working in London you will also need an English Language qualification provided by TFL.
Before applying for your license however, you will first need to meet with Uber for a short interview, and also attend a free master class which is call an "Uber Ignition" session. Think of it like an induction where you get to spend half a day learning what it is like to work for Uber.
The session includes some training for a maps test, advice, and guidance on how to get your health and background check, obtain insurance, and provides information on how to apply for your Private Hire License.
As with anything in life, with the pros come the cons, and you may consider some of the following to be disadvantages of the job.
For a complete guide to becoming an Uber Driver, visit their website.