Being an UBER driver in Auckland New Zealand seems tough. Firstly there are 1000’s of Taxi’s, we have too many, all hovering around everywhere. Secondly you need to have a passenger endorsement on your drivers license. I thought this would be difficult to get but its actually a simple, if time consuming process. Its actually the Private Service Lisences thats the real pain in the ass to get.
At the moment Uber only operates in Auckland and Wellington, Christchurch has just had a soft roll out of Uber and they are promoting it with 5 free rides for everyone!
- Ok you gotta sign up for an UBER account before you even start this process, you can’t drive yet but you’re getting ready.
- Sit a P (P is for passenger yay!) endorsement course ~$400 but Uber has an incentive program where the cost is reimbursed, half after you pass the course and the other half after your first 15 rides.
- Update your license to P endorsement for a year – take your course certificate to the LTSA, it costs around $160, you’ll also need to supply a medical certificate which costs about $70 and complete a police check form.
- Wait for your police check to go through.
- Now you need yet another license, a passenger service license, to get this you need to sit an exam called the Knowledge of Law and Practise (You’ll have to memorise a couple of street maps). Its gonna take you hours of study and about $620 all up.
- THEN you need to fill in the Private Hire Service registration form from the LTSA and a Driver Check consent form.
OH MY GOD ARE WE SICK OF FALLING OUT FORMS YET.
Well there’s more. You need commercial insurance for your vehicle and a Certificate of Fitness from a vehicle testing station.
Then you’ve gotta be sure your car is up to scratch, or scratch-less as it were. Uber Auckland is after more drivers for its XL brand, so fancy vans are a go. Otherwise your car needs to be less than 10 years old. Having a hybrid car would be to your advantage, more profit for you. This rules me out as I drive an old 99 Mazda that makes a knocking sound every time I go around a corner and still has chips in the paint from when the punk kids egged all the cars in our street. Hey but maybe you’re new to the idea of NOT spending ridiculous amounts of money on a car and you have something pretty recent and tidy, you’re all set!
It seems like a lot of effort to go through just to spend a few hours a week hustling for rides. Is it even worth it?
For a side hustle its probably not worth it, unless you are going to devote a lot of time to it. It’s a huge outlay with all the licensing and insurance you are looking at well over $1000 to get started, it could take you months to make that back and if after a few weeks you decide you hate it…well ouch. However if you’re dedicated to sticking it out you are buying yourself a part time job that you can do whenever you have spare time. There’s a lot of benefit to being able to set your own schedule.
If you are already a taxi driver or tour driver and have the licences then maybe you can make a few extra bucks hustling for Uber gigs between taxi fares (which explains why some of my Uber rides have been taxi’s with their sign lights off).
If you are considering Uber driving full time then it’s surely worth it. Uber has a support system to help you get through all the hoops, after all they need more drivers. Its gaining popularity here and a few drivers are claiming that they can make $1500 a week, however some drivers have gone back to taxi work because they only made about $350 a week. You probably have to hustle those peak times to make serious bank. There’s opportunities to make quite a bit of cash referring new drivers to Uber but it seems you can only access that via your driver app. So you have to get through the system before you can use that as your side hustle.
In conclusion, even though I like the idea of it, sadly I will not be signing up to be an Uber driver at this point. So no chance of running into me on your next Uber journey!