With the growing popularity of Uber services, there are now a number of guidebooks, articles and other resources which tell you exactly how you can become an Uber driver or Uber Owner/Entrepreneur. Unfortunately, most of these resources are geared towards the U.S alone, which is troublesome for those that wish to become Uber drivers in South Africa.
If you are considering Uber in any city (in South Africa) where Uber is available, then this blog post is for you- i.e.: CAPE TOWN, DURBAN, and JOHANNESBURG. Fortunately, it isn’t as complicated a process as you would think. Let’s go over the steps you will need to take to successfully become an Uber driver in South Africa.
STEP 1 – Get your Documents Ready
First of all, you will need to prepare a few documents that are essential for you to have before you become an Uber driver. These documents include:
- A Professional Driver’s Permit (PDP), for the city in question
- Must be a professional drivers permit
- Must be a local PDP, no foreign PDPs allowed.
- Ensure the expiry date is clearly visible in the scanned copy
- Note –not required if you plan to hire a driver to drive for you
- Operator Card
- The Operator card is got from the licensing department (Double Disc)
- Note –not required if you plan to hire a driver to drive for you
- Receipt of Application for Operating License (Business Plan Application)
- This is obtained from the DOT (Department of Transportation)
- Note –not required if you plan to drive/work for someone else.
- Commercial Vehicle insurance document (if you already have a car you intend to use)
- You (driver) must be the holder, or at least a listed driver
- Ensure the vehicle registration number is listed
- Must clearly show a valid expiration date
- Must show the type of insurance which should be commercial, commercial, with third party liability of 5 million Rand per year.
- Vehicle Certificate of Registration (if you already have a car you intend to use)
- This is used by Uber to verify the registration year of your vehicle
STEP 2 – Signup Online
Once you have all of these documents, the next step is to sign up through the Uber website – using our link: www.uberkit.net/signup. (You get a signup bonus if you use our link, which has our signup referral code already pre-populated). Note – the links redirect to the correct Uber URL.
STEP 3 – Wait for Uber Background Checks
Note-if you will not be driving the Uber vehicle, ignore this section and skip to STEP-4
Uber will typically take between 6 to 8 weeks to perform their background checks (using the AFIS security database). Specifically they will take the documents provided in Step 1, and do the following.
- A Comprehensive Criminal Background Check
Note – as part of the qualification requirements for Uber in South Africa, you need to be medically fit, and also never had your driver’s license revoked at any point in time.
STEP 4 – Get an Uber Approved Car
Note-if you are a driver looking to work for an existing Uber partner, ignore this section and skip to STEP-5
As for the vehicle to use, you need to make sure it fits the car requirements specifically for Uber drivers in South Africa (or your specific city). Note – Uber has various services, so you should know which service you are interested in before buying a car (if you do not have one). See the section below on “Selecting an Uber Service” for more information on that. Some of these requirements include the fact that the car should be no older than 4 years (A model 2012 or later). The car should also have no major cosmetic damage.
Salvaged or rebuilt vehicles cannot be used, and full-size vans or marked vehicles such as taxis are a no-no, too. Also, note, whatever vehicle you get it will have to go through an Uber approved Vehicle inspection.
STEP 5 –Interview
Once you have completed the preceding steps, you will be able to go in to the Uber office for an interview, for which you should make sure you have sufficient street and route knowledge regarding your area/city. You should be dressed professionally for this interview.
If you pass the interview, you will be invited for a training session at a specific date, after which your vehicle’s documents will be checked, and you will officially become an Uber driver and/or Uber partner.
You will also receive an Uber-issued cell phone which will have the Uber application installed on it to allow you to get clients. However, if you wish to use your own smartphone, it is perfectly fine to return the cell phone.
What to do if your vehicle does not fit Uber requirements
Keep in mind, there is no need to give up, if your personal vehicle does not fit the requirements that are necessary for an Uber vehicle—in fact, many people tend to invest in a new car before becoming professional Uber drivers.
However, I would recommend not going overboard when you are purchasing a new car to be used as an Uber vehicle. It is a good idea to select an average but sturdy car that is not a particularly new or fancy model but fits Uber’s car requirements. Note – See the “Nice to Know” section for due diligence you should probably do, before buying a car specifically for Uber.
Selecting an Uber Service
Another thing to keep in mind when you are selecting a car is which category of Uber you wish to work under.
UberX is the mid-tier cost Uber service, and it also gets the most patronage from Uber passengers across the globe for this reason. This is the category I would recommend starting out with.
However, if you want to go for one of the other categories which typically higher fares but fewer customers, then you can also go for UberBLACK or UberVAN. Just keep in mind that these services require more expensive cars/vehicles and are not as frequently used by the public.
- UberX in South Africa: The requirements for UberX in South Africa are that you should have a car that is a model from 2006 or newer, has a minimum width of 1700mm and is an Uber approved UberX car (for example the Toyota Corolla/Quest, Hyundai Accent/Elantra, etc.)
- Uber Black in South Africa: The requirements for Uber Black in South Africa are that you should have a car that is a model from 2012 or newer, has a minimum width of 1700mm and is an Uber approved Uber Black car (for example one of the higher end Audi, Mercedes Sedan or BMWs)
- UberVan in South Africa: The requirements for UberVan in South Africa are that you should have a car that is a model from 2006 or newer. This vehicle needs to seat 7 or more people and also has to be an Uber approved vehicle (for example The Mercedes Vito)
If your car happens to qualify for more than one type of Uber service, then it is possible that you get requests from several categories, but you can choose to restrict yourself to one category if that is what you want. Personally, I believe that it would be best to accept all the requests, in this case, as it will earn you a higher income.
Nice to Know
If you want to become an Uber partner in South Africa, it is necessary to be aware of the fact that you will be forking over a certain amount of money to pay for fuel.
In addition to the afore-mentioned you have other costs like car maintenance, insurance costs, car depreciation, and uber royalties. If you are looking to do proper due diligence before acquiring a car and want to assess the profitability of Uber as a business whether as a one man business (a sole Uber driver), or as an Entrepreneur with multiple Uber cars in his/her fleet, then either of our Uber Kits at the top right of the linked page:
That sums up everything you need to know to start your uber business in South Africa. While there are a few steps you will need to take before you get started, it isn’t as difficult of a process as you might think.
Other Interesting Uber Related Posts
For our blog posts on some of Uber’s Services, see the links below:
For other popular posts you might be interested in, check the links below:
For posts that are related to Uber in South Africa, check the links below: