Becoming an Uber Driver in Canada
Rideshare services like Uber have exploded in popularity over the last five years. Many Canadians are making a living driving for Uber as its service is now available in every major city across Canada. Companies like Uber have allowed almost anybody the opportunity to use their vehicle to make money as a personal driver. However, like most occupations, there are certain requirements and key things you need to know before pursuing a job with Uber. In the following article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know!
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Canada Wide Uber Requirements
Each province has different requirements for becoming an Uber driver. However, there are a few things every Canadian Uber driver needs to have regardless of their city.
Each driver must meet the minimum age requirement and be legally allowed to drive in Canada. Seems pretty obvious right? There are also several documents that you’ll need to show to be eligible. These documents include proof of residency, valid documentation to drive in Canada, and a driver profile photo. After you’ve provided this documentation you’ll be required to complete a driver screening test where your driving record and criminal record will be reviewed.
Uber Requirements in Canada by Province
In Alberta, Uber is active in Calgary and Edmonton. To become an Uber driver in Alberta you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid Alberta Class 1, 2, or 4 driver’s license. Proof of your ability to work in the province is also a requirement. Once you have shown your documentation for the steps above, you will need to go to an Uber Greenlight Hub to complete a background screening.
Insurance requirements are increased with third-party coverage while drivers must provide proof of Class 1-55 vehicle registration. There are several vehicle requirements in place for Alberta Uber drivers including:
- Vehicles must have four independently opening doors
- 5 working seatbelts
- Car is no more than 10 years old
- No salvaged or rebuilt vehicles
- No commercial branding
- Must pass a vehicle inspection
- Must have an Uber sticker on the dash (available at Uber Greenlight Hub upon completion)
Albertan Uber drivers can expect to drive on average 30 hours per week, which would equate to around $33,000 per year.
In British Columbia, Uber is fully operational on the mainland. Uber drivers applicants must complete an online application along with meeting driver and vehicle requirements.
To drive Uber in British Columbia, you must be at least 21 years old with a Class 1, 2, or 4 driver’s license and have at least three years of driving experience in the province. British Columbia also requires an annual screening where a driver’s check and a criminal record check is done. Drivers must also show a certificate of insurance and proof of eligibility to work in the province.
Uber vehicles in British Columbia must not be older than nine years and commercial branding is not permitted. Each vehicle must pass a commercial inspection before charging fares.
The hourly pay for Uber in British Columbia is particularly high at an average of $29 an hour. This means if you work 40 hour weeks you could make upwards of $60,000! Not a bad job having to drive around arguably the most beautiful province in the country for that kind of coin.
It was only in July of 2020 that Uber officially launched in Manitoba’s main hub, Winnipeg. Currently only “Uber X” is available in the province meaning there are no high-capacity vehicle options.
Although the vehicle standards are much more strict in Manitoba, the online application and driver’s license requirements are similar to the Western provinces we’ve already covered. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age and hold a Valid Class 1 to 5 full stage Manitoba driver’s license and provide proof of eligibility to work in the province.
In addition to the driver and vehicle requirements, each driver must be insured as “Vehicle for Hire” coverage. Safety screenings are required as each driver must include a Drivers Abstract, a Police Information Check with a Vulnerable Sector Check, and a Child Abuse Registry application.
The vehicle requirements are similar to other provinces in regards to the age of the car, commercial branding and a vehicle inspection. Uber vehicles should have no visible damage.
Data on potential earnings is minimal due to how new Uber is to the province, but it is estimated that drivers in Winnipeg can expect to make around $15-20 per hour.
Although Uber is not currently active in the province of New Brunswick, the city of Fredericton is working its way towards operating the rideshare program. In a survey done during the summer of 2019 in Fredericton, it was reported that 66% of people had used ridesharing apps in other cities while 83% of people said they would use Uber in their city of Fredericton. Look for Uber to start operating in New Brunswick by the end of 2021.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador wouldn’t seem like a hot spot host for a ride-sharing app like Uber, however, there have been discussions about bringing in the ride-sharing empire. Currently, there is no insurance available for ride-sharing services in the province. It is assumed that when insurance does become available, Uber will likely begin shortly thereafter.
Currently, Uber is not active in the province but this may not be the case for much longer. In September the province of Nova Scotia announced that they are introducing a “modern” driver’s license also known as a Class 4 License. The Class 4 license is currently mandatory for any taxi cab drivers in the province.
With these announcements, Uber has made a statement saying that “they look forward to sharing their ride-sharing plans with Haligonians in the very near future.”
Ontario has by far the most access to Uber of any of the provinces. Uber is accessible across almost the entire Greater Toronto Area while cities like Kingston & Ottawa continue to use the ride-sharing program at a high volume.
To become a driver for Uber in Ontario, like most provinces you have to be at least 21 years of age and hold a valid G driver’s license. You’ll need proof of eligibility to work in the province, insurance, and valid vehicle registration. Depending on the city in which you plan to drive for you may be required to do additional background screening. Once you have provided Uber with the necessary documentation/information you will be issued with a Safety Standards Certificate.
With the exception of Toronto, all drivers must be using a vehicle that doesn’t exceed 10 years of age. In Toronto, the maximum age of your vehicle is limited to 7 years. It should be noted that only vehicles that are in good condition will be permitted.
Uber drivers in Ontario are estimated to make between $15-$20 per hour on average. Interestingly enough, Lyft drivers in the province are estimated to make between $18-$25 per hour.
Prince Edward Island
Currently, Uber is not operating in Prince Edward Island but it is important to know that in November 2019 the province announced that ride-sharing drivers must have a Class 4 Driver License (the license necessary to be a taxi driver). This paves the way for Uber to begin operating in the province so expect to see the ride-sharing company operating in Prince Edward Island soon!
Uber is active in many cities across Quebec, with most of its volume happening in the beautiful city of Montreal.
Of all the provinces hosting ride-sharing services like Uber, Quebec has the most intensive requirements in becoming a driver. All drivers must be at least 21 years of age and have a Class 4C Quebec Driver’s License. Once you’ve shown your valid driver’s license you will be subject to a background check. If you have any traffic violations or criminal records you will be deemed ineligible. Quebec is also the only province where you must be able to speak French at a basic level.
To become an Uber partner it is required that you have a GST-QST tax number, and obtaining this number requires having a business license.
For the vehicle check, all vehicles must be no older than 9 years old, have a solid roof (not a convertible), have four doors, and have no more than 350,000km logged. Each vehicle must pass a vehicle inspection and be registered under the province of Quebec.
Each driver must have both a personal insurance policy as well as a special rideshare insurance policy.
Depending on where in Quebec you’ll be driving, it’s possible to make up to $55,000 a year working full-time. In busy downtown Montreal for example, drivers make on average $19-22 an hour.
Uber in Saskatchewan is active in two main cities, Regina and Saskatoon. To drive for Uber in Saskatchewan, you must be at least 21 years of age and hold a valid Class 4 driver’s license. Proof of eligibility to work, valid insurance, and vehicle registration are also must haves!
Unique to the province of Saskatchewan, Uber has negotiated a blanket coverage policy with Saskatchewan Government Insurance for all ride-sharing drivers.
The vehicle requirements in Saskatchewan are almost identical to other provinces:
- No vehicle older than 10 years can be used
- Each vehicle must have a minimum of five seatbelts.
- The vehicle must pass an inspection from a licensed mechanic.
In Saskatchewan, drivers make on average $15-20 per hour. Due to the lower volume of ride-sharing customers in Regina and Saskatoon, it will likely be harder to make a good living driving Uber full-time, although it is a great part-time opportunity.
Currently, none of the Canadian territories are hosts to ride-sharing programs like Uber. Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories are unlikely to ever have ride-sharing services due to the small population of their cities.
Best Cars for Uber Drivers
As we’ve seen repeatedly in this article, every vehicle must be newer than 10 years and have at least four independently opening doors. The next two big factors you need to consider when looking at buying a car for Uber are fuel economy and reliability.
Since gas and potential repairs will be your biggest expenses as an Uber driver, we must find a vehicle that is good on gas and has a good reputation of staying out of the mechanic shop! In this article, our team broke down some of the best cars, vans or SUVs for ride-sharing.
How To Get Approved For An Uber Car Loan
Before you apply for a car loan, you must understand all of the factors that will get you the best rate for a vehicle that you’ll love. Below are some tips to consider before taking the leap into car financing for your ride-sharing vehicle!
- Know your budget: You must find a vehicle that fits within your budget and factor in how much you can afford to pay each month. If this isn’t your first vehicle, you may have the option to trade in your current car which will decrease your monthly payments. Make sure to include all of the cost factors before agreeing to a car loan contract. If you want to see what your car trade-in is worth checking out this site: (link to trade-in appraisal site)
- Get Pre-Approved Online: If you have bad credit, it’s not always easy to find a place to work with you on getting a car loan. Unfortunately, not all dealerships and lenders are equipped to help people with bad credit car loans. Luckily Car Loans Canada can pre-approve you with the amount of money you need and then connect you with the most appropriate dealer to help meet your needs. You can get started by trying out the application.
- Consider Buying a Used Vehicle: As we discussed throughout the article, your vehicle does NOT have to be brand new in order to qualify for Uber driving. Buying a used car can considerably lower your payments while still ensuring you're getting a quality vehicle. Be sure to check if the used vehicle meets all of the ride-sharing requirements before purchasing though!
- Decide on a Down Payment Amount: Now you must decide on whether or not to make a down payment and how much money down makes sense for you. The down payment is a percentage of the car sale value paid upfront, lowering future monthly payments. Your chances of being approved for a car loan increase if you do a down payment because you're now asking the lender for less money. Down payments may not be an option for everyone so there are easy routes you can take to get a car loan without a down payment. Car Loans Canada can help find you that option if it’s the route you choose to take!
- Decide on your cosigner: Now you must decide if you want to add a cosigner to the loan or if you want to be the sole name on your car loan application. A cosigner is a trustworthy friend or family member who agrees to share the responsibility of the loan you choose. A lender will more likely approve you if you have a cosigner because it reduces the risk for the lender. However, a cosigner is not an option for everyone and there are still several options for getting a car loan without one!
Tips for Paying off your Uber Car Loan
Once you’ve been approved for a car loan you must stay focused on paying off that loan and being financially responsible. Being a ride-share driver especially, it’s critical that you pay off your monthly payments on time and as soon as possible. Here are some tips to help pay off your car loan:
- Take the shortest term you can afford: Being an Uber driver, whether its full time or part-time, you're going to put a lot of miles on that vehicle! With all of these miles comes vehicle repairs, you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you're paying a fortune in car repairs while still trying to pay off your car loan! The quicker you can pay off your car, the less likely you’ll find yourself paying hefty mechanic bills while trying to keep up with your monthly payments!
- Don’t quit your current job: Before you tell your boss you’re leaving, make sure Uber is going to pay you a feasible amount. Dip your toes in Uber to start, understand the kind of income you can make, and then make the decision to either leap into Uber driving full-time or on the side! Most users use Uber as a side hustle in addition to their main income. This is a great way to save, improve your lifestyle, or pay off debt.
- Stay committed: So you’re rolling in the money - amazing! But some users take this as a sign they don’t have to work as hard. They start taking fewer shifts, being picky about gigs, etc. It’s important that you decide at the beginning how many hours you need to commit to Uber and stick to it. The last thing you want to is fall behind on your car payments.
Ready To Get Started On Your Uber Driving Journey?
Car Loans Canada can help! Here’s what we recommend:
1. First, check out our Car Loans Calculator to give yourself a better idea of what you can afford.
2. Go through our online pre-approval process. This shows you what you’ll be approved for. It’s important to know what your options are before getting attached to a certain car. This is the approach to get a pre-approval when buying a house.
3. Don’t be afraid of your credit history. We find that many of our Uber customers are struggling with bad credit and are using Uber to change their situation. We work for over 10 lenders to help you get the best rate possible. Whether you have good credit or bad credit we can help find the best option for you!