By now, everyone knows you can make side/extra income from “freelance” driving with Uber. There are already 20,000+ drivers for Uber in Singapore, and this community is rapidly growing. You’ve probably already met a handful of people who are seriously considering becoming an Uber driver. Besides having another source for income, more flexibility and control over your time, here are some additional benefits of being an Uber driver that few people know about.
1. It’s Free to Sign Up
There are no upfront fees to become an Uber driver. You just need to fill out the online application and attend a training session (1-2 hours) at the Uber Hub in Paya Lebar. During this session, you will learn the ins & outs of the Uber app (for drivers), and how to use your car (or rent a car) to drive with Uber. After this session at the Uber Hub, the rest of the sign-up process will be completed for you, and may take up to a week as it involves a background check and registering your car as a company car (with ACRA). The ACRA fee ($115) to register your car is fully reimbursable by Uber. In the near future (starting 1 July 2017), Uber drivers will be required to get a Private Hire Vocational License, pass a medical check-up, attend a training course, and take an exam. When these new rules are implemented, Uber will absorb the license fee, medical check-up cost, and the exam fee. Drivers can use their SkillsFuture credit to pay for the training course.
2. You Don’t Need to Own a Car
Most people know that Uber is the “world’s largest ride-hailing app” but what many don’t know is that they also run car rental companies. Uber in Singapore runs Lion City Rentals, one of the largest car rental companies who supplies the vast majority of their fleet. If you are a registered Uber driver, you can rent from Lion City Rentals at a less-expensive, preferred rate, when compared to other car rental companies. Though please note that if you plan on renting a car to drive with Uber, your return-on-investment (ROI) will be low. You will need to do your own calculations to determine how much you would need to drive to exceed the cost of the rental (plus petrol and other expenses). For an example of such a calculation, please see this article from ValuePenguin.
3. You Can Drive for More than One Platform
Most people who use their own car, will be drivers for Uber as well as other competing platforms. However, if you choose to rent a car through Lion City Rentals, you are not allowed to use that car to drive for other platforms.
4. There is No Minimum Required Number of Hours / Trips
Say you want to just have the vocational license and company car registration just in case you may want to drive with Uber in the future. No problem. Uber will reimburse all the above mentioned fees, even if you don’t make a single trip. Even if you rent a car from Lion City Rental, you are not required to use it for the purpose of driving with Uber.
5. There is a Guaranteed First Month Incentive
To help new drivers, Uber offers a starting incentive (currently, they have a first-month guarantee of $8,000). However, please note that this incentive comes with a lot of terms and conditions. In order to meet these T&Cs, drivers may have to be online and available for a minimum number of hours, and accept a minimum percentage of trip requests that come their way.
6. You Can Share Your Car with Other Registered Drivers
If you are renting a car, you can share the rental with your friends & family members who are also registered Uber drivers. This spreads the cost of the rental and allows you to use it for multiple shifts.
Should You Apply?
With all things, you must properly weight the costs and benefits. If you have your own car, driving with Uber as a limited ad hoc side gig (say you’re just willing to ferry one or two extra persons on your way to your workplace, and on your way back home) may give you extra pocket money. The upfront cost is practically nil, and if you ever find yourself in need of a Private Hire Vocational License (or a medical check-up), you’ve already got one and all it cost you was a few hours of (reimbursed) training. If your COE just expired, and you’re not ready to buy another car, you can rent one at a preferred rate with Lion City Rentals, even if you just want to use it to ferry your kids around. If you’re in between careers or are in a situation in which flexibility is of the upmost importance, it may make sense to sign up as an Uber driver.
To find out more about how you can drive with Uber, please click here.