Uber’s vehicle guidelines are pretty relaxed — just about anyone with a valid PCO license can take to the roads and earn an income through driving. That said, there are certain requirements related to the vehicle itself which drivers will need to be aware of, and you can’t just drive any car you like. What’s more, you’ll want to take fuel consumption, reliability and safety into account, in order to ensure you choose an Uber car that’s enjoyable to drive and helps you make more money.
With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide, which looks at the most popular PCO cars for Uber driving in London, explaining why they should be your go-to choices for years to come.
What are London’s Uber vehicle requirements?
The requirements for Uber vehicles within the London area are slightly stricter than those for the rest of the country. If you drive for Uber in London, your car must:
- Have four doors, with a minimum of five seats
- No commercial branding
- Be a maximum of ten years old
- Have no cosmetic damage
- Comply with TfL’s Age & Condition policy, meaning the car needs to meet all current emissions requirements
It’s worth bearing in mind that, in order to support a smoother and easier driving experience, Uber aims for all of their vehicles to be fully electric by 2025. To this end, as part of Uber’s Clean Air Plan, a fee of 15p per mile is included on every trip accepted in London.
This goes towards helping drivers upgrade their cars to electric vehicles (EV), as well as other green initiatives.Here at Hirebird, all of our PCO car hire vehicles are compliant with Uber’s London vehicle guidelines, allowing you to get on the road in no time at all.
What do the best Uber car have in common?
The most popular Uber cars get drivers through journeys without hiccups, and keep as much money in their pockets as possible. Here are the three main things to look out for when choosing an Uber car to drive London:
Good fuel economy
The largest cost of running a car is the energy needed to drive it around. While each type of vehicle, from petrol-hungry cars to EVs, has its advantages and drawbacks, the more you move towards a full-electric vehicle, the lower your energy costs will be.
Low maintenance costs
Seeing as you’ll be driving around so much, affordable car maintenance is essential. Many Korean and Japanese cars in particular are renowned for their reliability and affordable spare parts, while vehicles from sportier brands like BMW and Mercedes Benz are often expensive to maintain. Here at Hirebird, full service, maintenance and repairs are included as standard in our PCO car hire costs.
Spacious cars are highly recommended when ridesharing. Many cars perform wonderfully in city traffic, but offer drivers and passengers little to no leg room, leaving everyone in the vehicle feeling uncomfortable. In addition, ample boot space is crucial, as being an Uber driver involves frequent trips to airports and railway stations. It would be a pity to have to reject a job due to a lack of luggage space.
The top 3 cars for Uber drivers in London
Now that you’re aware of the vehicle requirements needed to succeed as an Uber driver, it’s time to discover the most popular cars which are used for PCO car hire and Uber car services in London!
1. Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is not just one of the most popular Uber cars in London, but the whole world. There are many reasons why Uber drivers love the Toyota Prius so much, chief among them being their fuel economy and safety features. As a hybrid vehicle, the Prius is incredibly fuel-efficient, driving at around 52 miles per gallon. It also scores highly on crash avoidance testing due to features like its forward collision alert and assistive parking. Although Priuses can be expensive to buy first-hand, our PCO car hire plan, or our rent-to-buy scheme, gives you access to one of these vehicles at an affordable monthly cost.
2. Mercedes E Class
The Mercedes E Class is a popular option for drivers looking for a more lavish car. There’s no denying that its sleek design will stand out from miles away, meaning passengers willing to pay slightly more for their journeys will certainly be in for a treat. Its easy handling, generous spacing and robust safety features help make the Mercedes E Class an all-round winner for an Uber car.
3. Toyota Auris Touring
The Auris Touring is a cost-efficient vehicle that London Uber drivers can’t get enough of. The car’s dynamic styling and spacious interior — in particular the boot — attract drivers and passengers alike, while as a hybrid it’s cheap to run. It’s also noted for being incredibly comfortable, thanks in part to its soft-touch material seats, as well as having a distinctive design. You can get your hands on the Auris Touring through our rent to buy scheme for as little as £225 a week. And just like the Toyota Prius, our Auris Touring vehicles are both PCO and Uber approved.
4. KIA Soul
For a budget-friendly, striking-looking car with great fuel efficiency, consider the Kia Soul. From the outside, a range of bold colours immediately catch the eye, while the inside boasts a wonderful range of equipment, including sat nav, heated seats and keyless entry. This doesn’t weigh it down, however, and the car can reach up to 24mpg in the city, rising to 30mpg on the motorway.
5. Honda CR-V
Those seeking an SUV car for Uber driving should look no further than the Honda CR-V. Its impressive hybrid engine makes the vehicle incredibly fuel-efficient, switching between power sources depending on the driving conditions. The CR-V’s regenerative braking technology, meanwhile, records the energy used when you brake to charge its battery. Other notable aspects include its comfort, spaciousness and safety, with the car awarded a five star safety rating by the NHTSA.