The Best Car for Uber | Our Top Five Recommendations

If you’re looking to boost your bank balance, then becoming an Uber driver can be an excellent way to do it. In the United States alone, there are 750,000 people who have taken that option, either to supplement their primary income or as their full-time job.

The benefits are clear: you can work as much or little as you like and — to a certain extent — be your own boss (BTW if you are interested in creating your own path, starting your own project or company, I would highly recommend checking out the Create Your Start Community too!). If you’re convinced, the uber app is the way to go then you will probably be asking yourself: “Which is the best car for Uber?”

To help you in your search, we’ve taken a look at all the options and come up with our top five cars, plus included loads of handy information you will need to know when hunting for a vehicle.

For now, we won’t be taking a look at other apps such as Uber and Lyft Eats as they both have different vehicle requirements (the latter can even be done on a bicycle). Instead, let’s dive in and help you find your best car for Uber.

Cars for uber - which is the best?
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Minimum Requirements to Become an Uber Driver

Before we discuss which is the best uber cars, you will need to double check you qualify as a driver.

That’s because the rideshare app has some minimum requirements new drivers must meet. If you fail to make any of them, you could be barred from becoming the latest employee of the Uber service.

Let’s take a look at those requirements:

  • You must be over the minimum age to drive in your city
  • You must have at least one year of driving experience
  • You must have a valid driver’s license
  • You must have proof of residency in your city, state or province
  • You must have insurance if you want to drive for Uber with your own car

You will also need to:

  • Submit documents and photos
  • Provide some info for a background check (which you need to clear)
  • Confirm your car is eligible or get a car

On top of all that, you may be required to meet additional requirements depending on where you live.

For example, in New York City you need an NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission license and a TLC-licensed vehicle to drive for Uber. To find out the full requirements for your city head to the Uber website.

Uberx Cars - which is the best?
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Uber’s Vehicle Requirements

If you’re confident that you will qualify, then it’s time to start thinking about the fun stuff: cars! To keep the quality of their service high, Uber drivers must use cars that meet a certain quality level.

To become an UberX car driver (the most basic and most popular service from the rideshare company) then your vehicle must:

  • Meet a maximum age requirement (typically younger than ten years but that changes from city to city). To check for your city head to the vehicle requirements section of the Uber website and search by location.
  • Be a 4-door car or minivan
  • Be in good condition
  • Be clear of commercial branding

Uber also offers many premium services such as UberXL, Uber Black, and Uber Black SUV. Each one has different standards to meet, so make sure to head to the Uber website to confirm the eligibility of your vehicle for the service.

Fuel-efficient vehicles for Uber
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Should You Buy New or Used?

When you’re thinking about the best car for Uber or Lyft, you will probably also be wondering whether to buy a new or used vehicle. However, the first question you should really ask yourself is: “Do I need to buy a car?”

If you already own a vehicle that qualifies, then you don’t need to buy a separate one just for Uber. Save money and use the one you already have.

However, if you don’t own a car or your current car doesn’t meet Uber’s standards then it is time to think about whether to buy new or used.

The choice is ultimately up to you, but we believe you should always opt for a used vehicle over a new one, and it all comes down to our favorite topic: saving cash.

Here are three reasons why you should opt for a used car over a new one:

1. It has already depreciated

The biggest price plunge for a car comes in its first year. As soon as you drive it off the lot, you can expect the car to lose 11% of its value. At the end of the first year, the car will cost 25% less than you paid for it.

After that, depreciation starts to slow down. It might even be possible to sell a used car for a similar price to what you paid for it.

2. You could bag a bargain

If you know what you’re looking for, then it’s possible to pick up much more car for your money when buying used. Make sure to shop around, and you could find a great deal for your budget.

3. Loans will be smaller

Paying cash for your car is ultimately going to be cheaper, but not everyone has that option. By purchasing a used car, your loan (and therefore the repayments) are going to be cheaper.

Your Hidden Third Option

Renting a car from Uber is another possibility if you don’t want to buy a vehicle outright. Depending on where you live, it’s possible to rent a car with a hybrid or high-mileage model starting from $130 per week with a $500 non-refundable deposit.

The choice is ultimately up to you, but we believe you should always opt for a used vehicle over a new one, and it all comes down to our favorite topic: saving cash.

What Should You Look for in a Vehicle?

When you’re thinking about which is the best car for Uber, then there are a lot of things you should consider.

To keep things simple, here are five of the main things you need to look for when buying your Uber vehicle.

Price tag

It might seem obvious, but the main thing you need to consider is whether you can afford the newer car. It’s effortless to see a beautiful vehicle with comfortable leather seats and fall in love. It might be a bit over budget by you could stick it on the credit card, right?

Wrong, put the plastic away! Only buy what you can afford. If you want to get more bang for your buck, then make sure to check out our article on money-saving tips for when you’re buying a car.

Fuel economy

You will probably be doing lots of miles when you become an Uber driver so excellent fuel economy is essential. If you’re unaware of the term, fuel economy is how efficiently a car uses gas (measured in miles per gallon). At the time of writing, the Toyota Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid, has the best fuel economy at around 54 mpg combined. To give you an idea of how varied fuel economy can be, the $3 million Bugatti Chiron hits less than 10mpg in city driving (that’s probably one of those cars you shouldn’t be sticking on the credit card).

Open road
Image from Unsplash

Insurance costs

Insurance is going to be another big drain on your overall earnings, so you will want to keep it as low as possible. Many insurance companies will give you an estimate on how much your insurance is likely to be, so check your specific car. You should also shop around for insurance quotes as some companies offer better rates on an insurance policy than others.

Cost of ownership

When you are looking for your vehicle, you should also consider the hidden costs — also known as the cost of ownership. There are plenty of things to consider. Some cars might have everyday wear and tear issues that need to be considered, especially if you are considering Uber as a long-term career.


Finally, you need to think about how comfortable the car is. Remember you are going to be driving people around for the best part of the day, so you will need somewhere you feel relaxed. Choose seats that fit your body shape, but also think about where the steering wheel sits and whether you can easily reach the gas and brake pedals. You also need to consider your passengers’ needs as well. Make sure there is enough room for them to stretch out and feel comfortable during their ride.

Best Car for Uber: Your Top Five choices

You should now have enough information to go away and choose a car to fits your needs. But to make things super easy we’ve done the research and found five cars that stand out for Uber and lyft drivers.

Any of these could be considered the best car for Uber, so take your time, take a look at the stats and choose one that works for you.

1. Toyota Prius

Toyota Driver
Image from Pexels

Cost when new: $25,000

Miles per gallon: 52mpg

Chances are if you’ve taken an Uber or Lyft for that matter then you’ve been in the back seat of a Toyota Prius. Why’s that? Well, as Car Buzz puts it: “the Toyota Prius is damn near the perfect Uber vehicle.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Firstly, the Prius is incredibly fuel efficient. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2018 model as having an incredible 52mpg. Ultimately, you’re going to be going much further for much less money — and that’s a huge benefit when you’re driving for uber around all day.

Secondly, it’s a very spacious car with enough room for passengers to stretch their legs (or lie down after a particularly long night). You can comfortably fit in five passengers without everyone jostling or elbowing each other for position.

Finally, the Prius is equipped with some excellent standards including front and side airbags, power mirrors and door locks, and Bluetooth connection for hands-free calls. You will also get four-wheel ABS brakes, anti-theft protection, automatic headlights, all-wheel drive and brake assist with your Toyota Prius. It’s easy to see why so many Uber drivers opt for the Prius.

2. Honda Civic

Honda Civic
Image from Pixabay

Cost when new: $19,000

Miles per gallon: 36mpg

Another Uber driver favorite is the ever-popular Honda Civic. More aggressive looking than the Prius, the Honda Civic is a great option for those looking for something a bit more exciting.

For $19,000 (that’s significantly cheaper than the Prius) you’ll get an excellent car. For example, the Honda Civic Sedan comes with a whole bunch of comforting features to make your ride as easy as possible. Standard fixtures include heated front seats, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls and front, and back luxury beverage holders.

Plus, for those who spend their days dreaming about driving sports cars, the Civic also comes with a Ferrari-esque push button starter.

On to more practical things — the Civic is particularly spacious. You will get more leg and headroom than many cars in the same category. It also does 36 miles per gallon — way behind the Prius for fuel efficiency but the second-highest in our list.

The other thing it has on its side is history. The original Civic (which came as a subcompact car) was released all the way back in 1972. Why’s that important? Well, that’s more than 45 years of tweaking and refining into the brilliant car you see today.

3. Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla
Image from Pixabay

Cost when new: $18,600

Miles per gallon: 32mpg

Those looking for the best value for money should plump for the Toyota Corolla. It’s undoubtedly cheap — the cheapest out of all our top five — but they don’t skimp on quality.

The 2018 L model (the most basic in the range) comes with some excellent standards — Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, power windows, and eight airbags. Opt for the top of the range model, the XSE (starting at $22,780 new) and you’ll get much more including heated front seats and a smart key system.

In terms of rivals, the Corolla goes head to head with the Civic in a number of ways. They are in a similar price range and do a similar number of miles to the gallon. However, when we take the Corolla LE and compare it with the Civic LX, we find the Corolla has more leg room in the rear, more speakers and a heated exterior mirror. They might be small things, but they all add to your passengers’ experience.

Additionally, the Corolla looks professional. It’s sleek, modern and you’d be happy to drive it to a business meeting. It’s an exceptionally safe option and an excellent price.

4. Honda CR-V

Honda Emblem
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Cost when new: $25,000

Miles per gallon: 28mpg

The second Honda on our list is also the only one that isn’t a sedan. The CR-V is a truly brilliant compact crossover SUV, that starts at a very respectable $25,000.

The main benefit is obvious. It’s big. A tall passenger will love the fact you’ve opted for a much larger car, plus you’ll get a nice driving position which is important when you’re going all day.

It is also great for Uber drivers looking to save on gas mileage for money. Hitting 28mpg is fantastic for a car of this size.

The CR-V is particularly impressive thanks to the extraordinary number of extras you can stick on. The Touring model comes with auto-off and self-igniting LED headlights, soft leather seat covers and hands-free entry into the trunk.

Opt for the CR-V Turbo Plus, and you’ll get smart keys, Apple CarPlay, and a color LCD touchscreen. It’s the car James Bond will drive when he settles down with a family.

5. Hyundai Sonata

Image from Pexels

Cost when new: $22,000

Miles per gallon: 28mpg

The final vehicle in our top five best cars is the elegant Hyundai Sonata. At a very reasonable $22,000 you will get a sleek, business-like car, perfect for the Uber driver who is looking to project some class.

Even the most basic vehicle in the Sonata range comes with some fantastic safety features. The SE includes blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert — which should help lower your insurance costs.

Opt for the Eco, and you’ll also get a rearview camera to help you make it out of those tight parking spots.

Elsewhere, the car includes dual climate control, meaning there’s one temperature for you in the front and another for your passengers in the back.

Overall, the Sonata is an exquisite and solid option for any new Uber driver. The fact it was named as the car with the lowest 5-year cost to own in its class by Kelley Blue Book should be enough to tell you this is a smart choice.

Conclusion: Best Car for Uber

So there you have it. Hopefully, you now have your eyes set on the model and make of your dreams.

Any of the five rides on our list would be perfect, but they aren’t the only options out there. Cars such as the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord were unlucky to miss out.

Whichever vehicle you go for make sure to pick one that offers excellent value for money. When you’re driving with Uber, that’s the easiest way to maximize your profits.

Before you start ferrying your first passenger, make sure to boost your potential earnings by checking out our guide on how to get the most from your Uber driving experience.

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