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Uber & Lyft Vehicles

DGS49

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A bit of mental masturbation, if you please...

Consider a person who wants to start driving for either Uber or Lyft, and wants to purchase a used car for, say, $15 thousand or less, that s/he will use exclusively for this purpose.

Consider also, that in order to be a "successful" driver (i.e., to get the best customer reviews) the car should be reasonably comfortable and safe. The car should be big enough, I would think, to carry a couple passengers and luggage, without being overloaded. It should be reasonably economical and at least theoretically reliable.

The obvious choice is a Prius, right? Toyota reliability, great fuel economy, and reasonably comfortable. Easy to find for under $15k.

I am also thinking that a Mazda5 would be a good choice. Or a VW Jetta Sportwagen - gas or Diesel.

Just about any car would do, of course. But the exercise here is to come up with an ideal car for this purpose, recognizing that most of the trips will be short and quick, so there will be a lot of wear & tear on brakes, suspension, and steering gear.
 

oldsoul

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A bit of mental masturbation, if you please...

Consider a person who wants to start driving for either Uber or Lyft, and wants to purchase a used car for, say, $15 thousand or less, that s/he will use exclusively for this purpose.

Consider also, that in order to be a "successful" driver (i.e., to get the best customer reviews) the car should be reasonably comfortable and safe. The car should be big enough, I would think, to carry a couple passengers and luggage, without being overloaded. It should be reasonably economical and at least theoretically reliable.

The obvious choice is a Prius, right? Toyota reliability, great fuel economy, and reasonably comfortable. Easy to find for under $15k.

I am also thinking that a Mazda5 would be a good choice. Or a VW Jetta Sportwagen - gas or Diesel.

Just about any car would do, of course. But the exercise here is to come up with an ideal car for this purpose, recognizing that most of the trips will be short and quick, so there will be a lot of wear & tear on brakes, suspension, and steering gear.
Seriously depends on the area. In say, L.A. highway miles would be far more likely than say N.Y. where things tend to be more centrally located. In L.A. I would go for posh riding mid-sized sedan (diesel if possible for HWY mileage), N.Y. I might go more in the direction of the prius, or even a pure electric (depending on how far I would need it to go between charges). A case could be made for a good, late model mini-van as well (for both areas), they are relatively efficient, nice riding, and far more virsital than any other vehicle (especially Caravan/Town & Country). Try putting five passengers, with luggage in the back of ANY VW and you'll get my point.

So, Iguess it really depends on where you are and what customer base you are going for. (Fourtune 500 CEO's will not be impressed when you show up in a five year-old Jetta, would likely be ok with a 3 year-old Mercedes C-class.)
 

Camp

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A bit of mental masturbation, if you please...

Consider a person who wants to start driving for either Uber or Lyft, and wants to purchase a used car for, say, $15 thousand or less, that s/he will use exclusively for this purpose.

Consider also, that in order to be a "successful" driver (i.e., to get the best customer reviews) the car should be reasonably comfortable and safe. The car should be big enough, I would think, to carry a couple passengers and luggage, without being overloaded. It should be reasonably economical and at least theoretically reliable.

The obvious choice is a Prius, right? Toyota reliability, great fuel economy, and reasonably comfortable. Easy to find for under $15k.

I am also thinking that a Mazda5 would be a good choice. Or a VW Jetta Sportwagen - gas or Diesel.

Just about any car would do, of course. But the exercise here is to come up with an ideal car for this purpose, recognizing that most of the trips will be short and quick, so there will be a lot of wear & tear on brakes, suspension, and steering gear.
Seriously depends on the area. In say, L.A. highway miles would be far more likely than say N.Y. where things tend to be more centrally located. In L.A. I would go for posh riding mid-sized sedan (diesel if possible for HWY mileage), N.Y. I might go more in the direction of the prius, or even a pure electric (depending on how far I would need it to go between charges). A case could be made for a good, late model mini-van as well (for both areas), they are relatively efficient, nice riding, and far more virsital than any other vehicle (especially Caravan/Town & Country). Try putting five passengers, with luggage in the back of ANY VW and you'll get my point.

So, Iguess it really depends on where you are and what customer base you are going for. (Fourtune 500 CEO's will not be impressed when you show up in a five year-old Jetta, would likely be ok with a 3 year-old Mercedes C-class.)
You have pretty much nailed it. All depends on area and niche you will fill. One must remember that much of the pay comes from tips. Showing up with the wrong kind of vehicle will make a difference. Also to consider, insurance cost and the big difference in the cost according to the vehicle type.
 

Jarlaxle

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Actually, no...Uber pays mostly on commission. (IIRC, 75/25 top the driver and Uber.)
 

oldsoul

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Actually, no...Uber pays mostly on commission. (IIRC, 75/25 top the driver and Uber.)
Maybe Uber pays mostly on commision, however, a driver MAY make more on tips. Depends on the driver and how well they are able to garner tips. If they exceed the expectations of their passenger, they are far more likely to receive a tip. Part of that is their vehicle.
 

Rouge Rover

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A bit of mental masturbation, if you please...

Consider a person who wants to start driving for either Uber or Lyft, and wants to purchase a used car for, say, $15 thousand or less, that s/he will use exclusively for this purpose.

Consider also, that in order to be a "successful" driver (i.e., to get the best customer reviews) the car should be reasonably comfortable and safe. The car should be big enough, I would think, to carry a couple passengers and luggage, without being overloaded. It should be reasonably economical and at least theoretically reliable.

The obvious choice is a Prius, right? Toyota reliability, great fuel economy, and reasonably comfortable. Easy to find for under $15k.

I am also thinking that a Mazda5 would be a good choice. Or a VW Jetta Sportwagen - gas or Diesel.

Just about any car would do, of course. But the exercise here is to come up with an ideal car for this purpose, recognizing that most of the trips will be short and quick, so there will be a lot of wear & tear on brakes, suspension, and steering gear.

So what made you decide you want to drive for Uber?
 
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DGS49

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Retiring in april, and thinking of doing this for the entertainment value. Don't need the money, but want to make a few bucks anyway.

Tipping is theoretically unnecessary.

I am thinking about a '07/08 chrysler pacifica, 4.0 6-speed auto. Has a third row seat, which makes transporting kids and grandkids feasible. Fits in my garage.

Not economical, but comfortable, feature-laden (DVD PLAYER), and flexible. Dumb idea, but...
 

Jarlaxle

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Go newer...I think they have a hard limit of 10 years and will rarely OK anything older than eight.
 
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DGS49

DGS49

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I wonder if, when the time comes, I could speak to an actual human about the vehicle I choose to use, and get a non-canned response. I am aware of the guidelines of which you speak.

I saw a Prius V (I think it was) in a church parking lot yesterday. It was a little wagon-ish looking thing. It reaffirmed my initial conclusion that a Prius is the "perfect" Uber/Lyft car.

Not that I would ever own one.
 

ClosedCaption

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Some areas offer Uber Black which is like an in between of the X and black car service but you have to have leather I think. Forget about the tips...9 times out of 10 that aint gonna happen either. Uber tells people they dont have to and that comes out as "dont tip" in most peoples heads
 

Muhammed

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Get an old conversion van. I have one. It has 4 captain's chairs that are soooooo comfortable. I don't know how many times people have commented on how comfortable those chairs are.
 

PredFan

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A bit of mental masturbation, if you please...

Consider a person who wants to start driving for either Uber or Lyft, and wants to purchase a used car for, say, $15 thousand or less, that s/he will use exclusively for this purpose.

Consider also, that in order to be a "successful" driver (i.e., to get the best customer reviews) the car should be reasonably comfortable and safe. The car should be big enough, I would think, to carry a couple passengers and luggage, without being overloaded. It should be reasonably economical and at least theoretically reliable.

The obvious choice is a Prius, right? Toyota reliability, great fuel economy, and reasonably comfortable. Easy to find for under $15k.

I am also thinking that a Mazda5 would be a good choice. Or a VW Jetta Sportwagen - gas or Diesel.

Just about any car would do, of course. But the exercise here is to come up with an ideal car for this purpose, recognizing that most of the trips will be short and quick, so there will be a lot of wear & tear on brakes, suspension, and steering gear.

I drive for Uber. I started in November of last year. You can have a used car but it can't be more than 5 years old if I'm not mistaken. I also use my wife's Prius. At the low fares Uber charges, I don't see how you can make any decent money using any other car.
 

Jarlaxle

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I have talked with an Uber driver on another board...he makes a pretty good living, and uses a Toyota Sienna van.
 
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DGS49

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I have just arranged to purchase a 2008 Chrysler Pacifica Ltd, black, with 27k miles on the odometer. It has four heated, leather, reclining bucket seats, and a small third-row bench in the back that will hold 2 additional humans, with minor discomfort.

In PA, a "taxi" can be no older than 10 years, and there is also a mileage limit - I think it's 150k miles. Uber has that Uber-X thing that pays more for a "luxury" car, but I doubt that I can convince them that this qualifies. No big deal.

In addition to my light normal use, I intend to use it for Uber-ing a couple days a week, as well as driving old bastards to doctor appointments and whatnot for my church.

I drove a couple used Pacifica's locally in the past few weeks and I just like the car. I like the look of it, the size of it, the luxury, the ride, and the utility. The gas mileage will suck (15-23), but it should actually do better than the Ridgeline that I am selling. Since I'm buying one with such low mileage from an area that has no snowfall, it will last at least until I grow tired of it (2-3 years, max). I intentionally bought one with FWD rather than AWD because it weighs a couple hundred pounds less, and at more than two tons I don't expect any trouble getting around in snow, even with all-season tires on it (it has 19's).

I'm not looking forward to the 22 hour drive to get it back home, but who knows, it could be fun.
 

oldsoul

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I have just arranged to purchase a 2008 Chrysler Pacifica Ltd, black, with 27k miles on the odometer. It has four heated, leather, reclining bucket seats, and a small third-row bench in the back that will hold 2 additional humans, with minor discomfort.

In PA, a "taxi" can be no older than 10 years, and there is also a mileage limit - I think it's 150k miles. Uber has that Uber-X thing that pays more for a "luxury" car, but I doubt that I can convince them that this qualifies. No big deal.

In addition to my light normal use, I intend to use it for Uber-ing a couple days a week, as well as driving old bastards to doctor appointments and whatnot for my church.

I drove a couple used Pacifica's locally in the past few weeks and I just like the car. I like the look of it, the size of it, the luxury, the ride, and the utility. The gas mileage will suck (15-23), but it should actually do better than the Ridgeline that I am selling. Since I'm buying one with such low mileage from an area that has no snowfall, it will last at least until I grow tired of it (2-3 years, max). I intentionally bought one with FWD rather than AWD because it weighs a couple hundred pounds less, and at more than two tons I don't expect any trouble getting around in snow, even with all-season tires on it (it has 19's).

I'm not looking forward to the 22 hour drive to get it back home, but who knows, it could be fun.
Shouldn't be a problem in the snow. There are quite a few around where I live, and let's just say it wouldn't be a problem to ride a snowmobile to Canada from here.
 
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DGS49

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Picked up my Pacifica on Monday outside Houston. It is (was) absolutely pristine, and as the dealers like to say, "like new." I had noted on Edmunds that many Pacifica owners complain about lousy gas mileage. For that reason, I decided to get the FWD version. I got 25 mpg on the 1400 mile trip back home. Regular gas. I was astounded. And I didn't baby it at all...my cruising speed was 75. The car is relatively quick, both from a stop and acceleratIng to pass. 90 comes up very quickly.

I had the great misfortune of getting stuck in the delay after the horrible, 12 - car accident on the 471 bridge over the Ohio River. I sat at idle for about 90 minutes before the troopers finally forced us divert to another road.

The Pacifica is exactly what I hoped it would be. Now, if it holds up...
 

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