Becoming an Uber driver: What you need to know if the service comes to Western New York

Posted at 11:32 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 23:32:24-05
Before you turn on the Uber app and put the keys in the ignition to pick up your first customer, there's a lot you should know about becoming a driver for a ridesharing service like Uber.
A quick search on Uber.com shows you must be at least 21 years old, with a newer model car. The car cannot be older than 10 years. You must have up-to-date insurance for your vehicle.
Each of the 47 states where Uber currently operates sets its own rules. Uber officials say it's hard to tell what New York's laws could look like, but in the majority of states using Uber, drivers must pass a criminal background check, must not be on the sex offender registry of terrorist watch list. Drivers must also have a clean driving record.
A smartphone app is the way drivers access who they're picking up and where, but you should know that the phone you're using is your own, paid for by you, including all the data services for maps. Uber says its app uses very little data, but most drivers choose to use Google Maps which could use a chunk of your monthly data allotment. The gas, mileage and wear and tear on your vehicle is your responsibility.
Uber says for the most part, excluding state taxes, its drivers make 75-80 percent of each fare.