If you’re considering joining the ranks of UK Uber drivers, you’ll find plenty of information online to help you make your choice – articles and blogs on the type of car to use, to getting your commercial licence, to the hours you work and the money you’ll earn.
However, despite this mountain of helpful material, there’s not a lot about how long the process takes. This is a key question. No matter if you’ve already made the decision to join Uber or you’re still on the fence, you need to know how long it takes to get on the road. Well, ask no more, because here’s all you need to know about the time it takes to become a UK Uber driver:
1. From start to finish
The whole process usually takes five or six months, depending on where you apply and how pro-active you are (it’s usually much faster if you’re not in London).
2. Initial Uber meeting
Step One is to make an appointment at your nearest Uber Ignition Centre. See their locations here. Allow one or two days to set a date to visit the centre and start what Uber calls ignition.
3. Background check
All private hire drivers in the UK undergo an enhanced background review known as a DBS Check. This means completing an application online and then submitting hard copies by Royal Mail. The process usually takes two to three weeks to be approved.
4. Medical check
You also need a medical certificate. This comes from your GP. Depending on how fast you can make an appointment to see your doctor will determine how long this procedure takes. Add three to four weeks for this.
5. Private hire licence
Private hire licenses are issued by the licensing authority in the city where you register. See popular jurisdictions chosen by Uber drivers here. This can be the slowest part of the whole process – four to eight weeks is typical.
6. Topographical test
The topographical test, (map-reading), requires two weeks for training and then another four to six weeks for a test appointment.
7. Final Uber training
If all’s gone well, then all you need is some final training from Uber. This teaches you how to use their app, learn the rules and use their demo model. It can take two weeks to get a booking for this tutorial, then it’s just half a day in class.
You’re finally ready to roll. But what about a vehicle? If you’re using your own, you must register it with the licensing authority who issued your PHL. This can take about two weeks. If you don’t have an eligible vehicle, you can hire one from Uber’s car-rental partners. This can often happen the same day you apply.
9. English language test
Lastly, if you’re planning to drive in London, you’ll need to pass an English language test. You have until September 30th, 2020 to do this, so you can drive now and test later. However, don’t leave this until the last minute. A huge rush could leave your licence in limbo while you wait for a test date.
Careful planning, good preparation and having your documents ready on time will speed the process. Many Uber drivers have been with the company for years. Registration can be your first step on a long and fruitful journey.