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Is your car rideshare ready?

Now that it is legal in nearly all the states and territories, you might be thinking about setting up your vehicle for ridesharing.

We took a look at the basics to help you out.

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Which service do you use?

Uber has become the most prominent ridesharing platform in Australia, but overseas there are similar services like Lyft and Sidecar, which may roll out over here now that Uber has charged the gates to make ridesharing legal.

What are the basic requirements for me?

Rideshare drivers usually have to have a clean driving record (whether that’s completely clean, or to not have any serious infringements within a certain period of time), as well as an unrestricted license – and there may be age restrictions on top of this.

Your schedule is up to you; it doesn’t matter if you set it up for a few hours on the weekend or make it into your full-time job (although it’s not generally tailored to make a steady daily income.)

What are the basic requirements for my car?

Generally, ridesharing companies ask that your car be a newer model car – to take advantage of numerous comforts and conveniences afforded to cars over the last few years.

Uber, for instance, asks that your car be less than nine years, have a current registration in the state you intend to drive, with four doors and at least four passenger seats. You can’t drive a car with a commercial branding, ‘taxi colour paint jobs’ or a vehicle that was previously licenced as a taxi.

Most rideshare companies will take an inspection of your vehicle before you become a driver, so your car must be well maintained on top of satisfying the age requirements. These inspections are carried out regularly if you remain as a driver, usually annually, and are there to make sure you keep your car in good nick while you’re representing the company.

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Insuring your car

Because ridesharing has only been operating legally for a short time, insurance companies are just releasing information on how to cover your car if you’re going to be using it as a rideshare vehicle.

The ridesharing company may give you some protection; it’s mostly to protect their customers, not your personal vehicle. A company might recommend you get a good comprehensive cover for your car, but here’s where it gets tricky.

Before it was legal, insurers couldn’t easily classify ridesharing under their policies if a driver made a claim. However, now that ridesharing is ready to become legal, insurance companies have to decide whether you are operating your car as a business or your own personal vehicle if you happen to need their assistance. This is a thorny issue because some insurers require you to take out a different policy for a business vehicle than your personal car.

If you are thinking of becoming a rideshare driver, it’s best to speak to the company you intend to work with, as well as your current insurance provider.

Ridesharing is a convenient way to earn some extra cash, especially if you like to use your car, rather than let it sit on the driveway. While you’re thinking about it, read some of our tips to get your car looking its best and make sure everything’s running smoothly by bringing it in to our expert service team to make sure everything is in top shape.