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Vehicle requirements to become an Uber-entrepreneur

Many South Africans have a dream of "being your own boss" - and having financial independence. Uber promises this - but there are some conditions, and that pertains to vehicle selection.
One of the most important pertains to vehicle selection. According to AutoTrader CEO, George Mienie, Uber has very specific requirements. “It is vitally important to meet these requirements when it comes to vehicle selection – otherwise it is impossible to become an Uber rider,” he warns.

The single most important aspect to bear in mind is vehicle age.

“It must be a 2013 model year or newer. Also, a vehicle must be in good condition, the windows must work, and it must have air-conditioning,” Mienie explains.

Michelle Bell, operations manager of ABT Logistics (a company that provides support to Uber-entrepreneurs), suggests buying a 2014 model year vehicle. “As it is already October, I strongly advise anyone looking to enter the Uber market as an investor to purchase vehicles from 2014 or newer,” she advises.

The next consideration is which vehicle option to pick. UberX is the most popular, along with UberXL and Uber Van - options required when travelling with more than four people.

UberX is available in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The vehicle must be a four-door sedan, it must seat at least four passengers in addition to the driver and it must have a 1.4l engine (or a bigger capacity engine).
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While salvaged or rebuilt vehicles are not approved, a used vehicle is absolutely fine – and this is what Mienie recommends. “Everyone aspires to owning a new vehicle but, in the case of an Uber-entrepreneur, this really is not necessary. Of course, you should select a vehicle with very low mileage, bearing in mind the fact that the vehicle will be driven all day every day,” he notes.

Based on ABT Logistics’ experience in the Uber market, Bell also suggests that Uber-entrepreneurs consider the Toyota Etios, Honda Brio and Nissan Almera.

UberXL and Uber Van are the vehicle categories that are appropriate to more than four passengers. The former operates in Cape Town; the latter in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

When it comes to UberXL, the vehicle must be a four-door SUV or minivan with independently opening doors. It must seat at least six passengers in addition to the driver. Full-sized vans or trucks are prohibited.

Uber Van vehicles must have four independently opening doors and they must seat at least seven passengers in addition to the driver. Full-sized vans or trucks are once again prohibited.

For more about the vehicle requirements needed in South Africa, go to


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