In this step by step Guide, Rideguru contributor Sergio Avedian explains how to complete a yearly car inspection for Uber and Lyft! He lives in Los Angeles but in most cities getting your annual car inspection is a simple process.
I have been driving for Uber and Lyft for close to 4 years. A lot has changed over those four years, mostly for the worse as far as earnings are concerned but one thing has remained constant for drivers. They must get their car inspected yearly in order to continue driving. This is certainly a good thing as far as Driver and Passenger Safety is concerned. The city you live in may have certain restrictions regarding the model year of your car, check the Uber or Lyft website for additional specific information.
You've decided to become a Rideshare driver, you’ve budgeted the hours and you’re ready to make some more money as an Uber or Lyft driver either on a full time or part time basis. So it’s a simple matter of installing the apps, hopping in your car, filling it up and picking up passengers. Right? NO! Not so fast. Before you can pick up any fares and make money with either company you need to pass a few checks. One of these is a comprehensive vehicle inspection to make sure your car is safe and ready to pick up passengers. Many would be Uber and Lyft drivers fail these vehicle inspections over the simplest of issues, costing them time and money over something that could have been easily avoided.
In this article, I will help you steer clear of this fate. By knowing all the details about the inspection, you can be better prepared and all but guarantee you pass. Both Uber and Lyft will send drivers warnings regarding when their previous inspection is expiring through the driver app. I urge all drivers not to leave the inspection to the last day and complete it as soon as possible in case there are costly repairs required such as new brakes or tires. Before heading to your inspection, you should do a check of your vehicle yourself to see if you can spot and fix any issues ahead of time:
A vehicle inspection sounds scary since it could stand in the way between you and earning fares especially if you have an older model car. However, Uber’s vehicle inspection is relatively painless and is a standard practice in the industry. It’s a process that every Uber driver has to go through annually to ensure that their car is fit to drive and safe for the road. Uber requires drivers to complete a full inspection at least once a year either at a Greenlight Hub or a pre-approved repair shop. These could be your local Jiffy Lube, Pep boys or Midas locations.
The inspection for an Uber vehicle used to be free if it was done at a “Greenlight Hub.” However, I guess cost cutting is hitting everyone in the pocketbook and Uber at least in California has stopped providing this free service at its Greenlight Hubs.
If you choose to go with a different mechanic, then you’ll usually have to pay a fee of around $19.99. Most mechanics or body shops are banking on you to fail your inspection so that they can sell you new parts as a solution to get you on the road as soon as possible. This is a common trap, so try to go to a reputable business that just focuses on vehicle inspections, ideally an inspection business that does inspections specifically for Uber.
The following are three easy steps recommended by Uber to complete your initial or annual inspection:
1. Download an inspection form:
California law requires Uber partners to inspect their vehicle every year or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Most inspection centers have forms available, but you may want to bring one just in case, I highly recommend downloading the following or similar form from Uber’s website and take it in for the mechanic to fill it out. Download Form.
It should look like this.
2. Find an inspection center:
Uber partners can schedule a mobile inspection with Mobile Mechanics (Rideshare Mechanic) or any facility licensed by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair. Note that Uber does not cover inspection costs when performed by a 3rd-party or mobile mechanic.
3. Upload the completed form
Once you pass, upload the completed form and to your account. Uber does not cover repairs or maintenance to pass an inspection. Upload Form
It should look something like this.
It is a very easy process to take a photo of the completed inspection sheet and upload it to the Uber servers. You will receive confirmation of receipt of the form from Uber and then you will be allowed to continue picking up passengers.
To start driving with Lyft, there are driver requirements such as passing a criminal background and DMV drivers licence check. Next, there are document requirements such as having a driver’s license, personal vehicle insurance and uploading a driver photo and finally, there are vehicle requirements.
Uber and Lyft inspections are very similar in a lot of ways. However, while it was possible to get your Uber car inspection done for free at some places (no longer), it is not free for Lyft (although some locations do combination inspections). With Lyft, you’ll need to take your vehicle to a licensed mechanic and you will have to pay. The price will vary depending on the mechanic but is usually around $19.99. I recently used my local Pep boys shop for my inspection. Most third party mechanics don't carry the inspection form, so like Uber, visit the Lyft website, download and print the form from this link. All current Lyft drivers need to have their vehicles inspected at least once a year, which is similar to Uber.
It’s usually a good idea to take the time to look at your own car before inspection and take into account the checklist the inspector will be using. Why? Because there’s a good chance you might be tempted to spend too much money on repairs your mechanic suggests at inspection. This can inflate your costs on repairs that you could have solved yourself. If you spot any problems, you can repair them yourself by going to an auto parts store. (See the chek-list above) Remember the focus of a Lyft inspection is on safety, so make sure you put safety and security problems above cosmetic ones.
In some areas, the annual re-inspection of your vehicle may be free at Lyft Hubs. For example, drivers in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego or the surrounding areas can get their vehicle re-inspected at no cost. Locations where you can have your Lyft vehicle inspected also include Jiffy Lube, Lyft Certified Mechanic or a mobile service such as the RideShareMechanic.
There was once a time when Lyft accepted Uber inspection forms, but that’s no longer the case. Uber is moving forward into electronic activation centers and inspection forms, providing a certificate format that’s no longer acceptable to Lyft.
Instead you’ll need to take a specialized Lyft test. The full test should take about 30 minutes. Jiffy Lube can be difficult for people to do an inspection in a timely manner because they are a normal brick and mortar business but I had no problem getting both my Uber and Lyft inspection done at the same location. It will look something like the screenshot above. Once you receive the filled out and signed inspection form by the mechanic, all you have to do is take a photo of it and upload the form via the driver Dashboard.
Like I said at the beginning, there isn’t much complexity to a Lyft vehicle inspection, you just need to make sure your car is safe to drive. Brand new Lyft drivers need to have their car inspected before they can drive but annual inspections are a breeze.
On the off chance that your car doesn’t pass the vehicle inspection your next steps are simple. Correct the problem, and redo the inspection. Once you do and pass you can upload your inspection form to the Uber or Lyft partner dashboard. However, this shouldn’t happen if you follow the advice in this article. As we’ve said, Uber and Lyft vehicle inspection checks are very basic and simple to see if your car is roadworthy and safe to drive. If it doesn’t then you should probably take your car off the road, and invest in making it safe to drive again, lest you hurt yourself or anyone else on the road.