What is Rideshare Insurance? (2024)

Written by Zego

Published on

Rideshare insurance, also known as private hire insurance in the UK, is a type of policy that protects drivers who use their own cars to transport paying passengers.

If you drive for a rideshare company like Uber or Bolt, you’ll need this type of insurance.

Why is rideshare insurance necessary?

Standard car insurance doesn’t cover drivers who are "for hire," such as rideshare or private hire drivers. This is where rideshare insurance comes in. It fills the gap between personal auto insurance and the cover required by a rideshare company.

Rideshare insurance is designed to protect the driver, the passengers, and any other people (known as third parties) who may be involved in an accident. It can also cover damage to property, personal injuries, and other liabilities that may arise.

What's the difference between rideshare insurance and private hire insurance?

"Rideshare insurance" and "private hire insurance" are different terms that essentially describe the same type of cover.

The term rideshare insurance is more commonly used in the United States. It’s a type of cover for drivers who use their personal vehicles to provide ridesharing services through platforms like Uber or Lyft.

Private hire insurance is a term more commonly used in the UK. It’s cover for drivers who operate private hire vehicles that must be pre-booked through a licensed operator, including rideshare platforms like Uber, Bolt and Ola.

While there may be slight differences between the level of cover typically provided in each country, both types of insurance serve the same purpose: to protect drivers who use their personal vehicles to earn money transporting passengers. This type of cover is not usually provided by your standard personal motor insurance policy.

What does rideshare insurance typically cover?

Rideshare insurance usually comes in two basic types: Third Party Only and Fully Comprehensive.

Third Party Only

Third Party Only insurance protects other people involved in an accident, but it doesn’t protect you.

It covers the repair or replacement of third party vehicles and property, plus any legal liabilities for injuries they might have. But, this type of cover doesn’t protect you (the taxi driver) or your vehicle or property. So, if your car is written-off, or needs very expensive repairs, you could end up having to pay for it out of your own pocket.

Taxi drivers can also add fire and theft protection to this cover. This will pay them in the event their vehicle is stolen, or damaged by accidental fire.

Fully Comprehensive

Fully Comprehensive insurance offers total cover. Along with all the protection offered by Third Party Only insurance, you’re also covered for the repair and replacement of your vehicle.

Fire and theft, as well as cover for a broken windscreen, audio equipment, and sat-nav equipment, is usually included with this kind of policy.

Extra protection and all-in-one cover

Many policies give taxi drivers the option to buy extra protection – things like breakdown cover for private hire and no claims discount protection (NCD). Some insurers will also allow you to add replacement vehicle cover, which keeps you on the road and working while your car is being repaired.

All-in-one policies provide flexible hire and reward (H&R) cover in one simple policy. Designed to give taxi drivers more ways to make money, they cover you for transporting passengers, delivering food or parcels, or using your car for personal journeys, (known as social, domestic and pleasure insurance). All-in-one policies can be Third Party or Fully Comprehensive.

How to become an Uber driver in the UK

Becoming an Uber driver in the UK involves a few steps. You’ll need to sign up on the Uber platform, apply for a private hire licence from your local council, take out a private hire taxi insurance policy, and complete the virtual onboarding course.

To learn more, check out our guide on how to become an Uber driver in the UK.

Building a good Uber driver rating

Once you've signed up to drive for Uber, your next step is to start building a good Uber rating. It’ll help you to get more passengers, more fares and (hopefully) better tips.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Keep your car clean: No one likes to ride in a dirty car, so make sure to clean your vehicle regularly, inside and out. First impressions count.
  • Make each journey a nice experience: Greet your passengers and ask if they need help with their luggage. Keep the noise and temperature in your vehicle comfortable, and drive safely and considerately.
  • Offer in-car extras: Small gestures like offering hand sanitizer, tissues, and charging cables can make a huge difference to your passengers.
  • Pick the best route: Try to find the shortest, fastest and most fuel-efficient route to get your passengers to their destination quickly. Let your passengers know why you're taking a certain route to make them feel like they're in good hands. And try using a delivery route planner app to help plan your journey ahead of time.
  • Keep your phone updated: Be sure to download the latest version of the Uber app, and keep your phone in good working order. Use a phone mount to make it easier to see your destination and follow map directions.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most common questions we receive about becoming an Uber driver.

What kind of car do I need to drive for Uber?

Uber accepts different types of vehicles for each of its services (like Uber and UberEats), but there are specific requirements for each one. Generally, your car should be a 4-door vehicle, and no more than 10-15 years old.

Check out our guide to the best cars for Uber drivers in the UK.

Do I need special insurance to drive for Uber?

As a driver for Uber in the UK, you’re legally required to have private hire taxi insurance. It’s known as hire and reward (H&R) insurance, and it’s different from your regular car insurance (known as SD&P). It provides drivers with extra cover for transporting passengers in exchange for money, as well as public liability cover in case somebody tries to sue you following an accident.

Learn all about it in our guide to the type of insurance you need for Uber.

How much money can I make as an Uber driver?

Your earnings as an Uber driver can vary based on a few factors, such as where you live, what time of day you work, and how many hours you work. Uber drivers are paid a fare for each ride, minus Uber's service fee (which is currently 25%).

Is it safe to drive for Uber?

Driving for Uber is a relatively safe way to earn money, especially now that the company has introduced measures to protect drivers and riders. These include in-app emergency assistance, GPS tracking, and 24/7 customer support. Uber also carries out background checks on all drivers to make sure they have a clean driving record and no criminal history.

Can I drive for Uber part-time?

Yes, you can. In fact, driving for Uber part-time can be a great way to boost your income. You have the flexibility to set your own schedule, and you can work as little or as much as you want. This makes driving for Uber a popular choice, especially for people who want to fit their work around family and social commitments.

Do I need to own a car to drive for Uber?

No, owning a car or minicab isn’t a requirement to drive for Uber. They offer rental programs and partnerships with car leasing companies. So, even if you don’t have a vehicle, you can still earn a living as an Uber driver.

How do I get a PCO licence?

To drive for Uber in London, you'll need a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) driver licence, also known as a PCO licence. The process involves a medical check, an assessment of how well you know local roads, and a background check.

For the full list of requirements, check out our guide to getting a PCO licence.