Best cars for Uber

Spend your life ferrying Uber passengers around and want the most stress-free, comfortable car to rack up five-star reviews? Check these out

James Wilson
Aug 19, 2021
Volvo S90 front

Uber may have reinvented the ride-hailing wheel with its smartphone app but in the process, it brought about a difficult question for drivers - what is the best car for Uber? Spoiler alert: there is no one correct answer. This is mainly because Uber has many different facets and the expectations of customers for each one demand a different type of car.

Take UberX users, they would not be surprised to see a Toyota Prius hatchback collecting them but those who pay for UberXL want something with space for up to six passengers, such as a Volkswagen Sharan. To make sure customers get what they are expecting, Uber does set some rules for the cars drivers can use.

If you want to remind yourself of these, have a read of Uber’s car requirements in the UK.

Although Uber itself does help to narrow down the long list of potential cars, it still leaves you with an awful lot of choice. Fear not, we know time is money, so below we've rounded up eight of the best cars for Uber. Each suits one particular arm of the ride-hailing service best and all are readily available second-hand on BuyaCar or brand new.

Go used and there will be a significant financial saving compared with getting a new car, but as any taxi needs to be as reliable as possible - to avoid time out of service and expensive repair bills - it is worth focusing on cars that have been looked after properly with regular servicing and maintenance.

There are some commonalities between all the cars listed below. These include all of them representing good value compared to their main rivals, having a strong record of reliability and a spacious and comfortable interior. Features such as a large boot, an easy to clean interior and low running costs are common.

Keep reading for our recommendations of the best cars for UberX, UberPool, Uber Comfort, Uber Green, Uber Exec, UberXL, UberACCESS and Uber Lux.

Best cars for Uber drivers

1. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Best car for UberX

Used deals from £13,250

Many Uber drivers already drive a Toyota Prius, mainly due to its impressive petrol-electric hybrid setup, which boosts fuel economy, but fewer have heard of the almost as impressive Hyundai Ioniq. It comes in three different types but it is a conventional hybrid we are focusing on here, as this competes with the standard Toyota Prius.

Being ‘conventional’, it does not need recharging from the mains as energy for the hybrid system is recovered from braking. Also, as conventional hybrids have relatively small battery packs they generally work in tandem with the engine rather than allowing for mile after mile of battery-powered motoring, though you still benefit from a useful increase in fuel economy compared with a non-hybrid equivalent, which should cut your running costs. For a refresher on the different types of hybrid take a read of our hybrid explainer article.

The Ioniq is very easy to drive, with all versions having an automatic gearbox so there is no need to think about changing gears, and you get ample standard equipment and a well-built interior that should withstand heavy use - perfect for life as an Uber. The Ioniq comes with plenty of boot space, with 443 litres of room, which is significantly more than the 381 litres you get with a Volkswagen Golf.

There is a decent amount of room for rear passengers, too, although headroom is tight for anyone over six-foot, though the Toyota Prius has the same issue. Another area the Hyundai is similar to the Prius is in warranty terms. Both cars offer a five-year warranty, but while Toyota's is limited to 100,000 miles, Hyundai's has an unlimited mileage cap, making the Ioniq a great choice for high-mileage Uber drivers, or those who want to save money by buying a used Ioniq that has already covered a reasonably high mileage.

HYUNDAI IONIQ BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Best car for UberPool

Used deals from £15,495

The Toyota Corolla Touring Sports is an estate version of the standard Corolla, meaning it comes with a larger boot than the regular hatchback Corolla. Measuring in at nearly 600 litres, the boot is well suited to carrying luggage for multiple passengers, and if you don’t have multiple passengers during an UberPool fare, something has gone wrong. There is also plenty of space in the rear for passengers to get comfortable.

There are a very small number of petrol-powered Corollas available but the vast majority are conventional hybrids and it is these that are best for Uber drivers, as they offer improved fuel economy, meaning lower bills for you. They work like the Ioniq hybrid above, so there is no need to plug into the mains. Many of the Corolla’s components are shared with the Toyota Prius so they should be very reliable. If anything does go wrong in the first five years or 100,000 miles, there is Toyota’s warranty to fall back on, though.

TOYOTA COROLLA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Skoda Superb

Best car for Uber Comfort

Used deals from £12,999

Passengers who opt for Uber Comfort expect a more relaxed and comfortable journey and are guaranteed a car with a good amount of legroom, plus the ability to select things such as whether the driver makes conversation or not. Whether you are particularly chatty or not, you can let the Superb do the talking for you, as few cars are as well-suited to Uber Comfort as the Skoda Superb. It's very affordable for a car of this size, running costs are low and practicality-wise passenger and luggage space are very impressive.

The interior has plenty of room in every direction, so even taller adults will have no issues with head, leg and elbow room, whether they're in the front or rear. There are quite a number of Skoda Superbs to choose from including those with a petrol and diesel engines plus conventional and plug-in hybrid options. The hybrid models haven’t been in production for all that long so tend to be newer and more expensive, but they are nonetheless worth considering as their lower emissions can mean reduced running costs, with less road tax to pay and lower fuel bills.

SKODA SUPERB BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volkswagen ID.3

Best car for Uber Green

Used deals from £29,000

The ID.3 is Volkswagen’s electric car for the masses. Importantly, models with the 58kWh battery pack (which is the mid-range battery pack) are claimed to be able to travel around 260 miles on a full charge. This makes them a great choice for zero-emission urban trips, with scope to do much longer journeys from time to time. As with all electric cars, high-speed journeys such as those on motorways are likely to reduce how far you can travel on one charge, while urban stop-start driving is where the ID.3 excels, as energy is recuperated during braking.

There are plenty of electric rivals to the ID.3, such as the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, but neither of these are as readily available and they are generally more expensive, although part of the reason for this is that they do promise more range. Away from the electronics the ID.3 is decently practical, thanks to a spacious cabin and relatively big boot, which is basically the same size as a petrol or diesel Golf’s boot. The cabin is relatively minimalist in style, so the ID.3 looks modern inside and keeping on top of cleaning should be simple.

MORE ABOUT THE VOLKSWAGEN ID.3

5. Volvo S90

Best car for Uber Exec

Used deals from £16,990

Sophisticated. Stylish. Swedish. All words you can use to describe the Volvo S90. You could also say well-made, comfortable and upmarket which is good, as these are all features those using Uber Exec would expect. The Volvo has to be plush inside, as its competition, such as the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series have been offering similar propositions for decades. However, the Volvo is also surprisingly affordable as a second-hand buy. As a result, the S90 has become very popular with taxi drivers.

One thing that helps the Volvo stand out as an Uber is that the Swedish brand makes its cars with comfort in mind rather than sportiness, which would typically result in firmer suspension and a more bumpy ride for passengers. We can’t think of many passengers who would complain about a comfortable ride, so for a taxi this focus on comfort is a real bonus.

The most affordable S90 models are diesels, so these make a good used option, with plenty of choice and strong value on offer for buyers. Diesel engines are no longer available to buy new in the S90. If you want a new S90 it has to be a plug-in hybrid, though you'll need to pay a relatively high cost to get a brand new model as a result.

VOLVO S90 BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer

Best car for UberXL

Used deals from £15,495

When it comes to seven-seat people carriers, few can match the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer for its usability and comfort. Importantly, the folding seats are very well designed so getting into the rear from the middle row shouldn’t be too much hassle. The rearmost seats will be fine for adults on shorter journeys, enabling you to carry six adult customers, though anyone in the rear may become a little uncomfortable on longer trips. The middle seats have acres of space, though.

Despite there being no option of a hybrid or electric Grand C4 SpaceTourer, the diesel engines can be very frugal if driven relatively gently, giving you the prospect of a seven-seater people carrier with low fuel costs. In the right colour and specification, the large Citroen also looks quite funky, which might appeal to you, as large people carriers tend to look more like vans than this, which may give a negative impression to paying customers. If looks are important try to aim for ‘Flair’ models with black and silver alloy wheels.

CITROEN GRAND C4 SPACETOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Vauxhall Combo Life

Best car for UberACCESS

Used deals from £13,990

Uber Access is Uber’s taxi service for those that use a wheelchair. Cars that allow wheelchair access are normally modified by a specialist once they have left the factory. The best candidates for conversion are ones with wide opening boots and plenty of space in the rear. One such car is the Vauxhall Combo Life. Essentially it is a van with a more plush interior and revised suspension to make it better suited to being used as a passenger car.

For wheelchair access, we’d recommend looking for a five-seat XL model. ‘XL’ refers to the length of the car and the extra space will be very helpful for the modifications that will allow a wheelchair to get into the back. A seven-seat XL Combo Life could also be used but the rearmost seats are likely to have to be removed, making paying the premium for more seats a waste.

Although the Combo Life isn’t particularly aerodynamic, Vauxhall still claims that 100hp diesel models can achieve fuel economy of more than 50mpg, which is quite impressive given the Combo Life is a big car. In the real world fuel consumption won’t be as good, but this is still a good option as an Uber. For those worried about fuel bills, there is also an electric option. You'll have to pay more for this upfront, but charging up should cost much less than filling with diesel.

VAUXHALL COMBO LIFE BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Mercedes S-Class

Best car for Uber Lux

Used deals from £26,999

Lux is the creme de la creme of Uber taxi categories and is one of the more upmarket and luxurious ways to get from A to B on four wheels. The best car for this job is undoubtedly the Mercedes S-Class. Some may think that going all out on a Rolls-Royce would be better but they are too big, too brash and too expensive to handle tens of thousands of miles transporting fares. The S-Class offers a large proportion of that luxury but should cost less than you expect to purchase and run.

The Mercedes comes with an interior where there is plenty of room for passengers to relax in comfort and the build quality is excellent. Road noise is kept to an absolute minimum and the engine is so quiet you could be forgiven for thinking it has turned itself off. The S-Class isn’t cheap but if you are willing to consider one which is a couple of years old (at the time of writing Lux cars have to be no older than six years old) prices start well below £30,000 for diesel models, making the S-Class a huge amount of car for the money.

MERCEDES S-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

Uber UK driver requirements

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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