Do you want to join Uber or Lyft as a driver and don’t know which cars will be your best and most efficient choice? I will help you understand the different cars that you could work with and each one’s potential benefits! After all, your car choice can make a difference of up to a few hundred dollars a month in costs.
Here is brief compilation of my top 5 choices for Uber cars that meet the requirements plus information that’ll help you decide whether to go for a used or new car. The vehicles listed below come with a spectrum of cool features and benefits. The prices for used and new cars are approximate numbers. I took all these wheels for a spin.
Check it out…
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- 1 5 Best Uber Cars for Drivers
- 2 Where Should I Buy My Car?
- 3 Used Cars VS. New Cars – Buy New, Buy Used or Lease?
5 Best Uber Cars for Drivers
1. Toyota Prius
The Prius is a very reliable and efficient, gas-powered car that is rated at 50 mpg highway / city combined by the EPA. The economical performance of the Prius has been pretty impressive since the launch of the third-generation series in 2009. The US Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board (CARB) rate the Prius among the cleanest vehicles sold in the US.
This vehicle is very utilitarian, has tons of room for passengers and luggage for a relatively small car. Definitely a solid, practical choice. Both as a used and a new car. The Prius is not very exciting to drive, at least not in the traditional sense. The real excitement comes when you look at the gas mileage you get!
Some people are worried about the Hybrid-Battery life, since replacing it would be very expensive. I spoke with the manager of a major dealership about this, and he told me he didn’t know of any case where a battery had to be replaced because of age. The battery pack in any hybrid Toyota is warranted either for 10 years or 150,000 miles (in states with California emissions laws) or 8 years or 100,000 miles in all other states.
- Used (2010): $10,000
- New: from $24,000
- 2015 model KBB consumer rating: 9.1/10
2. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is an affordable mid-size family option, and offers 33 mpg combined. The 2015 model hybrid version is even rated at 44 mpg city / 47 mpg highway. In a similar category as a Toyota Prius, Honda Civics are very efficient and reliable cars.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, fuel sipping car, that offers a bit more pleasure to drive than the Prius, the Civic manages that. The steering feels sharp, the brakes solid and the structure stiff. You get sort of compact sporty feeling. New models are starting from around $18,290.
- Used (2010): $10,000
- New: from $18,290
- 2015 model KBB consumer rating: 8.7/10
3. Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion is a hard car to dislike. This family sedan offers surprisingly easy and precise handling, is sleek, stylish and has comfortable seats in the front and in the back. The Fusion comes with a wide range of engines including EcoBoost 4-cylinders and is available as a hybrid and ‘Energi’ model as well. It is rated at up to 24 mpg city, and 36 mpg on the highway. The hybrid version is very efficient at an estimated 42 mpg combined. When I test drove it for a few hours, I got it up to almost 50 mpg! The plug-in hybrid version offers a staggering total range of up to 620 miles.
- Used (2010): $10,000
- New: from $18,290
- 2015 model KBB consumer rating: 8.8/10
4. Toyota Corolla
The Corolla has very low maintenance costs, retains its resale value pretty well over the years and has
good to great fuel economy (depending on the model). If you have any kids, you can eventually hand the car down to them with confidence. The 2000 version of the Toyota Corolla and the newer versions are the perfect choices for Uber drivers with its well-used and comfortable interior space.
Corollas are reliable and practical in terms of maintenance and upkeep. This is not a very sexy or sporty car. The way it corners and accelerates are not very exciting; it is a reasonable car in every way.
If you want a comfortable, competent and credible car, the Corolla is certainly up to the job. The LE Eco version is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid version and gets about 35 mpg combined, while the rest of the models offer approximately 32 mpg combined.
The Hybrid version is rated at an estimated 42 mpg combined. A new Corolla starts at around $16,200. Forbes ranked the 2014 Corolla as one of the cheapest cars to own.
- Used (2010): $9,500
- New: from $16,200
- 2015 model KBB consumer rating 8.1/10
5. Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata is a good choice, if you don’t want to drain your bank account, but are still looking for value and refinement. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata SE undercuts competing Sedans from Honda and Toyota by around $1000. Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys have been around in the US market for a few decades now and Hyundai is still working to win the masses over.
The most dynamic version of this car comes as a 2.0 liter supercharged 4-cylinder. The 1.6 liter 4-cylinder turbo is the most fuel-economic model. The Sonata is rated at up the 28 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
- Used (2010): $10,200
- New: from $20,100
- 2015 model KBB consumer rating 8.4/10
*Bonus Car: Chevrolet Volt*
The Volt’s price tag is a bit steeper, so I’m including it as a bonus on the list. It’s far too interesting to miss! One of the coolest things you get from an EV like the Volt is the low-end torque from a dead stop. It’s like a rocket taking off (without the noise). The vehicle comes with a total cruising range of 382 miles and offers a gas mileage of 42 mpg combined.
The 2016 model apparently has an electric range of up to 53 miles, which largely depends on how lead-footed you are on the pedal…Very fuel-efficient and reliable, the 2013 Chevy Volt series (and newer) comes with two interesting safety features; a forward collision alert and a lane-departure warning that adds to the safety of your Uber ride. I took the Chevy Volt for a test drive recently, and was very impressed with the seemless, powerful performance.
Really fun to drive! Sort of feels like a Kart in electric mode and corners way better than you’d think. The forward collision alert is pretty cool, it flashes and beeps when you drive up to close to the car in front of you. The price tag is a bit higher here: new for around $33,995 (minus federal tax credit from $0-$7500).
- Used (2012): $15,000
- New: from $33,000
- 2015 model KBB consumer rating: 9/10
Where Should I Buy My Car?
There are obviously almost a limitless number of places where you can buy your car. Unfortunately, I discovered Edmunds.com just a few days after I bought my 2010 Toyota Corolla, because I would have paid quite a bit less.
Oh well…I wish I had all the information that I’ve collected since I’ve started driving for Uber, but the good news is: you can benefit from my experience! Check it out, if you’re interested. They have a massive network of over 10000 dealerships in the US, so you will probably find exactly what you’re looking for.
Here is how it works:
- Type in the exact car (and year) you want on Edmunds.com
- A number of results will show up that say “Price Promise”
- Click on the search result, and a list of cars will pop up (including a consumer rating for the specific dealership that sells the car).
- If you find the car you like, you can make arrangements and lock your price in upfront with no buying obligation.
Used Cars VS. New Cars – Buy New, Buy Used or Lease?
What’s the difference in buying or leasing the same new car in terms of out-of-pocket costs? If you decide to buy a used car, how much will you save? What do costs compare over the course of time? As an Uber or Lyft driver, these questions are very important. It’s hard to give an answer that covers all situations, but I’ll show you a practical example with approximate numbers. We’re looking at an average car ownership of six years.
Let’s take a 2016 Toyota Prius priced at $25,000 as an example.
Buying a new car for Uber
To buy this Prius priced at $25,000, we chose a five-year loan with a 20% down payment, which is $5000. At an interest rate of 3%, the monthly payment is approximately $400.
Buying a used car for Uber
Let’s say a 3 year old Prius has used retail value of about $17,000. We chose a four-year loan with 10% down, which is $1,700. We finance the purchase at 3.5% (used car loans are a bithigher than new-car loans) for four years. The monthly payment is approximately $375.
Leasing a car for Uber
This option usually has a restriction on the miles than are included per year and can lead to steep extra charges. Not very suitable for rideshare drivers.
For a six-year ownership scenario, it would be one five-year loan, plus an additional year of ownership without any car payments. For the used car scenario, it is a four-year loan and two years without car payments.
Total Out-Of-Pocket Costs:
Buying New: $29,000
Buying Used: $19,000
…And if we take the value of the car into consideration at the end of six-year ownership. Let’s assume about $12,000 for the new car, and about $6,000 for the used one:
Buying New: $17,000
Buying Used: $13,000