Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Best Cars For Uber Drivers In The UK

In Great Britain, Uber offers five classes of service to its customers. These range from its most popular flagship UberX, all the way up to Uber Lux and Uber XL.

Most rideshare drivers opt for UberX as the area where they’ll operate, and Uber has rules on the vehicles it will accept for this service in the UK. You can see the full details here, but the guidelines are simple:

1. The vehicle must be no older than 2008 in London and 2006 elsewhere.

2. It must have four doors or be a minivan.

3. It must be in good condition with no cosmetic damage.

4. It must have no commercial branding.

5. It must be licensed to carry a minimum of 4 passengers.

In London there are some other rules set by TFL but otherwise, given the range of vehicles that Uber will accept for UberX, you’ve got a great range to choose from. With London moving in the direction of hybrid and electric vehicles, and the rest of the UK gradually making the change too, we’ve got some great planet-friendly options.

We’ve looked at all the new cars available in the UK and narrowed them down to the top ten for driving UberX. Read on to see which wheels you’ll want.

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Top 10 Cars For UberX in the UK

What do you need in a car for UberX? This is Uber’s economy option, offering standard rates per ride. You won’t want a Mercedes S Class here. Keep that for Uber Lux. Here are our top picks:

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

1. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

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The hybrid that finally knocked the Prius off its top spot. Available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric, the Ioniq offers great comfort and better-than Prius styling. Yes, the rear seats will take three, but whoever sits in the middle will not be comfortable, and yes, the cargo space is shallow despite the car’s width, but the hybrid’s petrol and electric motors scoot this car forwards like no other. Expect mpg of around 60 per petrol gallon equivalent when using both power sources. On batteries only, that will leap to 90mpg, but the range is just 28 miles. This one sets the bar that other cars for UberX must beat.

Cost: From £24,000

Mileage: 50-60 MPG Combined

Engine: 1.6L Petrol Electric

Gearbox: 6 Speed Auto

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Average

Comfort: Good

Speed: Faster than a Prius, but no Mustang

Styling: Slick, but nothing extraordinary

Warranty: 5 years unlimited mileage

Best Option: 1.6L GDi Hybrid Premium 5 Door DCT

Toyota Prius Hybrid

2. Toyota Prius Hybrid

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Even in its latest form, the Prius is still a bit of an ugly duckling, but for UberX it’s a great choice. Ideal for urban driving, its first class petrol/electric power mix gives amazing mpg. Combine that with sprightly performance, decent turning circle, roomy interior and a flat floor and you have a car that’s an obvious choice for Uber drivers. However, be prepared for the fact that the rear view is hampered by the split screen and the boot is not as big as you’d hope. The Business Edition at around £28,000 may cost more than some of its petrol or diesel rivals, but the Prius holds its value well and benefits from Toyota’s excellent maintenance support.

Cost: From £25,000

Mileage: 50-65 MPG Combined

Engine: 1.8L Petrol Electric

Gearbox: CVT Automatic

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Average

Comfort: Good

Speed: Average, fine for the city

Styling: Not a favourite

Warranty: 3/5 years

Best Option: 1.8 VVT-i Business Edition AT

Skoda Octavia

3. Skoda Octavia

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With a lower price, bigger space inside and in the boot, the Octavia is the fossil fuelled car to take on the hybrids. Even in petrol format, the mileage is great and the 1.5litres 148hp engine will kick this roomy vehicle up to 60mph in around 8 seconds. Not so sloppy we think. Add in an extendable warranty and 12 years body protection and it’s easy to see why this is currently the number one choice for Uber drivers across the UK.

Cost: From £20,000

Mileage: 55 MPG Combined

Engine: 1.5L Petrol

Gearbox: Semi Automatic

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Good

Comfort: Good

Speed: Punchy when you pull away

Styling: Clean and imposing

Warranty: 3 years 60,000 miles

Best Option: 1.5 TSI SE 5 Door DSG

Toyota Corolla Hybrid

4. Toyota Corolla Hybrid

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The Corolla has long been a bestseller in the UK, now in hybrid form, it’s an even better car. Yes, this comes from the same people who give you the Prius and it costs less, but you get what you pay for. The Corolla hybrid feels cheaper inside and out than its teardrop-shaped sibling and those bog standard looks will never win a beauty contest. However, in all other respects, this is a good option to either the Ioniq or the Prius, with decent handling, performance and passenger/cargo space. Like the other hybrids, the neat petrol/electric power source will move this car along at a brisk pace, but it suffers in visibility and is tight inside. Still the best, low-cost hybrid on the market.

Cost: From £23,000

Mileage: 65 MPG Combined

Engine: 1.8L Petrol Electric

Gearbox: CVT Automatic

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Good

Comfort: Better than basic range cars

Speed: Swift as you would expect

Styling: Not as clunky as the Prius but still chunky

Warranty: 3/5 years

Best Option: 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid Icon 5 Door CVT

Hyundai Kona Electric

5. Hyundai Kona Electric

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Its look may be the marmite of car exteriors (do you love it or hate it?) but the Hyundai Kona is one of the most affordable electric cars shaking up the electric vehicle game. A rival to the Nissan Juke (another car whose appearance divides people), the Kona is compact and inexpensive to run. It’s almost silent with light loads and, as such, comes with Hyundai’s ‘Virtual Engine Sound System’, which emits imitation engine noise at nearby cars and pedestrians at low speeds as a safety feature. Ideal for stopping and starting in a city!

Cost: From £27,500

Mileage: Around 280 miles per full charge

Engine: Electric

Gearbox: Automatic

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: A little on the snug side

Comfort: Average

Speed: 0-60mph in 6.7sec

Styling: An edgy upgrade on the Nissan Juke’s unique look

Warranty: 5 years unlimited mileage

Best Option: 39 kWh Kona Electric SE

Skoda Kodiaq

6. Skoda Kodiaq

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Skoda’s second entry in our top ten and the best all-round SUV for UberX. High build quality, (thank you VW) and good materials for the money. The 148hp 1.5L petrol pushes this big rig along quick enough, although don’t expect a dragster, because it isn’t. Tons of space inside and a cargo area to handle any number of suitcases. Great high position visibility and very good mpg. If you like a big, brawny car, then this is the one to go for.

Cost: From £25,000

Mileage: 46 MPG

Engine: 1.5L Petrol

Gearbox: Automatic

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Excellent

Comfort: Excellent

Speed: A bit heavy but more than enough power

Styling: Looks more costly than it is

Warranty: 3 years 60,000 miles

Best Option: 1.5 TSI SE 5dr DSG

Kia Proceed Estate

7. Kia Proceed Estate

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Yes, we know what you’re thinking – £26k for a Kia estate? Well, believe us, this one’s worth it. An all-new model in Kia’s rapidly swelling range, the ProCeed moves on from the already excellent Cee’d. From the luxury look, to the full complement of gadgets, an engine that delivers real punch and a seven years warranty, there’s little to fault except maybe that price. Big cargo space is matched by roomy cabin and top-drawer materials. Forget those shoddy contraptions of years ago. Since falling under Hyundai’s umbrella, the Kia brand is now one to impress. We opt for the 1.6 litres CRDi and the auto gearbox for the comfort it gives. Adding £2,000 more than the base 1.4 manual, the upgrade turns an already good car into a really great car.

Cost: From £24,000

Mileage: 52 MPG combined

Engine: 1.6L Turbo diesel

Gearbox: 7 Speed Auto

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Very Good

Comfort: Excellent

Speed: A bit sluggish at approx 10 seconds 0-60

Styling: As good as most in its class

Warranty: 7 Years/ 100,000 miles

Best Option: GT Line 1.6 CRDi

Renault Scenic

8. Renault Scenic Hybrid

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Another hybrid car and a French one at that. The Scenic is Renault’s compact answer to the SUV trend. This smaller, but highly agile rival comes with decent interior space, good cargo capacity and the usual, quirky French design touches. It has a smaller turning circle than either the Kodiaq or Tiguan and is swift around town. Put the pedal down hard and it seems a little harsh, but overall, it performs more like a car, with SUV attributes. The diesel is the best option and that, along with the cheaper finishing, (without a much cheaper price) and lack of brawn, pushes this one down to number 8 and a three-star rating. A pity, because for UberX this is a very good option.

Cost: From £26,500

Mileage: 80.7 MPG with hybrid assist

Engine: 1.5L Diesel Electric

Gearbox: Manual 

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Good

Comfort: Average

Speed: Good but lacking torque

Styling: Cool with aero dynamic lines

Warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles

Best Option: Renault Scenic dCi 110 Hybrid Assist Dynamique S

Skoda Scala

9. Skoda Scala

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The latest model from Skoda fills spot number nine in our top ten. The Scala comes in estate-car form and it’s positioned as an entry level option. Below the Octavia and Kodiaq. Unfortunately, the sales guys at Skoda seemed to have confused the pricing, as by the time you opt for the 115hp SE to get a little power and an auto gearbox, you’re getting close to Octavia country. That fact has helped push this model down in our ranking. Otherwise, despite the basic plastic trim, this one is roomy, has great cargo space and looks pretty good. Its small 1.0 litre turbo is never going to cut it as a racer, but around town it has decent pulling power and good mpg. If you fancy something very new, you’d be hard pressed to beat a Scala.

Cost: From £17,000

Mileage: 41 MPG Combined

Engine: 1.0L Turbo Petrol

Gearbox: Automatic

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Good

Comfort: Good

Speed: About 10 seconds 0-60…

Styling: It is an estate but it looks good

Warranty: 3 years/60,000 miles

Best Option: SE TSI 115hp

Ford Focus Estate

10. Ford Focus Estate

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Another estate comes in at number ten – courtesy of Henry Ford. The Focus name has been around for years, but the 2019 model is an all-new version. The estate gives great space for passengers and luggage, so this is an ideal motorway/airport express. Yes, it seems a little pricey compared to the Scala and Octavia, but if the presence of the blue oval gives you added comfort, it may be worth the extra cash. Typically for base model Fords, the best option EcoBlue 120 Zetec skimps on all the luxuries. Yes, there’s sat-nav, but you don’t need that. And no, you won’t get lumbar support, which you could really use. Materials are average and the build is just good enough, but the engine lacks the oomph you might expect from a modern 1.5 diesel. In summary, if you like traditional but not exceptional, this is the one for you.

Cost: From £21,500

Mileage: 55 MPG combined

Engine: 1.5L Turbo Diesel

Gearbox: 8-speed Auto

Seats: 5

Cargo Capacity: Very Good

Comfort: Good

Speed: Also about 10 seconds 0-60

Styling: Tiny bit dated for a new facelift but it is an estate

Warranty: 3 years/60,000 miles

Best Option: EcoBlue 120 Zetec

 

SOURCES and LINKS:

Uber vehicle rules: https://www.uber.com/en-GB/drive/resources/vehicle-requirements/
Uber stats: https://www.uber.com/en-GB/newsroom/company-info/
Uber general stats: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uber
Uber ride classifications: https://www.uber.com/en-GB/blog/uber-ride-options/
Cars: https://www.buyacar.co.uk/cars/affordable-cars/cars-under-30000/1168/best-new-cars-for-under-30000
Cars: https://uberdriverlondon.co.uk/what-car-to-use-for-uber-in-london/
Prius: https://www.toyota.co.uk/new-cars/prius/?&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=OEM-UK-EN-B-Model-Prius-xx-GOO-EXACT&utm_term=new+prius+toyota&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1qefyvv_4wIVWeDtCh0gtAmWEAAYASAAEgLp_fD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
Ioniq: https://www.whatcar.com/make/hyundai/ioniq/hatchback/versions
Octavia : https://www.whatcar.com/make/skoda/octavia/hatchback/versions
Kodiaq: https://www.whatcar.com/skoda/kodiaq/estate/review/n17362/on-the-road
Proceed : https://www.kia.com/uk/new-cars/proceed/
Corolla : https://www.whatcar.com/toyota/corolla/hatchback/review/n18901
Scala: https://www.skoda.co.uk/new-cars/scala
Focus: https://www.ford.co.uk/shop/price-and-locate/build-and-price-gf3#/catalogID/WAEGB-CGE-2018-C519FocusGBR201975/summary/?code=DGADE_DR–C_EN-ZT_TR-GM:ACMAA_VS-D1
Scenic Hybrid: https://www.greencarguide.co.uk/car-reviews-and-road-tests/renault-scenic-dci-110-hybrid-assist-review/#design__engineering
Kona Electric: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/hyundai/kona-electric