The Best Cars for Uber Black in California 2024
Do you have an exceptional driver rating? If you’ve maintained a driver score of or above 4.85 stars, you might be eligible to drive for Uber Black.
But brilliant customer service isn’t enough, you’ll need the luxury wheels to match.
Read on to discover our picks of the best cars to drive for Uber Black in California in 2024.
First, What is Uber Black?
Uber Black is Uber’s premium service, matching passengers with unbeatable service and a top-of-the-range vehicle.
Your passengers will be paying a higher fare than Uber X, and therefore expect the highest quality of luxury ride.
As a driver, Uber expects you to meet top levels of service, which we’ll get into below.
Additionally, Uber Black vehicles must meet Uber’s eligibility criteria to qualify for the service.
“Business class in the back seat” means your passengers show up in style, no matter their destination.
What Are the Requirements for Uber Black Drivers in California?
To drive for Uber black, Uber expects its drivers to meet the following criteria:
- Maintain a driver rating of or above 4.85
- Have all permits required to drive in their city – you’ll need to make sure you check this with your local authority.
- Hold commercial insurance – personal auto insurance is not enough
- Pass any additional background checks
You should also always remain professional and courteous to your passengers to maintain your excellent star rating.
Nothing is too much for the customer, so prepare to adjust internal temperatures, help with luggage, open doors etc.
What Are the Uber Black Vehicle Requirements?
For your car to qualify for Uber Black, it must meet the following standards:
- Be no older than 6 years old
- Be an SUV or other luxury vehicle. Check Uber’s model list here
- Have a leather or faux leather interior
Your vehicle should be kept to a high standard, with no cosmetic damage. Passengers will also expect working windows, air conditioning and spotless interiors.
Why Should I Get Livery Insurance with INSHUR?
We mentioned above that in order to drive for Uber Black, you’ll need commercial auto insurance in addition to your personal coverage.
This is because Uber expects its Uber Black drivers to hold a higher level of coverage as a premium service.
Usually, you would visit a broker and spend days waiting for your documentation to come through, meaning potential lost earnings while you wait.
With INSHUR, you’ll be able to purchase your livery coverage online. Our policies are 100% digital, and we have a dedicated support team ready to help you in Spanish or English.
We’re launching in California very soon, bringing Uber Black drivers like you our “Excellent” rated Livery insurance policies. You’ll join thousands of Uber drivers who already trust INSHUR with their coverage.
Sign up now and be first to know when we launch in your area!
Best Cars for Uber Black in California – Our Top Picks
You’ve made it this far! So as promised, here’s our pick of the best Uber Black eligible vehicles currently on the market in California.
Note: All prices are as of October 2023.
Cadillac LYRIQ Electric – from $58,590
Cadillac is an institution of American motoring. With such a strong brand presence, you can’t go wrong with their LYRIQ EV model.
EV Range: Between 307-314 miles
Charge Time: 14 hours/7.7kW plug, 10 hours/11.5kW plug, 5 hours/19.2kW plug
33” Advanced LED Display
Up to 60.8 cubic feet of cargo room (with seats down)
Ambient interior lighting
Hands free driver assistance technology
Drivers report smooth acceleration, with comfort and class above showmanship. The door handles are flush against the body improving aerodynamics but can be confusing when first using them!
Uber Black drivers can be required to take long journeys with their passengers. Luckily the Cadillac LYRIQ features massage functions in their seats, providing some relief when driving.
All in all, The Verge thinks the LYRIQ could make Tesla drivers rethink their choices! But be quick, the LYRIQ has proven hard to get your hands on.
Audi Q8 – from $72,800
The Audi Q8 is an aggressive contender to similar BMW and Mercedes offerings. A behemoth of an SUV, the A8 is imposing but manages to stay stylish.
Engine: 3 litre six-cylinder
0-60mph in 5.6 seconds
Top Speed: 130 mph
Average 20 MPG
The fabulous people at CarWow rate the Q8 as comfortable and enjoyable to drive. The high positioning of the driver seat means you’ll be looking down on other drivers. The cabin is packed with technology, from screens to heating controls. You’ll be extra comfortable in the Q8 on those longer Uber Black journeys.
But if big and boxy SUVs aren’t your thing, keep scrolling.
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe 2020 – from $50,995 (used)
The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe 2020 is as slick as they come. If you’re looking to give your passenger the luxury chauffeur experience, the Gran Coupe is a fantastic choice.
Engine: 3 litre six-cylinder
0-60mph in 3 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph
Average MPG: 22 city, 29 highway
Whilst the BMW 8 Series suffered from cramped back seats, the Gran Coupe is an improvement. BMW have added an extra 3.4 inches of headroom and 7.1 inches of legroom in the back. This means taller passengers should be more than comfortable in the back. Passengers in the back also benefit from their own climate controls and USB-C charging ports.
The folks at Edmunds gave the Gran Coupe an 8.1 rating, citing the luxurious and comfortable interior. They also rated the Coupe’s nimble handling, with a smooth and powerful engine.
Tesla Model X – from $68,590
The Tesla name has become synonymous with futuristic driving, from its in-car technology to *those* doors. There’s something very Back to the Future about the Model X.
EV Range: 333 miles
Charge Time: potential 175 miles in 15 minutes with a Tesla Supercharger
0-60: 3.8 seconds
Top Speed: 155mph
Up to 92ft3 of storage
360-degree cameras for maximum visibility
Seating: Up to 7
There’s plenty of support out there for charging, from Teslas supercharge network
The acceleration is unmatched, reaching 0-60 seconds in a head-snapping 3.8 seconds, making overtaking a breeze on highways. Tesla claims the Model X is the highest-performing SUV ever built. It’s clear other makers have a long way to go before they catch up.
You should buy the Model X for its top-of-the-line safety features and autopilot capabilities. For longer drives, these features could make the difference between an okay ride and a fantastic one.
Volvo XC-90 Recharge Hybrid – from $71,900
Not as powerful as other SUVs, the Volvo XC-90 Recharge Hybrid is still one of the best in its class. As a driver, you’re positioned higher than a regular sedan and added suspension means bumpy roads are a breeze.
EV Range: 42
Engine: 2 litre, four-cylinder
0-60: 5 seconds
Top Speed: 112mph
Horsepower: 455 hp combined
Up to 65.5 cubic ft of storage
Seating: Up to 7
With an overall score of 4 out of 5, Driving Electric rates the XC-90 for its family-friendly appeal. Able to seat 7 and with massive storage capacity, the XC-90 is perfect for passengers with children, or with extra luggage.
You should buy it for its plug-in hybrid capability, able to reach 42 miles on a single charge. You’ll be saving on running costs, and doing your bit to lower air pollution levels.
Mercedes Benz AMG GLA 35 SUV – from $49,500
Last on our list but by no means least, the Mercedes Benz AMG GLA 35 is our most affordable pick. Packed with tech, it’s got the stylish look and feel you’d expect from a Mercedes.
Engine: 2 litre inline 4 turbo
0-60mph in 5.2 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph
Average MPG: 22 city, 29 highway
With smaller storage capacity than our other picks, the GLA 35 is perfect for passengers on shorter journeys with smaller luggage. If Uber Black keeps you in the city, this SUV could be the perfect choice for you. Standard safety features such as airbags, rearview camera and blind-spot assist mean the GLA is well positioned in its class.
CarBuzz thinks you should buy the GLA 35 if you love the thrill of throwing around a nifty hot hatch! Be sure to read their full review.
Uber Black offers passengers a superior service in luxury vehicles, with some of the best drivers Uber has in their network.
We hope this list has given you an idea of what you could be driving for Uber Black. Though of course, it’s not exhaustive!
EV and Hybrids are becoming more popular than ever, and continue to outclass their gas counterparts. Whilst new Teslas are expensive, you can still get a lot of bang for your buck buying used. Just make sure that whatever model you choose, it’s no older than 6 years old.
If you’ve been driving for Uber for a while, maintaining a rating of 4.85 or above, consider signing up for Uber Black.
You could be earning more by providing a higher class of service, with some Uber Black drivers earning $25 per hour. You can read more about how much an Uber Black driver makes here.
And last, but most importantly, any car is worthless without the correct insurance.
We’re expanding our Livery coverage for Uber Black drivers in 2024!
We provide ‘excellent’ rated coverage for thousands of drivers in the US – is your state next?
If you’re an Uber Black driver looking for easy digital livery insurance, sign up today to find out more and be the first to know when we launch in your area.
Uber Black passenger info – https://www.uber.com/us/en/ride/uberblack/
Driver Information – Uber Black – https://www.uber.com/us/en/drive/services/uberblack/
Uber Black eligible vehicles full list – https://www.uber.com/global/en/eligible-vehicles/?city=phoenix