How to Become an Uber Driver in Every Province
With rideshare services now available across all major Canadian cities, we take a look at what kind of opportunities exist for drivers. What are the vehicle requirements? What's the best way to attain and manage financing? We answer all your questions and more...
There are many reasons why ridesharing services are so popular in Canada right now. And if you’re flexible, hardworking, and own a car, you can capitalize on the rising ride-sharing market. The most recognizable names, Uber and Lyft, offer an opportunity to make a living or at least supplement your existing income with gig work.
But getting on board with either Uber or Lyft needs more than a driver’s license, a car, and a full tank of gas. Every province has adopted different criteria for rideshare operators, and there are still a few holdouts against ride-sharing.
What are the Uber and Lyft driver requirements in Canada by province?
Here’s a province-by-province breakdown of what’s required to be an Uber or Lyft driver:
- British Columbia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
In Alberta, Uber has expanded beyond the two major hubs of Calgary and Edmonton to include smaller markets like Red Deer, Lethbridge, and Fort McMurray. Lyft has not yet been established in Alberta.
Minimum driving requirements for Uber in Alberta is that you are at least 21 years old, have a valid Alberta Class 1,2, or 4 driver’s license, and have an eligible vehicle under 10 years of age. The car must also have four doors, with at least 5 seatbelts, no commercial branding, and pass a vehicle inspection.
Required documents will include proof of your work eligibility in the province, correct vehicle insurance, and a Class 1-55 vehicle registration. Drivers will also need to undergo background screening, depending on the city. This could include a complete a screening check at an Uber Greenlight Hub or a three-year driving abstract, plus get a police information check with a vulnerable sector search from your local police department.
Both Lyft and Uber are operational in BC, but Uber is more widespread with drivers in Prince George, Kamloops, Nanaimo, and the greater Vancouver area, where Lyft is currently operating too.
Both companies have an online application process to get you started, along with driver and vehicle requirements.
For Lyft drivers, you must be 25 or older with a smartphone, own a Class 1,2, or 4 commercial driver’s license, and have at least 3 years of driving history in BC. There’s an annual driver screening process too, including background and criminal record checks.
Lyft vehicles must be 9 years or newer, plated in BC, and display a Lyft decal. There must be 4 doors, 5 to 8 seats, and can’t be a taxi or a stretch limousine.
For Uber drivers, the documentation criteria is the same as Lyft, including a Class 1,2, or 4 commercial driver’s license, certificate of insurance, and proof of their eligibility to work in BC.
Uber ride-sharing vehicles in BC must also be under 9 years old, offer 4 doors, and can’t have commercial branding. They need to pass a commercial vehicle inspection before carrying fares.
Both companies require background screening. Lyft drivers will need to pass an annual screening of their driving history and criminal background check.
The average hourly pay for Lyft drivers in Canada is around $25 per hour, according to Indeed.
Ridesharing exists only in Manitoba’s capital city – Winnipeg, where is Uber established, though Lyft has yet to make inroads.
Drivers must be a minimum of 21 years of age and hold a valid Class 1 to 5, 5F Manitoba driver’s license or equivalent and provide proof of work eligibility. Safety screenings are also mandatory, including a Driver’s Abstract, Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Check and a Child Abuse Registry application.
Your vehicle must have four doors that open independently, be 10 years of age or newer, be in good operating condition with no visible damage, cannot have branding, and must pass a vehicle inspection by a licensed mechanic. Salvage vehicles are not permitted.
Your motor vehicle insurance for driving in Winnipeg must include Passenger Vehicle for Hire coverage, which you can obtain from any MPI Service Centre.
New Brunswick introduced legislation in 2020 to allow rideshare companies and according to Uber the company is now available in Moncton.
Driver requirements are still a little vague, but according to the legislations drivers will need to undergo a driving record check, upgrade to a Class 4 license, and have a clean driver’s abstract.
Lyft is not yet available in New Brunswick.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador might not be the most populous parts of Canada, but ridesharing is a current discussion for this area. Despite problems hailing a cab in St. John’s due to a shortage, Uber and Lyft are not yet able to operate here. Insurance coverage for ridesharing services is not available, but it’s safe to assume that when it is, the ridesharing market will find a home.
Halifax is another Maritime city where Uber rideshare is currently operating.
The basic requirement is to upload your Nova Scotia Vehicle Permit and Certificate of Automobile Insurance, which needs to be an SPF 1 Automobile Insurance Policy. You’ll need at least 3 years of driving experience and Nova Scotia class 1, 2, 4, or 4A license.
And like other all provinces you will need proof of work eligibility and thorough background screenings, including a Child Abuse Registry Check and a Vulnerable Sector Check.
Ontario is by far the province with the most ridesharing coverage. Lyft and Uber are available in nine Ontario cities.
To qualify as an Uber driver in Ontario, you need to be 21 years of age or older an have a valid Ontario G driver’s license. You’ll need proof of work eligibility as well as insurance and vehicle registration. Some cities require additional background screening too. A Safety Standards Certificate is issued once you provide this information along with a vehicle inspection.
In general, you must have a vehicle that’s 10 years old or newer. The exception is in the City of Toronto where vehicles have to be seven years old or newer. And only four-door vehicles in good condition are permitted.
In November 2021, the City of Toronto paused issuing all rideshare licenses until Uber and Lyft create training programs to better ensure the safety of passengers. However, new drivers can still earn money picking up passengers in the GTA and surrounding cities.
Uber drivers in Ontario typically earn $23 per hour while they’re carrying fares, according to Indeed.
Prince Edward Island
The province of P.E.I. is unique in that it has a rideshare service, but it’s not Uber or Lyft. Kari is a homegrown rideshare service in P.E.I., and its driver requirements are similar to Uber and Lyft.
Drivers will be required to be at least 25 years old, have at least 4 years of driving experience, and have a Class 4, 2, or a Restrictive Class 4 license to operate.
Requirements include vehicles that are 10 years of age or newer, with less than 200,000 kilometres, plus have four doors and be in good condition as proven by an annual vehicle inspection.
While Lyft has yet to crack the Quebec market, Uber is established in Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Laurentides, Montreal, Quebec City, and more.
To drive for Uber in Quebec, you must be 21 years of age or older and have a Class 5 or lower Quebec Driver’s License. A background check has to be completed, including a Motor Vehicle Record Check, Criminal Record Check, and a Judicial Matters Check. You must also have a clean driving record for the past 3 years.
In Quebec, you’re required to undergo a 15-hour training program and have GST-QST tax numbers.
Vehicles 4 years old or newer (or less 80,000 kilometres) are exempt from mechanical inspection, while older vehicles must pass a vehicle inspection. All vehicles need to be registered in the Province of Quebec. Specific insurance for rideshare partners is mandatory along with a personal insurance policy.
Ridesharing is still quite new in Saskatchewan. Lyft has not entered the market here yet, but Uber is available in Regina and Saskatoon.
To drive for Uber, you must be at least 21 years old and hold a Class 5 or equivalent license. You must also prove you’re eligible to work in Saskatchewan and have vehicle registration and insurance. Uber has negotiated blanket coverage with SGI for ridesharing drivers.
Your vehicle must be a four-door model less than 10 years old and have at least 5 seatbelts. Plus, it must pass a Light Vehicle Inspection by a licensed mechanic and cannot have a salvage or rebuilt title. Background screenings and criminal checks are also mandatory.
None of the Canadian territories - Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories – have ridesharing services to date. Will they be established in the future? With the limited market, it’s tough to say if it will be feasible in these northern communities.
Vehicle and financing tips for Uber & Lyft drivers
Best vehicle for rideshare drivers?
Since we’ve already established that you will need a car at least 10 years or newer and one with at least four doors, the next key feature to consider is fuel economy. Since gas will be one of your biggest expenditures, this is an ideal time to consider purchasing something more fuel efficient; maybe even a hybrid or fully electric vehicle.
Uber car loan options in Canada
The rideshare giants don’t want a small detail like an owning vehicle to prevent you from signing up as a driver. Uber created a Vehicle Marketplace to help you find a road-ready car quickly. Uber has also partnered with rental companies to provide drivers with an option to rent.
However, since these rental options are limited (and somewhat expensive), and Uber and Lyft don’t offer financing in Canada, most drivers will go through the traditional routes: bank or dealership. Alternatively, Canada Drives can help accelerate your rideshare career. Search hundreds of vehicles in our certified inventory, and get approved for financing too. Canada Drives is partnered with many lenders across the nation (including some of the Big Five banks) to help you get approved for the best possible rate.
How to get approved for a Lyft or Uber car loan
The sooner you can get approved for your rideshare car loan the sooner you can start earning. Here are a few tips to ensure you get approved for the amount you need.
1. Understand your budget
If you want to find vehicle options that fit your budget, you should have an idea of how much you can afford every month. Visit our car loan calculator to see what your car payment could look like. If you want to trade-in your current vehicle and upgrade to something newer, your trade-in vehicle will ultimately lower your monthly payment, so make sure you factor that in. You can find out more about your vehicle’s trade-in value here.
2. Get pre-approved online
Regardless of your credit score, everyone should get pre-approved before they start looking at cars; that way, you can find your perfect car faster because you'll have a price range in mind. Fortunately, Canada Drives can help you get pre-approved online instantly and with no impact to your credit score.
3. Consider a pre-owned vehicle
Your vehicle does not need to be brand new to qualify for rideshare driving. To keep your costs low, think about buying a nearly new or a certified pre-owned vehicle. It will feel like a new car but at a lower price. Just make sure the car fits the Uber and Lyft vehicle requirements in your region (discussed above).
4. Down payment decisions
Decide whether or not you want to make a down payment and how much your down payment should be. The down payment is a percentage of the purchase price that you pay upfront. Adding a down payment isn't always necessary but your chances of approval are higher because you're applying for a smaller loan amount.
5. What about a cosigner?
A cosigner is a trusted friend or family member who agrees to share responsibility for your auto loan. A cosigner can boost your chances of approval because they decrease the level of risk for the lender. However, like a down payment, a cosigner isn’t a viable option for everyone and you can proceed without one.
Tips for paying off your Uber car loan
Once you’ve been approved for a Lyft or Uber car loan, it isn’t all dreamy driving from there. To make rideshare driving financially viable, you need to be focused on paying off your car loan on time in monthly installments. Here are a few tips.
Don't choose the longest term
You might be tempted to choose the longest loan term to keep your monthly payments low. But with a shorter term, you'll pay less interest over the course of the loan and reach positive equity sooner. Visit our car loan calculator to understand how your term affects your monthly payment. Most lenders will permit you to pay back your car loan even earlier if you can.
Be diligent about car care
As an rideshare driver you’ll be driving a lot, which means more wear and tear. Make sure to schedule regular check-ups according to your service manual. Not only is it safe practice but it can help you save money on maintenance and repair bills down the road; extra money you can put towards your car loan balance.
Keep your options open
You don't need to be loyal to one rideshare app. Driving for both Uber AND Lyft means double the earning opportunity.
Pay less at tax season
As an independent contractor you're required to pay tax, but some vehicle expenses are tax deductible according to the CRA. Make sure you know about your entitlements.
Don’t quit your day job just yet
Start driving as a side gig to make sure that the earning potential is there. While it’s often more than enough to cover your Uber car loan and expenses, it might not be as lucrative in your city as you thought.
Reserve your rideshare car today
If you're looking for a fuel-efficient or alternative fuel vehicle that meets ridesharing requirements, Canada Drives can help. Shop for your perfect ride 100% online and have it delivered to your door—with seven days to make sure it’s the right fit! If not, we’ll help you exchange it or give you your money back.