In recent years, driving a car for Uber has become a popular way of generating a bit of extra income for college and university students. Depending on your province of study, your vehicle, and your driving history, you may be eligible to drive for Uber even as an international student.
How does Uber work in Canada?
Uber, the popular ridesharing platform, allows users to request a driver to take them from one location to another. The platform has also expanded recently to offer deluxe driving services, carpooling services, and food delivery. Any person who meets the requirements can sign up to become an Uber driver and get paid for shuttling people and/or food from place to place.
In order to drive for Uber, you have to live in an area where the company operates and you have to meet the driver requirements and vehicle requirements. These requirements are determined by Uber for each city where the company operates, so they vary, but generally Uber has the following minimum requirements.
Must be 21 years of age or older
Must have a valid driver’s licence issued by the province
Must be authorized to work in Canada
May have to submit a criminal background check and/or undergo city-mandated Uber training
Must have a minimum of 4 doors and 4 seats in addition to the driver
Must be 10 years old or newer
Must be in good condition with no visible damage
Must pass a vehicle inspection
For UberEats, the food delivery service, the vehicle requirements are less strict
If you meet these general requirements you may be eligible to drive for Uber. The first step is to sign up on the Uber website and get the driving checklist for your city.
Is Uber in your city?
Uber has faced some challenges in coming to Canada. Not every Canadian city has welcomed the ridesharing mogul, so don’t be surprised if your city doesn’t offer Uber. Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa all offer Uber services, but major cities like Vancouver and Halifax are still blocking Uber from establishing.
Uber does not offer an exact list of Canadian cities of operation, plus the company is constantly expanding. Your best option is to check the Uber website for up-to-date information about your city.
Do you have the right licence & registration?
In order to drive for Uber, you must have the appropriate driver’s licence and registration. As an international student, your driver’s licence requirements depend on the province where you’re studying. In general, Uber requires you to have a licence issued by the provincial government of the city where you’ll be driving, so your foreign licence and/or International Driving Permit (IDP) likely won’t be enough!
Study Permit: Important Restrictions
Anyone holding a Canadian study permit is authorized to work up to 20 hour per week during periods of full-time study and can work full-time hours during holiday periods, except in rare cases. This means you do have the legal authorization to work for Uber, but you have to be careful about the number of hours worked.
Exceeding the hours allowed on your study permit can jeopardize your status and future immigration applications to Canada.
Canada: Cost of driving
Before signing up to drive with Uber, it is important to consider the cost of driving in Canada. All drivers in Canada must obtain the proper insurance, which can be expensive, plus you have to factor in the cost of gas. As well, depending on where you live, parking can be costly and time consuming. Ensure that you take the time to calculate the expenses and revenues before you take the plunge!