Driving For Uber In Los Angeles: The Complete Guide

As one of the biggest rideshare markets in the world, driving for Uber in Los Angeles can be a great way to make extra money. But navigating LA’s massive metro area as an Uber driver has its challenges. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to whether driving for Uber in LA is worthwhile: Yes, driving for Uber in Los Angeles can be profitable thanks to high passenger demand, but you need to strategically choose when and where to drive and stay up-to-date on the latest rules.

This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about becoming an Uber driver in LA. You’ll learn Uber driver requirements, the best times and places to drive for maximum profit, average earnings, expenses to expect, and top tips from current LA Uber drivers. Whether you want to drive full time or part time, this inside look at driving for Uber in Los Angeles will help you decide if it’s right for you.

Uber Driver Requirements for Los Angeles

Driver Age & License Requirements

To become an Uber driver in Los Angeles, there are certain age and license requirements that must be met. Firstly, you must be at least 21 years old to drive for Uber. This age requirement ensures that drivers have enough driving experience and maturity to handle the responsibilities of being a rideshare driver.

Additionally, you must have a valid driver’s license issued by the state of California. Uber will also conduct a background check to ensure that you have a clean driving record and no major criminal offenses.

Car Requirements

When it comes to the car requirements for driving with Uber in Los Angeles, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, your vehicle must be a 4-door car, truck, or minivan. This requirement ensures that there is enough space for passengers to comfortably enter and exit the vehicle.

Secondly, your vehicle must be a model year 2006 or newer. This requirement ensures that the vehicle is in good condition and meets the safety standards set by Uber. Lastly, your vehicle must pass a vehicle inspection conducted by an authorized Uber inspection center.

Insurance & Documentation

As an Uber driver in Los Angeles, you are required to have valid auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements. Uber also provides additional insurance coverage for drivers while they are on the app and transporting passengers.

It’s important to note that you will need to provide proof of insurance and vehicle registration when signing up as an Uber driver. Uber will also require you to provide additional documentation such as a valid Social Security number and a valid U.S. work permit if applicable.

For more information on the specific driver requirements for Uber in Los Angeles, you can visit the official Uber website for Los Angeles.

How Much Do LA Uber Drivers Make?

Average Hourly & Yearly Earnings

One of the most common questions asked by potential Uber drivers in Los Angeles is how much they can expect to earn. While the exact earnings can vary depending on several factors, including the number of hours worked and demand for rides, LA Uber drivers generally have the potential to make a decent income.

According to a report published by Ridester, the average hourly earnings for Uber drivers in Los Angeles range from $15 to $25. However, it’s important to note that this is just an estimate and individual earnings can be higher or lower depending on various circumstances.

When it comes to yearly earnings, the same report states that full-time Uber drivers in Los Angeles can make an average of $40,000 to $60,000 annually. Keep in mind that this figure is before expenses, so it’s crucial to factor in costs such as gas, car maintenance, and insurance.

Driver Expenses

Although being an Uber driver can be a lucrative gig, it’s essential to understand that there are expenses involved that can impact your overall earnings. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for covering the costs associated with operating your vehicle.

Some of the common expenses that Uber drivers in Los Angeles face include fuel costs, car maintenance and repairs, insurance premiums, and taxes. It’s crucial to keep track of these expenses and set aside a portion of your earnings to cover them.

It’s worth mentioning that Uber does provide some incentives and bonuses to drivers that can help offset these expenses. For example, drivers may be eligible for promotions or surge pricing during peak demand periods, which can significantly boost their earnings.

Tips & Promotions

In addition to the base fare for each ride, Uber drivers in Los Angeles have the opportunity to earn additional income through tips and promotions. While tipping is not mandatory, many passengers choose to tip their drivers as a way to show appreciation for excellent service.

According to Uber’s official website, tips are 100% optional and can be given in cash or through the app. Passengers can choose to tip after each ride or leave a one-time tip at the end of the day. The amount of tips can vary, but on average, it is estimated that Uber drivers in Los Angeles receive around 15% of their earnings in tips.

Furthermore, Uber often runs promotions and incentives for drivers in Los Angeles. These can include bonuses for completing a certain number of rides within a specified time frame or earning additional money during peak hours.

Taking advantage of these promotions can help boost an Uber driver’s earnings.

Best Times & Places to Drive in LA

Weekday Rush Hours

One of the best times to drive for Uber in Los Angeles is during weekday rush hours. This is when commuters are heading to and from work, creating a high demand for rides. The morning rush hour typically starts around 7:00 am and lasts until 10:00 am, while the evening rush hour begins around 4:00 pm and continues until 7:00 pm.

During these times, the streets are filled with people needing rides, increasing your chances of getting more fares.

Pro Tip: To maximize your earnings, consider focusing on areas with high employment hubs such as downtown LA, Hollywood, and the Westside during rush hours. These areas are typically bustling with commuters and offer a steady stream of ride requests.

Weekend Late Nights

Another opportune time to drive for Uber in LA is during weekend late nights. As the night owls come out to enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife, there is a high demand for rides. This is especially true on Fridays and Saturdays when people are heading to clubs, bars, and events.

Pro Tip: Areas like Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Downtown LA are popular nightlife destinations, so be sure to spend some time there during the late hours to increase your chances of getting lucrative fares.

LAX & Event Venues

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and event venues are also great places to drive for Uber. LAX is one of the busiest airports in the world, and there is a constant flow of travelers needing transportation to and from the airport.

It’s important to note that there are specific rules and regulations for picking up passengers at LAX, so make sure to familiarize yourself with them before heading there.

Additionally, LA is known for its numerous event venues, including Staples Center, Hollywood Bowl, and the Los Angeles Convention Center. When there are events happening, such as concerts, sports games, or conventions, there is a high demand for rides in the surrounding areas.

Pro Tip: Check the event schedules and plan to be in those areas during peak times to take advantage of the increased demand.

For more information on the best times and places to drive in LA, you can visit the Uber website for additional insights and recommendations specific to the city.

Maximizing Earnings as an LA Uber Driver

Take Advantage of Surge Pricing

One of the best ways to maximize your earnings as an Uber driver in Los Angeles is to take advantage of surge pricing. Surge pricing occurs when there is high demand for rides and a limited supply of drivers.

During these times, Uber increases the prices for rides, allowing drivers to earn more money per trip.

To make the most of surge pricing, it’s important to stay informed about when and where surges are happening. Keep an eye on the Uber driver app, as it will show you areas where there is a high demand for rides.

By positioning yourself in these surge zones, you can increase your chances of getting a surge ride and earning more money.

Additionally, consider driving during peak times when surge pricing is more likely to occur. These can include rush hour, weekends, holidays, and special events. By being strategic with your driving schedule, you can increase your chances of earning higher fares.

Minimize Unpaid Miles

As an Uber driver in Los Angeles, it’s important to minimize unpaid miles in order to maximize your earnings. Unpaid miles refer to the time and distance you spend driving to pick up a passenger without actually earning any money for that portion of the trip.

To minimize unpaid miles, try to position yourself in areas where ride requests are more likely to come in. This can be near popular shopping centers, airports, hotels, or event venues. By being in these high-demand areas, you can reduce the amount of time and distance you spend driving without a passenger.

Additionally, consider accepting ride requests that are closer to your current location. This can help reduce the number of unpaid miles you accumulate and increase your overall earnings.

Provide Excellent Service

Providing excellent service is crucial when it comes to maximizing your earnings as an Uber driver in Los Angeles. Happy passengers are more likely to give you a higher rating, which can lead to more ride requests and increased earnings.

To provide excellent service, always strive to be polite, friendly, and professional with your passengers. Greet them with a smile, offer assistance with their luggage, and ensure a safe and comfortable ride.

Consider offering amenities such as phone chargers or water bottles to enhance the passenger experience.

It’s also important to maintain a clean and well-maintained vehicle. Regularly clean both the interior and exterior of your car, and keep it free of any unpleasant odors. A clean and comfortable environment will leave a positive impression on your passengers.

Lastly, strive to provide a smooth and efficient ride. Use navigation apps to find the best routes, avoid excessive speeding or sudden stops, and maintain a calm and professional demeanor throughout the trip.

Remember, word of mouth can be a powerful tool in the rideshare industry, so providing excellent service can help you build a loyal customer base and increase your earnings in the long run.

Tips for New Uber Drivers in Los Angeles

Get to Know the City

As a new Uber driver in Los Angeles, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the city’s different neighborhoods and popular destinations. This will help you navigate efficiently and provide better service to your passengers.

Take some time to explore the city and its various landmarks, tourist attractions, and entertainment venues. Knowing the fastest routes and alternative routes can save you time and impress your passengers.

Bring Chargers & Snacks

Driving for Uber means spending a significant amount of time on the road. To ensure a smooth and comfortable experience, it’s a good idea to have chargers for your phone and other electronic devices. This way, you can stay connected and navigate without any interruptions.

Additionally, keeping some snacks and drinks in your car can be beneficial during long hours on the road. It can help you stay energized and focused on providing excellent service to your passengers.

Stay Safe

While driving for Uber in Los Angeles, safety should be your top priority. Make sure to follow all traffic laws and regulations. Avoid distracted driving, such as using your phone while driving or engaging in unnecessary conversations.

It’s also essential to maintain your vehicle in good condition, regularly checking the brakes, tires, and lights. If you’re driving at night or in unfamiliar areas, use caution and be aware of your surroundings. If you ever feel unsafe, don’t hesitate to end the trip or contact local authorities.

Remember, being a successful Uber driver in Los Angeles requires a combination of knowledge, preparation, and a commitment to providing excellent service. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the most out of your Uber driving experience in the City of Angels!


Driving for Uber in Los Angeles offers flexible earning opportunities in America’s second largest city. While LA’s sprawling geography and traffic present challenges, strategically working surges and events can lead to solid earnings. By delivering excellent customer service and running your Uber business wisely, you can thrive as an LA rideshare driver. With this comprehensive guide, you now have the inside details on successfully driving for Uber in the City of Angels.

Ready to get on the road and start raking in fares? Just follow our tips to maximize profits and avoid pitfalls as a rideshare driver in massive metro Los Angeles.

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