Uber Raises Minimum Age Requirement for New California Drivers to 25
SAN FRANCISCO – On Thursday, Uber announced a significant change to its driver requirements in California. The ride-hailing giant has raised the minimum age for most new drivers in the state to 25.
This adjustment comes in response to the escalating costs of commercial auto insurance, which the company claims necessitate such measures.
It's important to note that this change exclusively impacts new driver signups. Drivers who were already approved before Wednesday will not be affected by this new age requirement.
According to Uber, the decision is a direct result of the substantial increase in commercial auto insurance expenses within the state.
The company contends that California's insurance coverage requirements for rideshare services are disproportionately high, surpassing those for nearly every other category of vehicles on the road.
To illustrate this point, Uber notes that these requirements can be up to 10 times greater than those for taxis and 30 times higher than for personal vehicles.
Uber also points out that these elevated insurance requirements have spurred the growth of a niche legal industry focused on suing rideshare platforms.
As a result, the company's California state-mandated commercial insurance costs have surged by more than 65% in just two years.
Uber's decision to increase the minimum age for new drivers to 25 is seen as an attempt to curb the rapid escalation of these costs.
It's worth clarifying that this new age requirement exclusively applies to drivers signing up for Uber's ride-hailing platform, not to those participating in Uber Eats food delivery.
Previously, individuals as young as 21 could sign up to drive passengers, while the minimum age for food delivery drivers was 19.
In the United States, all 50 states demand commercial insurance coverage for drivers earning income through ride-hailing services.
Uber provides commercial auto insurance for its drivers, including a minimum of $1 million in liability coverage once a ride is accepted. Personal auto insurance typically does not extend coverage to activities involving ride-hailing apps.
Notably, Lyft, Uber's primary competitor, already enforces a minimum age requirement of 25 for its drivers.
Starting immediately, individuals under the age of 25 seeking to join Uber as drivers will receive an email detailing the updated policy and offering additional information.
Uber emphasizes on its website that "when you're online with Uber, we maintain auto insurance on your behalf." Leading auto insurance providers collaborate with Uber to ensure protection for both drivers and passengers in the event of a covered accident.
It's worth noting that Uber Eats, the company's food delivery service, will continue to permit drivers under 25 to work, as this demographic contributes significantly to the service's success, accounting for one-third of Uber's total revenue.
In its statement, Uber expresses its intent to collaborate with state lawmakers and industry experts to explore legislative and regulatory changes aimed at enhancing the experience for all California drivers.