Vehicle inspections are one of the hassles that Uber and Lyft drivers dislike the most. Uber and Lyft require that drivers have their vehicle inspected either at an Uber/Lyft hub or at a state-certified facility, and it can be a confusing process.
Enter the innovators: A company called RideShare Mechanic now offers online vehicle inspections via video chat so drivers can get a valid inspection anywhere, just about any time.
Does RideShare mechanic live up to the promise? I used RideShare Mechanic to get an inspection for both Uber and Lyft, and overall it was a fast and easy experience that would be valuable for other drivers who need a convenient inspection. Read on for my full review.
- What is RideShare Mechanic?
- How Much Does RideShare Mechanic Cost?
- How the RideShare Mechanic Inspection Works
- Is RideShare Mechanic Worth it?
What is RideShare Mechanic?
RideShare Mechanic offers virtual vehicle inspections for Uber & Lyft drivers. Authorized inspectors conduct the inspection via video chat: Drivers walk around their car using their smart phone to show inspectors the condition of their vehicle.
If the vehicle passes the the inspection, RideShare Mechanic sends digital copies of inspection forms that drivers can then upload to their Uber or Lyft driver profiles.
The biggest benefit of RideShare mechanic is convenience: Instead of going to far away Uber and Lyft inspection centers or finding a local mechanic to do the work, you can get your rideshare inspection anywhere or any time you want. You can get the appointment almost on demand, sometimes with as little as 30 minutes notice.
Try RideShare Mechanic! Same-day appointments may be available.
More About Vehicle Inspections for Uber & Lyft
How Much Does RideShare Mechanic Cost?
Currently RideShare Mechanic charges $30 for a single inspection or $55 for an inspection covering both Uber & Lyft. RideShare Mechanic does not charge unless you pass the inspection.
Scheduling an Inspection with RideShare Mechanic
Scheduling an inspection begins at RideshareMechanic.com where you start by filling out a form that asks for your basic info. Indicate whether you want an inspection for Uber, Lyft, or both, and let them know if you’re updating an existing driver profile or if you’re a brand new driver.
Next, you’ll pick an inspection date and time using their calendar tool. After you confirm your appointment, you’ll see a success message that says: “One of our friendly Inspection Coordinators will contact you shortly to confirm the details of your inspection!”
Moments later, you will receive a few emails from RideShare Mechanic. One is a meeting invitation from your inspector and the other was a welcome message from RideShare Mechanic.
Preparing for Your Inspection
The day before my appointment, I got a text from my inspector with instructions on how to prepare for the inspection.
The instructions were to:
- Fasten all the seatbelts in the car
- Have a penny on hand (for the tire tread test)
- Have the vehicle’s key
- Turn your Phone’s Bluetooth off
Setting up the video chat app: The other instructions I received were to download and set up the Duo app, a Google video chat app that RideShare mechanic currently uses to conduct inspections. All I had to do to set up Duo was download the app and give it basic permissions to access my camera and microphone.
How the RideShare Mechanic Inspection Works
When it’s time for your inspection, your inspector will contact you with a video call. My inspector had me walk over to my car and tap a button to turn on the outward-facing camera. First they covered some administrative info: They asked me for my address, then had me point the camera toward the VIN plate and the license plate.
Next up was the tire tread test. I held my phone in one hand, and with the other hand I placed a penny in the tire tread. The inspector checks to see that your tire tread is within specifications on all four tires.
The inspector also checked that my seatbelts were all present and functioning, and they checked hazard lights, headlights, and taillights. I honked my horn and turned on my wipers to confirm for the inspector that those worked.
To test the brake lights, I used an item from my trunk to prop up my phone on the ground, then went into the car and pressed the brake to show the inspector that both brake lights light up.
From beginning to end, my inspection took around 10 minutes. The inspector was helpful and patient and seemed prepared to deal with any issue that could have come up.
Steps to make your inspection go smoothly
- Follow all preparation instructions and set up the video app before your appointment
- Be in an area with good reception so the call quality is clear
- Turn off bluetooth. If your car has bluetooth, your phone may connect to it and re-route your phone audio and cause confusion
Paying for the Inspection (Only After You Pass)
Not long after my inspection, I received a text message letting me know that my vehicle passed. The next step was to pay for the inspection to get access to the completed inspection forms. A link in a text message took me back to a RideShare Mechanic cart page, where I filled out payment details and paid.
After I paid, I quickly received an email receipt from RideShare Mechanic that had the inspection forms attached as PDFs. The next step was to upload the documents to my Uber and Lyft profiles.
Uploading Your Inspection Forms
Your inspection forms will be attached to the email receipt that RideShare Mechanic sends after you pay. If you’re on a desktop, you can download the PDF forms and then upload them to your profiles at partners.uber.com or at lyft.com/login.
If you’re on mobile, you can save the PDFs as an image on your phone. If you’re having trouble with that, take a screenshot of the forms instead. Head to the Uber app to upload your document, or go to Lyft.com/login in a mobile browser to upload the form for Lyft.
Is RideShare Mechanic Worth it?
Overall the RideShare Mechanic process was fast, professional, and valuable. It was a big improvement over my typical inspection appointments, which involve two long trips to the Uber & Lyft hubs or taking time to search for local mechanics who charge just about as much as RideShare Mechanic does.
Booking my RideShare Mechanic appointment, doing the inspection, and paying for it all occurred without any issues. The inspection only took around 10 minutes, and I did it from the sidewalk in front of my home in a pair of flip flops. The inspection documents were approved quickly after I uploaded them, on the same day. (Your mileage may vary, but Uber and Lyft typically approve documents within 24 hours)
The only downside may have been the price: $55 for two inspections. Had I gone to Uber or Lyft for inspections, the total cost would have been less. But as an independent contractor, inspections are a business expense, so I can included the costs in my tax deductions.
- Upsides to RideShare Mechanic: Convenient, fast, easy. Valid, legitimate inspections.
- Downsides: Cost. It’s a bit pricy to do both inspections.
If you need an inspection, I recommend starting by seeing if Uber and Lyft provide free or cheap inspections near you (Read how to get free inspections from Uber or Lyft – But be warned, they are phasing them out).
If Uber and Lyft aren’t offering cheaper inspections, or if the inspection location is inconvenient, look into RideShare mechanic.