You may have heard of Uber Black, but did you know that Uber has another luxury option called Uber Premier, now available in many US cities?
Uber Premier and Premier SUV are premium services that give you a ride in a luxury sedan or SUV with a highly-rated driver. Premier rides cost more than Uber X or XL, but you get more.
If you’re an Uber driver, you might wonder which vehicles qualify for Uber Premier, how much you can earn as a Premier driver, and how to sign up to get Premier rides. Read on!
What you need to know
- Uber Premier and Premier SUVs are luxury ride options
- Premier rides cost around twice as much as a standard UberX
- Premier replaced Uber Black in some markets
- To drive for Premier, you must have a qualifying luxury vehicle that is 6 years old or newer
- Drivers must also maintain a 4.85-star rating
- Premier rides pay significantly more than UberX, but ride request volume is lower
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What is Uber Premier?
Uber Premier is a ride type that offers a ride in a luxury car or SUV. Uber Premier and Premier SUV are the most expensive Uber services, typically costing more than twice the price of an UberX ride.
Uber Premier replaced Uber Black in some cities. Other cities never had Uber Black, and Uber Premier was added as a new luxury option.
To see if Uber Premier is in your area, open the Uber app and input a destination. Scroll through ride types to see if Uber Premier is available. You may find that your area has Uber Black instead of Uber Premier.
Uber Premier vs Uber Black
Both Uber Black and Uber Premier are high-end luxury services that require newer vehicles and cost more than other Uber ride types.
The significant difference between Uber Black and Premier is that Uber Black drivers have commercial auto insurance and must comply with other state regulations for livery drivers. Uber Premier drivers aren’t required to meet those regulations.
Anyone with a qualifying vehicle can become an Uber Premier driver without additional licensing or insurance. Uber Black drivers are typically commercial livery drivers who drive for Uber Black and other private transportation services.
Each city only has one of the two ride types. If a city has Uber Black, it won’t have Uber Premier. And if a city has Uber Premier, it won’t have Uber Black.
Cost & features
Uber Premier costs around twice as much as UberX. For example, in Austin, TX Uber Premier costs $1.97 per mile and 73 cents per minute, while UberX only costs 97 cents per mile and 27 cents per minute.
Uber Premier commands a higher because it has higher vehicle standards than other Uber rides. Drivers only qualify for Premier if they drive a newer luxury vehicle from automakers like Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes, Tesla, and Volvo.
The picture below shows UberX and XL prices compared to Premier and Premier SUV prices for a typical ride. Notice that Premier is around twice as expensive as UberX.
- You get up to 10 minutes of wait time. UberX only offers 7 minutes
- Uber Premier drivers must be rated 4.85 stars or higher
- You can select ride preferences for temperature, music, and conversation level
Uber Premier for drivers: Vehicle requirements & earnings potential
To qualify for Uber Premier, you must have a qualifying vehicle, complete at least 250 rides, and maintain a 4.85-star passenger rating.
Vehicle requirements for Uber Premier
- Vehicle must be 6 years old or newer
- Must be on the approved list of luxury vehicles
- Use the Uber vehicle search tool to see which models qualify
The vehicle makes with models that qualify for Premier are Audi, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, Ford Expedition, Genesis, GMC Yukon, Infiniti SUVs, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Maserati, Mercedes, Porsche, Tesla, Volvo.
Premier drivers can also get ride requests for lower-priced Uber services, like UberX and XL. You can change your driving preferences to only accept Premier rides, but the request volume may not be high enough to keep you busy.
How to add Uber Premier to your Preferences
If you meet the qualifications for Premier, Uber may automatically add Premier as an option in your Preferences.
If Premier isn’t an option on your account and you think you qualify, contact Uber and ask to be added. Uber will verify that our vehicle qualifies, then add the Premier option to your Preferences.
How to only receive Premier requests
If you only want to receive requests for Premier rides, tap on the Preferences icon in the lower corner of the home screen and deselect all other ride types.
How much can you earn as a Premier driver?
With fare rates roughly twice as high as UberX, Uber Premier rides pay much more per trip than Uber X rides.
But it’s hard to say precisely how much you can earn as an Uber Premier driver because many factors are at play, and there is not much publicly available data to analyze.
Just because Uber Premier rides pay more doesn’t necessarily mean that a driver who only does Premier rides will earn more than an UberX driver.
Ride volume for Premier will likely be much lower than UberX because prices are much higher on Premier. Most passengers will choose an X or XL over a Premier.
You also have to consider the higher costs of a Premier vehicle. Most UberX drivers use a lower-cost, high-MPG car like a Toyota Prius.
If the volume of Premier rides isn’t high enough, you won’t earn enough to justify the additional costs of a luxury vehicle. And depending on your market and your vehicle, it may not be profitable to drive a higher-priced car on UberX.
Example of Uber Premier rates for drivers vs. Uber X
Is it worth buying a car just for Premier?
Many drivers see the higher prices of Uber Premier rides, and their first idea is to invest in a Premier-eligible vehicle. Is it worth it?
It may be worth it if you can get a great deal on a qualifying Premier vehicle with decent gas mileage. You also need to live in a larger, busy market with a high-income population.
But the reality is that the volume of rides on Uber Premier may not be high enough to justify the higher cost of a Premier-eligible vehicle.
You could buy a Cadillac Escalade and discover that you can only get a few Premier rides per day. You can do X and XL rides in your downtime, but that’s not profitable in a big, expensive SUV.
If you want market-specific information about the viability of Premier, visit driver forums on Facebook and Reddit. Ask if there is enough Premier ride volume to justify a big investment in a vehicle.