Should I become an Uber driver?
It looks like a good way to pick up some easy money and provide a lower cost service to people at the same time.
Before you visit the Uber web site and sign up, you should consider very carefully what risks you might be taking and how it could affect you.
That little bit of pocket money could quickly become a mere drop in the bucket when it comes to covering your losses if a collision should occur.
The province of B.C. and its municipalities require people who carry passengers for profit to meet many requirements. There are licences, a National Safety Code certificate, semi-annual vehicle inspections, a chauffeur’s permit and a class 4 driver’s licence to obtain. Forget or ignore any of these and the police or Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement may choose to issue some very expensive violation tickets if you are stopped with an Uber passenger.
Perhaps the most significant item that few even consider is insurance coverage. To carry any passenger for hire you must insure your vehicle with ICBC using the appropriate taxi or limousine rate class. If you are found at fault for a collision your passengers and other vehicles involved will be compensated through Basic Third Party Liability and Accident Benefits as well as any other sources of their own insurance coverage. You could potentially have to repay the full value of all claims that arise and forfeit coverage for your own injuries as well as damage to your vehicle.
Could you expect financial help from Uber if the worst happens? It would be wise to read their legal terms and conditions very carefully. In fact, it would be even wiser to consult with legal and insurance professionals to make sure that you would be adequately protected. The risks for failing to do this could be significant in comparison to what you might earn.
Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment please visit drivesmartbc.ca