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4 min read

    4 min read

    As rideshare drivers, we’re all used to the pop up from Uber telling us it’s time for our annual inspection. But some drivers received a surprise recently regarding free inspections. Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins outlined what’s going on with the free inspections for Uber drivers, and what you can do if you can no longer access free vehicle inspections.

    Vehicle inspections are required by Uber and Lyft annually in order to drive on their platform or to continue driving. In the past, in select locations — namely California — Uber has offered free vehicle inspections at their Greenlight Hub locations.

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    What’s Going On?

    As of February 2020, this service is no longer being offered for free in California. Uber will still offer vehicle inspections at certain California Greenlight Hub locations, but drivers will be required to pay for these inspections now.

    The announcement to drivers in California looked like this:

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    On Reddit, one driver claimed that they used to offer free inspections at their Greenlight Hub in Virginia, but that the service hasn’t been offered for a few months now. Another said the same of Vegas. Other drivers expressed confusion but no real surprise at the change.

    Another driver said that they would be sure to get their vehicle inspected by Feb. 2 in order to get one last one for free before this change went into effect.

    Changes to Greenlight Hub Inspections

    Here are some answers to some basic questions that drivers may have concerning this change in service at the Greenlight Hubs.

    Do we need to update our inspection now because of this?

    No. This service is just no longer being offered for free. Your current vehicle inspection is still good for the full year until the date on which you last updated it.

    Where can I get this service for free?

    There aren’t any options out there that I know of that are free, but below I’ll have listed an estimated cost at other locations.

    As far as at a Greenlight Hub, that cost is yet to be determined/disclosed. Keep in mind, Uber no longer offers reimbursement if you get your inspection done elsewhere either.

    Why did they stop offering this?

    There is only speculation as to why. Some say it might be because Uber just wants to make money and they realize this is an easy way to do so. Others speculate that it might be in response to the changes Uber has been making to treat drivers more like independent contractors than employees.

    As an employee, they would likely be required to offer this service for free, but to an independent contractor, they can just state it is a requirement for all drivers without offering a free way to get the inspection completed.

    Where Can I Get My Vehicle Inspected? And How Much Will It Cost?

    You should be able to go to basically any mechanic and ask for a vehicle inspection. And now that you have to pay for it, you’ll be able to write it off at tax time as a business expense.

    At most places, it will cost you $20–$40 to get your vehicle inspected. They’ll fill out the form as they go and you’ll upload the document to your app once the inspection is complete.

    Another option is to use Rideshare Mechanic to get your inspection done. We had RSG contributor Jay try out Rideshare Mechanic and share his review here.

    Jay explains that for an inspection for both Uber and Lyft, this service costs about $55. To use the service, go the Rideshare Mechanic website and schedule the inspection and you’ll have a video inspection to check all necessary aspects required on the inspection form.

    Another option to try out is Your Mechanic, a service that sends mechanics to your house. Depending on your car make and model and where you live, inspection costs with Your Mechanic vary, but I was quoted $79.99 (if YM was in my area).

    The pro for Your Mechanic is that you can have your car inspected and checked out while you’re at work or busy doing things with your family – they simply come to you.

    It’s unfortunate that Uber has stopped giving out free inspections to drivers in California, but if you’re like many of us drivers, chances are you’ve paid for an inspection or two already. This isn’t a huge change for those drivers who do pay for inspections, and an inconvenience for those who were used to getting them for free.

    If you have cheaper alternatives to having your Uber inspections done, let us know in the comments!

    -Paula @ RSG

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    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins, a graduate of Augustana University, Sioux Falls, is a part-time rideshare driver and a full-time proofreader. She is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in trivia nights.

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