If you’re a new driver with Uber and Lyft, one of the requirements to get signed up and approved is to get a vehicle inspection for whatever car you’re going to use on the platform. And if you’re an existing Uber and Lyft driver, a lot of cities are now starting to require that you get an updated vehicle inspection every single year.
Today I’m going to walk you through the process of what it takes to get a vehicle inspection, what the experience is like, and where you can get the vehicle inspection done, and how much it’s going to cost.
Take a look at my video, then read the video transcript below.
Do you need a vehicle inspection?
The first thing that you’re probably asking yourself is, “Do I need a vehicle inspection?” There are a couple situations where you might need it. The first one is if you’re a brand new Uber and Lyft driver, you’re going to need a vehicle inspection either at an approved Uber partner, such as a Jiffy Lube or a Firestone, or you can often go to the Uber Greenlight Spot Centers. You can actually get free vehicle inspections there. If you go to an approved shop, you’re actually going to have to pay anywhere from 20 to 30 dollars for that inspection.
I needed a vehicle inspection for my car because I’ve been driving with Uber for a few years now, and so my yearly annual inspection came due, and I did get a notification from Uber. I was kind of lazy and I kind of forgot about it, and then I tried to log on the other day and it said, “One of your documents has expired” and I said, “Oh crap.” Luckily, I had Lyft as a backup, so I was still able to drive for Lyft that day, but I realized that I’m going to need a vehicle inspection. In the past I’ve gone to Firestone to get the document approved, or I’ve had YourMechanic come to my house and do an oil change and inspection, but today I wanted to see what it was like to go to an Uber Spotlight Center and get a free inspection done.
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What’s it like to get an inspection at a Greenlight Spot?
First I went to my Uber driver app and I tried to see if they had information on where I could get a vehicle inspection. Maybe I’m pretty dumb, but I could not figure it out. I couldn’t find that information I needed in the Uber driver app, so the second thing I tried was I gave them a call. I called Uber on their 24/7 support line, which is now available to drivers in almost everywhere, and after a couple minutes going through the menus and then very short hold time, I talked to a rep. She understood my question, but she put me on another hold. She was able to direct me, but it wasn’t the smoothest process. She didn’t know where my address was, and so she just started reading off all of these Spotlight Centers by the addresses, and I had no idea where they were.
So that wasn’t super helpful. She told me that it was free, so we’re going to go and see if it actually is free or not. But the best method that I actually found was going to help.uber.com. I logged into my account, typed “Los Angeles”, and then they had a bunch of good information there on Uber vehicle inspections. They had all the different locations where I could get a vehicle inspection. They had the form that you can download and everything. So that is probably the best option. That’s going to be my recommended way for you to go if you want to find out some of that info.
I’m in the car right now. I’m about to head over to the inspection center. It’s just five, 10 minutes from my house. I’m actually going to go to the one over here in Los Angeles. I believe it’s in Koreatown, so I’m going to go check that one out, and I’ll report back and let you know what the process is like.
I’m over here at the Uber Greenlight Spot. I actually just got my inspection done, and the process was pretty simple, pretty smooth. I’m over here in Koreatown in Los Angeles. I kind of walked up. They had two mechanics on-site and then three Uber employees, so this location is a little different. In Los Angeles they have the Greenlight Hub, which is sort of their main area where you can get the more official stuff taken care of. This is more for inspections, and it seems like if you need to get trade dress, any of the simple kind of small stuff, you can get it done at these places. They really need to do something about the names, though, because I’m already confused. I think it’s the Greenlight Hub and the Green whatever. The names are super confusing, but a lot of people probably get confused with that, so they should probably fix that.
What Uber looks at when they inspect your car at a Greenlight Spot
The process was pretty smooth. There was no line, no wait. I came at about 1 p.m. on a Wednesday, and they did have some sort of line-up area set up, so I do bet that it gets busy at times, but I just came here and the mechanics took a quick look at my car. I gave them some information like my VIN number and my mileage, and probably within about two or three minutes it was done. They check the windows, they check the doors, make sure everything locks, make sure the windshield wipers work. Pretty simple stuff, and I was kind of surprised how easy it was. Best part of all, it was free.
Usually they do it digitally, but they filled out a paper form for me today. I was hoping that they’d let me take a picture of that paper form in case I wanted to use it, in case I need to get approved for Lyft, but the mechanic wouldn’t let me, and I didn’t want to push it with the Uber reps or anything like that. Overall, pretty smooth. They said that in about 30 to 40 minutes I should be able to log out and log back in, and I’ll be good to drive.
A chance to speak to real Uber employees
One of the cool things at these Uber Greenlight Spots is that all of the Uber employees here are just that, they’re actual Uber employees. I know in the past they used to use sort of third party independent contractors to help you, but now all of the Uber experts that are here on-site are actual Uber employees. I talked to a couple of them. They seemed pretty knowledgeable, pretty nice, pretty easy to deal with. They can’t help with everything here, but you can also go to a Hub if you need to get the more in-depth or the more thorough stuff. There were a few cars coming in here. It wasn’t super busy, but there was definitely a few other drivers coming in and out, and like I said, they had two mobile mechanics here working and then they had two Uber employees and an expert lead.
So I guess the other option is to go to your local mechanic and get it done for 20 or 30 bucks. This is actually the first time I’ve ever come to one of these centers to get a vehicle inspection, and I have to say that it was pretty smooth. Maybe it’s because I came on a weekday in the middle of the day, but definitely a pretty smooth experience. I don’t think that I’ll be able to actually use this inspection form for Lyft since they never gave me a copy of it. I guess that’s one of the benefits if you go to your own mechanic, then you’ll actually be able to have him fill out an inspection form, and I’ve heard of a lot of drivers who have been able to get Lyft to accept that or vice versa.
Hopefully this was useful. If you guys enjoyed this video, definitely subscribe to the channel. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments. Stay safe out there and take care.
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