Ridesharing services, especially Uber and Lyft, have turned the taxi service industry upside down. Instead of a taxi service providing a fleet of questionably maintained cars and sometimes unfriendly drivers, Uber and Lyft contract with private individuals, using their own vehicles for transportation. 

However, both companies have strict requirements for drivers and the cars used for transporting customers.

What Are Tampa’s Uber and Lyft Vehicle Requirements?

Uber and Lyft both require driver vehicles to meet certain standards. For example, neither rideshare service allows drivers to pick up fares in sub-compact, 2-seater cars. Vehicles registered with each rideshare company must also be less than 15 years old, and in Tampa, cars must have at least four (working) doors and five functioning seatbelts.

Other basic vehicle requirements for both Uber and Lyft include:

  • The vehicle has to be in good condition with no cosmetic damage
  • The vehicle needs current Florida registration and tags
  • No advertising is allowed on Lyft or Uber vehicles
  • SUVs must have at least eight seatbelts
  • No salvage title vehicles are allowed

Each company has a list of approved vehicles and those that are prohibited. In addition, Uber has top-tier vehicle requirements for luxury fares.

Florida’s Uber and Lyft Insurance Requirements

All rideshare drivers must carry their own personal insurance policy, which covers them if they are logged out of the app and not seeking fares (i.e., on personal time). 

However, if drivers are logged into the app and awaiting a fare, Uber and Lyft each provide limited coverage in case of a car accident in Tampa:

  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

If the driver has a passenger in the car, then each rideshare company offers additional coverage, including:

  • Contingent comprehensive and collision
  • $1,000,000 third-party liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury

Drivers are responsible for their own deductible, though. Uber’s deductible is $2,500, while Lyft’s is just $1,000.

Florida’s Driver Requirements for Lyft and Uber

Florida’s Driver Requirements for Lyft and Uber

Each company conducts a thorough background check on every driver, including both their driving record and criminal background. If a contracted driver receives specific traffic violations or is arrested, they are removed from the rideshare roster. For example, DUI, DWI, and reckless driving citations will cause drivers to lose their status.

Florida driver requirements also include:

  • Copies of insurance, driver’s license, and vehicle registration
  • At least three licensed driving years (Uber) or one licensed driving year (Lyft)
  • Pass a background check
  • Be at least 21 years of age (Lyft) or 23 years of age (Uber)

Serious traffic violations and criminal charges will cause a driver to be immediately expelled from both services. However, both companies permit drivers to have a limited number of moving violations, although three or more in a three-year span may also cause drivers to lose their position. 

These include:

  • Illegal turning
  • Stop sign or traffic light violations
  • Expired tags or license
  • Speeding

Involvement in a rideshare accident while logged into the app may also cause immediate removal.

Other Rideshare Safety Tips for Tampa Riders

Other Rideshare Safety Tips for Tampa Riders

Although each company works hard to properly vet their drivers and ensure that their vehicles are safe, sometimes people slip through the cracks. You should never feel obligated to accept a ride — or for drivers, accept a fare — if you feel unsafe. 

Always verify the driver and vehicle against the information provided from your ridesharing app. If the driver begins acting suspiciously or driving in an unsafe manner, don’t hesitate to ask the driver to stop in a safe area and terminate the ride. Or, if you feel in danger, call 911. Use good judgment and trust your instincts. 

Implementing these techniques will keep you safe when using these popular rideshare services. 

Contact the Tampa Car Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.

We serve throughout Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County, and its surrounding areas:

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 787-2500

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
(727) 591-5610

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 686-7588

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655
(727) 815-8442