How much more can you earn with UberXL vs UberX?

What is UberXL?

UberXL is a type of (more expensive) Uber fare that offers SUV or minivan vehicles to accommodate up to six riders. This fare is designed for groups/families and also for individuals who need extra space to store their luggage to and from the airport.

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Sweet! But my car isn’t big enough…

If you’re a full time rideshare driver and your considering driving XL, you may need a bigger car! It’s clear that drivers (especially strategic ones) have the ability to make more money driving with UberXL and Lyft XL, but is it worth upgrading to a car with a third row?

Before jumping the gun on a new whip, here’s a couple of things to consider:

Gas Mileage: Bigger vehicles typically come with bigger gas tanks and less efficient engines, meaning you’re putting more in and burning through it faster. Make sure to look into the gas economy of a vehicle while test driving, as low MPG can result in high fuel expenses. 

Estimated Maintenance Cost: Vehicles differ in maintenance requirements depending on the make and model, but it’s something worth understanding when doing your research. How often will you need an oil change? What type of oil does it require? Does this model have reported issues that will need to be fixed? Make sure you understand what the annual costs for maintenance will be and factor that in when deciding on your next car. 

Size of the Car: As mentioned above, both Uber and Lyft require a minimum number of seats to be eligible to drive XL. Make sure the car you’re looking at has a third row and a minimum of 6 seats for Lyft XL or 7 seats for UberXL. Beyond that, extra cargo space is always a plus!

Used or New: If you’re purchasing a vehicle to drive for Uber, we suggest you go with a used one. Neither Lyft or Uber require drivers to have brand new vehicles, and if you buy brand new your vehicle will be depreciating and costing you money faster than it’s making you money. Understand the standard depreciation value for the model and year you’re interested in, and try to get something that has a low year over year depreciation rate. 


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Expenses You Must Pay

What many new drivers will forget is the fact that there are many expenses tied to driving for Uber.

It’s easy to be distracted by the thought of being your own boss, scheduling your own hours, and receiving those big paydays that surge multipliers will yield.

The expenses that drivers are responsible for can quickly offset the wages you’re making.

As we mentioned before, once you subtract all of these expenses, median hourly earnings drop from about $14 per hour to below $10.

That’s a huge difference!

The downside of driving for Uber is that you’re responsible for all of these personal expenses.

Very few things are covered by Uber, leaving you with the bill when it comes to many expenses.

Uber doesn’t provide any financial assistance when it comes to the following expenses:

  • Fuel
  • Automobile insurance
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Cleaning fees
  • Personal taxes

In regards to personal taxes, it’s important to remember that you’re an independent contractor and will be responsible for all of your own taxes.

Your taxes won’t be withheld, so make sure you remember to set some cash aside for when tax season rolls around once a year.

Where are the Best Locations to Drive for Uber in the United States?

Research shows that some states are far more profitable for Uber drivers. According to studies, here are the top states and worst states for Uber drivers to run their business.

The Best Cities for Uber Drivers

  • New York City, NY
  • Seattle, WA
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Long Island, NY
  • Westchester County, NY

The Worst Cities for Uber Drivers

  • San Antonio, TX
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL

Comparing Uber driver earnings in 2019 to those in 2-018, we see that driver earnings continue to fall, mainly due to Uber cutting costs and rising competition in the industry of ridesharing from companies like Lyft.

In our research, we found that the only profitable state to operate in as an Uber driver is in New York. New York City is possibly the only U.S market where Uber drivers can make a full-time living from the app.

However, NYC recently imposed a ban on Uber drivers, due to the decline in the taxicab industry in the city, stating that Uber drivers are taking away jobs from cabbies that pay nearly a million dollars for a medallion.

However, a court recently ruled to freeze the ban for another year. One of the biggest supplemental incomes and Uber drivers can make is with in-ride advertising in the car. However, the New York courts recently ruled to ban advertising in Uber rides, further reducing driver’s income.

The court date for the ruling on the driver ban is yet to arrive, and we think that the city will eventually ban ridesharing, removing the most profitable market for Uber drivers in the U.S.

UberXL Driver Requirements

Using UberXL as a passenger is easy.

If you want to drive for UberXL, however, you’ll need to take a few more steps.

Compared to driving for UberX, UberXL is not much more difficult.

The only additional UberXL vehicle requirement is that you need a car that can seat six or more passengers (not including the driver).

As long as your car meets this and the other Uber vehicle requirements, it will qualify for UberXL rides.

And unlike a service like UberBLACK, which requires you to have commercial insurance, there are no special UberXL driver requirements.

You will, however, be required to have Uber insurance, pass a background check, and also a vehicle inspection.

UberXL vs Uber Black SUV

This is a very unfair comparison, but UberXL and Uber Black SUV will be very different experiences.

The big differences will be Uber Black SUV vehicles will be hand-selected and have to be a specific model, or at least be greater in value and luxury than the least expensive vehicle on the list. Here are some models of vehicles you can expect to ride in when you order an Uber Black SUV.

  • Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • Ford Expedition Limited/Platinum
  • Audi Q7
  • GMC Yukon XL
  • Infiniti QX/56/60/80
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Nissan Armada
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
  • Chevrolet Tahoe/Hybrid
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Lexus LX/GX
  • Lincoln MKT
  • GMC Denali/Hybrid
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • Chevrolet Suburban

As you can see, the list is small, curated, and only allows premium luxury vehicles. Every Uber Black SUV has to have an all-black interior and exterior. Seats have to be leather. And on top of those requirements, all Uber Black SUV drivers have to have a limo license.

Meanwhile, UberXL only requires the driver to be above 21 with a clean driving record. Nothing else. So you can see the vehicles and the driver will differ greatly as UberXL will be casual while Uber Black SUV would be for all business.

The only similarity you can see between them is the number of riders in one vehicle, and both UberXL and Uber Black SUV allow 6 riders plus 1 driver.

Image source: Infiniti
Image source: Infiniti

What Are Uber Driver Requirements?

As long as you can pass Uber’s background check, you shouldn’t find it difficult to become an Uber driver (unless your city imposes some difficult requirements of its own).

Install the Uber app on your smartphone and create an account on Uber, including the bank account into which your earnings will be paid.

When you’re ready to start picking up passengers, tell the Uber app that you’re going online. Then wait.

Before long, the app will notify you about a passenger requesting a ride and show you a map with the passenger’s GPS coordinates. You pick up the passenger and take the person to his or her destination. Aware that the passenger can rate you afterward, you do your best to make the passenger feel welcome, comfortable, and satisfied.

Make sure you understand clearly where your pick up location is to avoid late arrivals

You just keep repeating this process, being notified about passengers and taking them to their destinations, until you’re done for the day. Then you tell the Uber app that you’re going offline. You can rate your passengers on their behavior.

Uber will deposit the money that you’ve earned into your bank account.

Transport More People With UberXL

We hope this guide has helped you understand UberXL as both an Uber passenger and driver.

The service is an excellent opportunity for drivers to earn more money, as well as a convenient way for large groups of passengers to get around.

Looking for more ways to boost your Uber earnings?

Check out our guide to making more money with Uber

A Shortage of Uber Drivers

Recent increases in gas prices have led to a shortage of Uber drivers, which may bode well for those looking to pick up some rideshare gig work. Here, again, understanding the fine print and variables is important.

Fewer drivers result in increased costs for riders. As more people are looking to get back on the road as COVID-19 restrictions ease, they’re finding wait times and prices that reflect the shortage of drivers.

In April of 2021, Uber developed an incentive program number of $250 million to get drivers back on the app. It also started charging riders fuel surcharges to help drivers cope with the increasing gas prices of 2022. This, combined with increased fares due to scarcity, means drivers are seeing better financial opportunities than before. In large cities like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, drivers are making over $30 per hour.

However, this temporary demand imbalance combined with Uber’s dynamic pricing structure suggests this pay increase is likely an unusual exception, not the rule. Those signing up as drivers now can make good money, but they should do so with an end date in mind.

Good To Know

The average car insurance will not cover a vehicle used for rideshare work. Uber provides insurance that covers drivers while they are waiting for a request, en route to pick-up or during a ride. To protect yourself when you use your vehicle for Uber, be sure to sign up for a rideshare auto insurance policy.

The Advantages of Being an Uber Driver

As an Uber driver, you don’t answer to a boss, and you get to work whenever you want. If you don’t feel like working today, then don’t turn on your app. You can even travel to other city’s and then turn on your app there if you need to make a few extra bucks while on vacation or visiting a friend.

However, if you’re a young hustler looking to earn extra cash as a side hustle, then driving for Uber is an excellent way to boost your income, and save enough money to start a real business.

What are the Lyft XL Vehicle Requirements

Lyft XL is very similar to UberXL (in more ways than just the name) when it comes to vehicle requirements. To drive for Lyft XL, vehicles must meet the following requirements: 

  • Vehicle must be 7 years old or newer 
  • 4 door vehicle with doors that can be independently opened by passengers
  • Contain at least 6 factory-installed seats and seat belts

It’s also important to note that vehicle and driver requirements may differ by city for both Uber and Lyft, so make sure to check them out for your city when applying. 

How Much Does Uber XL Cost?

Does UberXL cost more? Definitely yes. If you compare Uber XL to Uber X, you can expect to pay 40% higher fares for the former. For example, if an Uber ride on Uber X costs you $20, it will cost you $28 on Uber XL.

The main reason for the higher fares is that XL vehicles are larger and more spacious. They also seat more people. Since Uber XL has larger vehicles – for instance, a luxury SUV or a minivan – the drivers have to spend more money on gas.

However, the prices of Uber XL rides can still vary depending on the demand for the service, your location, and other factors.

Let’s explain it with the example given above. Suppose you’re a group of six friends. Since Uber X only seats four passengers, you’d have to book two Uber Xs. That would cost you $40.

On the other hand, a single Uber XL could seat all of you, costing only $28. Therefore, people who use the Uber pool will find this service helpful.

However, when you’re booking an UberXL vehicle, you need to consider the surge pricing too. It means that you’ll have to pay more than what’s displayed on the app. The good news is that surge pricing doesn’t last forever. It changes according to demand and other conditions.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Actually Make?

Uber’s pay structure factors in several variables: base fares, tips and other incentives. Calculating a realistic average is difficult. However, according to, most Uber drivers earn about $15 to $22 per hour.

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FAQs About Uber XL

Here are some commonly asked questions about Uber and taxi cabs for 6 people.

Does Uber XL Allow Bikes?

The Uber XL capacity allows you to fit a bike. However, there are no rules or policies for the transportation of bikes on Uber.

Uber Black Suv Vs Xl

Uber Black Suv drivers are professional drivers. You will have a really different experience and you will ride in a luxury car. On the other hand, UberXL drivers are normal Uber drivers.

Can You Reserve an Uber XL?

Yes, Uber introduced Uber Reserve for all its vehicles in 2020. You can book a ride in advance for up to 30 days. Go to the Uber app, set the location and time, and choose your vehicle. You’ll be able to see the fare for the ride and confirm your booking.

How Much Does an Uber XL Cost?

The cost of an Uber XL varies depending on the city you’re in the distance of your trip, and other factors. However, you can expect to pay up to 40% more than Uber X.

How Does Uber XL Differ From Uber Green?

While there exists some hybrid Uber XL cars, you are not guaranteed that one electric car will pick you up when choosing the XL option. Uber Green includes hybrid electric vehicles that emit less carbon dioxide than regular cars. On the other hand, Uber XL is the largest Uber size that can accommodate up to six people. Both services are more expensive than regular Uber rides.

Is There an Uber XL in Every City?

No, Uber XL is not available in every city. However, it is available in most major cities in the US and other countries.

What is the Difference Between UberX and UberXL?

The main difference between UberX and UberXL is the size of the vehicle. UberXL can accommodate up to six passengers, while Uber X only seats four people.

How Much Does Uber Take From Your Pay?

Drivers don’t get to keep all of the money a rider pays. Uber takes 100% of riders’ booking fees. Then, Uber takes a 25% cut from each fare. Drivers keep 100% of tips and bonuses. In the Uber driver app, you can exactly how much you’re earning vs. what Uber’s earning.

What Affects How Much You Can Earn by Driving for Uber?

Signing up for Uber doesn’t guarantee you the average 2020 wage of $17.21 to $19.89 per hour. How much you earn depends on the following:

How Far You Drive Per Ride

Part of your fare earnings is based on how many miles you’re driving and how long you’re driving. Longer trips bring in a bigger fare.

Where You’re Driving

Drivers earn different amounts based on where they’re driving. For example, if you drive in big cities or do airport runs, you can expect to make more than a driver working in a smaller suburb.

What Service Tier You Work In

Uber offers many service tiers. Not every tier is available in every location. Drivers with nicer cars that can hold more people enjoy higher rates than drivers who participate in UberX, which is the cheapest service tier for riders.

  • UberX: most affordable rates for 1 to 3 people
  • UberXL: affordable rides for groups up to 5
  • Uber Select: stylish rides for 1 to 4 people with highly-rated drivers
  • Uber Comfort: newer cars with more legroom
  • Uber Pool: shared rides, discounted rate per rider
  • Uber Black: premium rides in luxury cars
  • Uber Black SUV: premium rides for 6 in luxury cars
  • Uber LUX: top-rated drivers in luxury vehicles
  • Uber WAV: wheel-chair accessible vehicles
  • Uber Green: sustainable rides in electric vehicles
  • Uber Taxi: local taxi cabs

Surge Pricing

Uber uses an algorithm to detect rider demand and driver availability. When rider demand is high and driver availability is low, Surge Pricing goes into effect to incentivize drivers to give rides. Drivers earn the normal rate for rides multiplied by a surge price multiplier.

During times of Surge Pricing, drivers see what the multiplier is in the app. For example, when SURGE is at 2.5x, a ride that’s normally $10 would be $25.


As noted above, tips added an average of $1.31 per hour to a driver’s 2020 hourly wage. Being more personable and supplying extras like mints or tissues are ways Uber drivers can increase their chances of getting tips.

Is Becoming an Uber Driver Worth It?

Many individuals choose to become Uber drivers because they love the flexibility of setting their own schedule and being their own boss. Drivers also enjoy being able to meet new people, listen to music or podcasts on the job, and take off whenever they want. Seeing as the average Uber Driver can earn $1721 to $19.89 per hour before expenses, it can be a decent job, especially in areas where the minimum wage is still set to $7.25 per hour. Of course, whether it’s financially worth it or not depends a lot on where you live, how often you plan to drive, and your other expenses.

Before jumping in and becoming an Uber driver, do the following:

  • Research average Uber driver earnings in your area
  • Estimate your monthly expenses
  • Talk to a tax professional about how much of your pay you’d need to set aside for taxes
  • Research the cost of health insurance and other benefits
  • Run the numbers to see if it’s worth it for you

Unless otherwise noted, the earnings estimates come from the 2020 Ridester’s Independent Driver-Earnings Survey, which was based on 625 Uber driver respondents.


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