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What is Uber Premium and how does it work?

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Keen to make a ride-share entrance? Get Premium.
Keen to make a ride-share entrance? Get Premium.

Most of us are now familiar with the app-based Uber rideshare service, but since 2019, the platform has been diversified to offer a next-level rideshare experience.

It’s called Uber Premium and it basically sets out to offer a more luxurious service, in Uber high-end cars with a higher price-tag for those who want a few extras.

Replacing what was, in Australia, Uber Black, Uber Premium gives more flexibility, a longer waiting period and a better standard of cars. The Premium deal also supersedes Uber Lux, Uber Select and Uber SUV.

But beyond an Uber luxury car list to make the experience nicer, what is the Uber premier experience about?

The Premium service means passengers can request a warmer or cooler temperature for the journey, request a bit of peace and quite for the duration and even ask the driver to help with luggage.

That same driver will also wait up to 10 minutes for you to reach the car, rather than the five minutes of normal Uber rides.

2024 Lamborghini Urus
2024 Lamborghini Urus

So is it just a more expensive Uber? In a way, but the four-wheeled hardware is also a classier set of wheels.

The car itself needs to be of a certain standard, and Uber demands that Premium rideshare cars have a five-star safety rating, be no more than six years old, be in good cosmetic condition (no dents or scrapes) and be able to seat at least four people plus the driver.


Uber Premium eligible cars

Here’s a list of the cars Uber Premium cars that are considered suitable for the Australian Premium service:

Alfa Romeo Guilia and Stelvio

Every Audi bigger than the A3

Bentley Bentayga, Flying Spur and Mulsanne

Every BMW larger than a 2-Series

Chrysler 300

Any Genesis

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 6

Infiniti QX50, QX70 and QX80

Jaguar E-Pace, F-Pace, i-Pace, XE, XF, XJ and XJR

Lamborghini Urus,

Land Rover Discovery

Range Rover Evoque, Sport, Velar, Vogue

Lexus ES, GS, LS, NX, NX, RX

Maserati Ghibli, Levante, Quattroporte

Any Mercedes-Benz bigger than an A-Class

Porsche Cayenne, Macan and Panamera

Rolls Royce Ghost and Phantom

Any Tesla

Volkswagen Arteon and Touareg

Volvo S90, XC60 and XC90


That’s the basic Uber Premium car list, but others might be suitable on a one-off basis.

To be an Uber Premium driver, as well as the usual Uber check-list, the Uber Premium requirements for drivers include a rating of 4.6 or better and must have driven at least 20 trips as an Uber driver.

At Australia’s main airports, the Uber Premium service also operates from the commercial vehicle lane or from the usual ride-share pick-up lanes.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5
2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

In Sydney, that means pick-ups are from the Limo pick-up area and at Melbourne airport, the Premium service picks up from the dedicated VHA bays.

For Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Perth airports, the pick-up is from the designated ride-share lanes.

Obviously, the Premium service costs more, but how much more? And how much do Uber Premium drivers make? Figure on about 1.8 times an Uber X ride to and from the same points for most of Australia. In Sydney, Uber says the Premium fare would be about twice the Uber X ride.

2024 Tesla Model Y
2024 Tesla Model Y

An Uber Premium cars Melbourne city to the airport journey can easily cost $90, while the basic Uber trip would be closer to $51 at the same time of the same day of the week.

And, of course, that means the Uber Premium drivers earn more, too, as their percentage take is from a higher total.

The rest of the process of booking the ride is the same as the Uber X app, and your phone is really all you need.

David Morley
Contributing Journalist
Morley’s attentions turned to cars and motoring fairly early on in his life. The realisation that the most complex motor vehicle was easier to both understand and control than the simplest human-being, set his career in motion. Growing up in the country gave the young Morley a form of motoring freedom unmatched these days, as well as many trees to dodge. With a background in newspapers, the move to motoring journalism was no less logical than Clive Palmer’s move into politics, and at times, at least as funny.
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