Uber has decided to raise the minimum age for drivers in California from 21 to 25, a change that affects new signups and was first reported by The Associated Press (AP). This alteration in policy is said to be prompted by the increasing costs of commercial auto insurance in the state.
It’s important to note that this change only applies to new drivers; those who were already approved before Wednesday will remain unaffected.
Uber attributed this decision to California’s high insurance rates and the legal environment surrounding litigation. The company’s spokesperson stated that the insurance coverage requirements for rideshare vehicles in California are disproportionately high compared to other vehicles on the road.
This has led to a surge in personal injury lawsuits against rideshare platforms like Uber, resulting in a significant 65% rise in the state-mandated commercial insurance costs over just two years. By raising the age requirement for new drivers to 25, Uber hopes to mitigate the escalating expenses caused by this situation.
The spokesperson also expressed a desire to collaborate with lawmakers, policy leaders, and industry experts to discuss potential legislative and regulatory changes that could enhance the experience for all drivers in California.
This new minimum age aligns Uber with Lyft, which already mandates that all drivers in the US be 25 years old or older. However, it’s worth noting that the updated rules won’t apply to Uber Eats drivers, who can continue to make deliveries as young as 19.
Uber’s business has rebounded since the peak of the pandemic’s impact, showing a notable recovery. The company reported its first quarterly operating profit earlier this month, attributing the positive change to a 22% increase in trips.