Driving for Uber in Penang

Driving for Uber seems to be today’s occupation of choice as you get to be your own boss. You decide how often you want to drive and how much money you want to earn; and you don’t have to quit your day job to drive for Uber. Uber will also incentivise you for meeting performance indicators plus the Uber driver-get-driver recruitment program.

Let’s face it, we are facing tough times in Malaysia — the rising cost of living, slowing economy and stagnated income, many of us are looking for options to supplement our monthly income. For those of us who have a car and good with roads, driving for Uber would be an ideal choice of work to make some extra cash. Question is: Should you take a shot at driving for Uber?

Our dear friend Kelvin Ang from www.carreviewsncare.com decided to find out what’s like driving for Uber. Here’s his first hand account driving for Uber.

Ever wonder what is it like driving for Uber? Is it dangerous to drive along with other strangers in town? What if I bump into fellow taxi drivers and they start to beat me up?How much can I earn driving for Uber? How can I make my riders happy? What if the passengers are unhappy and I get a bad rating?

Just like you, I was worried if it is safe to become a Uber driver since this is the first time I am going to use my car to earn money! I am excited yet worry at the same time. I braved myself for the unknown and took the action to register myself driving for Uber in Penang.

Driving for Uber Registration

Criteria for driving for Uber is quite easy:

  1. At least 21 years old, have a clean driving record, and must pass a background check.
  2. Must own a personal vehicle, that is less than 5 years old. If your vehicle is more than 5 years but still in perfect condition, then you are will be accepted as Uber Partner as well.
  3. Your mobile phone must be  iPhone 4s or newer, Android 2013 or newer.

Driving for Uber or becoming an Uber Partner is FREE, the best part is that Uber will pay you RM300 when you register via Uber Partner Referral Registration Link!

Driving for Uber Activation

Once you complete the driving for Uber registration, you will receive an invitation email from Uber for account activation. Uber Account activation is actually a verification process. You will have to present yourself on the scheduled date and time (stated in the email) at Uber Penang office with the following documents:

  • Your Identity card
  • Your driving licence.
  • Your vehicle’s insurance cover note.

Upon verification and ticking the declaration boxes of clean driving and no criminal record, the friendly people from Uber will give you a quick guide on how to use the Uber Partner application and share with you the best practices driving for Uber; and how to get the rating of “5 stars” from Uber’s riders. The meet up was pretty fun and partners get to make a few new friends from the meeting.


The Wait

It takes around 2 weeks to get your Uber Partner account activated. You will get a notification about the activation and you can start your very first driving for Uber  experience!

To make good money driving for Uber, you will need to know the hotspots within the area you intend to operate. There are several hotspots in Penang where Uber drivers able to get higher chance of picking the Uber riders. Those hot spots are Tanjung Bungah, Georgetown Light Street, Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone. I personally encourage drivers to hunt riders around Light Street, and Batu Ferringhi. These 2 areas are hottest spots as far I as experienced.

The Riders

I like to make friends and driving for Uber provides the avenue for me to do so without feeling awkward! You will meet all sorts of people especially in Penang where 70% of Uber riders are foreign/local tourists while the rest are local Penang-nites. Most of the Uber riders are friendly and will share their bad experience using the public transport or hired services. You will need to be a good listener too!

The good part about driving for Uber is that you have the option to accept or reject a ride request. However, for you to qualify for the incentive program driving for Uber, you have to accept at least 90% of the rides request.

Uber Partner App

Your driving for Uber tool is the Uber Partner app that will alert you with Uber riders’ request, navigation systems and billing… and rider’s review (remember the 5 star rating?)


Uber Partner app comes ready with a navigation tool to direct you to the rider’s pick up location. Once the rider is picked up, you swipe your Uber Partner app to start the trip, and charges will be calculated from the app according to the distance and time of the journey.

Uber Partner app will navigate the driver to reach the destination with using the optimal route and time. 3 navigation systems to assist the Uber driver to the destination: Google Maps, Waze and Uber own navigation app.

Not picking up a rider when you accepted the ride request is a bad thing as riders will complain to Uber. A bad rating from the ditched rider follows; which will be branded in your Uber Partner’s record  which I believe that you will be penalised. I didn’t try that out…

The Waiting Game

Driving for Uber does not mean that we are on the go 100% of the time. Sometimes we have to wait for the riders to beep us at the roadside, which can last between 5 minutes to 30 minutes.

So what are we doing during the waiting time for the Uber passengers to beep to us?

  • We drive our car aimless around the city.
  • Stop our vehicle at petrol station, beside the “mamak”, or roadside.
  • Sleep in the vehicle.
  • Scroll facebook endlessly in the vehicle
  • Smoke in the car (some of us?)
  • Call up friends, and pretend we gonna meet up them cause we are there accidentally.
  • We talk nonsense in our Uber Drivers Wechat Group
  • Snap thousand of car photos.

Show me the Money

You can make good money driving for Uber if you put in the hours. Besides the standard charges you get to earn surge charges as much as 2.1 times during peak hours and public holidays plus incentives. However, Uber takes a 20% cut from your trip earnings as administrative fees but overall drivers still earned a decent income, and they have fun along the way just like I did!  Driving for Uber you get to meet different people and chit chat with them, and it is definitely a fun way to earn money from the car!


A lot of our Uber partners earn up to RM5,000 per month in Penang, and RM8,000 in Kuala Lumpur!

So I hope that my experience driving for Uber will help you to decide if you want to dive into this new career!

Kelvin says it in his own words and more photos at: http://www.carreviewsncare.com/experience-as-uber-driver-in-penang/#sthash.okxQBSnQ.dpuf



The author: Kelvin Ang from http://www.carreviewsncare.com




One comment

  • Thanks for the hotspots bro, really appreciate that u share towards, a little question how was your first day in penang… I m from penang too n going start driving next week

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