How To Start A Ride-Hailing Business With Low Capital

How To Start A Ride-Hailing Business With Low Capital

February 22, 2021 0

Ride-hailing business is one of the fastest-growing businesses in Nigeria and many other parts of the world today. This is because transportation is one of the most important needs of man. We need to move from one place to another for several reasons but mostly to find our daily bread.

It is no secret that the ride-hailing business is quite lucrative and easy to start, even when you have low capital. This post will look at how to become a driver with any of the ride-hailing companies without spending too much.

Explaining Ride-hailing

A good place to begin this discussion is to explain the idea of “ride-hailing.” Ride-hailing is the same as “ridesharing.” It simply means arranging shared rides on short notice. You must be thinking, “isn’t this the same with a regular taxi service?”

There are several differences. One, in ridesharing, the passenger inputs the pickup and destination locations before hailing the ride. Two, the passenger gets an estimate for the trip before hailing.

How To Start A Ride-Hailing Business With Low Capital
A young Uber driver

Asides from this, passengers can make direct payments via the app. They can also rate drivers and provide feedback via the app. When you put all of this together, ride-hailing is very convenient for both the driver and the passenger.

Requirements To Meet Before You Start A Ride-Hailing Business

Do you know that you don’t have to start a huge ridesharing company to get into this business? With low capital, you can start an SME in Africa as a ride-hailing driver. All you need to do is to meet the requirements of the existing companies. There are several ride-hailing companies in Africa. Some of them include:

–         Uber

–         Bolt (previously Taxify)

–         Lyft

–         TaxiDiali

–         Ousta

–         Careem

Each of these companies has specific requirements for individuals that want to work with them as drivers. However, we will consider the general requirements that you must meet in this section. They include:

–         Meet the standard age requirement for the company. For most companies, it is 21-years-old.

–         Possess a valid driver’s license for your country.

–         Complete a mandatory safety screening test.

–         Take further training on how to use the company app and conduct yourself.

Once you can satisfy these requirements, then you are very close to starting your ridesharing business. Hold on, what about your vehicle?

Vehicle Requirements for Ridesharing

Before you start a ride-hailing business, your vehicle must also meet the company’s vehicular requirements. While each company has a specific set of requirements, some of these requirements are common across all companies. Let’s look at these common requirements below:

–         Your car should be in great condition. Usually, the car undergoes an inspection to check the physical and engine condition.

–         The car must have four doors.

–         The car must have a working air-conditioning system.

–         There must be a working sound system (good radio/stereo and speakers) in the vehicle.

–         The car should have a recognised insurance cover.

–         There must be a vehicle license.

–         The driver must present proof of ownership of the vehicle.

–         It should have the certificate of road-worthiness.

Asides from this, most ridesharing companies require that the car is not more than 10 to 15 years old. You can also use a sedan, mini-van, or SUV, as long as it has 4 doors. The power windows must be working perfectly as well, and you cannot make use of marked vehicles.

What Kind of Cars Can You Use For A Ride-Hailing Business?

This article aims to teach you how to start a ride-hailing business at a low cost. We cannot discuss this without talking about the car you intend to use. Let’s be factual, it is not every car that you can use for this business if you will make a profit. There are certain factors that you must consider; they include:


This is the first thing you must consider. How much do you have available to spend on a car? We have already told you about the vehicle requirements above. So how much can you afford to buy the kind of car you need for this business?

Since we are talking about starting with low cost, you have two options. You can either go for a fairly used car or a new one to buy on hire-purchase. Whatever the case is, ensure that you aren’t spending a fortune so that you can break even quickly.

Fuel efficiency

This business requires you to spend a lot of time moving across long distances. To maximise your profits, you need a car that isn’t fuel-thirsty. Get a car that is highly fuel-efficient to run the business. This way, you won’t spend so much on working capital.

Maintenance and repair

This is another essential factor that you must consider before picking a car. Some cars are quite affordable, but they are costly to maintain and repair. You also don’t want a car that gets bad very quickly. Your best bet is a rugged vehicle that can withstand the wear and tear of moving around daily.

With this out of the way, you must be wondering what kind of car can I use to satisfy these criteria. Several cars fit into this bracket. The most common ones used for ridesharing in Africa include:

–         Toyota Corolla

–         Toyota Camry

–         Toyota Avensis

–         Honda Accord

–         Honda City

All these cars are affordable, easy to maintain, and quite rugged. Don’t forget that you can try out several others, depending on your preferences.

Applying to Become a Ridesharing Driver

Different companies have different procedures. However, there are certain aspects of the application process that are similar across companies. Let’s discuss them below:

–         Visit the company website and sign up as a driver.

–         Upload the necessary documents such as birth certificate, driver’s license, and passport photograph.

–         Complete the necessary safety test and the mandatory tutorial.

–         Complete the car inspection procedures.

–         Activate your account.

After doing this, you can start making money as a ride-hailing driver. Do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments section below.

Samuel Moore
Samuel Moore
Samuel Moore
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