New Here (Need Advice on UBER BLACK SUV NY/NJ or Both?)

LEO2112

Well-Known Member
Hi all, I'm new to this forum. Was wondering if I could pick your brains for some advice as I've read many of you have a lot of experience with UBER in NJ/NY (both good & bad from other threads I've read on here).

My situation is somewhat unique. I own a 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium edition (black on black, approx. 43,000 miles), and have been thinking of driving part time for UBER BLACK/SUV to make some extra cash just a few hours a day. I'm retired from my previous career already so I don't need to kill myself to make ends meet as I already receive a decent pension. So I have a few questions between NY & NJ UBER Platforms as I'm not sure which route to take before signing up.

1) Since I'm only really looking for part time work and live in NNJ, should I just do the NJ Limousine plates and stick to rides to & from NWK Airport & around Hudson, Essex, Morris & Bergen counties? Do I need any special permit to pick up at NWK airport?

2) Any reason to go the NYC TLC reg & plates route instead? This seems like a bit of a hassle to set up plus we all know what driving around NYC is like. But I'm sure there is money to be made in the city as well (if not more).

3) If I go the NYC TLC route, I can still pick up in NJ, but if I do the NJ Limousine plates then I can't pick up in NYC right?

What do you guys & gals think? Which route would you choose if you were in my place based on your experience with UBER so far? Thank you all in advance for any advice on this.

Regards,

Leo
 

Undermensch

Well-Known Member
Leo - I think the problem with this strategy is that you're going to have to make a significant investment to get OL or TLC plates. You'll have to form a Corp or LLC, get commercial insurance (way more expensive... If your record isn't clean it could be $10k+/year), and get a commercial drivers license, then get a township to allow you to have a limo company.

It's a lot of work and you'll lose money if you don't end up doing 100+ rides total.

TLC plates remove the township requirement. You can drive Black with TLC plates in NJ too (legality aside, Uber lets you do it while they won't let you do it with OL plates in NYC).

You also can't pick rides on Uber. You can't cherry pick and cancel after calling riders to find out where they are going. You'll get away with it for a bit but you will get deactivated. So you won't be doing rides just to the airport. Not gonna happen with Uber.

I think you've got a couple of options:

  1. Drive more than you claim you will - If you're going to go into this to make $50k+/year then maybe get the TLC plates and do this for real. Work the bar hours. Take what you can get.
  2. Drive UberXL - Before making an investment you should see what you think of this whole business. It might not match your expectations. Just sign up for XL and do some rides.
  3. Buy a $5k 2008 Prius and drive UberX - This limits your investment. If you buy the car from a private party you should be able to unload it for about the same if you end up not liking driving UberX.
  4. Talk to some local Limo companies - They might be able to get you OL plates and have you drive for them. Depending on the company they might have some flexibility on hours. It won't be drop of the hat like Uber and you can bet they will take a cut. I'm not even sure if this is possible with you bringing your own vehicle but it might limit your investment if it is possible.

You'll notice there is no option above for driving small time on Uber Black. That's intentional. I don't think it would make any sense.

Hope that helps.
 

EcoboostMKS

Well-Known Member
Buy a beater for a couple grand and drive that part time in jersey. You don't need any licensing to do that. Leave the escalade at home.

Once you go legit and get proper licensing to do black, it's a full time job or you'll be losing money. Commercial insurance isn't cheap. And from what I hear, NJ limo plates are not easy to get. TLC or CT livery plates are much easier, but still not cheap.
 

LEO2112

Well-Known Member
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  • #4
Undermensch, thanks for the quick & informative reply! I do intend on forming an LLC and getting Commercial Insurance (my license is clean & I've never had a moving violation.) Since the NYC TLC removes the NJ township requirements, should I file my LLC with the state of NY instead of NJ? If I do, will I have to pay any additional NY State & City taxes? Sorry for so many questions, I'm just new to the UBER world, want to do this the right way.

p.s. Love your Curb avatar lol :biggrin:


Leo - I think the problem with this strategy is that you're going to have to make a significant investment to get OL or TLC plates. You'll have to form a Corp or LLC, get commercial insurance (way more expensive... If your record isn't clean it could be $10k+/year), and get a commercial drivers license, then get a township to allow you to have a limo company.

It's a lot of work and you'll lose money if you don't end up doing 100+ rides total.

TLC plates remove the township requirement. You can drive Black with TLC plates in NJ too (legality aside, Uber lets you do it while they won't let you do it with OL plates in NYC).

You also can't pick rides on Uber. You can't cherry pick and cancel after calling riders to find out where they are going. You'll get away with it for a bit but you will get deactivated. So you won't be doing rides just to the airport. Not gonna happen with Uber.

I think you've got a couple of options:

  1. Drive more than you claim you will - If you're going to go into this to make $50k+/year then maybe get the TLC plates and do this for real. Work the bar hours. Take what you can get.
  2. Drive UberXL - Before making an investment you should see what you think of this whole business. It might not match your expectations. Just sign up for XL and do some rides.
  3. Buy a $5k 2008 Prius and drive UberX - This limits your investment. If you buy the car from a private party you should be able to unload it for about the same if you end up not liking driving UberX.
  4. Talk to some local Limo companies - They might be able to get you OL plates and have you drive for them. Depending on the company they might have some flexibility on hours. It won't be drop of the hat like Uber and you can bet they will take a cut. I'm not even sure if this is possible with you bringing your own vehicle but it might limit your investment if it is possible.

You'll notice there is no option above for driving small time on Uber Black. That's intentional. I don't think it would make any sense.

Hope that helps.
 

LEO2112

Well-Known Member
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  • #5
Thanks Ecoboost. I think you're right, if I'm going to use the Escalade I'm going to have to do it full time. Thankfully my license is super clean, never had a moving violation or suspension in my adult life so hopefully I can get a decent commercial insurance rate. Driving around all day in a beater just doesn't appeal to me, but I get what you're suggesting.


Buy a beater for a couple grand and drive that part time in jersey. You don't need any licensing to do that. Leave the escalade at home.

Once you go legit and get proper licensing to do black, it's a full time job or you'll be losing money. Commercial insurance isn't cheap. And from what I hear, NJ limo plates are not easy to get. TLC or CT livery plates are much easier, but still not cheap.
 

EcoboostMKS

Well-Known Member
Undermensch, thanks for the quick & informative reply! I do intend on forming an LLC and getting Commercial Insurance (my license is clean & I've never had a moving violation.) Since the NYC TLC removes the NJ township requirements, should I file my LLC with the state of NY instead of NJ? If I do, will I have to pay any additional NY State & City taxes? Sorry for so many questions, I'm just new to the UBER world, want to do this the right way.

p.s. Love your Curb avatar lol :biggrin:
Technically, you're supposed to pay taxes in every state where the transaction is made. I'm based in Connecticut, but file returns for CT, NY, and NJ. Not a big deal though.
 

EcoboostMKS

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ecoboost. I think you're right, if I'm going to use the Escalade I'm going to have to do it full time. Thankfully my license is super clean, never had a moving violation or suspension in my adult life so hopefully I can get a decent commercial insurance rate. Driving around all day in a beater just doesn't appeal to me, but I get what you're suggesting.
Expect to pay anywhere from $5k to $10k every year for insurance alone. There are other initial fees that come along with that. It's a different process and cost for every state, but it's much harder than just calling up an insurance company and telling them you want commercial insurance.

In CT, the process takes about 4 months and costs about $2k between application fees, medicals, registration, etc. Then you pay the insurance. Every state is different though. They all have their own process and requirements.
 

LEO2112

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  • #8
Right, I understand Eco, what I meant was there are no additional taxes to pay to the city of New York, aside from the state income tax i would have to file? Also, UBER BLACK/SUV drivers don't collect state sales tax from the rides right? I know it's 7% in NJ, not sure about NY..

Technically, you're supposed to pay taxes in every state where the transaction is made. I'm based in Connecticut, but file returns for CT, NY, and NJ. Not a big deal though.
 

LEO2112

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Ok Eco, so it wouldn't really matter what state i file my LLC in, as long as I pay state income tax to any other states I pick up in? So I would be able to file the LLC papers with NJ & purchase commercial insurance in NJ, and still register the car with the NYC TLC? Sorry for so many questions, it's just hard to get a hold of Uber C/S and they always take long to reply and never fully answer my questions. You guys have been a huge help so far & I really appreciate it.

Technically, you're supposed to pay taxes in every state where the transaction is made. I'm based in Connecticut, but file returns for CT, NY, and NJ. Not a big deal though.
 

EcoboostMKS

Well-Known Member
Right, I understand Eco, what I meant was there are no additional taxes to pay to the city of New York, aside from the state income tax i would have to file? Also, UBER BLACK/SUV drivers don't collect state sales tax from the rides right? I know it's 7% in NJ, not sure about NY..
I barely do uber at all. I do my own limo work out of CT, so it may be a little different and I don't want to give you the wrong answers. For tax questions, I'd recommend speaking with a professional. Any accountant should be able to answer these questions for you.
 

EcoboostMKS

Well-Known Member
Ok Eco, so it wouldn't really matter what state i file my LLC in, as long as I pay state income tax to any other states I pick up in? So I would be able to file the LLC papers with NJ & purchase commercial insurance in NJ, and still register the car with the NYC TLC? Sorry for so many questions, it's just hard to get a hold of Uber C/S and they always take long to reply and never fully answer my questions. You guys have been a huge help so far & I really appreciate it.
Are you sure you even have to form an llc for tlc plates? I don't have them, so not sure. TLC specific questions are definitely not my specialty. Don't have them.
 

LEO2112

Well-Known Member
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  • #12
Thanks Echo, will do. So I'm assuming your business, car reg/insurance and license are all filed/issued with CT?

I barely do uber at all. I do my own limo work out of CT, so it may be a little different and I don't want to give you the wrong answers. For tax questions, I'd recommend speaking with a professional. Any accountant should be able to answer these questions for you.
 

LEO2112

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Oh you didn't need an LLC for CT Livery plates?

Are you sure you even have to form an llc for tlc plates? I don't have them, so not sure. TLC specific questions are definitely not my specialty. Don't have them.
 

LEO2112

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Really? Wow ok didn't know that. I'm just trying to figure out if I do the NY TLC thing if I have to file everything with NYC? Can I file LLC papers with NJ & purchase commercial insurance from a NJ company while registering the car with the NYC TLC and also getting a NY TLC license? I certainly don't want to move to NY, lol...

I have an LLC, but it's not required for CT. You can register as a sole proprietorship with your social if you want.
 

DerBundes

Well-Known Member
Hi all, I'm new to this forum. Was wondering if I could pick your brains for some advice as I've read many of you have a lot of experience with UBER in NJ/NY (both good & bad from other threads I've read on here).

My situation is somewhat unique. I own a 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium edition (black on black, approx. 43,000 miles),

Regards,

Leo
If I may:
1-). Come east with that vehicle,
2-). Get your TLC plates and license,
3-). Jersey's rates are way too low and everyone from Alpine to Hoboken to Waterfront, wants to come to The City,
3-). You can do pool here with many of the market options,
4-). With those plates you can work The City, Connecticut, Jersey and Upstate as far as Rockland,
5-). In the process, you'll start creating a clientele, networking, passing out business cards. Set your own rates cash, keep a record for your taxes,
6-). That's a hustle everyone knows exists but, as long as you're affiliated to a base, by law, you're good. Imagine getting calls from customers wanting to go to JFK in comfort... That's a $150 ride, CASH! Try that in Jersey!!

PS: did I mention that cops don't get near black cars, anywhere in the TriState area? Any Escalade or S-Class with TLC plates, is the equivalent of a land lionfish... People tread lightly, to avoid a similar scene that took place about 2 weeks ago, on Park Avenue with police and a black car rider.
 
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LEO2112

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  • #18
Thanks for that DerBundes. Please check your private messages..
 

Chi Bones

Well-Known Member
What town do you live in? You can sign up with the Regus office in Red Bank for about $200/mo so that your corporate address is Red Bank and then domicile your car in Red Bank - your town can't deny you that way. Then contact small independent limo companies and ask if they need help. The good ones have too much business right now and are contracting out work. If you can show them that you have several hundred rides with Uber and a 4.8+ rating - they will give you work. Get rides with them and augment it with Uber & Lyft. Take someone to the airport for a limo company, then turn on Uber at the airport and set the destination to your hometown and get a ride headed that way. You can easily gross $300 per day in about 5 hrs.

There's gold lying on the streets right now - all you have to do is drive there and pick it up.
 

ubernyc

Well-Known Member
LEO, if u decide to go the tlc route, uber doesnt deserve that sexy escalade. i say this because theyll force u to take all calls meaning x, xl, black, and suv, but, 90 percent of calls is x calls. i recommend u to join a base. pm me and ill help u wait ur base hunting.
 
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