The Uber Clean Air Fee Explained
February 22, 2019
As many of you are probably already well aware, Uber introduced and launched its Clean Air Plan earlier this year. We know that there are a lot of drivers out there who are still confused by some of the changes and whether or not the Uber Clean Air Fee applies to them.
So, in our never ending quest to help drivers in as many ways as possible, we thought that it would be best to put an article together that dispels some of the myths and rumours surrounding the new Uber Clean Air Fee and how it relates to electric cars and PHV drivers.
What?! Another charge?!
If you’re a driver using the app then you’ve more than likely already seen the fee being applied to your trips. It’s a little bit more complicated than just a straight up charge like the Congestion Charge, but it’s a lot more valuable to you than any of the congestion zone charges.
Ok, so what’s it all about?
London is moving towards a zero-emission future and Uber is committed to lowering air pollution whilst also doing their bit to help build cleaner towns and cities.
So from January this year, 15p per mile is now being applied to every customer picked up in London (within the M25) and all of the money raised by the driver will go towards the price of an upgrade to an electric vehicle (EV).
From April of this year (2019), there will be a lot more regulation introduced such as the Congestion Charge for PCO drivers that will increase driving costs for polluting vehicles. Electric Vehicles will be exempt from the Congestion Charge (until 2025), which is why Uber wants to help as many drivers as possible transition from petrol or diesel to EV.
Who’s eligible for this thing?
All drivers who hold a private hire licence with TfL and drive on the Uber App are eligible for the Uber Clean Air Plan. Drivers joining the platform in the future will also be eligible.
Full terms and conditions about eligibility are available at this link*.
When does this new Uber Clean Air Fee start?
It already has! Uber introduced the new ‘Clean Air Fee’ back in January of this year (2019). Drivers using the ride sharing app in central London will have already seen ‘Clean Air Fee’ being applied to their trips.
So, from now on all trips within the M25 will be charged 15p per mile travelled on a customer’s journey. But the fee only applies to the customer’s journey. Any distances travelled whilst on your way to a pick-up are not covered and all of the money raised by the driver will go towards the price of an upgrade to an electric vehicle (EV). Not too bad huh?
So I can use the Uber Clean Air Fee to buy an EV?
Pretty much, yes! You will be able to access this money in the future to assist you with some of the costs of upgrading to an electric vehicle.
What if I’m only driving part-time?
That doesn’t matter at all. A part-time driver who, let’s say, averages 20 hours a week on the app can expect to put around £1,500 towards the cost of an EV in two years. In three years they’d be able to £2,250 towards an EV.
Wait, could you explain that again?
Don’t worry, it took us a little bit of time to understand it completely too. Here, take a look at the two examples below, they might help make things clearer. There’s one for full time drivers and one for part time drivers too:
Full-Time driver example:
Mo drives around 40 hours a week and completes around 200 miles a week on-trip. He wants to buy his own an electric vehicle. One year after the launch of the Uber Clean Air Plan means Mo will have about £1,500.
After 2 years he’ll have £3,000
After 3 years he’ll have around £4,500 to put towards his new electric vehicle.
Part-Time driver example:
Emma is a part-time driver and drives around 20 hours a week and completes 100 miles a week on trip. She also wants to buy her own electric vehicle.
After 2 years of saving Emma has around £1,500
After 3 years she has around £2,250 to put towards her own electric vehicle.
But I don’t want to purchase an EV, I want to rent an EV!
That’s totally fine too! The Uber Clean Air Fee can be put towards renting an EV too.
Take a look at these two examples for details:
Full-Time drivers who want to rent an electric vehicle:
Anna drives an average of 40 hours a week on the Uber platform and the number of miles she completes is around 200 a week on-trip. After about 1 year of saving she’ll have £1,500 to put towards discounts on an electric vehicle rental.
Part-Time driver who want to rent an electric vehicle:
Tomasz drives around 20 hours a week on the Uber platform and completes around 100 miles a week on-trip. He wants to rent an electric vehicle. After about 1 year of saving he hasn’t quite reached £1,000 minimum threshold. After 18 months, he has £1,100 and is ready to rent a vehicle.
Wait, would I be able to get my EV from Otto Car?
Absolutely! As an Uber Partner and approved dealer we have an exclusive programme available to those Uber Partners wishing to purchase or rent a car with us. Please see full details below.
I want to own my EV, what are my options?
You can upgrade to a brand new EV on our Rent 2 Buy scheme and get all those Uber Clean Air Fee payments straight away! That’s an additional 15p per mile you’ll be making on all customer trips within the M25. Not too bad right?
Wait and cash in
You can wait until you’ve accumulated a minimum of £1,000 in Uber Clean Air fee payments to get a discount on our Rent 2 Buy scheme. That discounted rate will rely entirely on how much money you’ve banked.
Here, take a look at this example:
Mr Mohammed really wants to get the new Nissan Leaf from Otto Car (£250/pw including PCO insurance, servicing, MOT and PHV licence)
He has been an Uber Partner for 9 months and has already accumulated £1,500 in Uber Clean Air Fee payments.
By using his Uber Clean Air Fee payments, Mr Mohammed receives a 4.4% discount on his weekly Rent-2-Buy re-payments. Meaning that he only has to pay £240.40 back per week in order to get a brand new Nissan Leaf from Otto Car.
Mr Mohammed’s discount is calculated like this:
£1,500 divided by 156 (total number of weeks in 3 years) = £9.61
Therefore his weekly repayments are calculated as:
£250 – £9.61 = £240.39
4.4% discount on the original price of the car.
Let’s try another example:
Amy has accumulated £2,000 in Uber Clean Air Fee payments and she wants to use this to get herself a brand new Kia Niro 2 Hybrid (£230/pw including PCO insurance, servicing, MOT and PHV licence).
Instead of paying £230 per month for 3 years, Amy only has to pay £217.20 per month. That’s a 5.5% saving!
The calculation looks like this:
£2000 divided by 156 (total number of weeks in 3 years) = £12.82
£230 – £12.82 = £217.20
So the choice is yours with regards to our Rent 2 Buy scheme. You can either upgrade to an EV now and receive the Uber Clean Air Fee straight away or wait until you’ve accumulated a minimum of £1,000 to get a discount on your Rent 2 Buy payments (you’ll then also receive the Uber Clean Air Fee directly).
What about on renting on our PCO Car Hire scheme?
If you’re not quite ready for a Rent 2 Buy car just yet, you can always try renting an electric vehicle with our rental scheme called PCO Car Hire. With this, you’ll need a minimum of £1,000 banked in the Uber Clean Air plan and this can be used to get a £23 discount on a 13 week contract with us.
This means renting a Nissan Leaf from us would be £227/pw (including PCO insurance, servicing, MOT, licence, tyres, brakes and PHV licence) rather than the standard price of £250/pw. Unlike with the Rent 2 Buy scheme, you can’t increase the discount by having banked more money with the Uber Clean Air Plan. This is a fixed discount of £23/pw on our rental scheme.
Uber Partner Extra Support
Here at Otto Car we believe in putting you first. It’s your success that drives us after all. So, if you’re an Uber Driver looking to make the transition to an EV, Get in touch with us!
As an official Uber Partner, we’ll guide you through the process of putting your banked Uber Clean Air Fee payments towards the price of an Electric Vehicle with us.
We’ve also got a top London trip hotspot guide available, so you can find out where riders are coming and going from.