What do Uber drivers do between trips
Uber: What you need to know as a driver and user of the driving service
The transport service "Uber" has been discussed a lot in the media for weeks. After a court ruling, the driving service was actually no longer allowed to offer its services. The ban has now been lifted for the time being. However, the operators want to continue to maintain the service. The Taxi Germany cooperative wants to continue to take action against Uber. Nevertheless, more and more people use the private transport service and arrange trips. But using Uber is not entirely unproblematic. What are the consequences for users and drivers?
1. What is Uber?
The Uber driver service offers everyone the opportunity to order professional and private drivers via a free smartphone app. The app works for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, so that every smartphone user can use the service with the app. The trip brokerage takes place very quickly. Luxury limousines or other stylish cars can be ordered with just a few clicks. The California-based company has so far offered its service in Berlin, Munich and 50 other cities around the world. The start-up company offers the trips on the one hand via "UberPop" and on the other hand via "UberBlack".
With "UberBlack" the customer can book trips with independent chauffeurs via the app. At “UberPop”, private individuals can also hire themselves out as drivers. Since there are currently no professional drivers working at "UberPop" and the prices for trips are often lower than those of taxi drivers, the German taxi industry is irritated by the driver service. The Taxi Germany cooperative has already taken Uber to court several times. Is this just supposed to displace the unpleasant competition? Or are there really legal risks associated with the driving service?
2. Driving ban for Uber in Germany?
The Taxi Germany cooperative had already scored a success against Uber. After a decision by the Frankfurt Regional Court in an interim injunction, the driving service was actually no longer allowed to offer its services nationwide. According to the decision, no trips could be arranged via the Uber app without an official passenger transport permit. In the event of a violation, Uber even threatened a fine of 250,000 euros.
After this comprehensive ban, which was only recently issued, the LG Frankfurt has now lifted the temporary injunction. In principle and in terms of content, the judges still consider the ban to be correct. In the interim injunction procedure, however, only decisions should be made that require particular urgency. According to the judges, there was no longer such a hurry in the Uber case. The Taxi Germany cooperative, which had previously obtained the injunction against Uber, now has to go through normal legal proceedings. Then the ban could be imposed again.
3. Legal ramifications for the Uber driver
Those who offer themselves as a driver for Uber can build up a profitable side business with the trips. But that can also have negative consequences.
The drivers themselves have to fear the fine of 250,000 euros. After an injunction had already been issued against Uber as a whole, the Frankfurt Regional Court now also took action against private drivers. For example, a driver offered his services to Uber and accepted trips arranged via the Uber app. A taxi company had then sued him because he did not have the necessary permit to transport passengers. The court has also issued an injunction against him (Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main with a decision of September 8, 2014, Az .: 2-06 O 318/14). At the same time, he was threatened with a fine of EUR 250,000 in the event of a violation.
The reason for such bans is as follows:
Any driver without a passenger transport license (so-called P-license) violates the law. Driving without the required permit is an administrative offense. In Germany, the transport of passengers for a fee is subject to conditions. For the permit, drivers must prove that they are able and suitable to carry passengers. To do this, he must on the one hand be in a healthy position and on the other hand have the necessary local knowledge. No permit is granted under the age of 21. For the permit, the driver must have had a class B driving license for two years. A passenger transport license can only be obtained under these conditions. Anyone who transports other people without this P-license therefore always risks a fine.
The commercial transport of people by the Uber drivers can constitute an administrative offense - the unauthorized transport without a passenger transport ticket.
The drivers also face tax consequences. If regular income is generated by the Uber driver, this income from the driving service is taxable.
Car insurance coverage for drivers
Problems can also arise with car insurance. Most insurers base their insurance package on whether the driver drives privately or commercially. If a driver regularly offers his driving services via Uber, he may already fall under “commercial” use, so that his insurance no longer covers this. The insurance can then even be terminated. Some insurance companies only offer their services to private individuals, so that the contract cannot remain in place for commercial use.
4. Consequences for Uber users
The users of the driving service do not face any direct financial consequences if they use the service. As a user, you do not have to fear administrative fines or fines.
Another question, however, is whether the passengers are always adequately insured. The motor vehicle liability insurances of the drivers have to settle the damage first. However, this only applies within the framework of a certain amount prescribed by law. If the insurer is of the opinion that the driver is violating the insurance contract because he is offering commercial journeys, it is possible that a sum insured will arise in the event of accidents with high consequential costs.
Use of Uber's driving service should be used with caution. Drivers face legal consequences if they take other people with them in the car without a valid passenger transport license. And for Uber, the offense can be very expensive if they continue to broker rides through the app.
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