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Updated 01.12.2021

How to become a Bolt Driver

In the last couple of years transport services, such as Bolt have become increasingly popular. The reason being, they’re affordable and get passengers to where you need to be. Furthermore, there is a high demand for drivers. You can easily become a Bolt driver by following our guide hereunder.

Why should you become a Bolt driver?

Firstly, becoming a Bolt Driver is a great opportunity. Drivers earn a good monthly income and work whenever they want. Furthermore, becoming a driver allows you to meet plenty of interesting people across the spectrum. This can be a great avenue for networking while transporting passengers.

Secondly, becoming a Bolt driver technically makes you your own boss. This means you can do as you please as long as you follow the guidelines set by Bolt. Drivers can be as flexible as they want, allowing them to drive in their free time.

What are the advantages of driving with Bolt

If you are looking for a full-time or part-time job that pays well, then this is a great job opportunity. Here are some advantages if you opt to become a Bolt driver:

Flexibility

Drivers can choose when they want to drive. This is a massive advantage, especially if you already have a full-time job. Driving with Bolt allows you to have an additional income on top of your current salary. This is a perfect opportunity for those who are looking for a side hustle. However, you can also choose to become a Bolt driver full-time.

Quick payments

You don’t have to wait an entire month before getting paid. Drivers can either get paid directly by the client or via Bolt. The money will be transferred to your bank account within a week if passengers pay with Bolt.  

Easy signup

Signing up to become a Bolt Driver is very simple. All you need to do is visit https://partners.bolt.eu/driver-signup/ and submit your information. This is a quick process, which takes around 5 minutes to complete.

Free training

Drivers receive free training at one of the Bolt offices. Furthermore, there are no hidden fees associated with the training. Training provides drivers with all the information and guidelines they need.

Meet new people

Driving with Bolt allows drivers to meet a variety of different people. Some passengers can have an everlasting effect on drivers. They might even offer them other opportunities, which could be life-changing.

What are the disadvantages of driving with Bolt

There are a few disadvantages of driving with Bolt. Here’s what you need to know:

Drivers need to pay Bolt

All driving services require drivers to pay them a certain percentage. Likewise, so does Bolt. Drivers need to pay Bolt between 10%-20% of the ride fee. The percentage is usually calculated by the city you choose to operate in. Larger cities might have a higher fee rate in comparison to smaller cities.

Taxi Driver conflict

Unfortunately, taxi drivers in South Africa are very territorial. As a result, Bolt drivers often face issues with public taxi drivers. Furthermore, taxi drivers hassle Bolt drives because they believe that they are stealing their customers.

Drivers are responsible for car maintenance

Drives will have to pay for any services or maintenance from their own pockets. This can be a major drawback, especially if you have an older car.

Dealing with difficult customers

Unfortunately, at times drivers have to deal with difficult customers. This could be for a number of reasons. Some customers might not respect your rules while riding in your car. Others might just cuss and be abusive.

Driving for long hours

If you choose to become a Bolt driver full-time, you might need to work long hours. As a result, some drivers can feel burned out and unhealthy.

Competitive pricing

There are a few other services that are similar to Bolt. Pricing across these different platforms can be very competitive. As a result, it is likely to have an impact on drivers and how much they earn,

What if you don’t own a car?

The wonderful thing about services like Bolt is that they provide an excellent platform for drivers. If a driver does not own a car they will assist in getting one for them. However, it should be noted that this is not for free.

How it works?

The company will put drivers in contact with their partner fleets or rental companies. These partners/ rental companies offer vehicles that are accepted by Bolt. Additionally, if a driver has been working long-term for Bolt they will be offered a finance deal.  

What other options are there?

Drivers have another option of getting a car. They can look for a private partner who will lend them their car. The driver will then pay a weekly fee for using the car.

Vehicle requirements for driving with Bolt

Bolt drivers need to meet a few important requirements before getting hired. Here’s what they are:

  • The vehicle must have less than 100 000 km
  • Valid driver’s license- If you apply to become a Bolt driver, you will need to have a valid driver’s license.
  • The vehicle must be road worthy and in good condition
  • Vehicles need to be at least a 2010 model

Other document required when signing up:

  • Inspection report on the vehicle
  • A South African professional driving permit (obtained from the licensing department)
  • Valid vehicle license disk
  • A profile picture that will be used on the Bolt app
  • Operating license permit
  • Roadworthy certificate
  • Motor vehicle registration document
  • Proof of insurance

It should be noted that drivers are liable to pay for vehicle inspections and background checks. Vehicle inspection costs R230. Furthermore, Bolt does not cover maintenance or repairs to pass the inspection.

Background checks cost R200. Drivers will need to have their ID and professional driving permit for this.

Signup process

There are certain requirements that must be met in order to become a Bolt driver. Firstly, all drivers need to have a valid South African PrDp (professional driving permit). This needs to be issued by the National Traffic Information System. Secondly, all drivers have to have a clean background, i.e. no criminal records. Lastly, drivers need to have a Smartphone with GPS.

Once a driver has met the above criteria they can move on to the registration process. During registration, drivers will need to provide their contact details, city, and vehicle documents. Thereafter, they will need to complete the online training session.

Thereafter, drivers will have to wait 24-48 hours for their profiles to be activated. Bolt will send then out an SMS with a username and instructions to create a password.

How Bolt works?

As soon as a driver has an approved registered account, he or she can drive immediately. Here’s how it works:

  1. Passengers will send a request via the Bolt app.
  2. The Bolt app will send out a notification to all nearby drivers.
  3. The driver can then accept the request once he or she receives the notification.
  4. Thereafter, the driver will receive the client’s location and pick them up.
  5. The map will then direct the driver to where the passenger should be dropped off.

Passengers can pay their drivers either through the app or by handing them cash.

What cars can you use?

Bolt has different vehicle requirements for each of the categories. Cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban fall under “metropolitan cities”.

Furthermore, East London, Emalahleni, Ermelo, Garden Route, Grahamstown, Kimberley, Mbombela, Mthatha, Phuthaditjaba, Mahikeng, Pietermaritzburg, Polokwane, Potchefstroom, Port Elizabeth, Queenstown, Rustenburg, Thohoyandou, Upington and Welkom all fall under “remote cities”.  

  • Metropolitan cities have 4-5 vehicle categories; Go, Classic, XL, Premium and Van.
  • Remote cities have two vehicle categories; Go and Classic.

Metropolitan Cities vehicle models

Here are the accepted vehicle models allowed in metropolitan cities:

Bolt Go (metropolitan cities)

  • 2010+ 4-door hatchbacks
  • 2010-2012 4-door sedans, SUV’s, and 6-7 seater

Bolt Classic (metropolitan cities)

  • 2013+ 4 door sedans and SUVs

Bolt XL (metropolitan cities)

  • 2013+ 6-7 seater

Bolt Van (metropolitan cities)

2013+ 8-11 seater

Bolt Premium

  • 2013+ luxury sedans, SUVs, 6-11 seater vehicles

Bolt Business

  • 2013+ vehicles

Remote cities vehicle models

Here is a list of car models allowed in remote cities:

Bolt Go

  • 2010+ 4 door hatchbacks

Bolt Classic

  • 2010+ 4 door sedans, SUVs and 6 – 11 seater vehicles

Bolt XL

  • 2010+ 6-7 seater vehicles

The bottom line

Bolt is a great platform for those looking to earn some extra cash. You can choose if you would like to become a full-time or a part-time driver. Furthermore, drivers can choose when they would like to drive. This allows complete flexibility and drivers can create their own schedules.

Another massive perk is that drivers do not have to pay any monthly fees. Fees are normally deducted after each ride. As a result, drivers can have peace of mind knowing that they do not have to pay if they do not work.

Bolt also offers drivers without vehicles to use a rental car. This is a great opportunity as it allows just about anyone to drive. The drivers will, however, have to pay a weekly fee to the rental partner.