Ridesharing service has been available in New Zealand since 2014, marked by the arrival of Uber which dominates the ride-hail market in the country. Four years later or at the end of 2018 another rideshare company joined and tried to disrupt the dominance of the ridesharing giant in the country. The company is Ola, an Indian-founded company which is also Uber’s main competitor in India.

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To be able to be competitive in NZ, Ola needs a lot of driver-partners to join its ridesharing platform. Whether it’s someone who has never been driving for rideshare before or those who are still active as a driver at another ridesharing companies.

To achieve that goal, they lured new drivers with an introductory 9% commission fee when they first launched in this country in 2018. Recently, they even applied 0% commission for new drivers who signed up in several new cities by the end of the year 2019.

The result is fantastic, as outlined by NZHerald they were able to lure more than 4,000 partners in three cities to drive with their platforms in just a few months.

If you currently live in New Zealand and want to be part of the Ola growth in the country, you can start by finding out what the requirements are.

Where is Ola Available in NZ?

As we explained earlier, Ola was officially launched in Australia in 2018 in three major cities in the country. At the end of 2019, they have also confirmed to open their ridesharing services in several new cities.

Until now there are 13 cities where you can drive with Ola. For more details, you can see in the table below.

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Ola NZ Cities
Island City
North Island Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, Napier Hastings, Palmerston North, New Plymouth
South Island Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Nelson

Driver Requirements

Just like the other rideshare company, to be an Ola driver-partner in New Zealand you must be at least 21 years old. Moreover, you also must have and pass several other requirements which we will explain below.

  1. NZ Driver Licence
    Full New Zealand driver license is required, so it’s very clear here that restricted and learner license isn’t eligible to work with a passenger service. In addition, you are also required to hold the full license for at least one year or 12 months.
  2. Transport Service Label (TSL)
    New Zealand Transport Agency requires a passenger service that carries passengers as their main business (whether for hire, reward or not) to obtain a transport service licence (TSL) in order to operate. Ridesharing service, including Ola, is categorized as a small passenger service because it carries less than 12 passengers including the driver.

    So, you need to obtain a Small Passenger Service License (SPSL) label to display on your windshield while driving, to show you’re already licensed to provide the service. Don’t worry, because the local team will help you to set this up. You can schedule an event in your city to meet Ola local team.

  3. P Endorsement
    Another regulatory requirement for running a rideshare business in the country is Passenger (P) Endorsement. You need to provide your current P Endorsement ID card to Ola to be accepted. If you don’t have it already, you can apply it directly at a New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) agents such as VTNZ, AA or VINZ.

    As a part of the Endorsement application process, it may require you to complete the following requirements:

    • Medical Certificate (DL9)
      You are required to obtain a medical certificate together with your endorsement application. You can get it by visiting a medical practitioner for a medical assessment.
    • Right to Work Confirmation
      In order to legally hold a small passenger service licence in New Zealand, you are required to have a right to work in the country. Relax, NZTA will confirm this for as part of the endorsement application.
    • Internation Criminal History Check
      When you apply for a Passenger (P) Endorsement, NZTA will also conduct an international criminal history check against your personal information. This applies if you have lived in another country for more than 12 months. They will check your history in every country where you have lived.
  4. Work Time Logbook
    After successfully obtaining your P Endorsement, you are required to comply with work time-related rules including recording your work time. To be able to carry out this requirement, you can use a service from NZTA approved electronic logbook providers such as Logmate.

Vehicle Requirements

For driving with Ola in New Zealand, your vehicle must be mid-size or full-size 4 doors vehicle with excellent condition and it is less than 9 years old. In addition, your vehicle must also be equipped with additional regulatory requirements.

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  1. Certificate of Fitness (CoF)
    CoF is needed to check your car’s roadworthiness since every car used in rideshare business has to meet the required safety standards. For those who don’t have it, you can come to approved agents like VINZ, VTNZ or AA. Don’t forget to provide Ola’s TSL to have a CoF issued for compliant vehicles.
  2. Vehicle Registration
    Your vehicle needs to be registered in New Zealand to be approved by Ola. If the name of the vehicle document and the name on DL/pan card are not matching, you should upload N.O.C first following by Registration Certificate.
  3. Vehicle Insurance
    You can use comprehensive or third party insurance. However, your name must be listed on the car’s insurance policy, even though you are not the owner of the vehicle. Your vehicle insurance should also list ‘rideshare’ as the service you are providing and not a specific rideshare platform like ‘ola’ or ‘uber’.

Payment Information

  1. Bank Account Details
    To be able to receive your daily income, Ola needs your bank accounts details which include account number, name and address.
  2. GST Number
    You should provide your GST to the Ola, but it’s not required when you’re not GST registered. As a rideshare driver or an independent contractor, once you believe that you will make more than $60,000 in 12 months, you must register for GST. You may be charged penalties if you don’t register when you need to.