Are hatchback vehicles allowed for Uber?
Since two years ago, there has been rumors about hatchback vehicles and engine displacement requirement for TNVS. The rumors say that vehicles with less than 1.2L engine displacements or hatchbacks and sub-compact cars are NOT accepted in Uber or Grab. And until now, aspiring partners are confused about this issue. In fact, 80% of the emails we receive are questions about engine displacement requirement and vehicle model for Uber vehicle.
If you’re looking for the list of accepted vehicles and list of vehicle requirements for Uber Philippines, click on the link for reference.
Related page: List of Accepted Vehicles in Uber 2017
Hatchback Vehicles and Engine Displacement Requirements in Uber
Before we answer the question, it’s best that we are understand the regulations and the background of the issue.
1. LTFRB Memorandum for TNVS
First, let’s refresh on the LTFRB regulations issued last 2015 that lays out the implementing guidelines and terms for TNVS. Click on the links to download the memorandum.
- Memorandum Circular No. 2015-017: Implementing Guidelines on the Acceptance of Applications for a Certificate of Public Convenience to Operate a Transportation Network Vehicle Service
- Memorandum Circular No. 2015-018: Terms and Conditions of a Certificate of Public Convenience to Operate Network Vehicle Service
If you are to examine both memorandum, there’s no mention about engine displacement requirements nor about the accepted vehicle types. But there’s another directive that dictates the TNVS vehicle requirement, that is DOTC Department Order No. 2015-011.
According to DOTC DO 2015-011, an accepted vehicle type for TNVS should meet the following criteria:
- accepted vehicle type are: Sedan, AUV, SUV, Van, SUV or other similar vehicles
- Vehicle must not be more than 3 years old from date of manufacture as reflected in ORCR
- Max age limit of the vehicle is 7 years from date of manufacture as reflected in ORCR
- Side note: Max age limit for taxi is 13 years
There’s NO engine displacement requirement for a TNVS vehicle. But hatchbacks are NOT specified as an accepted vehicle type for TNVS vehicle.
3. Discussion during the first LTFRB TNVS Open Consultation
This issue was also clarified in the first LTFRB TNVS Open Consultation held last Jan. 5, 2017. LTFRB Chairman mentioned the allowable vehicle types according to DOTC Department Order 2015-011. The Chairman said, LTFRB’s mandate is to secure the welfare of the riding public and in accordance to that, hatchbacks are not as safe (because they are smaller) and not as convenient (they do not have enough legroom and compartment).
NOTE: If you’ve submitted your TNVS applications before and you have a hatchback vehicle, this can be a grounds for your TNVS application to be dismissed. We recommend you watch the discussion in the FB Live video embedded below at 0:43 and 1:42:30 to 1:44:50.
However, the board also said that the TNCs can appeal for reconsideration for hatchbacks as an accepted vehicle type for TNVS. LTFRB Chairman said taxis have stricter requirements in terms of engine displacement (min of 1200cc), legroom and compartment size and they need to level out the playing field. (If you want to know more about this memorandum for taxi, refer here: Memorandum Circular 2015-004).
Related: First LTFRB TNVS Open Consultation
For now, we think this issue has been settled— there’s NO engine displacement requirement but hatchbacks are NOT (yet) accepted for TNVS vehicle.
Personally, if you ask us, a 3 year old or newer hatchback is safer and more reliable than a 13 year old taxi. But we also understand from the standpoint of a rider with a lot of luggage. Ano ang masasabi nyo tungkol sa hindi pagtanggap ng hatchback as a TNVS vehicle? Do you think it’s less safe and less convenient than other types of vehicles? Let’s start the discussion in the comments below.
We hope Uber and Grab call for reconsideration of hatchbacks. And hopefully, LTFRB considers hatchback as safe and reliable vehicles for TNVS for the sake of the existing partners who have been providing excellent transport service from the very beginning.
For Aspiring Partners, we don’t recommend that you buy a hatchback vehicle or a vehicle with engine displacement less than 1200cc for the sole purpose of putting it in Uber up until the legislation and regulations are final.
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Hope this article helped. Let us know in the comments sections if you have any questions or suggestions. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
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