We’re all familiar with Uber, the app that has revolutionized ridesharing. But have you ever considered flipping the script and becoming the driver instead of the passenger?
It could be a great way to put a little extra cash in your pockets in the gig economy. And for some, the answer might just be sitting in their driveway.
Uber offers a unique opportunity to capitalize on your car and free time. You can cruise the city, meet new people, and get paid for it.
But it’s not always sunshine and dollar bills. Before reviving your engine, you may be asking. “Is driving for Uber worth it” with gas costing what it does.
So, buckle up as we look at driving for Uber!
If you’re considering driving for Uber, here are some things to know:
- Flexible Schedule: Uber drivers can choose when and where to drive so they can work around other commitments.
- Pay: Your pay is the Fare + Promos + Tips, which can vary based on where and how long you drive.
- Insurance Coverage: Uber provides insurance coverage for drivers and riders, but it’s important to understand the details of this coverage.
- Expenses and Taxes: You’ll be responsible for covering expenses like gas and maintenance. Uber drivers are considered 1099 independent contractors, so you must pay taxes on your earnings.
- Passenger Ratings: Make sure to provide a safe, comfortable ride, and be polite and professional to keep your Uber driver passenger rating high.
Is Driving For Uber Worth It?
Bottom line? Driving for Uber can be worth it, but only if you cruise into it with your eyes wide open about the costs and realities of the road.
The answer isn’t always a simple yes or no, though- how profitable your driving really depends on the situation and where you are.
Imagine living in a city that never sleeps, with busy streets with potential passengers at all hours. Then becoming an Uber driver could be your golden ticket to some extra cash.
Plus, those peak and surge pricing periods? They’re your best buddies, pushing your Uber driver earnings up when the demand is high.
But if you live in a small town or less busy area, finding people to drive around may be hard.
These things also affect your earnings, and on a slow day, you might just break even after paying for gas and car maintenance.
Uber Pros & Cons
- Easy to get started: Getting started as an Uber driver is relatively easy. You only need a car that meets Uber’s requirements, a valid driver’s license, and insurance.
- Flexible Schedule: As an Uber driver, you set your own schedule and can choose to work full-time or part-time.
- Uber Visa Debit Card: A “Get Paid Quickly” feature that makes instant pay possible and goes right onto the card.
- Access to Uber Pro: Uber Pro is a rewards program for drivers that offers benefits such as cashback on gas, discounts on car maintenance, and more. The program is designed to help drivers save money and improve their overall experience.
- Commercial Insurance provided: Uber provides commercial insurance to cover the drivers and riders from when the trip begins to when it is completed.
- No Employee Benefits: As an independent contractor, you’re not eligible for benefits such as health insurance, sick days, or paid time off. This can make it difficult to balance driving for Uber with other responsibilities.
- Varied Income: Your Uber pay can be unpredictable, making it difficult to plan and budget your expenses. It’s not a set hourly rate, which is typical for gig economy jobs.
- Safety Concerns: As an Uber driver, you may encounter unsafe situations, such as unruly passengers or dangerous neighborhoods. It’s important to take precautions and prioritize your safety at all times.
How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?
We’ve heard that Uber drivers have the potential to earn up to $20+ per hour.
On the flip side, some drivers might only make around $8 an hour in smaller areas with fewer tips.
We know that 3 things make up how much an Uber driver makes – fares, promotions, and tips:
Fares are the cash customers pay to Uber, and the Uber driver gets 75% of the fare. So a $20 ride means you’ll earn $15 as a base rate for that drive.
But here’s the thing- your fares can swing a bit depending on your city or region.
Some places offer a base fare with added bucks for your travel time and distance.
There’s an Uber system called ‘Upfront Fares’ to help you with this. Here, you’ll see your potential earnings and destination on the Uber app before accepting the trip.
Plus, if your route gets a little caught up with traffic and your trip time extends, you get a fare bump. Not a bad deal, right?
As an Uber Driver, you also get promos to help you earn more, and the app gives you all the details. Promotions are extra gigs you can pick up to make extra money.
You’ve got surge pricing, which means your earnings get a nice little boost when the ride requests pour in.
Then there are ‘Quests,’ which are about completing a certain number of trips for extra cash.
And let’s not forget about Boost+, which gives you more cash for every trip you start in a promotional zone and complete successfully.
Let me tell you, friend, never underestimate the power of a tip.
Riders can tip you directly in the app, and the best part?
Every single cent of those tips goes straight into your pocket. So, always remember to give your riders the best service you can muster.
What About Car Expenses?
Being an Uber driver is a bit like running your own small business; like any business, there are expenses to consider.
While Uber does provide insurance when you’re on the job, this doesn’t cover all car expenses you’ve got to cover.
Knowing these expenses is important to get a clearer picture of how much Uber drivers make.
Uber drivers are independent contractors and can possibly take these expenses off as a business expense, but a tax rebate won’t cover everything every year.
Here are the typical care expenses you’ll face as an Uber driver:
You’ll be clocking miles as you drive, which means routine maintenance like oil changes, tire rotations, brake checks, and the occasional new set of tires.
You need these whenever you have a car, but driving more means these pop up more often, and you need your car to be at its best to keep passengers safe!
Every mile you drive is gas you’ll need to pay for.
And remember, this isn’t just the miles with a passenger in your car. It’s also the miles you drive to your pick-up location and any driving you do waiting for your next ride request.
You’ll be driving more and spending more on gas, so you need to make sure your pay covers your gas costs.
Yes, Uber provides a policy while you’re on an active ride, but you’ll still need your own personal policy when you’re not working.
You need it before you can get approved as an Uber driver too! So make sure you have insurance, period, if you’ve got a car.
Some insurance companies also require a rideshare endorsement on your policy, so that’s an added cost to consider.
And finally, there’s depreciation. The more you drive, the less your car is worth, impacting its resale value.
Here’s an example of what your pay might look like if you’re an Uber driver:
Let’s say you are picking someone up at the Southall Farm & Inn in Franklin, Tennessee, and want to go to Nashville International Airport to catch their flight.
The ride from the Inn to the airport is approximately 28.6 miles and will take around 55 minutes. The rider chose the Comfort package that was available to them.
To find the driver payout for this trip, we’ll need to know the current rates for the Comfort package in that area. The rates are $0.36 per minute and $0.96 per mile.
Here’s how the rider’s fee is figured (but not exact amounts, just an example!):
- Minimum fare = $10.50
- Per-minute = $0.36 x 55 = $19.80
- Per-mile = $0.96 x 28.6 = 27.46
- Estimated surcharges = $.4.87
- Marketplace Fee = $4.00
The rider’s total is $66.63, but the driver will only be paid a part of that fee.
- Driver’s Gross Pay = $66.63 – $4.00 = $62.63
- Uber’s Commission = $62.63 X 25% = $15.68
- Ride Net Pay = $62.63 – $15.68 = $46.95
So in this example, you’re earning almost $47 for your almost hour of driving.
Remember that this is just an example and may not be the exact hourly pay for that area, and your earnings will vary by location.
Also, remember that you’ll have to deduct expenses such as gas, car maintenance, and insurance from your earnings!
Signing Up For Uber
If you’re considering driving for Uber, the first step is to sign up.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
1. Meet The Requirements
To become an Uber driver, you need to meet some requirements:
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license
- At least 1 year of licensed driving experience,
- Proof of vehicle insurance (if you’re driving your own car)
- Access to a car that meets Uber’s requirements.
You’ll also need a background check to show a clean driving record before you start driving for Uber.
2. Click The Link
To start the sign-up process, you’ll need to click on the link to head over to Uber’s website.
It’ll take you to the sign-up page, where you’ll be asked to provide some basic information and apply for a driving position.
3. Share Your Info
Once you’re on the sign-up page, you’ll be asked to provide basic information, such as your name, email address, and phone number.
You’ll also need to provide information about your car, including the make, model, and year.
4. Get Approved
After you’ve submitted your information, Uber will review your application and run a background check. This process can take a few days, so be patient.
Once approved, you’ll receive an email from Uber with instructions on downloading the driver app and driving.
5. Start Driving!
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can download the Uber Driver app and start driving for Uber!
You can set your schedule and work as much or as little as you want.
You’ll earn Uber pay for every ride you give and be paid weekly. So don’t forget to turn on your app and set it to driver mode!
Making Money Driving An Uber
Here are some tips to help new drivers make the most Uber driver pay and keep driver expenses down.
Drive People On Your Way Home
Driving for Uber can be a great way to earn extra on your commute home during rush hour.
Many Uber drivers use this strategy to maximize their earnings and reduce their downtime during rush hour.
By taking passengers going in the same direction as you, you can make money on your typical drive home.
Learn Backroads & Avoid Traffic
Knowing the backroads and alternate routes to popular places can help you avoid traffic and get your passengers to their destinations faster.
It can help you complete more trips and earn more money.
Use navigation apps like Google Maps to find the fastest route and avoid traffic jams, but don’t forget to have your driver app running while you drive.
Don’t Drive Around While You Wait
Driving around aimlessly while waiting for a ride wastes time and gas.
Instead, park your car in a central location where you’ll likely get ride requests to optimize Uber work and save money on gas.
You can also use the Uber driver app in driver mode to see where other rideshare drivers are and position yourself in a less crowded area.
Airports Rides Can Be Hit Or Miss
Airport rides can be a great source of Uber earnings but can also be hit or miss on time and effort.
If you’re near an airport, it’s worth waiting for a ride request, but don’t rely on airport rides as your main source of Uber ride requests.
Sometimes, you’ll get a long-distance ride that pays well, while other times, you’ll get a short ride that barely covers your expenses back and forth.
Keep Customers Happy
Happy customers are more likely to give you a high rating and leave a better tip, making you a profitable driver!
Maintaining a friendly, polite, and professional demeanor with your passengers can go a long way in creating a positive experience.
To make their ride even more enjoyable, consider offering a bottle of water or an extra-long charging cable equipped with all three major phone adapters.
Keeping your car clean, well-maintained, and clutter-free is also crucial, as it shows that you take pride in providing a comfortable environment for your passengers.
Other Apps To Make Money With Your Car
Looking for ways to make extra money with your car besides Uber? You’re in luck! There are plenty of apps out there that allow you to earn cash by driving.
Here are some popular options to consider:
DoorDash is a popular food delivery service in more than 4,000 cities across the United States, Canada, and Australia.
As a DoorDash driver, also known as a “Dasher,” you can make money by picking up restaurant food orders and delivering them to hungry customers.
Like other gig economy platforms, DoorDash offers flexibility in work hours, allowing you to create a schedule that fits your lifestyle.
To become a Dasher, you’ll need a valid driver’s license, auto insurance, and a reliable vehicle (or even a bike in some areas).
Postmates also offers delivery services in more than 3,500 cities throughout the United States.
As a Postmates driver, you can deliver meals from restaurants, retail items, groceries, and other products to customers.
To maximize your earnings as a Postmates driver, you should try to be available during peak delivery hours, typically in the evenings and on weekends.
Uber Eats is part of Uber, but instead of driving people around, you’re picking up food from local spots and getting it to people who’d rather stay home.
When you sign up to drive for Uber Eats, it’s a gig job, which means you’re your own boss, running your own mini business.
Grubhub is a food delivery service that connects customers with local restaurants- and you can get paid to make their deliveries.
When you are driving for Grubhub is that you can earn a competitive hourly wage and receive tips from satisfied customers.
Plus, Grubhub offers incentives and bonuses to drivers who complete a certain number of deliveries within a set time frame.
Instacart is a grocery delivery service that allows customers to order groceries online from their favorite local stores and deliver them to their doorstep.
As an Instacart shopper, you can use your car to shop for groceries and deliver them to customers in your area.
Like the other gig-driving jobs, you can set your own schedule and work as many or as few hours as you like.
To become an Instacart shopper, you must complete a background check and provide basic information about yourself and your vehicle.
Lyft is another excellent opportunity for rideshare drivers to earn money using your vehicle.
Available in hundreds of cities across the United States and Canada, Lyft operates similarly to Uber, connecting riders with rideshare drivers through a convenient mobile app.
Lyft also offers “Prime Time” pricing, which increases the fare during periods of high demand, allowing drivers to earn more.
Operating in numerous cities across the United States, Shipt partners with local retailers to offer customers a convenient way to shop for groceries and household essentials.
As a Shipt shopper, you’ll be responsible for shopping for and delivering customers’ orders within a designated time frame.
Shoppers are paid a commission based on the order total, plus 100% of the tips they receive from customers.
Is driving for Uber actually profitable?
Yes, driving for Uber can be profitable if done right.
To figure out if Uber driving will be worth it for you, you’ve got to take a hard look at your specific situation.
Look at things like how much you’d potentially earn in your area, the driver expenses, and how much time you’re willing to put in.
Think about where you’re planning to drive. If it’s in a busy area, especially during peak time, you could make some good money.
And remember, how much ride demand is in your area and how well people tip can make a difference in your Uber earnings.
How is Uber pay calculated?
How much is the Uber driver pay?
It’s not just the distance and time of the ride but also other factors like a surge or boosts pricing.
Your total payment will be Fare + Promotions + Tips.
But remember, Uber also takes a 25% cut from the pay drivers make for connecting you with riders.
If you check your Uber app for possible rides, you’ll see your estimated earnings, so you’ll know before you accept the ride if it’s worth your time.
What is surge pricing?
You know, when you open your Uber app, the prices are suddenly higher than they were a minute ago?
That’s surge pricing in action, where Uber drivers can earn 1 – 3X as much per ride.
Uber increases the prices whenever there’s a high demand for rides — like after a concert or major sporting event — and there aren’t many drivers available.
It’s a way to make sure people who need a ride can get one. It’s also a way to get the most Uber drivers to meet the demand and make extra money.
The Uber app shows you areas where surge prices are in effect, and you can head over there to earn more. It’s all about supply and demand, right?
How much can you make per day with Uber?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for what your pay may be. The amount you can pocket depends on when and where you’re driving and even what day of the week.
Think about it this way: driving during peak times in a busy city will earn you more than cruising around a quiet suburb on a random Tuesday morning.
On average, Uber drivers tend to make somewhere in the ballpark of $15 to $20 per hour with a few rides around town.
But remember, that’s just the average that Uber pays. Some days might be super busy, and you’ll make more. Other days might be slow, and you’ll make less.
The key to making money as a rideshare driver is to understand your market, plan your schedule smartly, and be ready to adapt if things change.
Does Uber or Lyft pay better?
Uber vs. Lyft is a classic question; again, it depends on how much you work to know if one pays more than the other.
Straight up, Uber pays more per fare than Lyft- but Lyft only takes a 20% commission, whereas Uber takes 25%.
And hey, you don’t have to pick just one. Many other drivers double-dip as a rideshare driver, and people often become both Uber and Lyft drivers.
That way, they can switch between the two depending on the demand and where to make the most money. It’s all about being savvy and making the system work for you.
Is it easier to deliver food or drive people around?
You pick up the food and drop it off, with little human interaction and no one in the car with you.
It’s also a bit more predictable—you know where the restaurant is and where the delivery needs to go.
But, food delivery can have its challenges. You might deal with parking issues, waiting for orders to be ready, and ensuring the food stays warm and intact during transit.
On the other hand, driving people around with Uber can be more socially engaging. You get to meet people, and the tips can potentially be higher for these gig economy jobs.
But it can also come with challenges, like managing difficult passengers, handling unexpected route changes, or dealing with traffic and road safety.
I personally like driving food deliveries more because there’s less variety with riders, and I can get dinner for myself while I’m at it.
When is the best time to drive people?
People generally need rides when they’re going to or coming back from work or school, heading out, or coming back from a night on the town.
To give you a bit more detail, the hottest hours for ride requests usually fall between 6 – 10 am and 4 – 8 pm on weekdays.
On weekends, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, it picks up from around 6 pm – 3 am, though you don’t have to work that late unless you’re a night owl.
But remember, these are just general trends, and they can vary quite a bit depending on where you’re driving.
Does your city affect how much money you’ll make?
Absolutely! The city you choose to drive in can greatly affect how much money Uber pays you as an Uber driver.
As mentioned on Uber’s website, the driver pay structure for Uber drivers is location-dependent, meaning those per-mile and per-minute rates can fluctuate based on the city or region you’re in.
And that’s not all – the ride demand can also vary widely by location, which can make a big difference in the frequency of ride requests and the surge prices you might see.
After looking into what it’s like to drive for Uber, it’s clear that this gig could be a solid moneymaker for some folks, but it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
You get to be your own boss, pick your own hours, and have decent earning potential. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you’re hunting for gig economy jobs in your spare time.
Like anything else, it’s all about weighing the pros and cons to see if it fits snugly into your lifestyle.
You need to factor in gas, vehicle maintenance, and vehicle insurance costs. Plus, there are potential unruly passengers and far-away passenger requests.
But overall, I think driving for Uber can be a pretty rewarding experience if you go in with your eyes wide open and realistic expectations.
So get driving and earn more money on the side!