How to Make Money As an Uber Driver

How to Make Money As an Uber Driver

What Is Uber?

Uber is an on-demand cab aggregator that operates on a smartphone application and lets you book a cab to get from point A to point B, pre-calculating the fare, estimating the time of arrival, and offering an option to split the cost with co-riders, all with a few taps on the app.

The company disrupted the entire cab industry in 2008 when the founders were not able to find a cab on a cold winter evening. It all started with a simple question – “What if you could request a ride from your phone?”

Today, the company is estimated to have over 100 million monthly active users worldwide, is a unicorn valued at ~$60 billion, and provides ride options from affordable bikes and scooters to Uber Air.

  • UberX: The basic Uber ride.
  • Uber Pool: Shared rides.
  • Uber Comfort: New cars with extra legroom.
  • Uber Green: Electric vehicles.
  • Uber Black: Luxury cars.
  • Bikes: On-demand electric bikes.
  • Scooters: Electric scooters.
  • UberXL: Vehicles with carrying capacity of up to 6 people.
  • Uber Transit: Real-time public transport information.
  • Uber WAV: Wheelchair accessible vehicles.
  • Uber Lux: Luxury vehicles with top-rated drivers.
  • Uber Black SUV: Luxury SUVs with top-rated drivers.
  • Uber Taxi: Local taxicabs partnered with Uber.
  • Uber Flash: A specialised taxi system designed for HongKong.
  • Uber Auto: On-demand auto rickshaws.
  • Uber Air: Flying vehicles.

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More Rides Could Mean More Money

One way to make money with Uber is to give more rides. Of course, that’s easier said than done. You may not be able to predict when you’ll get the most number of rides in the shortest amount of time. There are a couple of ways to ensure that you are driving smarter (and making more money) rather than just waiting around for fares:

Know Your Local Peak Hours

It can also pay to drive at times when you expect to see more ride requests. If you know that the waterfront in your town is always hopping on summer evenings, then it’s a good idea to plan to drive then.

Don’t Chase Busy Areas

That said, you might only take advantage of busy areas or times that you anticipate (like the day a popular singer is at the local arena) or those that happen to occur nearby. If you chase busy areas across town, it’s might not be as busy by the time you get there, and you’ll have wasted the time and gas.

Bring Snacks–For Yourself

Many Uber drivers offer bottled water and snacks to their rides. This is an excellent way to make the ride a comfortable one for your passengers. But it can be easy to forget your own rumbling tummy. Which means you might find yourself hitting up a fast food restaurant for a snack, which just cuts into your profit and is not great for your waistline.

Coming prepared for your own needs can be an important way to help you pocket as much profit as possible.

See also: Make Money Delivering Food with Doordash

How to Become an Uber Driver

   Getting started as an Uber driver is easy. Down
Getting started as an Uber driver is easy. Download the app and sign up to get started.

Becoming an Uber driver isn’t as difficult as getting a job as an Uber employee . All you need to do is follow the steps listed below and meet the eligibility criteria. If you qualify, you can start using your car for rides in no time. Note that you need to meet the minimum age requirements in your city to apply.

1. Get a Vehicle

The first thing you need is regular access to a vehicle. Drivers who own cars make the most money. However, If you don’t have a car, you can lease one from people who specialize in hiring cars for Uber driving. It must be a four-door vehicle in good condition with no cosmetic flaws.

The vehicle cannot be older than 15 years old and must be covered by standard vehicle insurance. It also needs to meet the local car requirements in your state. If you cannot get a vehicle on your own, Uber can connect you to its vehicle partners for as low as $250 weekly . Drivers who work enough hours per week will make the payment.

2. Download the Uber Application

You will need the Uber application to complete your rides and track your earnings. This mobile application is available for iOS and Android devices and is completely free to use. After downloading the app, sign up as a driver and follow the subsequent prompts. You will find your earnings reports on the app when you start driving.

3. Get the Required Documents

You will need to submit important documents like your driver’s license, vehicle insurance card, utility bill as proof of residency, and a forward-facing profile photo of yourself. With these documents, you can complete the online screening and proceed to the in-person vehicle inspection.

4. Take the Vehicle for Inspection

Before your profile can be approved, you must take the vehicle to a nearby Uber workshop for inspection. It is important to note that you will be required to have the vehicle inspected every year or every 50,000 miles after the initial inspection. The goal of the inspection is to make sure that your car is safe for riders.

5. Start Driving and Earning

You can begin your first ride after your profile has been completed and your vehicle has been inspected. You might get a sign-up bonus if you’re lucky. Ensure the riders are comfortable throughout the ride and encourage them to give you a five-star rating after each ride. If you receive a lot of bad ratings, Uber may suspend your account.

2. Refer Friends

Uber is always looking for new drivers, so if you can get a few friends to sign up to drive, you can earn a referral bonus.

Uber drivers get a referral code – you can share that code with potential new drivers and earn some extra bucks.

The new driver will enter your referral code when they sign up. They’ll need to complete a certain amount of rides (usually something like 30 rides in 30 days). When that specified amount of rides is completed, both the new driver and the driver who referred them earn a bonus.

Anytime you talk to friends who think they may want to drive for Uber, let them know you have a referral code. It’s a win-win for both parties and a great way for both people to earn some extra cash.

In most cases, if a friend was planning on signing up anyway, they’ll happily use your code.

If you really want to make the most of your referral code, you can print it on business cards. Leave the cards in your car for passengers to access. They just might pick one up if they’re thinking about driving for Uber themselves or have a friend who’s interested.

You can also list your referral code on your social media accounts. That way, it’s available for all to see. Just make sure you don’t pay to promote the post – that’s against Uber’s rules and terms.

Is Working on Uber Worth It?

Working on Uber is worth it if you want a flexible job that allows you to be your own boss. Uber driving does not require as much capital as other businesses. To drive for Uber, you do not need a university degree. Even if you don’t own a car, you can hire one from Uber for as little as $250 per week. You can eventually buy a car if you have a steady source of income.

Recent Developments

On March 12, 2022, Uber announced that it would begin implementing a temporary fuel surcharge starting on March 16 as a way to compensate its drivers and couriers for rising fuel prices. In the U.S., the surcharge for an Uber trip will be either $0.45 or $0.55 and $0.35 or $0.45 for an Uber Eats order, depending on location. The entire surcharge will go directly to the company's workers. The company said the surcharge was temporary for at least 60 days, after which it would conduct a reassessment.

On Jan. 27, 2022, Uber said that it had reached an agreement with the largest services-sector union in Canada, the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW) union. Uber agreed to provide employee-like benefits to contractors who work as ride-hail and food delivery drivers, such as pensions, sick pay, and other workers' rights.

In 2021, Uber reached a similar deal with Britain's GMB union, which gave GMB the power to represent as many as 70,000 drivers. Uber has fought with labour unions throughout the world for years over whether its drivers should be reclassified as regular employees rather than as contractors.

Money Lessons Learned

  1. People make more money out there than you know. Getting a 9-to-5 job is not the only way to make six figures a year. Plenty of independent contractors also make six figures because they’ve learned how to maximize their time and leverage existing assets (a car, a second car, relationships, etc.). Don’t look down on people who don’t have full-time jobs. Try to figure out their secrets instead.
  2. Market yourself by registering your domain name online. You must have an online presence if you want to be found. Don’t let Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter be the owner of your brand. Own your own brand! By creating a presence online, you can market yourself much more efficiently. You can leverage your platform to make referral income like I do with Uber. You can also use your platform to earn consulting gigs, sell products like my book, and earn advertising revenue. My online income is well north of $200,000 a year, allowing me to no longer have to work a day job. Sign up for Bluehost to register your domain and pay less than $4/month for hosting your website. It’s cheap and easy to get started. Here’s my step-by-step tutorial for how to start your own website.
  3. Develop your X Factor. Think about your X Factor as your happiness insurance policy. Your X Factor could be methodically developing a network of key individuals over the years who could hook you up with a new job when the time comes. My X Factor happens to be starting Financial Samurai in 2009 as a place to share my thoughts about the financial crisis. I never imagined the site would give me the confidence to engineer my layoff three years later, make more than my day job in banking five years later, or give me opportunities to consult for various fintech startups in Silicon Valley.
  4. Continuously experiment with new ways to make money. Test, test, test!  This is the main lesson I learned while consulting at various marketing departments. Someone out there is doing it better than you. Figure out what they are doing and replicate in your own unique way. Don’t just settle for one source of income.
  5. Nothing beats hard work. The up to $1,000 sign-up bonus to drive is nice, and everybody should take advantage. But one of the main reasons why I decided to drive for Uber is because I wanted to prove to all the incredibly annoying people who complain they aren’t getting ahead and aren’t willing to work more than 40 hours a week, that making a healthy income is possible if you try harder! Yes, you need a car that’s less than 10 years old, and a smartphone, but come on. Some of the poorest people I know whom I play tennis with during the middle of the day have the latest iPhone, 60″ LED TV, and pimp daddy car. Thanks to the sharing economy, there are so many new ways to make money nowadays.

My goal is to consistently make over $100 / hour through Uber.. I’m a big proponent of working smarter, rather than harder. But in order to get smart, you’ve first got to put in your time!

The first step everybody needs to do is start their own platform online. Once you’ve got an online platform, your income upside is unlimited!

Here’s a real example of how much you can ma
Here’s a real example of how much you can make blogging from a blogging friend. Be your own boss!

The pandemic has shown us that having an online business that cannot be shut down is a very valuable asset to have. Everything is moving online. Further, the value of cash flow has gone way up because interest rates have gone way down.

Related: How To Start Your Own Profitable Site To Leverage The Internet

4. Drive for Lyft at the Same Time

To make as much money as possible, you need to stay busy; the best way to do that is to diversify your income. Don’t rely on Uber alone to put money in your pocket. Instead, sign up for Lyft as well. Lots of people drive for both rideshare services at the same time because of increase ride opportunities.

When you’re driving for Uber and there aren’t any ride requests, you can log into the Lyft app and see if there are any Lyft ride requests nearby. You only make money when you have a rider in the car. By using both apps at the same time, you have a better chance of keeping your backseat full.

If you’re an existing Uber driver signing up for Lyft and doing Lyft rides for the first time, don’t forget to take advantage of the Lyft driver bonus. Similar to Uber, you can enjoy a sign-on bonus and other perks as a new driver for Lyft.

Common questions about Uber Eats

How long does it take to deliver with Uber Eats? The time varies to get started with making Uber Eats deliveries. The activation process consists of signing up for Uber Eats, submitting your documents, and completing the background check process. Can you actually make money delivering with Uber Eats? Yes, you can make money delivering with Uber Eats, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always come out ahead. At the end of the day, you have to consider that making money in the first place may cost you. This means accounting for expenses like gas and vehicle maintenance. If you’re delivering on foot or by bike, you may not have those expenses. As with any side gig or entrepreneurial effort, controlling your costs to maximize your earnings is up to you. Is delivering with Uber Eats worth it? Whether delivering with Uber Eats is worth it is up to you. This can depend on whether this side hustle helps you reach your personal finance goals and if you’re actually earning money at the end of the day. You’ll need to calculate how much delivering with Uber Eats is costing you — gas, wear and tear, etc. — and whether your earnings are enough to cover these expenses.

Uber Earnings

Take a look at the chart below that breaks down my $414.21 Uber paycheck for the week to understand how $115/hour came about. I only worked for two days out of the seven (Uber pays every Thursday like clockwork) for a total of $105.21. Meanwhile, I made $300 in “Other” and $9 in a toll, which is basically a reimbursement since I have to pay tolls up front.

So what is this mysterious “Other” you’re wondering? Well, after I gave my first 20 rides when I first started out, I earned a $300 bonus under the Other category. Every new driver earns a bonus after giving a certain number of rides. This $300 Other income on this latest income statement is my bonus income for referring a San Francisco driver who successfully completed his 20 rides!

The new driver apparently found me from one of my previous articles on Financial Samurai and decided to sign up and give Uber driving a whirl. Not only did I get the $300 referral income, so did he for a total payout of $600. The bonus amount depends on where you are located, but I think it is an absolute no-brainer to drive for Uber to collect the bonus payout (usually 10 – 50 rides). After that, quit and just pick up passengers along the way using their destination feature to make extra bucks. Why not?

What About Uber Eats?

Uber rideshare drivers also have the option to deliver orders through Uber Eats. This entails opting in, accepting delivery orders and then transporting food and beverages to customers.

Choosing to deliver food can boost an Uber driver’s pay, especially on days when rides are slow. Uber encourages its drivers to diversify their payment options, depending on demand.

Uber Eats pays drivers a delivery fare based on pick-up, drop-off and distance. There is also a similar surge pricing for food delivery known as “Boost” that will increase pay at certain times of the day.

Who can deliver with Uber Eats?

There are a handful of requirements that need to be met to deliver with Uber Eats, and they vary depending on the mode of transportation you plan to use.

Uber Eats delivery requirements

Delivery method (if available) Requirements
Car
  • Meet the minimum age requirement for your city
  • Have a two- or four-door car made after 2000
  • Have a valid driver’s license, registration, and vehicle insurance
  • Have at least one year of driving experience
Scooter
  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Use any make or model two-wheel scooter
  • Must have motor of 50cc (cubic centimeters) or less that travels no faster than 30 mph
Bicycle
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a government-issued ID

Uber Driver Percentile Pay by Location

The following data shows the percentile distributions of Uber driver earnings in several different locations. Note that median earnings appear in the 50% column.

Location 10% 25% 50% 75% 90%
Connecticut $26,793 $32,802 $39,402 $48,102 $56,023
New York City $29,665 $36,702 $44,102 $53,902 $62,824
Kentucky $22,712 $27,902 $33,602 $40,902 $47,548
San Francisco $30,001 $38,102 $45,902 $56,002 $65,198
Wyoming $22,603 $27,702 $33,302 $40,602 $47,248

Will Driving with Uber Be Your Next Side Hustle?

While Uber driving may not be for everyone, it can be a great side hustle for anyone looking for a way to fatten their wallet. Making this hustle work is a matter finding savvy ways to increase your ride number, driving smart, keeping careful track of your mileage and other deductions, and taking advantage of the promotions Uber may offer.

Have you earned money as an Uber driver-partner? Have you ever had an exemplary Uber driver-partner? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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