Is Being an Uber or Lyft Driver Dangerous?

Is Being an Uber or Lyft Driver Dangerous?

4. How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?

Rideshare drivers are 1099 independent contractors. That means that they earn all of their income when they drive. You will not receive benefits such as health Insurance, vacation and time off or retirement benefits after working for the company.

Generally speaking, when a person makes and pays for a ride with the Uber app, Uber pays a commission on the ride’s price to the driver.

There are no official statistics about the drivers earnings. And Uber doesn’t list the payout information by market on their website. So, it is difficult to find out payout rates for your city.

Despite this lack of transparency, BestReferralDriver is a long trusted Uber Blog, so we will give you all the information you need to choose the best side hustle for you.

Basically, how much money you are going to make on Uber depends on your location, and how much time you are going to invest in it.

More precisely, according to the Uber app, what you are paid for a given ride depends on

  • The driving distance
  • The time
  • The eventual bonus

There is no fixed salary. Uber’s rates may vary by city, region, and time.

Here are some important thing you should know:

  • You make money based on the number of rides you provide.
  • The San Francisco headquartered company provides the estimated amount of earnings for every ride before you accept it.
  • Uber will not pay you for the distance from you to the pick up location. A smart driver avoid to accept pickups when they are often farther away
  • Uber doesn’t withhold taxes from earnings. You have to make estimated quarterly tax payments. Take a look at our complete guide to Lyft and Uber Taxes.

So, how much does Uber pay? We compared the average hourly earnings of our team that include drivers from California, Texas, Illinois and Washington.

The average of our hourly pay was $16.33.

Being our San Francisco member the highest paid Uber driver with an average hourly earnings of $24.16.

If you’re considering becoming an Uber Black driver, take a look at our article to find out how much money Uber Black drivers make (we piblished real earnings).

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.


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

Getting ready for your first ride…

It’s almost time for you to turn on your Uber app. Your car is ready and everything is clear. All that’s left is for you to actually start driving and making money.

Are you nervous? Are you a little intimidated?

That’s okay because it’s only natural to be skeptical about allowing strangers into your car. I was pretty nervous when I first turned on Uber. Scratch that. You never know who you’re going to get and where they’re going to want to go. It’s always completely random. You can try to predict a pattern but then you’ll get that one ride 30 minutes out of town during the day that throws everything off.

Before you go on your first ride, I want you to take three Uber rides as a passenger:

  • One of these rides should be after a night of drinking.
  • One ride on a busy night.
  • One regular ride.

I want you to see what it feels like to be a passenger. You can’t become a great driver if you don’t know what the expectations of the passenger are. The good news is that you can enjoy your first ride for free if you’re new to Uber.

What do you do on this ride?

  • See how long it takes for your request to get accepted.
  • Make a note of all of the drivers on the road in the picture. That’s your competition. Those cars will be going after the same passengers as you.
  • Watch how the driver handles the pickup.
  • Note the setup in the car.
  • See if the driver is comfortable.
  • See if the driver knows the roads well.
  • The vibe with driver.
  • Watch how they drive.
  • Pay attention to how they speak to you.

You need to experience Uber as a passenger first. Then you can worry about your first ride. I want you to make notes on your phone of what you enjoyed and what you didn’t care for. This will help you become a better Uber driver. I personally have had some exceptional rides in Uber cars. I was impressed by the professional setup and how well the driver understood the roads.

What do you do before your first trip as an Uber driver?

  1. Watch the instructional videos that Uber has created. I had a driver once who didn’t know how the app worked.
  2. Get your car cleaned and ready with a full tank of gas. Imagine yourself sitting in this car. Would you enjoy the ride?
  3. Scope out the local events to get a sense of what to expect (playoff games are a little intense).
  4. Buy a case of water. This costs a few bucks and will be a great treat for your riders.
  5. Try to map out some of the roads.
  6. Just go.

You don’t have to panic before your first ride. If your car is clean and you’re confident in your driving, you’re going to do well. If you’re not too familiar with the roads, then luckily there’s GPS. As a driver, knowing the roads isn’t so important these days since we all rely on GPS, but it helps if you can find your way around the city for your own good.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Give to Uber?

Uber charges drivers a service fee, which varies for each trip and is calculated by taking the difference between a rider’s payment and what the driver earns, excluding tips, tolls, surcharges, taxes, and various other fees, including the booking fee. According to Uber, the service fee is variable rather than fixed to make it fairer for drivers and will be lower if the trip takes longer than expected.

3 Strategies to Make More Money with Uber

If you just get in your car tomorrow and give your first ride without any thought or planning, you won’t make as much money as if you just read a few simple tips.

#1 – Earn BIG Bucks with Tips

One of the great perks of being an Uber driver is the ability to earn tips.  A recent study showed Uber drivers earn hundreds of millions in tips per year and the average person who tips gives $3 per ride

In an interview with the Penny Hoarder, Mary England from Baltimore, MD, explained how she was able to earn up to $30 per hour driving for Uber.  A lot of it has to do with tips.

What Are Uber Driver Requirements?

As long as you can pass Uber’s background check, you shouldn’t find it difficult to become an Uber driver (unless your city imposes some difficult requirements of its own).

Install the Uber app on your smartphone and create an account on Uber, including the bank account into which your earnings will be paid.

When you’re ready to start picking up passengers, tell the Uber app that you’re going online. Then wait.

Before long, the app will notify you about a passenger requesting a ride and show you a map with the passenger’s GPS coordinates. You pick up the passenger and take the person to his or her destination. Aware that the passenger can rate you afterward, you do your best to make the passenger feel welcome, comfortable, and satisfied.

Make sure you understand clearly where your pick up location is to avoid late arrivals

You just keep repeating this process, being notified about passengers and taking them to their destinations, until you’re done for the day. Then you tell the Uber app that you’re going offline. You can rate your passengers on their behavior.

Uber will deposit the money that you’ve earned into your bank account.

What Taxes Do Uber Drivers Pay?

Unless stated otherwise in your local laws, Uber drivers are treated as independent contractors by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This means that taxes won’t automatically be taken out of your income and that it is your responsibility to declare your earnings and settle any tax bills.

Uber usually helps out its self-employed drivers by providing them with a tax summary and, when applicable, a 1099-K tax document to fill out and send to the IRS.

Ubers employment model might be to blame

Because Uber doesn’t hire drivers as full-time employees, they might view their time behind the wheel without professionalism or without fear of losing their job. John Roman, a criminologist and social research scientist at the University of Chicago, explained:

“There’s a big literature in criminology that finds people are less likely to commit crimes if they fear losing their job because of it.”

FAQs About Driving for Uber

Q: Safety: How Does Uber Manage Safety Concerns for Both Drivers and Riders?

A: Due to the nature of Uber’s model, there can be some hesitation when it comes to using the platform, for both drivers and riders. Some of the safety features available for drivers include:

  • Easy access to emergency assistance through the app
  • “Follow My Ride” which allows you to share your whereabouts with your friends and family so they can track your trips in real-time.
  • GPS tracking of all your trips, making it easy to pull up information should anything happen while you’re on the road
  • Driver and rider ratings. If a rider displays unacceptable behavior that you feel you should warn fellow drivers about, you’re always able to report your experience through ratings and through Uber’s easy customer service functionalities.
  • Trusted insurance providers allow you to confidently insure your vehicle for your business uses.

Q: What are the best practices for picking up a rider?

A: Once you’ve accepted the trip, a rider’s specific location will be indicated with an arrow. If you anticipate that your rider will be difficult to find, you may want to contact your rider and request that they use the Spotlight feature, which allows you to easily see an illuminated color that is specific to your ride.

Other tips to ensure a great rider experience is to pick them up on the side of the road on which they are waiting, making it a seamless experience right from the start. Once the rider approaches your vehicle, it is best practice to greet them by name to confirm that they are the correct driver. Once inside your vehicle, allow them to get settled and buckled in before starting to drive. From there, start a friendly conversation and make the customer experience as good as possible!

Q: I can’t find my rider, what do I do?

A: The standard wait time for a rider to meet you at the indicated destination is 5 minutes (less for UberPOOL rides). If you are unable to find or communicate with your rider, you can cancel the trip. At this point, the rider will be charged a cancellation fee which is then paid out to you to accommodate for your time spent waiting.

Q: Can I bring someone else along with me while I’m online and accepting Uber trip requests?

A: As part of Uber’s commitment to rider and driver safety, drivers are not allowed to have other passengers in the vehicle besides the official Uber rider(s).

Q: I feel much safer when I have a video camera or dash camera installed. Is this allowed while driving for Uber?

A: As long as your city’s laws allow this, you are permitted to install and actively use a video recording device in your vehicle while online and driving with Uber.

Q: I’ve gotten in an accident while on a trip with a rider. What should I do?

A: There are three basic steps to follow if you’ve been in an accident while completing a trip with an Uber passenger:

  1. Check the safety and wellbeing of yourself and your passenger(s)
  2. If the situation calls for it, contact the police and ambulance.
  3. Notify Uber when an accident has occurred. You can do this through the Trip Issues tab in the Uber app.

Q: I’ve moved and want to drive in a different city. Is this possible?

A: Since your Uber driver application is approved based on the city that you indicated during your application, your new city means that you will have to make some adjustments and reapply under the new circumstances. Luckily, though, you don’t have to go through the entire process all over again. Instead, head to Uber here and request a change to your account and submit for review.

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