Are you looking to be a Uber Driver? Do you want to make some extra cash driving for Uber in your spare time? Or are you here just to know how much you can earn as a Uber driver In Canada? If so, I’ve got you covered with this article.
Uber driving has several reasons for getting behind the wheels, perhaps to pay for a vacation out of the country or to pay for that lovely dress they saw through the glass, or some just want to have the extra cash on hand.
Whatever the reason, people are getting behind the wheel, and Uber keeps getting drivers year in year out, so the question on the mind of everyone reading this is “How much can I make as an Uber driver in Canada?”
In recent years, the side hustle, freelance, and self-employment lifestyle has become all the rave. With the introduction of many online platforms that support this, it seems almost everyone at least has one side hustle or the other. One of the most popular side hustles is working as a driver with Uber.
Well, I am here to provide what I believe to be a sufficient answer to that, so let’s begin.
How Much Does A Uber Driver Make In Canada?
Indeed reckons that Canadian Uber Drivers can earn about $26.28 per hour of work. (Check here for more information.) Independent Contractors earn about $34, 926 each year, Chauffeurs can earn about $18.72 per hour spent behind the wheel and delivery drivers earn about $17.73 each hour.
This estimate puts Uber drivers earning slightly above the country’s minimum wage of $11.06 per hour.
Uber’s recruitment page puts it to new drivers that they can earn about $2600 in their first 400 rides over 90 days. This includes a little something extra from Uber itself but it is still a sizeable income, keeping to this standard is not impossible but it is certainly hard.
At first glance, it might seem that getting behind an Uber wheel is not such a bad idea, but as with any business venture, there are several things that you must consider before you get behind the wheel, after then will you know if working as an Uber driver is the right job for you.
What are these things you have to consider then? Well, let’s talk about some of them.
Days Of The Week: Uber Driver Income
As with any business, there are slow days and then there are great days. Some busy days you can end up earning high figures. Some drivers report that on some Fridays and most weekends they can earn as much as $30 per hour, including tips.
This is an especially encouraging figure but there are days in which you can also end as low as $10 per hour. Some drivers even report that they earn less than this on some days.
If you are planning to work as an Uber driver either full time or perhaps as a side hustle, you must keep in mind that not all days will be excellent days. You will have good days and there will definitely be bad days.
Uber Driver Vehicle Costs
Another notable factor that might affect how much you earn with Uber is the kind of car that you drive. It is common knowledge that different cars operate on different standards. A fairly used car and a new car will not cost the same to run the same as a hybrid car will not cost as much as a regular car.
Some Uber drivers claim that a hybrid car is the cheapest car to operate on Uber seeing as it will cost less to charge an electric battery than it will cost to keep fuelling a petrol-powered car. If you have a new hybrid car and run your vehicle mostly on electric fuel then you can potentially maximize the Uber driving business as a side hustle.
If you are just starting out in the Uber driving business, then a relatively new car that is reliable and is good on gas or preferably uses very little gas is your best bet. This way you can expect that your earnings will be slightly better than average considering that all other things on this list remain equal.
Uber Driver: Annual Car Maintenance Costs
How much does an Uber Driver have to spend on the vehicle maintenance costs? Let’s look at that in this section.
Asides the car model, annual maintenance or operating costs are also very important. Expectedly a new car is your best bet, but not everyone has a new car lying around just for Uber purposes.
It is therefore important that your car maintenance fees not be more than you earn otherwise the costs of running the business will severely outweigh the profits, especially after you add the cost of gas.
If you want to assistance calculating your annual car operating costs you can use the online car cost calculator provided by the Canadian Automobile Association. This will help you with a rough estimate of how much you would be spending on operating your car annually.
For instance, as an Uber Driver, it is estimated that a used 2018, Audi A3 Plug-In Hybrid Progressive 5D Hatchback e-Tron that runs the 30000 kilometres each year would cost about $12,207.18 each year while a 2018 Ford Focus Electric 5D Hatchback would cost about $9, 192.89 per year.
This puts the Ford at about $3000 cheaper than the Audi in terms of annual operating costs. The calculator provides a wide selection of cars and you can use it to determine a rough value of how much you would end up spending each year to put your car on the road.
Other Operating Costs While Driving For Uber
Every Uber driver wants an excellent review on the app and thus the battle for 5-star reviews is fought with the vehicles as the battlefields. This means that you want to treat your riders to the best kind of service you possibly can. You will end up having to provide some extra things that you would use to win your rider’s hearts, this means extra bottles of water, snacks, chargers, and so on.
All these things cost a lot of money despite costing very little individually. And that is just for the riders, when you begin to add up your daily feeding costs you might find that you are spending over hundreds of dollars each week. This is true mostly for drivers that do not have the opportunity to drop by at home for meals and breaks and are on the road most of the time.
Before you begin life as an Uber driver this is something that you have to seriously consider.
Uber Drivers Auto Insurance
You can’t drive a car in Canada without insurance.
Once you add a ride-sharing service like Uber to the mix, regular auto insurance does not cut it anymore. You will have to get a policy that takes ride-sharing services into consideration.
This is because using your car for a ride share service makes it a business and this means a commercial policy will be necessary for you to commence work as a service provider.
Uber wades in on behalf of its Uber drivers in Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec. It now offers blanket coverage for drivers in these provinces while they are working for Uber, though you would still need a personal policy otherwise.
Saskatchewan drivers also have a benefit like this thanks to Uber’s partnership with SGI Canada.
Uber Driver: Financial Reports and Bookkeeping
The last and definitely not the last thing to consider before you go into Uber driving is its impact on your financial books.
Uber considers most if not all of its drivers as independent contractors, therefore if you are working for them, you are considered to be self-employed. This means that your tax reports will become a different book from what it used to be.
Thanks to the CRA ruling in 2017, Uber and other ride-share apps must collect HST/GST, then the taxes are collected by the company and then sent to each driver with their earnings.
This puts the job of anything related to HST/GST payments and any other related expense on your neck. You will need good bookkeeping skills or perhaps hire a bookkeeper to effectively help you put an eye on how much you are expected to pay and such.
If you are hiring a bookkeeper, then you can look forward to spending an additional $300 or at least $100 each month. This is an additional cost for Uber Drivers that many do not expect to spend at all.
Is the life of an Uber driver for you?
Is it the side hustle or the self-employment gig that you have been looking for all this while? This was the original question that sent us on this long quest.
Well, truth be told, as with any side hustle out there Uber driving is a profitable job under the right conditions. Some of these conditions are under your power to control but some are totally out of your hands. So, as with any gig or idea that
is out there, there is money to be made and if the conditions are favourable you can make quite a lump sum from it.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.