If you’re considering driving for Uber, this article is all about that. But before we begin, please note that driving for Uber is one of the most profitable ways to earn money either full or part time.
More so, it allows you to work for one of the top ridesharing companies in the world while enjoying other privileges. Again, you have other ride sharing companies in Canada as well, other than Uber, such as Lyft. But is it worth in terms of pay/per hour or which one actually pays more in terms of your time and efforts.
Today, it is hard to tell what is worth or not worth unless you try or hear other people’s stories. You can definitely find a ton of average hourly rates for Uber , as well other ride sharing companies.
But, I am pretty sure the data is vague and not very accurate. You need to have a more definitive plan on how and what you want to do, to better plan for the hours you want to drive. Because remember, any idle time, while waiting for new rides is waste of time for you. We’ll talk about this later in this article.
With many ridesharing companies available and frequent changes in the driving structure, making money with Uber now depends on few factors.
To be frank, many drivers are no more willing to carry a livery insurance policy that would only outweigh their potential earnings. Others are willing to take the risks, seize the opportunity of a good market and make what they can.
We will take a good look at Uber’s driving performance in recent times. Then, you can decide if it is worth it to drive one or not.
One of the best places for any Uber driver is where your services meet the demands of the people. If you stay where people need you, you earn more. That is just simple.
For example, a driver in a market that has a higher payout per mile and per minute will earn more than others do.
Therefore, being a good driver is never enough. You have to understand timing and location. Which kind of traffic flow are you heading into? Hotels and business centers are nice locations.
What time do you hit the road? Is it Fridays/Saturday nights? When rich kids are willing to pay anything to get home? Rush hours or when the road is near to empty?
When Uber was new; drivers were few and demand was on the increase, a good driver can boast of at least $400-500 per day or even more.
Minus Uber commission and other expenses like fuel. Driving for 6 hours and being smart about it can earn such good money then.
Now, it won’t be easy hitting that figure. Even on weekends and other popular days/seasons that you can hit the highest, you may only come up with $200-$350.
Earning that is even an indication you tried. Otherwise, many Uber drivers now practically earn around $100 per day. Plus, they receive no tips from passengers.
However, if you are willing to hustle well, probably work all day and even into the night, who knows, you may earn just like the good old times.
Prior to this time, Uber drivers go home with good pay at least for most of the days. Later, Uber reviewed their fares, rolling out new earning structures and promotions.
It may look like a great way to earn more money for the drivers. In reality, it is the opposite. Drivers toil more than before while Uber focuses on creating opportunities for themselves.
This led to a 50% decrease in daily take-home pay.
Many who worked fewer hours before and go home with larger pockets, became stressed and dismayed at the end of the day.
Drivers now work, double of the hours they worked before only to earn half of what they would have normally earned.
Apart from the long hours and less pay, you should also consider the mileage on the car, inevitable damages, and petrol.
Again, Uber made it clear, their drivers are independent contractors. Hence, the income and self-employment tax you have to pay will also cut off more out of your profits.
More so, depending on your state, additional fees may come up such as commercial insurance and yearly car inspection.
The high charges can perfectly explain why Uber finds it hard to maintain their old drivers. They mostly quit out of dissatisfaction.
By default, Uber drivers receive their pay weekly (Monday – Monday). You can set up automatic direct deposits to your bank account.
So that by the end of each weekly cycle, you get your pay and any other trip afterward will reflect on the next week’s payment statement.
Again, Uber drivers have another option of using the “Cash out” feature but it is not available in all the countries and locations.
In this case, you can go with the cash you have at hand and receive the balance if any into your account later.
Banks may also take up additional business days to process the remaining balance into your account.
Receiving weekly pay may look cool for someone who previously gets monthly pay.
For any typical driver that normally goes home with whatever they earn, instant payment by Uber will be most preferred.
Many Uber drivers hope for instant pay after each trip, on an hourly basis or at worst, daily.
Uber later rolled out a “Get paid quickly” feature. This presumably can help drivers get paid in an instant.
With the Uber Visa Debit Card from GoBank and Personal Debit Card ($0.50 per cash out), an instant deposit became possible but not instant cash out.
You may still wait for some days depending on your bank to cash out. It will not take as long as the traditional method. That is the only good news.
Lyft’s “Express Pay” program is by far better than what Uber offers. It let you cash out your earnings even before your usual weekly deposit starts.
Any Great Perks For Drivers?
Most Ridesharing businesses like Uber put interest in what will benefit them than their drivers.
The only thing I can say in this aspect is that drivers do not need to possess any professional driving experience to get the job.
When it comes to other great perks offered to employees, Uber listed endless benefits for corporate employees.
Here are some benefits Uber has for its employees.
Gym Membership plan
Vacation & Paid Time Off
Flexible working hours
Family Medical Leave
Free Lunch or Snacks
Maternity & Paternity Leave
Mobile Phone Discounts etc
However, they simply have nothing much to offer to the contractors. Drivers and couriers have been pushing for more benefits, only to get Uber’s disapproval each time.
Many drivers would say that the most important thing Uber has offered them is flexibility. They work when they want and how many hours they want.
That way, single parents, students, etc., can have something to lay their hands on.
Even with the promotional offers on Halloween and other popular days intended to maximize partner earnings. Uber is only on the lookout for their gains.
Some Uber drivers complain of terrible fares on such occasions due to much competition. Many have to cut their losses or simply won’t drive on such holidays.
From a 2017 rideshare study, more than 90% of Uber drivers quit before one year.
Uber provides supplemental insurance that only covers you when the app is on. So as a driver-partner to Uber, you must have your insurance.
When you have commercial insurance as a driver, it helps. It will minimize/eliminate the risks that could come up driving passengers without it, especially in the case of an accident.
How Can Uber Work For You?
The benefit Uber offers is declining with time. Whatever they may offer now, may not measure up to what they were before.
Nevertheless, anyone can still make good money driving Uber, amidst all these factors. If you want to be a driver-partner with Uber, there are some helpful tips for you.
Take Uber Driving As A Part-Time job
If you are single and have nothing much to do with money, Uber is a great fit. It can pay for some of your expenses.
If you have a family to take care of and depend on Uber as an only source of income, frustration may push you out.
For you, a full-time ridesharing business is not the best choice. A steady job and Uber makes more sense.
Besides, expenses add up when working full time. The higher maintenance costs due to the rise in mileage, the rise in the gas purchase, tax payments, high commission (25%), etc., will amount to little income for you.
Good Timing And Location
Uber gives you the privilege to be your own boss. Seize the opportunity and work at peak hours 7-9 am and 4-7 pm.
Peak hours may vary depending on your location. More so, many drivers seem to make more money driving in the late evening.
For example, a driver in Philadelphia once said the best time for him to drive and earn more money is 9 pm – 2 am.
Again, you can take airport trips; drive before and after major events like football, during the weekends, etc.
To be eligible to drive for Uber, you should:
Be at least 19 years of age.
Have at least one year of driving experience.
Have a government-issued ID and insurance.
Have a car that is less than 5 years old.
Uber Eats driver-partners can have a car that is newer than 1998.
If you think that Uber is still as awesome as in the past, then, you are wrong.
Driving for Uber is not as rewarding as before anymore when drivers receive good pay or smile with their pockets fuller.
However, it is a good option for anyone who would not want to stay idle. Plus, if you would not mind how little you may earn, then, it can be a means to meet up with some daily demands.
Just do not rely on it totally to pay your expenses. You will be shooting yourself in the foot.
Thanks for reading, please let me know your thoughts and comments below.
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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.