– Uber Drivers –
How Much Uber Drivers Get: Maybe you’ve heard from family and friends that driving for Uber can make you extra spending money? Or maybe you are ready for a career change in your career and driving Uber can pay your bills.
Being a driver for Uber or Lyft seems like a great hustle. With Uber, you can set your own working hours and drive on your own time — sounds awesome, right?
It can be, but there are a couple of things you need to have in mind before you start driving for Uber so that you can set your expectations and know what you’re getting into.
How Uber Calculates a Fare
To understand how much Uber drivers make, it is important to know how much passengers are being charged for rides. The actual amount of a fare is a calculation based on time and distance.
For each minute in an Uber car, passengers are charged a specific amount. In addition, for each mile that they travel, passengers are charged a different amount.
In addition to that, there is a Rider Fee that is charged by Uber which is supposed to cover things like background checks for drivers, and other expenses which are related to onboarding drivers.
The amount that a passenger pays is also dependent on the city and the type of Uber they ask for. Uber takes a 20% cut of the final fare also.
When you put in expenses, the amount that an Uber driver actually takes home at the end of the night might be far less than the passenger pays.
How much will depend on the driver’s particular expenses? While some are fixed – like the amount that UBER charges, and the cost of gas, others are variable.
If you own your own car, you will not have to factor in financing costs or if your car is better on gas, you might not have to pay as much for gas.
Also, cars depreciate and require maintenance at different rates–so the cost of the wear and tear on your car will vary depending on what make or model you drive.
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How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?
One of the advantages of driving for Uber is that you can drive as much or as little as you want. The more you drive, the more you stand to make. Of course, this is limited by the demand for rides in your city and the number of drivers that are on the Uber network in your region.
Uber reports that 80% of their drivers are on the road for fewer than 35 hours per week in their 30 largest markets and over half of all drivers drive between 1 and 15 hours a week.
For this, the best way to measure an UBER driver’s earnings is to look at how much they earn per hour. This is actually a hard thing to find since Uber rarely release numbers – although Uber claims some drivers an average of $19 per hour in its top 20 markets.
But that number does not take into account expenses. So, to find out how much drivers really made and took home, there was an online study that surveyed drivers and other data to give us a better idea of how much Uber drivers really make.
A survey by Ride Sharing Driver
A study by the website Ride Sharing Driver looked at drivers across the US & found that drivers made an average of $15.73 per hour before accounting for expenses. After removing the cost of operating their car, however, the drivers in that study only made $11.93 per hour.
In total, they found that drivers worked an average of 1,108.59 hours per year, and took average of 1,959 trips. That gave up to an average of 21,035.98 miles driven and $20,217.74 in earnings. Additionally, they earned an average of $1,935.21 in surge earnings, $464.86 in boost earnings, and $590 in bonuses and other incentives. Uber fees then took a very big chunk out of that at $5,634.93.
Making $15.73 per hour in gross pay worked out to $0.83 gross per mile or say $8.90 gross per trip.
Study by Ridester
The second study was conducted by Ridester. Ridester is an online site or platform that provides content for drivers of ride-sharing companies.
They estimate that when you factor in 20% of your fare as ride-related expenses, as well as pickup, drop-off, and dead time – a driver can make up to $15 to $20 per hour if they’re able to get 2 rides per hour. If you’re not able to get that many rides, you could end up making far less.
The trouble with nailing down firm numbers is that earnings really vary between individual drivers. This is a field that is just always inconsistent.
How often a driver decides to work, where they drive and when all define their outcomes. See these cases:
1. Surge Pricing
Now every rideshare service has adopted surge pricing. (Making a good case for consumers to remember that yellow cabs do still run on rainy Saturday nights…) It is a major income variable.
Drivers who make a point to work during peak hours will earn more than their colleagues, potentially many times over.
City drivers earn really more than their rural and suburban peers. Uber drivers in New York City make an average of $29.34 per trip, compared to $10.99 in Chicago and $14.36 in Phoenix.
In fact, New York City drivers can rejoice. Recently, the city passed a law setting a minimum wage for rideshare workers.
In Boston, a driver can drop off a customer and often pick up a new one within a few blocks. She might reduce her inter-fare time to mere minutes. In the suburbs the same driver could have miles between each fare, all spent with the meter off.
3. Hours Worked
Calculating monthly or yearly earnings for a rideshare worker is all but impossible given the freelance flexibility of this job. Drivers can work hours that vary from person to person, day to day, and week to week.
Someone who decides to drive 60 hours per week will, obviously, out-earn drivers who just pick up a few fares after work.
So to help boost recruitment, both Uber and Lyft added tipping in 2017. While it’s good for drivers, as it boosts potential revenue, it adds yet another variable to their income roulette.
(It also increases the odious practice of companies outsourcing their payroll to the kindness of strangers.) None of these companies releases firm data on tipping.
Another major factor for rideshare income is expenses. Uber does not hire its drivers for the same reason that 20% of companies now call employees “freelancers.” They were cheap. Freelancers pay for their own health insurance, retirement, equipment, and expenses.
Freelancing is the core of ridesharing’s benefit against taxi services. Where a yellow cab company has to buy, maintain, and store a massively expensive fleet, Uber doesn’t pay for any of that. It is the drivers who do. Calculating a driver’s actual net income means accounting for costs such as:
- Car maintenance and repair
- Car payments (if any)
- Auto insurance
- Extras such as snacks, drinks, or entertainment
- Tolls (if any; sometimes compensated in-app)
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How Do You Get Started Driving for Uber?
In order to drive for UBER, you will have to meet a few requirements. These rules demand that you must be at least 21 years old and have at least one year of driving experience in the US or 3 years if you’re under 23 years old. In addition, you must have a valid US driver’s license and access to an eligible 4-door vehicle.
During your application process, you will be asked to share certain documents with Uber including a copy of your US driver’s license, and copies of your vehicle registration and insurance.
After that, you will also have to complete an online driver screening which will look at your driving record and your criminal history.
The entire process is fairly quick if you have all your information ready. The online application takes just a few minutes and then you share the documents. Once you are approved and have downloaded the app, you can log in and start making money.
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