As far as side-hustles go, Uber is one of the most common and well-known ones.
But is it a good source of consistent income? Can you make $100 a day? How how about $500 a day? We did some digging and this is what we found…
Can You Make $500 A Day With Uber?
Uber drivers hold mixed responses to this question, with some drivers saying it’s possible to earn $500 per day and others saying there’s no chance of it. However, the one consistent reply to the query is that the money you make driving for Uber depends on where you work, the services you deliver, the hours you drive, and the maintenance necessary on your vehicle.
This article takes a look at Uber pay: how it’s structured, what you can earn, what your costs are, and how to keep it reasonable.
How Does Uber Pay Work?
Uber pay is different according to country and has different rates in different cities. Typically, a rider is charged a minimum rate or a fee depending on the time and mileage for the route of the ride. The ride may include a flat fare, a booking fee, surcharges, tolls, and dynamic pricing.
Uber fares vary by ride service, and location, the choice of car, number of passengers, time of day (and week), delivery demand, and more factors. Subsequently, Uber driver payment can vary substantially.
Uber’s pay structure is dynamic and flexible. It is calculated according to location, time of day and frequency of work. This means that pay will vary on a day-to-day basis, regardless of how many hours of work a driver commits to each week.
Uber provides their drivers with samples of “earnings estimates” (rather than a set wage) to help drivers identify their likely profits. This means that you are looking at what you could earn rather than what you will earn.
For example, a driver may combine regular rides with XL rides, and may always (or only) drive during times of high demand – which are influenced by ‘surges’ (increases in price due to many riders all trying to book a ride at the same time). Some drivers offer specialist rides such as ski rides, offering the ability to carry ski equipment in a snow ready vehicle.
Other drivers report success through picking a challenging terrain (mountain roads, for example) and develop an expertise (and reputation) for navigating difficult roads where few other drivers are available. During their location’s busy seasons, these drivers report a solid (seasonal) income.
Many drivers avoid taking the more unpopular ‘dead mile’ rides, which involve a long road trip to a rural drop off, but then an empty car all the way back.
However, it is advised that the estimated earnings of regular drivers should be viewed strictly as projections. This is because they are based on what other drivers working the same hours in the same location earned over the previous month.
Read: Does Uber Take Cash App?
How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Per Ride?
Uber has stated that its drivers can earn $55,000 per year. These earnings come from a combination of factors including customer tips and trip fares. Occasionally things like quest promotions may lead to additional earnings.
Currently, independent analysis shows that the hourly earnings of a typical Uber driver are between $15 and $24 per hour, with the final amount based on a great many variables. In the UK this year, a minimum wage for Uber drivers was introduced of around £8.91 per hour.
A base fare is the flat rate generated by a pickup, with time and distance then increasing the trip fare. As mentioned before, Uber uses surge pricing when demand is high, and this increases the cost of rides.
Uber drivers can increase their earnings by using a local map to find surge prices and time their availability. But at the end of the day, an Uber driver’s pay is based entirely on how many rides they book and complete.
This means that driving in an ideal location (such as a city centre) can vastly increase pay, and the rural Uber driver will usually make significantly less income for the same number of working (or online) hours.
Furthermore, any time a driver spends waiting around for a pickup, even if you are logged in to the Uber app and set your status as “available,” are not billable hours.
Drivers can also lose work through booking cancellations, although they are protected if a ride is canceled while they are en route to pick-up. In this case, the driver receives a cancellation fee.
What Expenses Are Uber Drivers Responsible For?
For every Uber driver, all costs associated with the car, including servicing, fuel, cleaning costs, car insurance, and other taxes, are the driver’s responsibility. Some of these additional costs include:
- Uber fee – from the driver’s gross fares, Uber will deduct a 25% service fee. This covers the use of Uber software, collection and transfer of fares, credit card commission, and distribution of invoices to clients.
- Fuel – all Uber drivers must pay for their own fuel.
- Vehicle maintenance – includes cleaning and damage
- Vehicle registration
- Fitting of specialist equipment racks/carriers
How Are Uber Drivers Paid?
All drivers (or partners) are paid weekly, and payments are deposited automatically via direct deposit in driver accounts.
A driver payment statement will include fares for trips completed, miscellaneous payments such as tips, trip adjustments, toll reimbursements. You can see your trip earning summaries in the app by tapping the fare icon on the screen. Then swipe right and left to view earnings.
You can also view income through the Earnings section in the app. Your total earning for the current week are displayed, and in the graph below this total you’ll see a complete weekly breakdown of earnings, costs and cashouts.
How much you can make driving for Uber depends on where and when you’re prepared to drive, and how many hours you’re willing to commit to driving each week. Driver expenses are considerable, and only ever seem to increase.
Projected incomes seem to be unreliable in that your income will always be influenced by outside factors which are beyond your control.
Experiences drivers say that consistent hard work, long hours and a creative approach to where you’re prepared to go is the only way to earn a regular and decent income by driving for Uber.