Is Driving For Uber Worth It?

That is a question I used to ask myself.

 

Today, I want to share my own experience and opinion. Is it driving for Uber worth it? Well, it depends on every situation.

 

I am currently a part-time Uber driver and I’m loving it so far, please let me explain why.

 

Being an entrepreneur I always found myself jumping from employer to employer and even though many people see that as a bad thing or a lack of stability, I see things differently because I crave for freedom and with the gig economy going on now there is no better time to be an entrepreneur.

 

Having the freedom of setting my own schedule and have time to spend on my real passion and the things that fulfill me has no price. I am not saying having an employer is a bad thing because anyone can still be happy having a career working for someone and that is what’s important at the end of the day, being happy with what you do.

 

Ok so now that I have shared my own perspective of why I think driving for Uber is worth for me, let’s dive into the more technical.

 

See, besides the worth of freedom we need to take other important things into consideration to find out if driving for Uber is worth for anyone, things like:

 

Uber payout rates

Expenses

Best Driving Times

Extra earnings from referrals

To find out the total income that you can make driving for Uber we need to figure out how much it cost to put your car on the road.

 

Now Uber doesn’t pay for gas fees, car maintenance, auto insurance and of course vehicle deprecation. All this has to be factored into your cost and expenses. So here is how I figured out the cost per mile it took my vehicle to hit the road.

 

1- Uber Payout Rates:

So how much does Uber pay for driving? Well, that also depends on your market. In my market which is Los Angeles the rates are as follow:

 

Per Mile = $0.60 (long trips pay more but that is calculated differently)

Per Minute = $0.21 or $12.60 per hr (0.21 x 60 minutes = $12.60 per hr in theory)

Those two above are the main factors to calculate, of course a few more things like waiting time (the time you wait for a rider when you arrive at the pick up location, and they are not yet present) and cancellation fee (when a rider cancels a ride after you accepted it, you get paid a fee for that) so keep in mind this can sometimes vary but you can get the basic idea.

 

2- Expenses:

Mileage: This expense will vary depending on your market location and type of car that you will drive for Uber. In my case, I like using an app called MileIQ tracking app to track my mileage expense.

I drive a 2015 Toyota Prius and according to MileIQ it costs me about $0.58 per mile, now I know you might be thinking that Uber is paying me around the same amount (0.60 per mile) that it costs me to drive my car right? Well, yes and no.

 

See, the purpose of MileIQ tracking app is to keep track of this mileage expense so that I can write it off my tax filing at the end of the year.

MileIQ App Tracking Mileage

The way I see this is that even though I am depreciating my car I still get to make the EMERGENCY money in the SHORT RUN while I can do my OTHER BUSINESS at the same time.

 

I also have an on demand device repair service where I go to customers location to fix their broken cellphones, tablets or computers like I mentioned on my about me page.

 

That way I can maximize my time since I am already on the road doing business, I will also make extra money driving for Uber. If you do not have an on-demand service, don’t worry because with some creativity you too can fin out a way to maximize your earnings.

 

There is an option within the Uber app in which I can set  any location (like my repair business customer address)  as my destination and Uber will only send me ride request along the way to my customers address, isn’t this awesome!

 

If you are starting any kind of business, then driving for Uber is also a good way to earn some extra money to help your business grow and besides you can see it as an opportunity to meet new people and do potential business, you never know who will get into your car and you never know what opportunities can present to you. Keep positive and the good stuff is always coming along. 🙂

 

Gasoline: Of course we need to subtract the money we spend to fill the gas tank on our vehicle but again this can be easily written off your tax filing as well.

 

The Prius I drive gives me 50 miles per gallon at around $3.00  a gallon as of this writing and the tank can be filled out with 10 gallons so I spend $30 to fill the tank.

 

Now, to keep it simple. For a $6 trip (I am only taking MILES in consideration here, and I am leaving out the TIME payout to keep it simple)  I drove 10 miles (0.60 payout x 10 miles driven = $6 total earnings ). This means that It cost me $0.60 on gas to drive those 10 miles ($3 per gallon divided by 50 miles = $0.60 gas spent). I know this math is not perfect because we need to also add the time that Uber pays which is 0.21 per minute but this is to get a rough idea.

 

As I mention before, we can always write off these expenses and it is a good idea to keep track of our gas and other kind of expenses while on the road.

I personally use TurboTax simply because is very easy to use and it really automates the expense tracking process so I don’t have to input all this manually into a spreadsheet as I used to do in the past, as it is easy to lose track by doing it manually.

3- Best Driving Times Or Surge Times

Uber has something called Surge Pricing, so this is basically the times when there is a lot of demand from riders, therefore Uber charges more to riders and pays more to drivers.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the times when this surge times happen in your market. For instance, it is very common to see the Surge going on when there are big events like: Concerts, sport games, parties, holidays, etc. 

One way to anticipate any events in your market is to look it up on google and Facebook or any other social media. You can do a quick search like for instance “upcoming concerts, games, big events, etc in LA, near me or any other city”.  Take note of all upcoming events and for sure you will maximize your earnings. 

4- Extra Earnings (Referrals)

Yes, you can also make extra money by referring new people to drive for Uber after each driver completes a certain amount of drives and this varies depending on your market.

Once you become a driver, Uber will give you a referral code or link that you can give or send to new drivers so at the time they are signing up they will use your code and this way Uber will keep track of your commission. I found sending the referral link a lot easier because it automatically input your info as the referee to make sure you can get paid. 

By the way, please consider using my referral link as well as my other product links here:

https://partners.uber.com/i/chrisg51147ue 

MileIQ Mileage Tracking App

TurboTax Expense Tracking

Using my links will not only help me promote this website but you will also get a bonus from Uber. 🙂

In order to send your own referral invite link within your Uber Driver App, you will need  to go to your “Earnings” > “Invite and Earn Learn More” > press “Send Invites” > finally you will given the options to send the referral link like an email, text message or social media.

In conclusion, some people think driving for Uber is not really worth it and you will probably find a mix of opinions here and there.

I am not going to lie and say it is the perfect platform to make a lot of money or get rich quick, but in my honest opinion driving for Uber is a good way to earn extra money while keeping you free of being stuck in and office or whatever.

Having this flexibility will enable you to spend time in other business as an entrepreneur and see Uber as a temporal support. Don’t see yourself as simply a driver but as an Uber partner like they call us.

It is important to have a plan to maximize your earnings like I mentioned above and this way you will have a good time driving!

Have more time to spend with friends and family and the piece of mind of knowing that you are in charge of your precious time.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment or ask any questions below 🙂

16 thoughts on “Is Driving For Uber Worth It?”

  1. It’s great how Uber works where you are situated. Where I’m situated, Uber works differently. There is nothing about Referrals here and earning money from Uber. My husband does Uber and he has to pay Uber every week for using their service. 

    Is there a reason why Uber might be different in other places? It does not work the same here.

    But overall thank you for this useful information on this topic and all the best to you.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for sharing this Cristopher! I like that you’ve had some personal experience with this to draw from, because I’ve been interested in Uber for a long time and wondered if it was worth trying.

    Unfortunately, my area doesn’t really support Uber, because it’s just too small to be a viable market. Although I sometimes think it would be the perfect place to start, because there isn’t a lot of competition. I will admit, the approximately $12.60/hour rate is lower than I expected Uber payouts to be. But with a lot of hustle I can still see it being a reasonable side hustle. The gig economy is AWESOME! There’s so much more freedom and opportunity in it, I would encourage your readers to definitely pursue it. I’m a blogger, and I’ve been made over $100 to write single, 800 word blog posts for software companies before. It was $100 for about 35 minutes of work… jobs don’t often top the opportunity of freelancing, even though they’re a bit more secure and consistent.

    Do you know if some of the other driving gigs are good, too? How is Uber Eats, Lyft, DoorDash, or Amazon Flex? Sorry to ask so many questions, I’m just intrigued by the idea. 

    Reply
    • Hi Jordan,

      Thanks for your comment! driving for Uber is a good option for extra income to supplement any business and let alone the flexibility and freedom to set your own working hours.

      Every market is different but one thing for sure is that the Ride Share industry is growing more every time.

      There are other options to also supplement and keep yourself busy like food delivery (DoorDash and Postmates) check out my other post regarding these companies.

      https://brighteksblog.com/rideshare-vs-food-delivery-whats-best/06/26/

      I agree that the gig economy is awesome and with new technologies, it’s never been easier to earn a living out of these industries.

      What is more important to me is the fact that the freedom that comes with it really helps in pursuing my passion and I know that I would not have the same opportunities if I had to show to a 9-5 office job working for someone else.

      Reply
  3. Hi there, Christopher.

    Interesting concept you have here for driving with Uber.

    I never thought of adding this as an income source before because of the expenses occurred with vehicle maintenance, etc. I’m on the road for the majority of time during the day visiting clients and making money in between makes perfect sense to me.

    I appreciate the information you have provided and will look into driving for Uber a lot closer.

    Cheers, Jeff.

    Reply
  4. Hi Cristopher,

    Yours was a very interesting article for me right now, since I’m looking for other ways to make a bit of money, and Uber is definitely an option. I really appreciate that you walked me through all your considerations to make it a viable business. 

    However, you’re in the LA market, and I’m in Montreal. Every market is different. I need to do the work of coming up with all the digits for the calculation, and I can see there are various key numbers that I cannot easily have without living the experience. Well, it’s food for thought. Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Well, thanks to your post I  just learned a lot about Uber that I never knew. It seems the pay scale is pretty low and for several reasons, driving for Uber is something I would never do. You hit the nail on the head when you said anyone can come into your car. They could very well include mean or very sick drunks.

    Also, I’m from the older school where sticking with one job is important for many reasons. These include steady pay raises, job security, and paid holidays(of which I have seven weeks per year). That means I could take off every eighth week with pay for the rest of my career.  I  have been with the company for 50 years.

    You’re right that many in your generation will work many jobs in their lifetime.  I agree that this can be an excellent concept as well, but a concerted effort has to be made throughout your working years to put away money for your retirement. By staying with one company I will have an excellent pension. Considering the cost of living these days, I would be in dire straits without it.

    Uber might be interesting as a part-time job when I retire. It would all depend on what the clientele happened to be like in my city.  I doubt I would put up with unruly passengers for very long and in that case, it would be a short experiment. 

    Reply
  6. I really enjoyed this article.  It is well written and I like the examples that you give to make the process and earnings very clear.  You also give reasonable expectations rather than promoting this as a way to “get rich quick”.  I especially like the point that you make about the variety of people that you meet that could assist you to branch out in entrepreneurial efforts..

    I already basically knew about Uber as it was recently discussed on a news program I watch but if I knew nothing about Uber, a quick introductory paragraph would definitely be helpful.

    I absolutely love the way that you’ve integrated and promoted three different products to streamline the process and help monetize the blog.  This is a great way to make money in your spare time or turn into a full time job!

    Kudos!

    Reply
  7. I like what you say in this post. The idea behind using Uber to compliment ones earnings is a really good one. Uber is definitely not for the office worker but I do know of someone that does Uber driving after they close from work in the evening. 

    The person doesn’t have a lot of time to rest but the earnings from Uber makes it worth it. I was not really aware of the apps that you mentioned in this post. It would make the driving experience better and more manageable. Thanks for sharing your personal experience with Uber.

    Reply
  8. I have a colleague who took Uber as the best option after seeing how his health is deteriorating when working with a service provider. It took him about several months before he could quite the job and go for Uber business. I always thought it is not different from driver and am so glad am able to be convinced after reading this review. Do you know in some developing countries, Uber work can be a bit risky? This is because, many strange people use that opportunity to apply for Uber that will drive them to a strange place where they will perform their strange work. Seeing that there is an app for this type of job changed my orientation about that. The app will be able to guide the driver and indicate if the place is a danger zone. Believe me, my colleague that is doing this Uber job is fast becoming a millionaire. This means it is a lucrative business that should be respected.

    Reply
    • Hi Stella,

      Wow, that is scary what you say about shady people taking advantage of the drivers to do their shady stuff.

      Here in the states there is a button you can hit within the app and it will connect to 911 in case you feel unsafe, I also recommend using dash cam to record everything inside the car while taking passengers and I believe that will also prevent or discourage that kind of people to keep on doing strange work in your car.

      Reply
  9. Thanks Chris, the post is really educative. Uber seems to be a really great avenue to pursue side hustle but it’s quite sad that  the payment rate is quite low. Looking at all the insurance that one has to cover by oneself, it might be hard to make profit at the end of the day. I think adding a little to it like fixing phones like you said in your own experience is really perfect for anyone who wants to start driving. I personally have put into consideration but the drive just hasn’t come yet, this might be my push though. I heard uber pays per day, how true is that?

    Reply
    • Hi Henderson, Thanks for commenting!

      You can cash out your earnings daily, the minimum is $5.50 and they charge $0.50 for the transaction. There is no limit on how many times you can do it in a day as long as it is at least $5.50.

      You can also rent a car from Uber or Lyft and not pay for the rental if you hit a certain amount of rides 
      I recommend checking my other post for more details on that “9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Driving For Uber & Lyft”

      Much success!

       

      Reply
  10. Wow, I’m interested in making money by driving for Uber.

    Well, this is the perfect case study I really wanted for.

    I understand why you recommend this job. I think it might be the best part-time job I’ve ever heard.

    Also, the tools you recommend look quite helpful. 

    I think I’m going to plan my uber driver challenge right now!

    I will look into the tools you recommend! They are essential because I can figure out my income with Mileage Tracking App and TurboTax app.

    Thanks for sharing good tips!

    Reply
  11. Hi Cristopher, I was curious about how Uber’s pay out rates system works .To be honest ,I was not in the position that being able to talk about it’s features and it’s pros and cons
    By reading your post, now I have much better understanding about that. It is awesome that you’ve written all the details and demnostrated all kind of expenses
    By the way, I’ll definitely use your referral link and Mile IQ app link as well. Thank You

    Reply

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