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
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.
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.
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:
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 🙂