Uber is one of the most well-established and popular platforms that gig economy workers can use to earn an income. The company was founded in 2009 and currently provides ridesharing services in over 900 cities worldwide. Becoming an Uber driver is one of the most flexible ways to earn extra cash either as a full-time job or a part-time side hustle. All you need to get started is an insured car.
- High earnings potential – Uber estimates that drivers can earn up to $1034 per week (including $90 in tips) driving for around 50 hours per week.
- Instant payment – Uber enables drivers to cash out up to 5 times every day ($0.50 fee each time, no fee with Uber Visa debit card from GoBank).
- Earn more with surge pricing – Uber fares automatically increase during periods of high demand, such as 7am-8am/6pm-9pm so you can earn more.
- Earn more with tips – although tipping is optional and not all riders will tip, you do get to keep 100% of all tips that you get from riders.
- Prior driving experience required – you must have at least 1 year of driving experience to become an Uber driver (3 years if you are under 23).
- Lengthy approval process – registration can take up to 10 days before you can start earning, and includes background checks and verification.
How Much Money Can You Make With Uber?
Uber is among the companies that offer the opportunity to earn money on your own schedule. It already sounds like an excellent gig, since you can practically work anytime you want. Check out how much you can earn if you work full-time with them.
|How much do Uber drivers make per day?||$154|
|How much do Uber drivers make per week?||$590|
|How much do Uber drivers make per month?||$2,400|
|How much do Uber drivers make per year?||$33,000|
These values may still depend on a lot of factors such as your work location, surges, and what Uber tier you’re offering.
Besides that, you’ll also be working as an independent contractor so you’ll be in charge of other work-related expenses, such as gas and vehicle maintenance. You’ll need to shoulder other costs like insurance, oil change, and unexpected repairs as well.
How Uber Calculates Payments
So, you already have an idea of how much you can possibly earn driving full-time. But you want to know if it’s possible to earn better. In that case, you need to learn how Uber calculates payments.
There are three factors you need to be well-familiar with:
- Base fare
- Booking/ rider fee
- Surge pricing
These basically determine your pay per ride. To define them, base fare and rider or booking fee are a fixed amount for every trip. However, the latter covers services, such as background checks and driver-related expenses, and goes directly to Uber. Another thing to consider about these two is that they differ across cities and the Uber service you’re offering.
Finally, the third factor, surge, encourages you to accept rides when the demand is quite high. It’s a multiplier, and its value depends on the difference between passenger demand and driver supply. The higher the difference between the demand and supply, the higher the surge value.
Considering these three factors, here’s how to calculate how Uber charges customers:
- Get the subtotal by adding Base Fare, Time (cost per minute), and Distance (cost per distance)
- If there is surge pricing, apply this to the subtotal, otherwise, multiply by 1
- Add the booking fee to know how much the passenger pays
How Uber Commissions and Fees Work
Besides the booking fee, Uber takes 20% of the calculated final fare per trip.
To put this in perspective, say, the final passenger fare for a 15-minute ride is $14, inclusive of a $1.20 booking fee. Deduct the booking fee from it and it amounts to $12.8. Finally, deduct the 20% off the $12.8, making it $10.24. That final amount is the driver’s commission for the ride.
Besides the Uber commission, you’ll also need to consider hidden expenses every time you take your car down the road. These costs include the following:
It can be your personal insurance, or if you have a commercial or rideshare insurance policy.
Car or Lease Payments
You might still be paying for your car, or leasing one from Uber or another provider.
License, Permit, and Toll Fees
You’ll have to pay for all these when you drive with Uber. However, you can add a surcharge to your passengers when you have to pay toll fees.
As an independent contractor, you’ll have to pay for your gas. Moreover, Uber won’t reimburse the costs.
You want to prevent car problems while on the road with a passenger. Regular car maintenance can significantly help you with that and you’ll have to shoulder its costs.
However, if a customer damages your car, you’ll receive a reimbursement for the repair costs.
Here’s How Much Uber Drivers Really Make in Different Parts of the US
Since your earnings also depend on which part of the country you’re driving, you might want to know how Uber pays in each state.
|New York City||$26.24 per hour|
|San Francisco||$22.30 per hour|
|Los Angeles||$21.91 per hour|
|New Jersey||$20.80 per hour|
|New York (outside NYC)||$19.18 per hour|
|Ohio||$16.98 per hour|
|North Carolina||$14.92 per hour|
|Oklahoma||$13.28 per hour|
|South Carolina||$12.90 per hour|
|Florida||$12.55 per hour|
Do Uber Drivers Have Benefits?
Besides pay, benefits can entice people to work for a company, and keep them working for a long time. So, do Uber drivers receive benefits?
Yes, they do, even if their drivers are independent contractors. If you’re thinking of health insurance, retirement plans, or paid sick and vacation leaves, those are not what Uber puts on the table.
Instead, here’s what they offer as benefits to their drivers:
- Vehicle maintenance discounts
- Phone plans
- Healthcare assistance
Let’s review each benefit in detail.
Vehicle Maintenance Discounts
You can get up to 15% off from the following brands and services:
- Advance Auto Parts
- Jiffy Lube
- Sears Auto Center
Uber works with network companies, like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, to help you save money on your monthly phone bills.
Although Uber doesn’t directly provide health insurance, they offer assistance with securing one through Stride Health. It’s an online health insurance broker that can help you find the ideal health insurance depending on your needs. Uber offers their service for free. However, you’ll still have to pay the full premium of your policy.
Which Uber Car Makes the Most Money?
Uber offers several tiers depending on your car type. You can check your potential earnings from each below:
|UberX||$10 to $15 per hour|
|UberXL||$11 to $16 per hour|
|UberBLACK||$100 per hour|
|UberSUV||$213 per hour|
|UberSELECT||$56 per hour|
|UberLUX, UberPOOL, and UberWAV||$26 per hour|
Uber X is the cheapest, thus the most popular among Uber’s tiers. And since it’s cost-effective for riders, drivers earn the least from it.
Uber X charges the following average rates to passengers:
- Pick-up fee: $0.40
- Per-mile fee: $0.97
- Per-minute fee: $0.14
To drive for UberX, you’ll need to have a four-door car. If you’re looking to save on gas, a hybrid car is an excellent idea, too.
As the name implies, UberXL is a larger car option than UberX. It’s because Uber XL vehicles can seat six passengers. Riders also opt for UberXL if they need to transport luggage.
UberXL charges higher than UberX. Here’s a breakdown:
- Pick-up Fee: $2.15
- Per-mile fee: $1.68
- Per-minute fee: $0.26
Besides the higher rates, UberXL drivers earn better than UberX drivers. It’s because even if you have an UberXL vehicle, you can still drive for UberX, extending your customer reach.
UberBLACK is Uber’s luxury car service. When it comes to capacity, it has the same as UberX. However, cars for this tier must have black interiors and exteriors. The interiors should also use leather.
Additionally, if you’d like to drive for UberBLACK, you must have the traditional for-hire license and register your car as a for-hire vehicle.
This service level is the second most expensive in Uber’s lineup and charges the following:
- Pick-up fee: $7.22
- Per-mile fee: $3.33
- Per-minute fee: $0.44
As an UberBLACK driver, you can also accept rides for UberX riders. Doing this can help you maximize your earning.
UberSUV is the most expensive among other tiers (except UberLux). These are luxury SUVs that have leather seats and are licensed for-hire drivers. In addition, if you register your car for UberSUV, you also need to have commercial insurance.
Although UberSUV advertises luxury, you can also cater to lower-tier riders through this. You can accept rides from UberX to UberXL to UberBLACK. And since this ride is expensive, you can expect to get fewer UberSUV customers. Thus, you can extend your services to those other tiers to earn more.
UberSELECT is like the tier between UberX and UberXL. It is a four-door car, carrying four passengers. You can also think of UberSELECT as the service line between UberX and UberBLACK. Although, it pays better than these two tiers. While the potential earnings are promising, UberSELECT is available in selected locations only.
UberLUX, UberPOOL, and UberWAV
UberLUX, UberPOOL, and UberWAV are Uber services that are not as popular as those mentioned above. These services have been available to fewer places. UberLux contends with UberBLACK and UberSUV to potential earnings. Meanwhile, UberPOOL is a cheaper option for riders, since riders going to the same location can share this ride. Lastly, the UberWAV are affordable wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
3 Pro Tips to Maximize Your Uber Earnings
1. Plan Your Trips
Suppose you’re driving for a service class that pays better, say an UberSUV. In that case, plan your trips so you can cater to all riders, even those from lower tiers. For example, a rider books you to the airport as an UberSUV. After dropping the passenger, it can take hours before you can pick up another UberSUV passenger.
Instead of sticking to that tier, you can switch to UberXL. This way, you can easily receive new rides and skip driving around looking for passengers.
2. Drive Wisely
One of the best perks of driving for Uber is that you get full control of your time. You can work whenever you want. Make sure to take advantage of the promotions and surge pricing. You can also drive for as long as you want.
However, Uber’s system automatically imposes a six-hour break if you drive for 12 hours straight.
3. Provide Excellent Service
You’ll keep 100% of the tips from customers when you drive for Uber. Considering this, you can maximize your Uber earnings by receiving more tips. You can do this by upping your customer service and adding small, yet noticeable, improvements in your work.
For example, you can amicably chat with your customers if they seem to be the chatty type. You can also keep your vehicle clean at all times. Doing your job with more passion and dedication can give better results.
|Uber||$10 – $100 per hour|
|Lyft||$20 – $28 per hour|
|Via||$15 – $20 per hour|
|HopSkipDrive||Up to $50 per hour|
Uber vs. Lyft
Lyft is pretty similar to Uber as it also offers ridesharing services. But compared to Lyft, Uber offers a greater selection of vehicle types. So, no matter the car you drive, you have a better chance of meeting Uber’s car requirements. And your earnings depend on which tier you register for.
Uber vs. Via
Via works like the UberPOOL since both offer the affordability of sharing rides among passengers going to the same location. But that’s about the extent of Via’s services. Riding for Via means you can only use your vehicle for pooling. You need to go to several locations to pick up customers. With Uber, you need to drop off your customers at their doorsteps. On the other hand, with Via, you’ll drop off your customers near the block and they’ll need to take a little bit of walk.
Uber vs. HopSkipDrive
Although it’s another ridesharing service, HopSkipDrive may be different from Uber in many ways. First, this service caters explicitly to mothers looking for rides for their children if they can’t drive them themselves. Thus, drivers at HopSkipDrive may need more particular qualifications to deal with children.