As an Uber driver, this is the single question that everyone invariably asks:
Is Uber really profitable?
The short answer is “Yes”. The more salient question -“is it worth it?”- is more complex. Read on.
I’m going to assume you’ve already checked that you’re familiar with starting up with Uber. If this is a foolish assumption, see here on “Getting Started with Uber”.
Having researched Uber and, being an Uber driver myself, I know that Uber is indeed profitable. But whether or not it makes sense for you to do depends on a number of factors. Let’s briefly look over these factors.
This is perhaps the biggest factor. Where you live/operate as an Uber driver in is significant. You’ve undoubtedly seen some iteration of the following chart outlining cost per trip published by Uber:
Certain niche cities such as San Francisco and New York City are rocking for Uber drivers. If you live there, you already know that. But there’s a lot more to your earnings than how much you make per fare. It is also how much *down time* you have between fares and how far they are from each other. This is going to be dependent on your location and even what part of that location you’re in.
Profit = Revenue-Cost. Simple formula. What kind of car you have will influence both your cost and potential revenue. A gas efficient car? Less overhead. Gas guzzler? Higher overhead where downtime corrodes away at your profit. Uber also offers different levels of service, with each providing different pay scales. Uber XL, for instance, fetches a significantly better rate than Uber X.
Like most any other business, some hours are hot some are not. If you could only do business Monday – Friday during day time hours, a bar would not be a good choice for you. Which hours are hot vary by region, but generally early morning hours and evenings can be particularly hot. Weekend nights in particular. If your work schedule permits you to monetize the weekends, Uber can be good for you.
These are the nuts and bolts of it. Where are you, what are you driving, and when can you do it?
I can hear the cacophony through my screen – “OK, but HOW MUCH do you MAKE?”
You don’t want to hear “it depends”. You know it’s complicated. “But how much can I realistically make?” The honest answer is about $15-20/hour for most individuals. Uber’s $35/hour figure is for people in the right market, driving the right car, in the right time slots who’re lucky. But if you’re willing to hustle and optimize your driving -like you would any business- then you can perhaps eke out ~$15-20 per hour. For me personally it’s about $18.
Giver Uber a try and get registered. It’s a simple process you can have done in a few days. After that, it’s as simple as opening an app and watching money come into your account. If you have questions, feel free to email me.
If you found this article helpful, please consider putting my code in when registering: w3djxue
I attached two shots of my own drives showcasing some of the varied trips you’ll receive. Since they’re time stamped it should help you pencil out down time. Be sure to look at how Uber calculates fares to help the numbers make sense better.
NOTE: IMPORTANT. The following fares do *not* factor in Uber’s cut, which varies by service and when you joined the platform. Assume 25% cut from the fare to Uber as an approximate.