Content of the material
- 1. Schedule Driving Times Around Surge Pricing
- 3. Track and Reduce Expenses
- 9. Drive For Postmates and Uber Eats at Once
- 5. Ride a Bike
- More Rides Could Mean More Money
- Know Your Local Peak Hours
- Don’t Chase Busy Areas
- Bring Snacks–For Yourself
- How I Mad Over $100 An Hour Driving For Uber
- A Shortage of Uber Drivers
- Good To Know
- Pros of Making Money with Uber
- 1. You have a flexible schedule.
- 2. It’s perfect for entrepreneurs.
- 3. You are your own boss.
- 4. Only skill required: driving well.
- 5. You get to meet new people.
- 6. You get to explore your city and beyond.
- 7. Learn while working.
- 8. Take advantage of the surge.
- What About Uber Eats?
- Uber Downsides
- How Does Uber Calculate Your Pay?
- Bonus Income
- Make $1000 per week with Uber and Lyft – and track it all with Gridwise!
1. Schedule Driving Times Around Surge Pricing
Uber drivers all have one favorite word: SURGE.
When there are a lot of ride requests in a certain area and not enough drivers to support the high demand, Surge pricing kicks in. It’s Uber’s way of getting more drivers out on the road in that area.
During Surge, Uber assigns a multiplier to the price of the ride. It can be 2x, 4x, 5x, etc., which means that riders will pay more and drivers will earn more during Surge rides. We’ve seen Surge multipliers in the double digits on holidays!
Surges can happen at any time, and if you drive during a Surge, you’ll definitely make more money. But if you want to make the most of Surge pricing, you’ve got to know where the Surge is.
There’s no guarantee of a Surge, but there are some key times where Surges are much more likely to occur. On Friday and Saturday nights (especially late at night when the bars close) you’re sure to find lots of drunk people looking for a ride home. If you drive in a densely populated downtown area with a lot of bars or clubs, there’s a good chance you’ll see a late-night Surge.
Surges are also more likely to happen during morning and evening rush hours. In the hours from 6 to 9 am and from 5 to 7 pm, everyone either wants to get to work or get home. Drive during those hours and you might be able to catch a Surge.
Surge pricing also tends to occur when major events, like sporting events and concerts, let out. Know what events are happening in your city and position yourself in that area before the event ends. If you’re lucky, you’ll be one of the first drivers to catch the Surge and may be able to get multiple rides at the Surge multiplier.
It’s best for full-time rideshare drivers to plan their weekly schedules around these popular Surge times. Drive when it’s busy. Rest when it’s slow. Let your downtime be from after the bars close until the morning rush hour begins, then again between the morning and evening rushes. The point is to do as much driving as possible during the Surge.
3. Track and Reduce Expenses
Uber drivers are independent contractors, not actual employees of the company. And that means that you’re responsible for tracking and reporting all of your expenses at tax time, just like any other small business.
When it comes time to pay taxes, you’ll want to take the most deductions you possibly can in order to reduce your tax burden. The way to do that is to track expenses throughout the year.
As an independent contractor, you have to pay income taxes quarterly, not just annually in April. And to know how much you owe you have to know how much it costs to operate your business.
Typical expenses include gas, vehicle maintenance, insurance, and the mileage rate (for 2018 the standard mileage deduction is 54.5 cents per mile). Expenses can also include snacks for Uber passengers, bottled water, and any other things you provide to your riders.
To make your life easier, consider using an app like SherpaShare to help you track your expenses. It makes it much easier to identify expenses that can reduce your taxable income. The lower your taxable income is, the less you’ll owe the IRS.
9. Drive For Postmates and Uber Eats at Once
Do not limit yourself! There are other apps like Uber to make money. The application to become Postmates or Uber Eats driver is free and easy. Unlike Doordash you do not need to schedule an orientation. Postmates and Uber Eats drivers are paid per delivery. Driving for both Postmates and Uber Eats at the same time is a good way to boostyour delivery requests and your income. Furthermore, if you apply for Postmates with our driver referral code, you become eligible to the bonus.
5. Ride a Bike
Did you read our article on Postmates vehicle requirements and Uber Eats vehicle requirements? We made a case study and compared the vehicle requirements for three major delivery companies: Postmates, Uber Eats and Doordash.
You need to be 19 years old to become an Uber delivery driver, but if you choose a bike as a method of transportation, you only have to be 18 years old. A valid driver’s license is not even required. So, with Postmates and Uber Eats you have the freedom to make bike deliveries. Ride a bike while delivering for Uber Eats is a way to save money, it will help you keep cash in your wallet. Here are some good reason you should prefer, when you can, bike delivery:
- You can park pretty much anywhere and avoid ticket
- You increase overall productivity
- You can extend the life of the car and save thousands of dollars by using a bike
- You can reduce your insurance costs
More Rides Could Mean More Money
One way to make money with Uber is to give more rides. Of course, that’s easier said than done. You may not be able to predict when you’ll get the most number of rides in the shortest amount of time. There are a couple of ways to ensure that you are driving smarter (and making more money) rather than just waiting around for fares:
Know Your Local Peak Hours
It can also pay to drive at times when you expect to see more ride requests. If you know that the waterfront in your town is always hopping on summer evenings, then it’s a good idea to plan to drive then.
Don’t Chase Busy Areas
That said, you might only take advantage of busy areas or times that you anticipate (like the day a popular singer is at the local arena) or those that happen to occur nearby. If you chase busy areas across town, it’s might not be as busy by the time you get there, and you’ll have wasted the time and gas.
Bring Snacks–For Yourself
Many Uber drivers offer bottled water and snacks to their rides. This is an excellent way to make the ride a comfortable one for your passengers. But it can be easy to forget your own rumbling tummy. Which means you might find yourself hitting up a fast food restaurant for a snack, which just cuts into your profit and is not great for your waistline.
Coming prepared for your own needs can be an important way to help you pocket as much profit as possible.
See also: Make Money Delivering Food with Doordash
How I Mad Over $100 An Hour Driving For Uber
There are two ways any enterprising individual should think about ways to make money.
The first way is to think about the total amount of money you can earn in a year, since the yearly salary is the standard way to calculate income. If you think this way, you’ve got the employee mentality. There’s a natural tendency for the majority to slack off or do the minimum over time since you’re going to get paid a set rate, no matter how little you work. Gotta love it!
The second way to think about earning money is through the hourly rate. If you think this way, you’ve got the independent contractor mentality. I think in this way because I decided to hit the eject button from Corporate America back in 2012 due to boredom, a lack of correlation with compensation and effort, and my intense desire to be free.
I only want to actively work about 25 hours a week so I can spend time on my online business and do other fun things. Therefore, my goal is to maximize my income on those 25 units a week.
A Shortage of Uber Drivers
Recent increases in gas prices have led to a shortage of Uber drivers, which may bode well for those looking to pick up some rideshare gig work. Here, again, understanding the fine print and variables is important.
Fewer drivers result in increased costs for riders. As more people are looking to get back on the road as COVID-19 restrictions ease, they’re finding wait times and prices that reflect the shortage of drivers.
In April of 2021, Uber developed an incentive program number of $250 million to get drivers back on the app. It also started charging riders fuel surcharges to help drivers cope with the increasing gas prices of 2022. This, combined with increased fares due to scarcity, means drivers are seeing better financial opportunities than before. In large cities like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, drivers are making over $30 per hour.
However, this temporary demand imbalance combined with Uber’s dynamic pricing structure suggests this pay increase is likely an unusual exception, not the rule. Those signing up as drivers now can make good money, but they should do so with an end date in mind.
Good To Know
The average car insurance will not cover a vehicle used for rideshare work. Uber provides insurance that covers drivers while they are waiting for a request, en route to pick-up or during a ride. To protect yourself when you use your vehicle for Uber, be sure to sign up for a rideshare auto insurance policy.
Pros of Making Money with Uber
If you’re new to driving for Uber or trying to decide if it’s worth it, it’s always important to weigh the pros and cons so you can end up making an informed decision.
I’ll lay everything out and help you decide if it’s worth it.
1. You have a flexible schedule
Possibly the biggest advantage of making money with Uber is that you can work as much or as little as you want.
You can dictate your schedule around important occasions and holidays.
Need to work late at night? Do it.
Take a whole month off because you just need some “me time”?
Yup, go for it.
Have a friend’s baby shower all the way across the state? You guessed it…Do it!
2. It’s perfect for entrepreneurs
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s in the process of starting or funding their own business, then Uber is a great way to make that extra money you need to fund your business.
Usually, entrepreneurs go for part-time jobs but those often come with strict schedules, and, well, a boss.
Which brings me to the next point…
3. You are your own boss
Driving with Uber, there’s no one telling you what to do, how to do it, or when to do it.
If you thrive in an independent work environment and don’t like being constantly supervised or micromanaged, then you’d like driving with Uber!
4. Only skill required: driving well
You don’t need to be a great writer, a crafty person, some Bitcoin guru, or even have special skills at all to be able to make money with Uber.
Driving well (read: driving safely, not driving fast) is enough.
You don’t even need any equipment but your phone and your car.
There’s a very low barrier of entry to the job in general (all you need is a car, a license, and no criminal background).
5. You get to meet new people
This one can be a pro or a con, depending on whether you like people.
If you’re an extrovert, then you will love the fact that you get to meet all types of people.
Maybe you’ll get to learn a thing or two from them.
Most side hustles don’t give you the opportunity to interact socially.
6. You get to explore your city and beyond
A lot of freelancers who work from home or remotely complain about the sudden monotonous routine that they find themselves in after a while.
They are sick of working from the same place every day.
When you make money with Uber, you’ll actually get to see new places and neighborhoods you’ve never even heard about.
7. Learn while working
Yes, you can listen to music or news while driving, but why not use this time to listen to podcasts?
You can use the time you work and make money to master another subject.
8. Take advantage of the surge
Let’s be honest: this definitely sucks for the rider.
For you, though, it’s definitely quite freaking cool.
If you are in an area or a time that often has surge pricing, you can make up to double the money (or even more) for the same amount of work.
Although it’s not smart to always be chasing the surge pricing (you’ll get to know why in a minute), it’s still a major advantage.
What About Uber Eats?
Uber rideshare drivers also have the option to deliver orders through Uber Eats. This entails opting in, accepting delivery orders and then transporting food and beverages to customers.
Choosing to deliver food can boost an Uber driver’s pay, especially on days when rides are slow. Uber encourages its drivers to diversify their payment options, depending on demand.
Uber Eats pays drivers a delivery fare based on pick-up, drop-off and distance. There is also a similar surge pricing for food delivery known as “Boost” that will increase pay at certain times of the day.
While Uber can be a great side hustle for anyone with a car, it’s not all profits and roses. To start, the earnings can be unpredictable. While this is common with any kind of independent contractor opportunity, it can be especially true of Uber since you are dependent on other people using the Uber app.
There’s also the weirdness factor in inviting strangers into your car. While the majority of riders are going to be perfectly lovely people just trying to get where they need to go, sometimes drivers will have to deal with aggressive, drunk, or even vomitous passengers.
Coming prepared for any potential rider–which includes having water and snacks available to help those struggling to keep that last tequila shot down, and having vomit bags for those who can’t–can help overcome the worst of the weird passengers.
How Does Uber Calculate Your Pay?
According to Uber, they calculate your pay on a weekly basis by summing up your trip fares, cancellation fees, tips, promotions, referral awards and tolls. They then take away any Uber fees, vehicle fees and device subscriptions where applicable. The total pay is then deposited in your bank account and in most cases deposits are daily!
After the bonus is collected, I’d just use Uber to pick up passengers along the way to wherever you’re going using their destination feature. I realized it’s not worth driving full-time anymore. The reason is because the hourly gross wage drastically declined since I started due to a large increase in drivers.
The great thing about this $300 income is that I had no idea it was coming. It was completely out of the blue, like seeing an Amazon gift box from a stranger at my front steps during a non-holiday period. Furthermore, it’s not like I’ve written a ton of articles about my Uber experience either. I only have two dedicated articles out of 2,000+ articles on Financial Samurai that revolve around my Uber experience.
Out of the $414.21 income, roughly 25% was active, and 75% was passive. As someone who is trying to maximize his time based on an hourly wage, such a high ratio for passive income is solid!
Make $1000 per week with Uber and Lyft – and track it all with Gridwise!
We can’t guarantee you’ll make $1000 per week, of course. But we’re willing to bet that if you use the ideas, strategies, and options in this article, you’ll be well on your way. Be sure to use Gridwise for tracking your mileage and recording all your expenses, too. Throughout this post, we’ve told you about all the features Gridwise offers, but in case you haven’t done it yet, download the Gridwise app now!