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Make money on your own schedule is the slogan that has drawn many of us to become an Uber driver.
We love the freedom of having a flexible work schedule, without a boss and be independent.
Having a flexible work schedule is good, but sometimes it is not so good for our finance. This is the risk that many us, the Uber drivers, have to deal with every day.
Many Uber drivers have a full-time job.
My full-time job is running my online business. Here’s What I Do Every Day To Make Money Online.
As an Uber Driver, you enjoy the flexibility of making money on our own schedule, but how much money can you make? Is it worth the time and effort? And what are the risks and requirements to become an Uber driver?
This Uber Driver Review will answer all these questions and more.
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Uber Driver Review Business Opportunity
Uber has introduced a new opportunity for people to make money by launching their own on-demand transportation business, become a rideshare driver.
Uber drivers are independent contractors, operating their own on-demand transportation services, driving people home, to the airport, or to an appointment.
What is Uber?
Uber is acting as a middleman connecting passengers with drivers through an app which all drivers pay a commission to use.
Uber app also collects the ride fares from passengers, deducts the commissions, then pays out to drivers weekly.
The business model created by Uber has substantially lowered the costs for newcomers to enter the peer-to-peer rideshare services. Anyone with a car can now become a rideshare driver.
The low initial investments do not mean Uber rideshare business is profitable for drivers.
Most Uber drivers are driving part-time with a large number of them are retirees looking for ways to supplement their retirement income.
If you are thinking of launching an Uber Driving business, you should know your take-home earnings are not as much as Uber has advertised. It is substantially less.
Before discussing Uber driver requirements and the application process, let first look at the company story.
Uber Company History
Uber Technology, Inc., operates as Uber, was founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp on March 2009 in San Francisco, CA.
The company operated as Ubercab until 2011, then changed to Uber.
Uber relies on an extensive network of independent drivers to operate in 785 cities over 77 countries. It is truly an extensive community of rideshare drivers.
Today, you can find Uber drivers in most major metropolitan areas in the U.S. Here are just a few:
New York City
How to Become an Uber Driver?
You must have a car to become an Uber driver. However, you don’t have to own one. You can rent one from Uber or Uber partners.
Once you decide on the car that you will be using to drive for Uber, there are other requirements that you must meet before you can accept passengers.
Uber Driver Requirements
Never start applying to drive for Uber until you have gathered all the required documents.
Applying without proper paperwork will cause delay, frustration, or even rejected by Uber.
To become an Uber driver, you must meet the followings:
- You must Meet the minimum age to drive in your city or be at least 21 years old
- Have at least one year of driving experience. If under 23, it must be at least 3 years
- Have a smartphone with a data plan to install and run the Uber driver app. You can also rent one from Uber for $10 per week.
- Must pass a driving record and background check
- Possess a valid US driver’s license
- Residency documents from your city, state, or province
- The vehicle insurance policy in your own name, if you are driving your car
- Vehicle in-state registration and plate, but it doesn’t have to be in your name
- A Social Security number
- A profile photo of yourself: forward-facing, including the driver’s full face and top of shoulders
You can drive your own car or rent one from Uber or Uber partners.
If you drive your own car, the car must meet the following requirements:
- The vehicle must be 15 years old or newer
- It must be a 4-door vehicle with no cosmetic damage
- No commercial branding or advertisements
- Willing to display Uber vehicle decals in your windshield
After gathering all the required documents and verifying your eligibilities, you can visit the Uber website and start submitting the required documents to begin the screening process.
Quick note: You don’t need to have a car to become an Uber driver. Uber will qualify you for leasing or renting a car during the application process.
You can also apply at any Uber meeting. Be sure to bring all the required documents with you to the Uber meeting.
Once you have submitted all the paperwork and passed the background check, you are ready to drive for Uber.
Download and Install Uber Driver App
The first thing you need to do as a new Uber driver is to download and install the Uber driver app onto your smartphone.
Saving tip: The Uber app uses a lot of data. If you are on a limited data plan, consider renting one from Uber for $10 a week. This is much cheaper than getting charged for exceeding your data plan.
The app is very simple and easy to use. Once installed, you can launch the app, log in to your account, press the “Go Online” button and start accepting trip requests.
You have 15 seconds to accept the request before it goes to the next closest driver. So, make sure you turn the sound all the way up to hear the request when it comes in.
If you accepted the trip request, the app navigation will direct you to the rider location for pickup.
Once the rider is in the car and you are ready to drive, just slide the “Start” button to start the trip.
When you safely dropped the passengers off at the final location, slide the “Complete” button to end the trip.
Uber will ask you to rate the rider. After this, you are ready to accept new trip requests.
You don’t have to worry about collecting the fares. Uber app will deduct the fare amount from the rider payment account without you needing to get involved.
You can access and view trips invoices through the Uber driver portal. It is the easiest way to find out the total fare for the ride.
The driver portal also has all of your documents including earnings, invoices and vehicle-related documents.
Unlike Lyft, you cannot integrate the Uber rider app with the driver app.
How Much Does Uber Driver Make?
The fare you earned at the end of each ride is not the amount you’ll take home as an Uber driver.
There are many expenses that you must deduct to determine the actual earnings.
The most important expense is gas. Remember to have a strategy when driving for Uber so that you’re not wasting time or gas.
You Drive – You Earn
The worst thing about driving for Uber is that you only make money when you are driving.
Many Uber drivers advertise themselves as business owners, but, they own nothing. The moment you stop driving, the earnings stop.
This means you earn nothing while sitting and waiting for the next rider.
Your daily earnings depend on passenger demand and the number of Uber drivers on the road.
The low number of drivers or high demands you’ll earn a surge price, while low demands with too many drivers you will earn as low as $5 per ride.
Your earnings are all depended on where you live, when you drive, and how often you drive. So, it pays to have a strategy when driving for Uber.
Uber Driver Expenses
Business expenses will take a big cut from your Uber Driving earnings.
The first cut is Uber fees. Uber charges a fee of 25% on each ride.
As an independent contractor, you are a business owner and responsible for all taxes, from federal taxes to state and local taxes.
The expenses that most Uber drivers fail to account for are wear and tear, gas price per mile, highway tolls, car detailing, car finance, and depreciation.
Once you have the total expenses, you need to subtract them from the earnings to determine your actual income.
Many Uber drivers reported break even or lose money after taking into account all business related expenses.
Uber Driver Income
To be blunt, you will not earn as much as Uber has advertised. Most Uber drivers have a full-time job and drive part-time.
Back in 2015, an Uber self-funded study claimed their drivers earned more per hour than traditional taxi drivers, more than $19 per hour.
However, other studies have proved the number doesn’t add up.
In 2018, an independent driver earnings survey reported Uber drivers earned just $14.46 an hour. This is before taking out gas and other expenses.
The study suggested that Uber drivers earnings are below minimum wage after you factor in car costs and other driving-related expenses which many Uber drivers fail to consider.
It is hard to know the exact earning rates for Uber drivers.
However, we can say that most Uber drivers earn below the minimum wage.
More Ways to Make Money as Uber Driver
There are things you can do to increase your earnings with Uber. Below are some tips to maximize your earnings.
Driving peak time
During peak time, mostly late at night or early morning, Uber increases the fare which they call surge charges.
Surge charged prices apply when passenger demands far more than drivers on the road. Uber surge charged price is anywhere between 3X to 15X the normal rate.
For example, The normal ride costs $10. If Uber adds a 3X surge charged, then the ride would cost $30 ($10 x 3).
It’s wise to know the peak hours in the areas you plan to drive.
Unlike Lyft, Uber does not build customers’ tips into the app. However, Uber customers can tip drivers in cash. It is optional.
Always keep your car clean and treat your passengers with respect to earn their tips. Tips can help to cover gas costs.
Uber pays a recruitment bonus when you get new passengers or drivers to sign up for the service.
This is a great way to earn more money with Uber besides driving.
You can create a website or business cards to hand out your referral code to potential users and drivers.
A better way to find more referrals is by using the online marketing technique known as Affiliate Marketing.
I have included a section at the end of this Uber Driver Review to explain more about using affiliate marketing to make money with Uber. Jump to the end.
Drive for Both Uber and Lyft
Many drivers drive for both Uber and Lyft because sometimes one ride offers better fares than the other.
You want to maximize your earnings, if you can, for each ride or the hours you are driving.
You can learn more about driving for Lyft through this Lyft Driver Review.
Uber Driver Payment System
Uber collects the fares after each ride, deduct the 25% fee, then send the payment to drive weekly.
The payment period is from Monday to Monday. Drivers receive a payment statement emailed to them on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Make sure to review the weekly payment statement for mistakes so you can file a dispute with Uber either through the app or visit an Uber location.
The payment is direct deposit into the drivers’ bank account on Wednesday, and it takes up to 2 days to clear.
Uber also offers an instant payment option which they offer through a partnership with GoBank. You can access the earnings instantly as they come. There is a $0.50 fee associated with every earning transfer.
Should I Become an Uber Driver?
Uber is a good option to make some extra money in your free times and meet new people.
The flexibility to set your own work schedule makes driving for Uber the best option for people with a full-time job to earn some extra cash on the side.
However, if you are looking to make a full-time income, you should understand that most Uber drivers earn below a minimum wage.
There are other options for you to make a full-time income. Here’s how I make a living working online.
You will not get rich driving for Uber. So, you must carefully consider the advantage and disadvantage of operating an Uber Driving Business.
The advantages of Driving for Uber
- The flexibility to make money on your own schedule
- Low initial investments to enter the rideshare business
- Being your own boss
- An opportunity to explore and learn about your city
- Meeting new people every day and every ride
- Get paid instantly and earn cash tips.
The disadvantages of Driving for Uber
- The pay rates are low
- Must work long hours to get decent pay
- High vehicle maintenance due to too much wear and tear
- No benefits such as health insurance
- You are an independent contractor but does not own your business
- Have to deal with drunk passengers
- Constantly have to clean your car
- No passive earning. No money if you stop driving.
The two top reasons Uber drivers do not enjoy driving are the long driving hours and crazy customers. You must learn to deal with these issues. Otherwise, your day as an Uber driver will not last long.
Uber Rating System
The Uber rating system plays an important part of the company success. It puts the entire rideshare services in check for a better and safer service.
However, the Uber rating system has a significant effect on driver earnings than on passengers.
Uber drivers must keep an average rating of 4.6 or above to continue working as an Uber driver.
If you fall below the average rating requirement, Uber will give you a warning before kicking you off the platform.
As for passengers, the low rating makes it harder for them to get a ride, but rarely they get banned unless they rack up too many bad reviews.
However, local or regional support groups are great. So, if you ever need help, it is better to contact your regional support group for help.
Is Driving for Uber a Good Business?
The answer is NO!
Besides the low earnings, you don’t own your business and earn no passive income when you operate a business as an Uber Driver.
The better options to make money from home are Affiliate marketing or Blogging. These are a more lucrative online business with low initial investments and less involve like driving. You can easily earn a full-time income with this business.
I make a living writing and reporting what I love. Here’s my profile. You can do the same.
As a blogger and affiliate marketer, one of my blog site can generate over $7,000 monthly income while I’m sleeping. Driving for Uber cannot.
I own my website (Online Business), and I can sell for a profit. You cannot say this as an Uber driver.
Many Uber drivers are using the blog to share their driving experience with potential drivers and passengers to earn referral bonuses. Like me, they drive part-time for the experience and blog full-time for a living.
If you want to earn real income, I suggest you take these 10 Free Training Lessons to learn more about using affiliate marketing to build your Uber driving business.
I used the same free training lessons to build my online business. I invite you to follow the link below to discover your own success story.
You cannot be rich driving for Uber. It is a part-time gig, not a business.
But, you can get rich building an online business that generates passive income for years to come.
Let me know what you think?