Although driving for Uber hasn’t been a very lucrative choice for making money, there are many reasons I still continue to do it. Before I started driving, my focus was on safety – what to do if someone tried to harm me. Having driven for a few weeks now, my impression of being an Uber driver is night and day from when I began. Now I drive for a very different set of reasons. Although these aren’t specific to Uber, it’s just the company I chose to drive for, these would likely relate to Lyft and others.
1 – Flexible Hours
This is probably the number one reason why anyone would drive for Uber (or Lyft, etc.). Depending on your tax bracket, how much gas your vehicle guzzles, and your other operating costs, in the end you’ll likely make the same as any other minimum wage job. What sets being a ride share driver apart from other jobs is how flexible it is. If you need money, just wake up early before work and drive, drive on the weekends or evenings, pretty much drive any time you have free hours.
2 – Deferred Taxes, More Money Now
Yes, Uncle Sam will eventually come asking for what feels like an enormous amount of money. If you’re pulling in $700 a week at Uber with a 30% tax bracket, that’s around $200 in taxes. Over a month, that’s $800. Over a year, that’s $9,600. Are you ready for that request from the IRS? Probably not. Chances are you’re now having to file every quarter, which means $2,400 ‘pay up requests’ every 3 or so months. Best case you’ll be eligible for deductions and can lower that amount, though that’s something to talk to a tax person about as everyone’s situation is different. The benefit of Uber is deferring those taxes, getting the money now to pay rent or whatever it is you’re driving for.
3 – New Perspectives
Driving people around all day has given me a more relaxed perspective. They easily forgive when the GPS is wrong and roll with the punches that driving offers. I’ve never been a road rage or vocal driver, I tend to be rather easy going with whatever happens on the road, though as a passenger when my money is on the line, I can get a bit intense like a recession baby watching how every wrong move costs me money, for better or worse. Being around other passengers has taught me a new way of reacting as well as seeing that most people don’t behave like every penny burned is going to be the end of the world, a good perspective for me.
4 – Connections & Networking
As an entrepreneur, in between projects, the connections I’ve met while driving are incredible. I meet CEOs and start-up founders every day, people that began like me and now run multi-million dollar companies. They empower me to move forward, they offer me jobs, they offer me co-founding opportunities, they believe in me and help me continue propelling forward.
5 – Helping the World
Ok, so maybe driving people around all day isn’t really making the world a better place. Though I help disabled people that can’t drive continue getting around. I help people with car troubles keep their jobs. Those times I drive out to the sticks, I’m helping people get a ride that likely wouldn’t have many options to get back into town. The drunk person who shouldn’t drive, I’m helping them get home safe (along with my fellow drivers). The times I’m the most helpful are often the times I make the least return, but I like knowing I’m making the world a little better one ride at a time.
PS – If you’re thinking about driving for Uber, feel free to use this link to get a sign-on bonus (gives me one too!): https://partners.uber.com/i/sarac13944ui