Uber Driver: Latest Earnings – $14/hour (Net)

It’s been a few weeks since my original proof of concept driving with Uber. Despite the low return, I decided to keep driving for several reasons. I’ve been driving every day except for one day I took off (primarily to keep my sanity!). Most days I drive both a morning and evening shift and have found driving is more exhausting than I thought. Though this time around a few things changed that raised my earnings per hour. Let’s see how things shook out:

WEEK 4

If we just look at things from a gross revenue perspective, it looks like this:

Date Rides+Tips Hours Gross Rate/Hr
Mon, Jul 17 $89.89 3.0 $29.96
Tue, Jul 18 $169.86 4.5 $37.75
Wed, Jul 19 $38.02 1.5 $25.35
Thu, Jul 20 $53.31 3.0 $17.77
Fri, Jul 21 $237.60 5.5 $43.20
Sat, Jul 22 $129.50 5.0 $25.90
Sun, Jul 23 $148.06 4.0 $37.02

The gross hourly rates are certainly hitting the targets Uber uses in its promotional materials. Though unlike a typical job, you purchase and maintain the asset that is required to reach those earning levels. If we factor in the direct costs plus a rough 30% for taxes, it becomes:

$877.44 – $98.65 gas – $263.23 taxes = $515.56 / 26.5 hours = $ 19.46 / hour

If I start to factor in the rest of my working expenses – i.e. the indirect expenses (car payment, cell phone, insurance, parking), it looks like this:

$515.56 – $82.50 (25% of car payment) – $12.50 (25% of phone) – $30 (25% of car insurance) – $12.50 (25% of parking) = $378.06 / 26.5 hours = $14.26 / hour

Although $14.26 / hour is slightly over minimum wage and doesn’t account for all the wear and tear on my car (let alone the insane amount of miles I’m wracking up), it’s not a bad wage for a job that lets me clock in and clock out whenever I want. Though let’s see how week 5 panned out.

WEEK 5

Again, let’s start with gross earnings:

Date Rides+Tips Hours Gross Rate/Hr
Mon, Jul 24 $159.42 7.75 $20.57
Tue, Jul 25 $122.40 5.00 $24.48
Wed, Jul 26 $115.25 5.00 $23.05
Thu, Jul 27 $131.67 5.50 $23.94
Fri, Jul 28 $128.26 6.25 $20.52
Sat, Jul 29 $137.99 4.50 $30.66
Sun, Jul 30 $132.96 4.50 $29.55

We’ll run the same math as we did for the prior week. Here are the gross earnings less direct costs:

$929.95 – $111.82 gas – $278.99 taxes = $539.14 / 38.5 hours = $ 14.00 / hour

Here are the net earnings less indirect costs:

$539.14 – $82.50 (25% of car payment) – $12.50 (25% of phone) – $30 (25% of car insurance) – $12.50 (25% of parking) = $401.64 / 38.5 hours = $10.43 / hour

Despite having higher earnings in Week 5, it cost more in gas to get to that number and far more hours making the net just slightly above minimum wage.

SUMMARY

A couple key things have changed increasing earnings since my original proof of concept:

1. Uber launched a tipping feature in the app

2. I’ve been qualified for Uber Select the entire duration (it took most of my proof of concept to earn the ability to drive Select, which makes 2x the money)

3. The number of people making me wait for them during these past two weeks was slightly lower (note: every minute a rider makes me wait for them is a hit to my profitability)

Though on the flip side a couple things changed that decreased earnings:

1. Uber hasn’t given me any Quests in Week 4 or 5 (these give big bonuses to drivers)

2. Uber hasn’t been doing nearly half the number of boosts they were during my proof of concept (this is free money from Uber for helping them increase supply of drivers)

3. The number of re-matches I’ve had at the airport has lowered, meaning I’ve been losing 30 minutes to get back into town and another $5 in gas on most my recent airport drop offs

Since tipping began, the amount of idle time between rides has increased. More drivers have resurfaced or increased their driving in hopes of earning more money. The greater the supply of drivers, the lower we make overall (unless/until rider demand increases to balance it out).

Overall, the earnings are now starting to appear like a sustainable interim plan for covering rent and other expenses. Driving 25-40 hours per week has certainly taken a hit on my time to spend focusing on writing for this blog or starting a new business, though the ability to cover my expenses is exactly what is needed right now. Plus, the conversations and connections being made have been a wonderful added bonus.

PS – if you’re ready to start driving for Uber, you’ll need a referral code to get started. Feel free to use mine to get a sign-on bonus: https://partners.uber.com/i/sarac13944ui

Cheers,
Sara

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