Since 2011, Uber has provided car owners with the opportunity to earn extra money while providing passengers with convenient and affordable rides. If you are a good driver and have a car, you should learn how to make money on Uber and sign up as soon as possible. Even if you don’t own a car, there are many car owners who lend their cars to Uber drivers for a fixed weekly fee.
Whether you own a car or not, this article will teach you what you need to do to become a driver and how much you can make on Uber. First, you will learn about the company, how the Uber platform operates, and the benefits and drawbacks of working at Uber. You will also learn how to sign up for Uber and learn some practical tips for working at Uber.
What Is Uber?
Uber is a Silicon Valley-based tech company that provides a car-hailing platform for connecting drivers with riders. The San Francisco company was initially launched to offer luxury transportation to people who want to travel in a private car without the drawbacks of regular taxis. Back then, there was also a limited pool of drivers because only people with a certain type of luxury black car could sign up to be Uber drivers.
Today, Uber has become more accessible to drivers and passengers alike. The company currently has millions of active drivers in various countries around the world. You do not need to own a luxurious black car to start driving with Uber. Uber has also expanded its services and now has several divisions, including UberEats, Uber for Business, and Uber Freight.
How Does Uber Work?
Uber has an online app that connects drivers with customers by using real-time location tracking through the GPS in a customer’s mobile phone. For Uber’s hailing service, both the driver and the customer must have the Uber mobile app installed for the system to function. The customer will make a delivery request remotely, and the nearest available driver will accept the request and navigate to the customer’s location.
How Much Can You Actually Make on Uber?
You can make a median salary of $56,066 as a full-time driver for Uber in the United States, according to ZipRecruiter. Annual income could go as high as $130,000 or as low as $14,500, depending on several factors. Factors that affect median earnings include hourly wages, the type of Uber driving, and location. For example, Uber Eats drivers currently earn an average annual salary of about $40,176.
The top three highest paying cities for Uber rideshare drivers at the time of writing are San Mateo, CA, Berkeley, CA, and Daly City, CA. Full-time Uber driver earnings in these cities include an average of $69,121, $66,778, and $66,592 yearly respectively.
The Pros and Cons of Working on Uber
Like every other business model, working as an Uber driver has benefits and drawbacks. Weighing these pros and cons will help you decide whether a full-time job as an Uber driver is the best option for you.
Pros of Working on Uber
- Flexibility to work when you want. Uber is one of the most flexible rideshare companies you will find today. All you have to do is change your status on the app to “Available”, and you can begin accepting rides. When you want to rest or do something else, simply change your status to “Unavailable”, and you will not receive rides. You can work flexible hours as long as you own the vehicle.
- Get paid each time you drive. You do not need to wait till the end of the month or week to get paid for the rides you complete. Uber drivers are paid instantly, allowing you to drive people whenever you need money. Furthermore, the charges per ride rise significantly during peak hours, allowing you to earn even more.
- Earn bonuses for putting in the work. Uber offers bonuses to drivers at intervals. These bonuses serve as incentives for drivers to work hard and reward those who put in a lot of hours.
- You don’t need to own a car. While most Uber drivers use cars, you don’t always need a car to make money on Uber. For example, people can use motorcycles, bicycles, and even scooters to make money on Uber delivery services like the Uber Eats platform. You can also work for someone who owns a car and pay a set amount each week.
- You can work anywhere. You can work as a driver as long as the Uber app is available in the city you are in. So, if you want to relocate, you don’t have to worry about finding a new job. You’re able to drive as long as your app is operational and you’re driving the same registered vehicle.
Cons of Working on Uber
- You have to pay double insurance. Uber is not responsible for providing drivers with rideshare insurance premiums. However, they make it mandatory and deduct it automatically from your hourly income. This means you’ll have to pay your regular car insurance as well as rideshare insurance every month, regardless of how much you make.
- The cost of doing business is on you. Whether you are the car owner or you are leasing the vehicle, you will have to pay for maintenance costs, repair costs, income tax, sales tax, and the cost of gas. Individual drivers cover the entire operational cost that comes from working with Uber. This may significantly affect the total amount you make monthly and make it difficult to work with a budget.
- Driving for Uber doesn’t mean you are an Uber employee. Using the Uber app to make money doesn’t mean you are an Uber employee. You will be an independent contractor. As a result, you should not expect to receive the traditional benefits that come with working for Uber as a part-time or full-time employee. If you want to enjoy these privileges, you will need to learn how to become a software engineer or an Uber data scientist or
- There are no clear-cut terms. Uber has different terms and conditions in different countries, and they are not always favorable. For example, the terms in the United States are completely different and more favorable than the terms for drivers in developing countries like Nigeria. A typical example is the difference in hourly income and subsequently annual earnings.
- It is not as flexible as you would expect. While you have a high degree of flexibility when you’re working as an Uber driver, you are obligated to accept almost every ride you get. It makes no difference if you are uncomfortable with the rider or if you are unsure about getting to the destination. Uber will ban you from driving if you reject rides you aren’t comfortable taking.
How to Become an Uber Driver
Becoming an Uber driver isn’t as difficult as getting a job as an Uber employee. All you need to do is follow the steps listed below and meet the eligibility criteria. If you qualify, you can start using your car for rides in no time. Note that you need to meet the minimum age requirements in your city to apply.
1. Get a Vehicle
The first thing you need is regular access to a vehicle. Drivers who own cars make the most money. However, If you don’t have a car, you can lease one from people who specialize in hiring cars for Uber driving. It must be a four-door vehicle in good condition with no cosmetic flaws.
The vehicle cannot be older than 15 years old and must be covered by standard vehicle insurance. It also needs to meet the local car requirements in your state. If you cannot get a vehicle on your own, Uber can connect you to its vehicle partners for as low as $250 weekly. Drivers who work enough hours per week will make the payment.
2. Download the Uber Application
You will need the Uber application to complete your rides and track your earnings. This mobile application is available for iOS and Android devices and is completely free to use. After downloading the app, sign up as a driver and follow the subsequent prompts. You will find your earnings reports on the app when you start driving.
3. Get the Required Documents
You will need to submit important documents like your driver’s license, vehicle insurance card, utility bill as proof of residency, and a forward-facing profile photo of yourself. With these documents, you can complete the online screening and proceed to the in-person vehicle inspection.
4. Take the Vehicle for Inspection
Before your profile can be approved, you must take the vehicle to a nearby Uber workshop for inspection. It is important to note that you will be required to have the vehicle inspected every year or every 50,000 miles after the initial inspection. The goal of the inspection is to make sure that your car is safe for riders.
5. Start Driving and Earning
You can begin your first ride after your profile has been completed and your vehicle has been inspected. You might get a sign-up bonus if you’re lucky. Ensure the riders are comfortable throughout the ride and encourage them to give you a five-star rating after each ride. If you receive a lot of bad ratings, Uber may suspend your account.
How to Make More Money on Uber
Now that you know how to start working on the Uber platform, you can make additional income and increase your median income by having a good driving strategy. Here are some tips on making more money on Uber.
Take Advantage of Every Surge Period
When there is an increase in demand for drivers, the fare price and booking fee rise significantly above standard trip fees. The Uber app notifies you when there is surge pricing in specific areas, which you can use to boost your total earnings. While surge prices or amounts can be unpredictable, you can predict busy times to some extent and plan your schedule around these surge periods.
Save on Personal Expenses with Uber Partners
Uber has several partnership programs that help drivers save money on driver expenses. One of such programs is Uber Pro. Uber Pro is a loyalty reward program that helps you earn more money by saving up to 25 percent on vehicle maintenance.
Some drivers in this program may also enjoy 100 percent tuition payment at Arizona State University ASU online. If you qualify but do not want to attend school, a family member may use the benefit. To enjoy Uber Pro benefits, you must drive frequently and provide excellent services to your riders in order to accumulate points over time.
Earn Tips from Happy Customers
If you are an Uber Eats driver, you can make extra income from tipping. Uber doesn’t deduct any service fee from your tips. It is important to note that these tips are not mandatory, so you should not pressure your clients to tip you. All delivery drivers need to do is provide exceptional service. When the client is asked to leave a review, they will have the option to tip the driver.
Stay in the City Center
Driving without passengers will only cost you money in the long run. The same can be said about working in the suburbs. Even if you live in the suburbs, you should go to the city center in the morning and work there until you are ready to return home. You will find the most riders in city centers.
Download the Passenger App
To optimize the experience and earn more money, you should download the Uber passenger app. The app has features that aren’t available on the driver app. One powerful feature is the location of drivers. Passengers can see the locations with the highest number of drivers. You can use this and other trip details to your advantage.
Is Working on Uber Worth It?
Working on Uber is worth it if you want a flexible job that allows you to be your own boss. Uber driving does not require as much capital as other businesses. To drive for Uber, you do not need a university degree. Even if you don’t own a car, you can hire one from Uber for as little as $250 per week. You can eventually buy a car if you have a steady source of income.
Making Money on Uber FAQ
Can you make good money with Uber?
Yes, you can earn good money with Uber. However, it is not a fixed income stream, so it varies based on your location, hours, trip lengths, and a host of other factors. For example, driving during busy times will earn you more money than slow periods. You must also consider the cost of doing business because all these factors will impact the total amount of money you earn per year. Insurance costs and income taxes will affect your net earnings.
How much does Uber charge per mile in 2021?
Uber does not have a fixed rate per mile, so earnings estimates vary. The amount riders pay, and the amount a rideshare driver receives is affected by various factors. For example, during surge times, the price per mile skyrockets. The pickup location, drop-off location, time spent, and booking fee also influence the total charge per ride.
Why are Uber prices so high in 2021?
Uber’s price increase in 2021 is primarily due to a driver shortage. Riders in certain parts of the United States have been complaining about the ever-increasing cost of Uber rides since the beginning of 2021. This is because when there are fewer drivers than customers, demand rises.
Is Uber cheaper than a taxi?
No, the base fare for most Uber rides is traditionally higher than the base fare for taxis. However, some frequent commuters have reported that Uber is cheaper for fast, smooth, and long rides with minimal congestion. Traditional taxis are less expensive for rides in congested areas with heavy traffic.
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