Uber Driver Earnings – Do They Clear Minimum Wage?

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Editorial note – this story was extensively fact-checked to be sure the pay reported was accurately conveyed, including how Uber calculates guarantees for their drivers. 

Ten days ago, I reported that the latest round of rate cuts for UberX, while great for consumers, might spell the end of equitable Uber driver earnings, even with promised guarantees.  Analysis of the overall compensation has been on my mind ever since my own disappointing Uber driver earnings on New Years Eve.

I decided an experiment was in order to see what the net effect of the new rates would be for the “average” driver.

Uber would guarantee me gross fares of $12.00 in the non-peak time and $20.00 in the peak time (Friday and Saturday evenings between 5 pm and 3 am).  To earn the guarantee, I would have to be logged in for at least 50 minutes each hour, accept at least 90% of the rides offered to me, and take at least one ride per hour.   I had total control over the first variable.  The second required me to be open-minded about rides which meant even accepting rides that might be 20 minutes away.  And there was no control over the third variable – I had to do my best to position myself strategically.

During a typical 24/7 week, there are 168 hours of coverage.  Uber requestors expect to be able to find a car at any time (I’ve gotten requests at 6 am on a Saturday morning and 1 pm on a Tuesday, so I know this firsthand) but it doesn’t mean that demand is consistent during those periods.  Uber’s guarantee of $20/hour only applies to 16 of those hours (or less than 10% of the total coverage week) so it can be deduced that the majority of the time they are only comfortable guaranteeing $12/hour to their drivers.

I decided to experiment by driving eight “average” hours in the Fort Worth market.  I picked the stretch from 1 pm to 9 pm on Saturday, January 10.  This would give me four hours in the non-peak guarantee period and four in the peak.  I decided to try to start and end my day in central Fort Worth, west of downtown in an area where three distinct ride zones intersect, all three of which regularly show up on Uber “heat maps” which show drivers areas of increased demand (yellow), high demand (orange), and surge pricing (red).  This would allow me healthy enough volume to meet the guarantee criteria easily, I believed.

And I was right.  I didn’t look at my individual fares or earnings until the end of the night but felt like I had a fairly busy shift.  I did 15 rides and had very little downtime where I was not in my vehicle.  I started from my home and had to turn off my phone at the end of the eight hours or I would have surely continued receiving ride requests.  As busy as I was, I expected strong earnings that had exceeded the guarantee in at least a few of the hours.

At the end of eight hours, the raw numbers were surprising.

I completed 15 total rides – and did achieve one per hour (in three of hours I did two rides per hour and in two hours I did three rides per hour)

My longest ride was 5.0 miles and my average ride was 2.5 miles

I had riders in my car for a total of 156.7 minutes or 33% of the time I worked – not a bad ratio but ideally it would be 50% or higher.  Of the 480 minutes that I worked (8 hours x 60 minutes), another 30-35% of my time was “positioning” (driving to the next request) and my waiting time (for the passenger to come out of their location and get in the car) to be equal to the drive time so that accounts for another third of my time.  The remaining time includes sitting and waiting for the next request or ending a ride and waiting for the app to reset after I rated the passenger.

So far, so good right?

Let’s break it down further.  One-third of my rides were minimum fare ($4) rides – ten days ago, that minimum fare would have been $5.  And I put a lot of mileage on my car for even those short rides.  My official Uber mileage (on passenger fares) was 37.7 miles.  But my “other” mileage (driving to pickups) was 33.4 miles.  So in the eight hours, I drove a total of 71.1 miles.  This is VERY important because that latter mileage (driving to a requested ride) is uncompensated mileage by Uber, but thankfully a deductible expense assuming it’s tracked correctly (something that Uber does NOT do for drivers or even coach them to do after bringing them on) so those deciding to drive need to be savvy and keep good records.

But the real question we all want to know the answer to is… did I make any money? 

Let’s see…

My total fare tally was $78.47 – or an effective rate of $9.81 per hour – this was $7.66 during the non-peak time and $11.96 during the peak time – a far cry from the guaranteed rates (64% and 60% of them to be exact).

But then Uber took $1 for each of those 15 rides to cover a Safe Rides Fee.  On one ride, they also charged (and then deducted) a $0.50 split fare fee for two riders who each wanted to pay half of the ride.  And then of the fare that remained after that per-ride deduction, Uber took another 20% cut.

After Uber’s cut, I made $50.38 – or $6.30 per hour – below minimum wage in any state.

BUT wait, there’s more!

My total IRS mileage deduction (at 57.5 cents per mile) was $40.88.  I have to deduct that to figure out my total cost of doing business as an independent contractor.  This makes now makes my net $9.49 for the entire eight hours – or $1.19 per hour

Now surely Uber must have run these numbers themselves when they decided  to lower rates because they promised Uber partner drivers that they would guarantee their gross earnings for a limited promotional period.  During that time, they guaranteed that my gross earnings would be $12/$20 per hour.

Before we continue,  let’s clarify what Uber means by “gross” (and a big thank you to the partner in the UberDallas office who responded to my detailed emails this past week requesting specific clarification on this calculation).  Gross in Uber terms is exactly what is charged to the passenger.  Gross includes the $1 per ride Safe Rides Fee and the 20% cut that Uber takes.  That means that on a short minimum fare ride (like five of my rides on this particular day), my total net is $2.40 and that’s before I deduct my mileage expenses.

A minimum fare ride can technically be up to 3.3 miles in length.  With an IRS mileage deduction of 57.5 cents per hour, I would actually lose money on the ride if I drove more than 0.9 miles to pick that passenger up for a minimum fare ride.

But since Uber requires drivers to accept 90% of rides to meet the guarantee, it’s a dice roll every driver takes (not knowing the passengers destination until they pull up and start the ride) – it could be a ride down the street.  Or it could be a long ride to the airport.

Many drivers don’t meet all of the guarantee criteria.  They don’t average the one ride per hour needed due to where or when they have chosen to work.  Or they turned down a couple of ride requests that were too far away geographically (I still regularly get requests that are 15-20 minutes away).  Or they went to the bathroom and missed a request or two.  Or they got lucky and had a couple of really good hours (surge fares or airport rides) that took their average earnings for the week just above the guarantee mark.

But I was one of the “lucky ones” – I qualified for Uber welfare.  (Really, it would have been nicer to just have earned the money outright, I swear!) 

My guarantee was split out by both my non-peak ($12/hour) and peak ($20/hour) gross fare guarantee and in total, added $39.42 to my payout bringing me back to $89.80  – or $11.22 an hour before my mileage deduction.  Or after the mileage deduction, a whopping $6.11 per hour.

$6.11 per hour?!

I couldn’t believe it.  After eight long hours of sitting in my car and driving (I only got out to stretch or use the bathroom twice and both times was not out long before the next request came in sending me running back to the drivers seat), never taking my eyes off the phone screen out of fear I’d miss a request, allowing strangers to come into my personal car, and giving up my free time on a Saturday I was rewarded with less than minimum wage.

I’ll repeat again that this was a controlled experiment to see what average drivers might experience.  I could have potentially earned more.  And if my rides has been slightly longer, I could have actually earned even less due to expenses.

Did the time of day I drove have something to do with my earnings?  Yes, perhaps – but if anything, it enhanced them.  Driving at night helped as my effective rate (post-expense deductions) of $8.05 an hour after 5 pm.  It was a mere $4.18 for the non-peak times.  Fares are more likely to surge on the weekends, especially in those late 1 to 3 am windows when everyone wants a safe ride home regardless of the price.

But given that non-peak times (which is every time that is NOT Friday or Saturday between 5 pm and 3 am) account for over 90% of the week, where does that leave the drivers who cover the rest of the time span?  Without the guarantee, I would have netted $0.76 per hour in the non-peak times and $1.62 per hour in the peak times.

My fares likely had something to do with where I drove – but not everything to do with it.  Average rides in the area where I drove are known to be shorter and thus lower fare.  There are many such pockets around the entire DFW Metroplex.  Ironically, those area some of the areas that also have the highest regular demand so drivers in those areas have to make up for the lower fares with higher volume (but also the resulting higher mileage).  I know many of higher-earning drivers who will drive as much as an hour away from their homes to position themselves for higher fares.

Average is important here – there are drivers that do have great earnings with Uber and they are the poster children for how much one can make driving with the company.  I know a lot of these higher earning guys (and they are almost exclusively guys) and they hustle for the money – they work the odd hours, seem to intuitively know where the best ride or surges are going to be, and spend time cultivating their business.  I’m impressed by their stamina.  I regularly hear from them at 5 am when they’ve been driving for twelve hours straight and decided to stay up for a few more hours to catch the airport runs before getting some sleep.

These guys are also shrewd – they don’t accept every ride request that comes their way.  They won’t drive more than a couple of minutes away to pick up their next passengers and let those twenty minute away requests roll to the next driver in the queue.   They have passengers who call them directly for rides.  Their list of success techniques goes on and on.

But many – perhaps MOST – Uber drivers aren’t those guys.  There are a lot of average drivers out there who ply the streets looking for the highest volume, following the packs of other drivers to hot spots, and chasing the surge zones.  Or those who just want to be an advocate of the greater concept of the ridesharing economy by offering rides to their neighbors and others in a specific geographic zone.

I am left to wonder how many “average” drivers will continue to drive once they have analyzed their actual Uber driver earnings correctly.  Or how many average drivers don’t know how to do the math or haven’t tracked their mileage properly and thus can’t see beyond the total amount earned each week with no regard to the time and expense invested.  Uber driver earnings are often far less than touted in recruitment campaigns.

The important part of the ridesharing economy is that Uber relies upon the average drivers.  For the service to be successful, users need to be able to find a reasonably priced ride.

But they also need to count on clean cars and top-notch drivers who are where the riders need them.

Not just in the hot spots known for higher dollar rides.

Not just working the peak hours with higher guaranteed returns.

And not located twenty minutes away where the driver is disincentivized to drive that far for a low fare pick up, especially knowing their passenger might still try to cheat the system.

But maybe I’m not a fan of this sharing economy so much anymore – not at $1.19 to $6.11 an hour.  Even my 4.9 gold stars are not enough of award to pick the shards of my ego up after facing the cold reality of analysis.


About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 47.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

More articles by Jennifer Moody »

Comments

  1. Great analysis Jenn! What about the cost of gas, does that calculation belong anywhere? This is ver eye opening as a Uber consumer who usually takes pretty short rides (10-15 mins).

    • From a tax perspective, you can either take the IRS standard deduction of 57.5 cents per mile (for 2015) or you can itemize things like gas, maintenance, depreciation, etc. I chose to go with the mileage deduction as it’s easier to calculate!

      • Yes, the IRS standard deduction includes gas, maintenance, repairs and vehicle depreciation. I was told by a tax professional that it’s a much more adventagous and easier method to use than individual itemization – unless you have had LOTS of unexpected expenses, such as repairs.

        However, I don’t think that your formula is correct; once you have your net (gross minus Uber fees), you use IRS standard deduction as the amount your deduct FROM your net, and THAT is the amount your are taxed on. Usually, tax and social security liability are around 20-25% of that amount.

        Not quite as low as you calculated but not much more than minimum.
        I am waiting to see how the numbers equate for me, since I took a $18k loan for a new car to fulfill Houston’s new TNC regulations.

      • My calculations DO have the IRS standard deduction deducted from the net. My taxable net is what I reported in the article. If one is lucky, their actual expenses are not as high as that deduction but for many they are.

        (I’m an accountant by training so spreadsheets are my friend!)

      • Jen, I did started at UBER a month ago, I do like part time after 6pm ad sundays, and I was thinking quick my full time job, but after I read this forget it. thanks for this blog it help me a loooot. Good bye. ER

  2. How much did you make in tips? What percentage of passengers tipped? and how much does it change the bottom line? I did not see tips mentioned in the article.

    • I made $13 in cash tips from 3 of the 15 passengers which is actually pretty unusual (i.e. much higher than normal – many nights I earn $0).

      Most passengers do NOT tip – and Uber even markets that “the tip is included”. The official Uber stance on tips is that if a passenger offers we are to refuse it saying “thank you but a tip is not necessary as the fare includes it”. If the passenger still offers it then we can accept it. I’d say that tipping is fairly uncommon with regular passengers – usually its either first timers OR service industry folks who tip.

      • I am a danish cabbie and we are instructed to say the same as well, that tips are included. But I refuse to say that since Tips aren’t actually itemized on my pay slip. If its included they have to mention it in specific amounts on my payslip and I will just have to assume that I am not getting tips included since I can never find them itemized on my payslip.

        And I would never in the life of me refuse to accept tips.

  3. Ouch. I’ve learned more from your Uber posts than I have from Uber itself. I’m a driver in a college town in VA. I drive because I love driving and being gone, as well as to try to have some contact with people outside of the microscopic college town where I live. I try not to think about the money because I’m sure the facts are exactly as you state above. I’ll confess I haven’t been able to figure out the pay statement but I haven’t tracked my hours either. And I had no idea I could deduct the miles driving to a pickup. What would constitute good record keeping for those miles?

    • I enjoy the actual driving part too… I have met many interesting people, especially around my neighborhood, and have enjoyed some fascinating conversations. Like you, the money is secondary although nice.

      As far as record keeping, I’d suggest one of two things. If you drive straight time (ie from 3 to 7 pm) and all your driving is for Uber, you can just note your starting and ending odometer reading. Or if you are like me and drive on and off, you need to keep good records of your mileage from one spot to the next. Either way, be consistent!

      • Hi Jennifer,
        I believe that Uber only rely on people like you who “enjoy the actual driving part” for free wasting their time. Moreover, there are enough drivers who cannot read the statements every week or just don’t care. They just enjoy, enjoy driving their Jeeps or other inefficient cars for this offensive money. At that time Uber is making money and laughing)))

  4. I’m fascinated by your Uber articles. I’ve learned so much from them. They should be picked up by major media because I’ve seen no similar coverage elsewhere.

    Given this analysis, does it change your interest in driving for them occasionally?

    • Thanks! I’ve really enjoyed writing about Uber. It’s much easier to write about with a bit of insider knowledge so I’ll likely continue to drive occasionally. Besides, I still know some of the hidden honey spots should I need to actually make money from it. 😉

  5. Very good information. I am a frequent UberX user. I do think that the price is too low to be sustainable. I would hate to see tipping come to Uber because I hate the tipping interaction. I would just prefer the fare to be raised by a couple of dollars.

    • I’d it had the same net for drivers, I’d love the guaranteed extra money versus the subjective possibility, especially since I seem to drive a lot of college students who thrive on the cheap fares. I’m not sure they be big on tipping but maybe I’m wrong! I agree that the current situation is unsustainable if they want to keep quality drivers though.

  6. Uber killed demand with their surge thefts. I don’t get how they are willing to charge 5-10x like it’s nothing, where an $5 ride can suddenly become $50, yet they are unwilling to see that $4-$5 rides are killing it for the drivers. You can’t market yourself as being cheap and then also market yourself as being expensive. People don’t like that. I say cap surges at 2X, remove the stupid safe ride fee, and make the minimum fare $8.

  7. I seriously love your Uber articles, so informative. It is good to know how it actually works. But the pay is extremely low in my opinion, regular folks who would do this as work will have to drive for hours on end to make ends meet.

  8. In Los Angeles, before depreciation and using just gas as an expense, it comes out to 12.85 an hour under the guaranteed pay structure. If you throw in the depreciation, you are way down there once again. This new rate cut puts it in a whole new category of not profitable.

  9. Feel free to correct anything you don’t like: Great article Jennifer,
    The distance you drive to pick someone up is a major factor on the P&L of an UBER Driver.
    If you want to go the Shrewd route it will not be long before you are threatened with the deactivation of your driver account.
    The other major issue I run into it is when prices surge it equals the traffic congestion that limits the number of trips you can make. It is common to pick up a request to ride in a surge zone and waste an hour trying to get through and out of traffic. Just to drop them off on what would normally be a 10 minute ride.
    We need a better system for drop off and pick up points with our clients.
    Major venues need to do a better job of ensuring the safety and timeliness of their patrons departure. It will only take one violent crime to due to the negligence of the venue
    to awaken them to address the issue. I hope and pray it doesn’t come to that but all too often I pick up passengers that has waited 20+ minutes in a poorly lit street because I could not get through tragic to pick them up out of harms way. I know this is a monetary issue for us but most of us drivers are out there to provide a service to the community as well as an income to provide for ourself and our family.

  10. Why do you keep driving for them. You are an experience driver with high ratings. Just stop driving for them unless they provide more to you. Or speak out again them and have them deactivate you for speaking out against them. Most drivers have the battered wife syndrome. They know they are not being treated right but keep going back to the abuser.

    • More important, I’m a management consultant by day so I don’t really *need* the income. My car is presently in the body shop thanks to a chain reaction collision (no, I was NOT driving at the time, thankfully!) so my driving days may be numbered as I’m not sure I get a new car if this one is totaled.

  11. Jen, you’ve really done a great job here! It is thorough and informative, as a new Uber driver, I have learned a lot from this post. Please, keep writing.

  12. After travis new fare prices
    We the drivers can not quit
    We cant give up
    We can not be too shabby or selfish
    We started this crab; now we got continuing supporting travis and the pseudo riders scum, now
    Whats going to happen with them?accostumed to pay nanopeanuts for taxi we can not let them down
    This poor disgusted pseudo riders are not willing to ride anymore on the stinky taxis
    Also with this new rates homeless and walfare recipients would be able to have a decent transpirtation
    Travis will be very proud of us for help him to depreciate the taxi industry now “new rates” by a 80% and make believe all this cheap, frugal, arrogant, indecent, cinics, disgusted, shameless, classless pseudo riders that we are a bounch of mental retarders doing this just for fun or the pleasure to meet such scum
    Keep doing like that ill like to see how you end up in the bext comming days dealing with the stress and the pressure of know that some scum people is rating you despite the nanopeanuts they are paying you comparing with the disgusted stinky cabs
    So please erase that stupid idea of quit from your head
    Travis at this point is very pleased
    And dont forget; he loves you

    By the way
    The forum Uberpeople.net is a joke they dont allow the freedom of speach at all
    Running by travis And his crew
    They only want to read beautiful lies but not real issues
    As soon you said something real as soon you are banned

  13. This is the clearest breakdown I have seen of the finances of driving for Uber. Thanks! I do have two follow-up questions:
    – I’m not going to ask you about your own insurance plan, but I guess the IRS mileage does not include additional insurance for commercial driving?
    – The Hall-Krueger report from Uber has many gaps, but the list of gross earnings they give are all a lot higher than you report. See Table 2 on p18 of this pdf. I wonder why the difference? Surely they couldn’t be counting “hours of actual driving customers” and leaving out the other two thirds of your time?

  14. Your costs are NOT $0.57/mile. That’s what you deduct on your taxes. Your car payment is mostly a sunk cost, as you’d own a car regardless of if you drove or not. Maybe the additional cost of buying a nicer car would count. Also, insurance is a sunk cost. Your car is going to depreciate anyway, so the only amount that you would add from that is the additional depreciation from drivnig extra miles.

    Do legitimate math on your expenses instead of just being lazy and using the blanket IRS figure, and you’ll find that your expenses really are much lower.

    • There a reason the IRS allows a deduction of 57 cents..that’s what it costs..insurance youre paying anyways.that is your only sunk cost. 57 cents/mile is what it costs to operate a car your car payment is irrelevant unless youre leasing and staying below the allowed miles.

      • Correct. The IRS deduction is the only deduction I plan to take for tax purposes. What’s sad are the Uber drivers who have gotten roped into these lease/purchase agreements via the company that are sometimes close to $900 a month. Those guys are definitely losing money if they aren’t driving a ton.

  15. Awesome article, Jenn! This is the best, most informative and most accurate analysis of earnings and expenses related to driving for Uber that I have seen yet. I have been driving for uberX and uberXL for over a year and have really been feeling the pinch of the rate cuts. When I started driving, uberX rates were approximately $1.70 per mile and now they are $0.90, a 47% pay cut and this doesn’t include the old pickup fee and higher minimums. I enjoy driving and I think the service is excellent for the passengers, however, I see the better drivers with the better vehicles dropping off the system because they will no longer be able to maintain the higher costs of operating nicer vehicles. Also, once the new Dallas City Ordinance takes effect on April 30, 2015, I see the part-time drivers leaving in droves because they will not want, nor be able to afford to spend the extra money on permits, registrations, city mandated inspections, etc. Feel free to contact me because I am really interested in your thoughts. Keep up the GREAT work!

    • Thanks! I’m interested in what happens after April too. I haven’t driven in three weeks (and really not much at all this year since the rate cuts) but I haven’t quite thrown in the towel… yet!

  16. wow…you did better then me, but then again you had the promo period from Uber. I just calculated my own Uber weekend and I net’d about $6/hr. If I figure in the IRS mileage deduction, I made about .$50 cents an hour 🙂

  17. Unbelievable how how many people responded to this article! Obviously a lot of people are ‘investigating’ Uber! Who wants to take a job with a company that changes the compensation plan every few weeks and makes the calculations so complicated it takes a CPA to figure everything out?

  18. I’m a little late to the discussion but just started driving Uber. Yesterday was my first day. I kept meticulous records of miles(revenue and non-revenue miles), average fuel mpg, hours worked, hours with a passenger in the car, tips, etc.

    I worked 9 hours exactly and my fares totaled $205. However after Uber’s deductions, I was left with a net payout of $136.33. Uber skimmed a 3rd off of all fares collected! That is just insane to me. I feel like taking even 10% of overall fares as a standard commission would still be wildly profitable. Taking a third is just borderline theft. And on those minimum fare rides, that ratio was about half!!! So just looking at my net payment on an hourly basis before deducting driving expenses, I made $15.15/hr. I also got $10 in tips so that would bring it up to $16.29 gross before expenses. I drove 113 total miles(revenue and non-revenue miles) and burned $14.85 in gas. So deducting that from my daily earnings incl tips brings me to $14.60/hr. This was on a busy Saturday that started at 3:45pm and lasted until 12:45am. So I really don’t think earnings can get much better than that. I had a good vehicle utilization rate. 67% percent of my miles driven were revenue miles(only the miles “on the clock” with a passenger in the car). I’ve heard that it’s typically about half.

    Only thing I haven’t factored in is wear and tear and depreciation. I suspect mine should be well below the 57.5 cents/mile. Because I’m driving a 2001 vehicle with 116k miles that is currently worth 13% of its original sticker price. There’s simply not much room to depreciate further given that the vehicle is only worth around $3500. Whatever depreciation I get at this point will be negligible. Tires, assuming $100 a tire and assuming they are good for 40,000 miles are costing about $0.01 per mile. Not a huge expense. Oil changes, let’s assume $70 for synthetic oil/filter change every 7,500 miles so $0.009/mile. I don’t have cleaning expenses since I wash my own car. I’m not going to bother calculating what percent of the water bill goes to this as it just gets too difficult to separate that out from all other water uses for the house. The only wildcard for me is major repairs. Before driving Uber I had a pretty big repair that cost me $1100. I’m not sure how to determine what percent Uber contributed to a major car repair versus my last 13 years of driving the car.

    So even though 57.5 cents/mile is what the government estimates your vehicle costs to be, every situation is different and your true vehicle costs will vary wildly depending on the age of the vehicle, fuel economy, etc. I’m pretty sure my vehicle expenses are well below the standard deduction. Everyone has to do the math for their own car and figure out whether their vehicle expenses justifies driving. In some limited scenarios where you have an older vehicle at the end of the depreciation curve that gets good gas mileage, your expenses may only be 15 cents a mile. With my first night’s earnings of $146.33($136.33 net from Uber + $10 tip) and 112.6 miles driven, that gives me net earnings of $1.30/mile. Deducting fuel($0.13/mi) and tires($0.01/mi) and oil changes($0.008/mi)would bring me to $1.15/mile in pre-tax earnings. I don’t know how to factor depreciation here or future odd repairs due to negligible depreciate rates for a vehicle of this age with so little left to depreciate and determining how much of any future repair could be “blamed” on Uber driving. So I’ll leave those two out for now. I’m not an accountant so someone feel free to correct my numbers if I’m really off. I figure that at my rates, the standard deduction should really help me out. Btw, I only plan on doing this for a few months just pay off down some debt. This is nothing I’d want to do as a full time job!

    One other thing to factor in is that if you don’t have a full-time employer, you are responsible for purchasing your own health care plan and will be penalized if you don’t get coverage. There are also no vacation days, paid sick/leave days, 401k, profit sharing or any perks whatsoever. Independent contractors typically get paid double the rates or more of an hour employee to compensate for the loss of perks that come with W-9 employment. Uber offers none of this. Then there is time doing the accounting work that you don’t get paid for. It takes time to enter the day’s data into a spreadsheet and then parse the numbers and do the calculations. This is a necessary part of your “job” but you don’t get paid for that! Nor am I paid for the time I spend washing my car. So if anyone is thinking of Uber as a “job” they have to factor in all these things. Sadly I doubt even 10% of them break down the numbers like this. And anyone savvy enough for this is probably too smart to be driving for Uber in the first place.

    And one final point, anyone that uses Uber SHOULD tip them! I don’t think you guys realize how big a difference even a $1 tip per ride makes to the drivers bottom line. The hell with Uber’s no tipping culture. On these short rides, Uber drivers may be literally paying Uber for the privilege of driving you around. That $2 tip on a minimum fare may be the difference between a driver at least breaking even or going in the hole. The irony of it all is that people flock to Uber because of the better user experience, clean cars, friendly drivers and great prices, yet they will think nothing of dropping a $3 tip for the smelly cab driver who won’t even smile at them but give NOTHING to the friendly Uber driver! It’s unbelievable. Tip your Uber drivers if you enjoy the experience. When you run the numbers it makes a huge difference, even a small tip!

  19. I read some of you say your not worried that you don’t make money. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If your not interested in making money, you should donate your time to something worthy like helping the poor or sick. But seeing what you said makes me think your another payed uber author. It’s a job, not some kind of worthy cause lol. I hope everyone makes money, and if your not, find something better to do with your time

  20. I signed up for uber and canceled after they gave me the contract… 75/25 split. $2 saferide they get 100% … rates are 0.80 per mile.. so net if your lucky is 0.60/ml , average 1 mile per fare mile = 2 miles pays 0.60 … IRS rate is 0.54 x2 is $1.08 and uber pays 0.60..
    Also Uber thinks there company is worth $62Billion dollars.. IPO coming soon, i wish them luck lol.
    This company will only thrive so long as they have ignorant drivers working for them.
    The only money your making is advanced equity on your vehicle, thats it… Its not real money.

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