Driving for Uber
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What side hustle blog would be complete without the mention of Uber. One of my first thoughts on Uber is “why do people use Uber above a taxi?”. I will cover this as well as a high level view of what this side hustle may have to offer. I will cover some requirements for becoming an Uber driver in my next post.
Why Consumers use Uber
- Cost – Depending on where you do your research, Uber touts being a cheaper alternative to taxi service while other sites explain that in some cases taxi is the cheaper alternative. I checked rates at a local taxi company and got quoted $62 to go to the airport. Checking the Uber website’s fair estimator, I was quoted $73-98 with UberX and $112-148 for Uber XL. Also, don’t always rely on estimator sites like Ride Guru. The comparison there was completely opposite. They estimated the cost of Uber at $72.21 (UberXL), $85.09 (UberX) and $105.72 (taxi). Not sure if I see cost to the consumer as an selling point.
- Reliability – Some are under the belief that Uber is more reliable than taxi service. I have not experience an extended wait time for taxi service in my town but have had to wait in larger cities. I think I would give Uber a point here (if we were counting).
- Convenience – the ease of ordering a car on a smart phone would have been a huge plus for Uber but taxi services are well on their way of utilizing this technology. Uber may get a point here for now but dont’ think this will be for long as taxi service around the country catch up with technology.
- Comfort – I do think this is the biggest upside to Uber. They do have requirements to the quality and type of care needed to be an Uber driver. Thought I have had some good cab drivers, I can’t count the times that I have gotten in a cab and dealt with odors I couldn’t recognize as well as unfriendly, non communicative drivers.
- Safety – With Uber’s in-app navigation, you will receive a turn-by-turn directions in the app and GPS data is logged for every trip so the company knows who you are driving with and where your going.
- Auto payment – This is a big plus for me. Knowing that payment is made through your credit card and the app is very convenient. No haggling prices, no dealing with cash. They get a point here from me as well.
- Split fare – I guess this is a plus as well. the ease of splitting the fair with your fellow riders (if they have the Uber app) does bring a new level of convenience.
Now that I have looked into Uber and the pros and cons of utilizing the service as a consumer, lets look at it what it takes to become a driver and the potential of a side hustle income.
How it works
- Set up an account and get qualified
- Once you are qualified, you simply open the app and go online.
- When someone orders a ride, you will begin to receive trip requests
- If you want to accept the request, tap to accept
- The app will navigate you to the pickup location and notify the consumer you are almost there
- When you begin the trip, the app will provide navigation to the drop-off location
- At the end of the trip, you will see exactly how much you earned along with a summary of your days total.
- Earnings auto transfer to your account every week or you can cash out immediately
- You will be subject to being rated as a driver as well has have the opportunity to rate you rider. Being respectful and courteous will be keys to your success.
How much does it pay?
This is going to be a tough one. It depends. You get paid by fair. Uber charges the customer a rider fee (they get this themselves) along with the time rate and mile rate. There is also a “surge” multiplier than can be added during high demand times. This multiplier is taken against the base, time and distance rates. My understanding is that Uber keeps 20% and you as a driver would receive the remaining 80%.
I found through Ubers website, there perks to driving for Uber. At the time of this posting, here is a list of what was available. These added bonus’s may entice you to making this a side hustle of your own.
- Fuel card – offers discounts ‘up to’ 15 cents per galleon when you fill up to eligible partners (check details – actual saving start at 1.5%)
- Phone plans – they are working with major carriers to help you save 15-18% on your monthly phone bill
- Free music – you have access to Pandora through the Uber Driver App.
- Health Insurance and Financial services – They have partnered with companies to assist in finding an insurance plan for you and your family as well as teamed up with a company to offer discounts and advice on managing your finances.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to sign up to drive for UBER.
Because of the amount of variables involved, I could see doing this as a side hustle but not sure I would consider making it a full time job. Things to consider might be:
- Your areas population – how many people in your area would consume this service
- Your time – Are you willing to make yourself available enough to make this worth your while
- Your demeanor – You may be dealing with customers that are in a hurry, intoxicated or just plain rude. Can you maintain the attitude needed to get positive reviews in tough situations.