If you are a social media buff, then you would surely have read Facebook posts about ‘How much money Uber drivers make.’ In the past few weeks, there have been at least five different viral videos and blog posts boasting about how much money Uber drivers have been earning.
With innovative ideas implemented throughout the globe, we see a rise in the both the number of jobs, and cost of living.
The need to make a small change somehow is driving people to get multiple jobs to support themselves and their loved ones. In these hard times, Uber has given many a chance to make the cash they need to survive.
So how much do drivers make?
UBER: THE LUXURY OF 21’ST CENTURY!
If you ask me, what is the biggest luxury of our times is then I will definitely say that it is ‘Uber.’ The little app on your smartphone lets you book a cab from anywhere to any place you want to be. In most countries, Uber drivers work 24/7, and it is really easy to book an Uber cab anytime of the day or night.
Errr… Wait! WHAT IS UBER?
Uber, a technology company, has created an app that connects drivers to customers and acts as a transportation facility. Uber operates in more than 77 countries, and it is present in 500+ cities, and it is growing at a fast pace.
With some percentage of the cut drivers get paid, that goes to the company itself; they can get more and more customers.
With each driver acting as his own boss, working on their own timings, and either with their own vehicle or a company provided, it is nice to see how transportation facilities and taxi services have really taken to this form.
After giving a driver’s license test, you can attach your car and ready start the business with Uber. Attaching your car with Uber becomes the most luxuriant business in 2017.
CRITERIA TO BECOME AN UBER DRIVER
If you are looking to be an Uber Driver, there are several criteria, which are easy enough to manage.
-First of all, you need to be over the age of 21,
-Have had a valid drivers license for over a year,
-Not have any major criminal background
-Must have access to a car, which is in good condition.
The majority of people who work as drivers for Uber are either students, who look to make some cash, while working part time on odd hours, or those who work from home, and wish to make some cash while managing to get out of the house once in a while.
Apart from them, many people do work full time for Uber, and their entire livelihood depends upon it.
HOW MUCH MONEY DOES THE AVERAGE UBER DRIVER MAKE?
There have been rumors about ‘how much money the average Uber driver makes,’ few reports suggest that an average Uber driver in the United States of America makes about $90,000 a year. But is that figure accurate? Does an average drive earn $90K in a year?
Before we reveal the exact figure of an Uber drivers estimated earnings, let us first discuss how exactly an Uber driver earn money.
Now you must be planning to start the business with Uber or any cab companies. But the question is how? Here’s the article on how to start the business with Uber.
UBER DRIVER PAY STRUCTURE
Yes, you need to know the exact pay structure of Uber Drivers because the most popular location-based Cab service in the world does not own even a single cab. Yes, that is correct Uber as a company does not own even a single car, but Uber lets car owners partner with it and provide cab service, and the cab owner gets paid for the service.
HOW ARE UBER DRIVER FARES CALCULATED? (UPDATED RATES FOR 2017 )
Note: The Uber fares/prices are different in different cities. We are going to use Los Angeles as an example.
Uber has different fare for various types of cars and has pretty unique names for them. The most common type of car that you can book is a sedan nicknamed as the Uber X. Uber has SUV’s, mini cars and other luxury cars called as the Uber Black, Uber SUV, and Uber LUX.
Different types of cars have different pricing. And the estimated earning given below are for a sedan; Uber X.
Whenever an Uber user books a trip to somewhere the user is charged the fare when the trip ends. The fare depends upon how far you took the trip and how long the trip took to complete.
The last fare is calculated by adding a base fare + time and distance rates. Sometimes the user might be charged a small booking fee.
Now that we have the formula of how the fares are calculated we can get the estimated money an average Uber driver is earning.
If you were to travel to Downtown Los Angeles to the West Hollywood, which is approximately 9 miles and 35 minutes away. The fare for this trip will be calculated as below:
(9 miles x $0.90) + (35 minutes x $0.15) + $1.65 booking fee = $15.00
At the end of a 9-mile drive, the Uber driver has earned about $15. Uber charges a percentage of each trip fare and the remaining fare goes to the Uber Drivers account.
If an Uber driver were to take approximately ten trips between Downtown LA to Hollywood each day, then the Uber Driver would have earned at least $150 per day.
And if the driver takes the same route every day and works five days a week, then he would have earned $750 a week.
It is advertised in Uber, that one can make up to $25 per hour that they work, which is a bit of an overstatement.
When Uber drivers were actually questioned about their income, they stated that they actually made anywhere between $5 to $25 on average, but never a constant $25 per hour.
Briefly stating, if their ride fare were $25 for one hour, the would have to give a 35-40% cut to Uber, and after deduction of their personal costs to travel and keeping the car in good condition, insurance and more, they would roughly get $10.
TIMING AND FARES
Uber fares/prices differ between cities to city. Since their huge empire is spread out across 77 countries, it is hard to give a precise estimate of how it will be billed to customers.
Not only area, but the vehicle that you use too creates a difference in the prices.
High-end vehicles, like SUVs, or Sedans attract a higher pay off than Mini vehicles.
Let us take Uber X, or Sedan class cars as an example for a pay rate.
The pay depends on two key points. The distance traveled, and the time taken to get to the destination.
A simple formula to calculate the overall fare can be stated as
Minimum Base Fare + (Miles * Rate per mile) + (Minutes * Rate per minute) + Booking fee = Total Fare.
Between city to city, and timings also, this drastically changes.
When there are a vast number of drivers and low demand, the prices decrease, while if there are fewer drivers and higher demands, the fare surges and may double.
ESTIMATED EARNINGS OF AN UBER DRIVER
Drivers in San Francisco are making $732/week in net earnings
Drivers in Los Angeles are making $616/week in net earnings
Drivers in Chicago are making $648/week in net earnings
Drivers in Boston are making $732/week in net earnings
NOW THE BIGGEST QUESTION IS “HOW MUCH DOES UBER TAKE FROM THE DRIVER?”
What percentage cut does Uber take from the total fare cost of a ride?
With every ride each driver makes, a percentage of his cut is taken by Uber.
This not only allows the driver to continue being a part of Uber and getting more customers, but it also builds the company financially and can improve its reputation and marketing and improve aspects of it, to be better and better, for both the drivers and riders!
It is advertised that Uber takes 25% commission charges, but when you take into account the booking fee and the type of vehicle, it can come up to 42% during peak times too.
The median commission rate in San Francisco comes up to 39%.
The median fare for every ride is $8.30, but after deduction of commission, it comes down to $5 for each ride.
It is exorbitant and can be called as extortion, but as the times become harder, it should be understood that the company wishes to profit as a whole, and not just for its drivers, who work in the forefront of this billion dollar enterprise.
Many people have asked this question, does Uber charge per fare or do they charge a fixed amount per month for the drivers?
Well, Uber charges the drivers a fixed 20% cut from the total trip amount.
So, according to the above example, the driver would pay 20% of the fare amount to Uber. Any driver earning $750 a week can end up paying $150 as a fee to Uber.
In many emerging markets Uber gives an extra incentive to encourage drivers to signup with Uber. Uber pays a signup bonus of about $300. In some markets Uber pay drivers a small incentive if they complete a set of trips if a driver completes 10 or 16 trips, the driver gets paid some incentive.
It is not easy to be a private contractor for a major firm. All the expenditure for your own equipment and the cleanliness comes out from your own pocket!
To get started as an Uber driver, you need a fairly new car, a clean driving record, and an iPhone.
If you do not have an iPhone, you can rent it from the company for $10 per week.
Not only that, but you also need Insurance. It is recommended to check whether your insurance covers for commercial use, because of most of the time, it does not. Also, the price of your insurance will probably increase when you tell you to work for Uber.
Not only does Insurance drain you, as you drive more, but you also have to pay taxes.
If you manage to make $62,000 a year for Uber, and they take their $12,000 cut, you make $50,000. In this, it is required to set aside an amount to pay taxes with, and it is recommended to pay quarterly instead of yearly, as there may end up being a mistake if done yearly.
Drivers, also have to pay for their own car and damages. Per year, the wear and tear on your vehicle will cost you anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000, which will thankfully be non-taxable.
Apart from Insurance, Taxes, and car wear and tear, to keep your ratings up on the app, drivers must keep their car clean at all times, which is added expenditure.
Drivers also have to pay for their own toll booths if they encounter any. While a rider is in the car, they are obliged to pay, but when alone, Uber does not refund it.
If you are renting a car, then per week, that is also deductible from your overall pay. Cash for gas also comes from the driver’s own pocket.
Uber Drivers Love Surcharges
There is a spectacular surge in the pricing and fares of Uber during times when there are more demands for rides and the limited number of drivers. The surcharge totally depends upon the traffic, demand for cabs and shortage of cabs in your city.
How it works, is that when it is noticed that there is a rapid increase in demand for rides and the limited number of drivers, the prices rapidly shoot up.
With the shooting prices, the customer has the option of waiting or paying more.
Since most people are crunched for time, they choose to pay more, and the driver gets a higher pay.
Surge prices are calculated based on multiplying the base fare amount with a multiplier.
This multiplier may be 1.8x or 2.5x as an example.
If your overall drive would usually cost you $10, then during surge pricing where the multiplier is 2.5x, the customer would be paying $25 for the same drive.
For drivers, it is recommended to check places with very high demand for rides, as the pricing will have surged, and their cut will be higher. Not only that, but they will get mostly instantaneous new riders, and it keeps the cash flowing.
To Identify surges on the map
–Yellow signifies an increased demand
–Orange signifies a heavily increased demand
–Red signifies that it has reached a level where the surge is triggered.
Imagine you are in Times Square, New York on New Year’s Eve and you need to go back to your place just after midnight. Imagine the chaos, the traffic, the high demand for cabs. Now imagine how much would you pay to reach your home safely soon after midnight?
That’s how surcharge works; the more demand, the more money you need to pay. And this is a golden opportunity or Uber cab drivers to make a little more out of this chaos.
IS IT WORTH TO BE AN UBER DRIVER?
Well, this topic can be argued about heavily. With the amount of Uber drivers that are already there, it definitely is supporting the livelihood of many.
From full time to part time during surges, the company definitely keeps their customers and drivers happy.
It is the overall choice of the driver if he wants to join or not.
With all the payments and expenditure he will have as his own boss, and an independent contractor, it may take a toll and be stressful, but at the end of the day, he does make some extra cash.
There are people who survive doing this for their bread and butter, and no job is depreciating.
If many drivers chose not to work for Uber, then the payments would be higher because of the demand, but since there is also supply, it keeps the pricing manageable and steady for all.
To conclude, being an Uber driver is in no way an easy task. It may be worth it for those who are either students or have another full-time job, where they wish to make extra cash by driving as part time.
The expenditure is high, and Uber does profit off of the drivers heavily, but as long as there is no one who is undergoing loss, I would say it is worth it.
Drivers can make between $10 to $30 per hour if done correctly, and this is decent.
We hope you got the idea of how much an average Uber driver makes every month. The best thing about working with Uber is that you have no boss, you have no work timings, and you have no colleagues who bother you and certainly no office politics.
A lot of young students and professionals have been driving Uber to make some extra cash with their free time over the weekend or during semester holidays.
The social media is full of such success stories about how University graduates have been able to pay off their student debt with the money they earned as an Uber driver.