If you're considering driving for Uber, you probably want to know how much you can earn, the costs, tips to earn more money, and if it's worth it driving for Uber.
You're in the perfect place! Please see our resources below.
Here are a few other key sections you may want to skip to. Simply click the link:
I actually drove for Uber, have interviewed dozens of drivers, so if you want the truth about Uber, I literally "wrote the book" on it.
Along the way, I've learned a lot about the pros and cons of driving for Uber, how much you can earn, and have a lot of tips to help you get started (and to help you make more money!)
In this review, I'll reveal everything I've learned. Let's dive in.
How Much Can You Earn Driving for Uber? (Examples and Statistics)
You probably already know you can make money driving for Uber.
But did you know some people make as much as $80,000 per year and more?
This was for a driver in New York City. Your actaul earnings will depend a lot on where you live, what time and day you drive, and obviously, how much you drive.
Here are a few more examples of driver earnings:
Earnings Per Hour vs Earnings Per Trip Statistics
While some people talk about earnings per hour, other discuss Uber earnings in terms of how much you earn per trip (or per ride). Gridwise recently performed a study showing the following average earnings per hour and per trip in some of the major U.S. cities.
Earnings Per Hour Median
Earnings Per Trip Median
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Jose, CA
You Can Earn More With Select Cars
Some cars may qualify for Uber XL, Uber Select, or Uber Black. If you can give these rides, you'll earn more! These can pay up to 100% to 300% more per ride.
Must seat 6 passengers (not including driver). Vehicle must have 7 working seatbelts. No vans.
Examples of Cars That May Qualify
Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento, Honda Pilot, Chevy Traverse, Audi Q7, Lexus GX, Toyota Sequoia & Highlander, Ford Explorer, BMW X7, Infiniti QX80, Cadillac XT6, Volkswagen Atlas & Tiguan, Lincoln Navigator, and more
Must be 2009 model or newer, seat 4 passengers (not including dirver) and have leather or vinyl interior.
Examples of Cars That May Qualify
Acura - ILX, MDX, RDX, RLX, TL, TLX, Alfa Romeo - Giulia, Audi - A3, A4, A5, A5 Avant, A6, A6 Avant, A7, A8, Q3, Q5, Q7, RS 4, RS 5, RS 6, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S5 Sportback, S6, S7, S8, SQ5
BMW - 3-series, 4-series, 4-series Gran Coupe, 5-series, 5-series Gran Turismo, 6-series, 6-series Gran Coupe, 7-series, M3, M5, X1, X3, X4, X5, X6
Cadillac - ATS, CT6, CTS, DTS, SRX, STS, XTS
Genesis - G80
Hummer - H3
Hyundai - Equus, Genesis
Infiniti - EX, FX, G Sedan, JX, M, Q40, Q45, Q50, Q60, Q70, QX4, QX50, QX56, QX60, QX70, QX80
Jaguar - F-PACE, S-Type, XF, XJ
Kia - K900
Land Rover - Range Rover, Range Rover Evoque
Lexus - ES, GS, GX, IS, LS, LX, NX, RX
Lincoln - Continental, MKS, MKT, MKX, MKZ, Town Car
Maserati - Ghibli, Quattroporte
Mercedes-Benz - C-Class, CL-Class, CLA-Class, CLK-Class, CLS-Class, E-Class, G-Class, GL-Class, GLA-Class, GLK-Class, M-Class, ML-Class, R-Class, S-Class, SL-Class, SLK-Class
Porsche - Cayenne, Panamera
Tesla - Model S, Model X
Volvo - S60, S70, S80, S90, XC90
Must be less than 5 years old, black leather interior and black exterior in excellent condition. Driver must have a 4.85 rating or higher.
Examples of Cars That May Qualify
Audi - A6, A8, A8L, BMW - 5-series, 7-series, Cadillac - CT6, XTS, Escalade, Escalade ESV, Chevrolet - Tahoe, Suburban, Ford - Expedition Platinum, Expedition Platinum MAX (model year 2018 and above only), Genesis - G90, GMC - Yukon, Yukon Denali, Yukon XL, Yukon XL Denali, Infiniti - QX56, QX80, Lexus - LS, GS, GX, LX, Lincoln - Continental, MKT, Navigator, Maserati - Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz - E-Class, S-Class, GL-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class, Tesla - Model S, Model X, Volvo - S90, XC90
How Much Does It Cost to Drive for Uber?
You should subtract about $.30 per mile for driver expenses like gas, insurance, depreciation of your vehicle, and taxes, according to a recent MIT study.
But note the IRS allows you to deduct $.58 per mile on your taxes, so at least from a tax perspective, you are made whole, and then some.
Obviously gas will vary by type of vehicle and so will insurance costs. Be sure to shop around for quotes!
3 Strategies to Make More Money with Uber
If you just get in your car tomorrow and give your first ride without any thought or planning, you won't make as much money as if you just read a few simple tips.
#1 - Earn BIG Bucks with Tips
One of the great perks of being an Uber driver is the ability to earn tips. A recent study showed Uber drivers earn hundreds of millions in tips per year and the average person who tips gives $3 per ride.
In an interview with the Penny Hoarder, Mary England from Baltimore, MD, explained how she was able to earn up to $30 per hour driving for Uber. A lot of it has to do with tips.
“I deck out my car! I decorate it with twinkle lights, flowers, and holiday-themed decorations and have lots of things for the passenger to take part in like candy/mints/gum, a treasure box to pick a prize out of, books to read, a list of things to do in Baltimore…”
Uber Driver, Baltimore MD
Studies show you can really increase your tips with these super-simple strategies:
#2 - Maintain a High Rating
In an interview with Financial Samurai, a driver from JFK airport revealed he was able to make $115,000 per year because he had a 4.8 out of 5.0 rating. Because of his rating, he got access to high-paying routes like from NYC to the Hamptons that drivers with lower ratings couldn't get.
The same could happen in your area. Also you'll get more rides with a higher rating because people won't see your rating and decline the ride.
#3 - Take Advantage of Surge Pricing
What’s surge pricing all about?
Here’s how Uber Help explains surge pricing to passengers:
“Uber rates increase to ensure reliability when demand cannot be met by the number of drivers on the road.
Our goal is to be as reliable as possible in connecting you with a driver whenever you need one. At times of high demand, the number of drivers we can connect you with becomes limited. As a result, prices increase to encourage more drivers to become available. We take notifying you of the current pricing seriously. To that end, you’ll see a notification screen in your app whenever there is surge pricing.
You’ll have to accept those higher rates before we connect you to a driver.”
How do you take advantage of surge pricing?
You get on the road when Uber notifies you of surge pricing or you drive towards the hot spots if you’re already on the road.
After a few weeks you’ll figure out the usual patterns. Uber kicks into surge pricing when the clubs close because everyone’s stressing for a ride home.
Uber also sends alerts via text message. This is so damn distracting. I always find myself feeling the temptation to hit the road after receiving a text from Uber about surge pricing.
Bonus Tip: figure out where the volume is.
I know that on a Friday night I can easily take someone from the suburbs to downtown and then spend a few hours picking up surge pricing passengers in the downtown core where all of the parties are happening.
You really just need to test out Uber for a week in your community to get a feel for the situation. You should also ask passengers about their experiences. I found out that there was a lady who drove Uber full-time by waking up early every morning and hitting the road for 5am. That’s personally a bit too extreme for me. For her, it was a new source of income.
That’s how you can make money driving for Uber. I would love to hear from those with experience as rideshare drivers in the comment section. Is it worth driving for Uber? How do you become the best driver?
What do you need to start making money as a Uber driver?
I want you to start making money ASAP. What do you need to get started?
- A car that's no older than ten years old.
- Smart phone with data. You might have to up your data.
- Car charger.
- Solid record. They check your driving record and your criminal record.
Get all of your documents in order and apply to be a driver for Uber. I tried applying online, but some of the documents didn't go through. So I grabbed my insurance, passport, license, and proof of ownership with me as I headed out to an Uber meeting.
I must warn you. You're going to meet all kinds of characters at this meeting. I suggest attending just for the entertainment value.
- "Do you have to pay taxes?"
- "What if I don't have a cellphone?"
These were the top questions asked. I asked for ideal times to drive. Then I cut the line to have my documents processed. I signed up for the background check. The meeting was on a Tuesday evening. I was on the road by Friday.
My Experience Driving for Uber
“I worry about you. What if someone attacks you?”
This is one of my favorite comments I literally got from a young lady who was my very FIRST passenger driving for Uber!
You can’t make this stuff up!
At the time I was thinking I may have to give my very first passenger a suplex and a 1-star rating for attacking me. (Oh, and it probably makes sense to let you know I’m also a professional wrestler.)
Would this be an omen of things to come?
Here’s how it all started.
About 5 years ago, many of my followers began asking me about making money with ridesharing, especially Uber and Lyft. After becoming a driver on May 8th of 2015, logging hundreds of rides, (I’m happy to report no one has attacked me yet) writing multiple reviews, and recording videos on the subject, I now consider myself somewhat of an expert.
How did my first weekend go as a Uber driver?
My life is on-the-job-training. This is my adventure with working as a Uber driver.
[Disclaimer: Please note that I got paid to drive with Uber. I also get paid to promote Uber when you sign up or when you get a free ride.]
I started off on Friday evening. I was training my buddy at the gym (always hustling to make a buck) and we had finished the workout. I decided to turn my phone on since the gym was located in a prime area for such a program. Boom. Within a few minutes I had my first call. I jumped up and down. I ran to go pick up the passenger. I brought my buddy alone for the ride (big mistake). By the third call, a gentleman freaked out on me for having an extra passenger. I went on to drive until 2am because the requests wouldn’t stop pouring in.
Saturday I went for the night rush. I wasn’t free until later in the evening. I started at about 11 and then calls went on all night again. There was just one problem. My phone died. I didn’t have a car charger. With 1% left, I picked up my brother and his buddy who were wasted at a night club to drive them home. I got home, charged my phone for a bit, and went back on the road. I did a huge call. Well, I thought I did. I forgot to press “begin ride.”
Sunday was random for me. I turned it on during the afternoon and took a few calls. Then I took a bunch of calls at night time again. I was surprised by the demand on a Sunday.
On Monday I turned the app on after my grappling class. Surprisingly calls came in. The rides varied from folks rushing to work to Tinder dates.
Key lessons learned from my first few days as a Uber driver:
- Read the rules so that you don’t get in trouble. No extra passengers allowed.
- Have the right technology on your side. Get a phone charger!
- Calls are unpredictable. You could get a request at any time.
- You can’t tell your friends or family that you’re driving because they’re going to ask you for a ride.
What are some of the highlights of driving for Uber?
I know every single hot spot in Toronto.
If someone tells you that Toronto is boring, you need to tell this person that they’re a complete loser. I didn’t realize how lively this city is until I started driving. I know of every hot spot on every single night of the week. You discover places that you didn’t even think existed.
I never want to drink again.
I may just never have to worry about buying the next round because I don’t think I want to drink again. When I’m drunk I don’t realize how awful I smell since, well, I’m on another planet. Driving drunks around shows you just how obnoxious booze makes you and how awful the stench is.
Sorry to anyone who ever drove me around when I was wasted.
I hear all of the dirty details.
From the girlfriend complaining about the boyfriend with the small package to the guy going on a Tinder date, I get to hear all of the dirty details. I get to share tips and pick up new advice. I didn’t realize how many Tinder strategies existed out there. I also didn’t realize how many rich folks took Uber.
More on this later. As you could imagine, many folks want to start driving for Uber for the money.
How do you become the best Uber driver?
“She gave me a horrible rating for no reason!”
This was the story of my weekend nights for a few weeks in a row. It was very frustrating to see that I was doing my best as a driver only to receive poor ratings.
My rating is currently at a respectable 4.81 (apparently a common rating for drivers). I would like it to be a perfect 5, but you know, that doesn’t always work out.
If you become a full-time driver then this will be your livelihood. The current standard for remaining in the system as a driver is a 4.6. If you fall below this you might get pulled from the system. You might be able to redeem yourself by paying for a course (more money spent!).
I don’t want you to get kicked out of Uber. I want you to become the best driver possible so that you can create a new income for yourself and never have to stress about going back to your old job if you decide to go full-time.
How do you become the best Uber driver?
- Have your GPS ready to go.
- Know the roads.
- Know what’s going on in the city (special events and concerts).
- Be polite, but don’t get annoying.
- Have water available.
- Keep a charger in your car. A driver with a charger is a life saver.
- Ensure your car is clean and smells good.
- Ensure that you smell good (but don’t overdo the cologne).
- Don’t ask for tips.
- Have some snacks (mints).
Some of these tips may seem like common sense but they aren’t so common. I’ve seen many complaints on social media about cars that were filthy, drivers that yapped too much, and drivers who didn’t know the roads.
My worst experience as a passenger was when I got into a car and the driver didn’t even know how to use the Uber app. I had to show him how to use the GPS. It was also a pretty dangerous ride. The gentleman clearly wasn’t ready to be working as a driver, he had his cell phone in his hand and was confused as to how the process worked. He clearly didn’t even bother watching the introductory videos.
Let’s go over a couple of common questions about driving for Uber…
Should you make small talk with passengers?
It’s okay to make small talk. Apply common sense logic here. If there’s a young couple holding hands, don’t start talking about the traffic. Don’t talk at all. Let them enjoy the ride. They don’t care about you. If the person is clearly bored and looking to chat, then engage them. If you find yourself rambling, then stop, ask them if they have a preferred radio station and let the tunes take over.
What’s the deal with flirting?
You have to remember that Uber has all of your information. You have to watch what you do. You don’t want to cross any boundaries and end up on the news. In the GTA area, a guy ended up on the news because he allegedly took advantage of an intoxicated passenger. I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened. He could have legitimately taken advantage of her or maybe she invited him or maybe he just crossed the line. Either way, I don’t want you to end up on the news because that’s the last thing that you ever want to happen to you.
I don’t care how charming you think you are. Don’t cross the line with flirting. I usually downplay the flirting that comes from passengers. I either brush it off or change the topic because I don’t want to give Uber or myself a poor reputation.
What are the benefits of Uber?
The obvious benefit is the money. You get paid to drive people around. You're making money. You're using your car to make you money. You're not wasting time on video games. You're out there making money on the weekends while your friends waste their money.
The other benefit is the people who you meet. I totally believe that your network is your net worth. I've met record executives, producers, fellow bloggers, and overall interesting characters while driving. You never know who's going to jump into your work station.
What are the setbacks of Uber?
The income isn't passive at all.
If you don't work you don't get paid. This blog generates income while I'm sleeping. Driving isn't passive by any stretch.
The expenses can get pretty high.
You can't predict the expenses to your car. Wear and tear can be a serious expense. You also have to pay for fuel. How fuel-efficient is your vehicle?
It's far too unpredictable sometimes.
You never know who you're going to get, where they're going to go, and how the experience will be.
"Can I drink this in here?"
An intoxicated female tried to bring open alcohol into the car. What a dumb question. Of course, I wouldn't risk getting a HUGE fine. I told her no. She complained and then gave me a poor review. The struggle is real.
Nobody ever discusses this one. I value my time pretty highly. How do you value your time? When you're on the road driving, you're saying no to everything else. No to training. No to writing. No to dinner. No to friends. No to family.
You won't get rich from working as a driver for Uber. On the bright side, this is extra money that I made on the side. Instead of partying or finding other ways to spend money, I was out making money.
Do you want to test out Uber? You earn incentives for signing up depending on your city if you want to be a driver.
Should you drive with Uber?
Only on a part-time basis if you want to make some extra money and enjoy meeting new people.
There's all kinds of stories spreading on the web about how you can make $90k annually and other astronomical figures. I'm sure you could. Are you willing to drive 10-12 hours a day? I'm not.
I'll say this:
What other job allows you to make money on your own schedule?
You literally decide when you want to work when you drive for Uber. You turn your status to online when you're ready to hit the road to make some money. You can do this whenever you feel like it. The ultimate side hustle.
My recommendation is to drive part-time on the weekends. If you're working towards financial freedom, you need to do whatever it takes to reach your goals. You'll make some extra cash that you can use to help you out. We all need extra money in the bank.
If you want to make real money, there are other ways. You might also be better off accepting a part-time job where your hours/pay are fixed. If you want flexibility, then driving for Uber is for you.
Are you ready to start driving or delivering food with Uber?
You have all of the information that you need to get started. If you're ready to start making money with your car, then right now is the time to start. I've heard from readers that drive full-time and they love it. You might finally find a new source of income or be able to quit that job you can't stand.
You can grab a copy of my book on becoming the best Uber driver so that you don't make the same mistakes that all new drivers make.
You have to make a decision right now. If you want more information then grab my ultimate Uber guide. If you're ready to drive, sign up now. You can also sign up with Uber Eats to deliver food on your bike. Either way, please contact me for help. I'm here for you if you have any questions about driving for Uber. If you buy my guide or sign up through here, I'll help you get on the road and start making money.
You can start driving for Uber and earning money within a few days from now. Let know about your experiences of being a driver for Uber...
Getting ready for your first ride…
It’s almost time for you to turn on your Uber app. Your car is ready and everything is clear. All that’s left is for you to actually start driving and making money.
Are you nervous? Are you a little intimidated?
That’s okay because it’s only natural to be skeptical about allowing strangers into your car. I was pretty nervous when I first turned on Uber. Scratch that. You never know who you’re going to get and where they’re going to want to go. It’s always completely random. You can try to predict a pattern but then you’ll get that one ride 30 minutes out of town during the day that throws everything off.
Before you go on your first ride, I want you to take three Uber rides as a passenger:
- One of these rides should be after a night of drinking.
- One ride on a busy night.
- One regular ride.
I want you to see what it feels like to be a passenger. You can’t become a great driver if you don’t know what the expectations of the passenger are. The good news is that you can enjoy your first ride for free if you’re new to Uber.
What do you do on this ride?
- See how long it takes for your request to get accepted.
- Make a note of all of the drivers on the road in the picture. That’s your competition. Those cars will be going after the same passengers as you.
- Watch how the driver handles the pickup.
- Note the setup in the car.
- See if the driver is comfortable.
- See if the driver knows the roads well.
- The vibe with driver.
- Watch how they drive.
- Pay attention to how they speak to you.
You need to experience Uber as a passenger first. Then you can worry about your first ride. I want you to make notes on your phone of what you enjoyed and what you didn’t care for. This will help you become a better Uber driver. I personally have had some exceptional rides in Uber cars. I was impressed by the professional setup and how well the driver understood the roads.
What do you do before your first trip as an Uber driver?
- Watch the instructional videos that Uber has created. I had a driver once who didn’t know how the app worked.
- Get your car cleaned and ready with a full tank of gas. Imagine yourself sitting in this car. Would you enjoy the ride?
- Scope out the local events to get a sense of what to expect (playoff games are a little intense).
- Buy a case of water. This costs a few bucks and will be a great treat for your riders.
- Try to map out some of the roads.
- Just go.
You don’t have to panic before your first ride. If your car is clean and you’re confident in your driving, you’re going to do well. If you’re not too familiar with the roads, then luckily there’s GPS. As a driver, knowing the roads isn’t so important these days since we all rely on GPS, but it helps if you can find your way around the city for your own good.
How do you deal with problem clients?
“Can I drink this in here?”
“Can we bring five people?”
“Change of plans! We want to go somewhere else. Can you wait?”
You’re going to encounter plenty of problem clients. This is just the reality of driving on busy nights and allowing strangers into your car. The problem clients will definitely make some of your nights more interesting.
Before we discuss problem clients, we have to look at one important question.
Who should you contact regarding an emergency?
There’s no direct emergency number for Uber that you can call when you’re freaking out about a client. They used to have one and for some reason they deleted it.
The general email is email@example.com. I’ve usually been able to reach someone through this email with a decent response time. You should also find your local Uber page to get the relevant information. I know that my email to contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact your local Uber office.
This page is helpful for my Canadian friends: http://www.driveuber.ca/contact/
That’s where I would start if the situation were indeed deemed an emergency.
My tips for dealing with problem clients…
Tip #1: Try to understand their perspective.
If you messed up by taking the wrong turn or not listening to GPS, then you have to understand why they would be frustrated. Instead of making a scene and arguing, try to see what’s happening. Then try to calm them down.
As a driver you can’t freak out. You’re going to be in tense situations. There could be traffic, a plethora of red lights, or just annoying passengers. You can’t freak out on them. You need to stay calm. Try to take a step back from the situation to understand their perspective, they just want to get to their destination in peace and on time.
Tip #2: Diffuse the situation.
“I’m sorry for everything and I take full responsibility.”
I’ve made that statement a few times as a driver. When you’re in the wrong you have to take full responsibility. You have to diffuse the situation. If you’re a tense person then you might not be ready to start driving.
I’m a pretty calm dude. I take my anger out at the gym on the weights or the mats. When I get into confrontations in real life I always try to diffuse the situation. As a driver, it’s your job to keep the passengers safe and comfortable at all times. Never lose your cool. Calm everything down.
Tip #3: Make it better.
You have to clear the issue up if you caused it. I once took the wrong exit, so I stopped the clock early. Once you understand the situation and diffuse it, I want you to make things better.
If you’re in the wrong in life, you always have to take accountability to improve things. Driving is no different. Find a way to ensure that the customer leaves satisfied. You don’t want to read a negative review on social media about how awful Uber is.
What happens if the customer is wrong and they refuse to cooperate?
Tip #4: Ask them to leave/contact authorities.
If the issue escalates, then I advise you ask them to leave and/or contact the authorities. You don’t want to get yourself into any legal trouble here.
You’re not here to get into a street fight. You also don’t want them to flip the script on you because they can easily call the police after and claim that you harassed them. If you feel that the issue will intensify and go in a direction that you want to avoid, then get them out of your car. Contact the authorities if there are any damages at all.
Tip #5: Stay off the weekend nights for some time.
One Saturday night I got fed up so I told myself that I would stick to Sundays. I just didn’t want to deal with the smell and obnoxiousness. Don’t get me wrong, I can be obnoxious myself after a few drinks, I just don’t want to be the guy that has to deal with it.
If you don’t want to deal with drunks, try working during the week and day shifts on the weekend. There’s a surprising amount of folks that use Uber during the day to get around.
What were my biggest problem clients?
I’ve had the usual belligerent drunks.
These two young ladies were trying to convince me how they were poor and couldn’t afford the surge pricing. Yet they were insisting on driving around and making a few stops. They tried to get flirtatious but I wasn’t dumb enough to fall for their tricks. I had to spend the whole ride ignoring them as they complained about how they had no money. If you have no money, then stay at home or walk home!
The other issue is actually a common one on the weekends. People will want to drink and/or smoke in your car. This is pretty disrespectful, but once again, the passengers are likely intoxicated and feeling bold. Normally, you wouldn’t dare light a smoke in someone’s car or try to crack open a beer. In an altered state of mind, you don’t really care.
If you choose to work on weekends, holidays, or party nights, then please be prepared to handle these types of request. I let one person smoke in my car and I soon realized how foolish that was. I hate the smell of smoke.
I try to be polite when handling these requests. When someone tries to drink, I offer to wait until they finish. One young lady got upset with me because she couldn’t drink her beer in the car. I suggested that she chug the beer. Nope. So she threw it out and the whole ride was awkward.
You have to do what’s best for you. I don’t think you want the remnants of booze and smoke all over your car.
99% of the time you’re going to have some pretty cool passengers. You’ll end up discussing the history of your hometown, why it’s so cold in May, or how wild the party was. On the rare occasion that you run into a problem client, you’ll know how to handle them.
If you have any additional questions then you can check out this page:
You’re not alone. Ridesharing may be a new technology, but you’re not the first driver out there. I’m here for you. I want you to make money on the side.