Contents:

7 min read

    7 min read

    How Much Does Uber Pay?

    If you’re looking to get rich from driving for Uber, you’re probably going to be a little disappointed.  But if you’re looking to make a few hundred bucks part-time, work for a few months while you job hunt or even replace a crappy full-time job, this could be the perfect gig for you.

    I’ve always been a part-time driver and targeted the most profitable hours to work, but the average Uber pay is in the $15-$20 per hour range.  It’s definitely enough to pay a few bills and cover some expenses, but like I said, it’s not going to make you rich.

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    How much money does an uber driver or lyft driver make?

    How much money does an uber driver or lyft driver make?

    You might be asking yourself a few questions about Uber pay:

    • How much does Uber pay?
    • How much do Uber drivers make on a single ride?
    • How much do you make as an Uber driver overall?

    How are Uber Driver Fares Calculated?

    Before passengers request a ride, they are quoted an upfront price, and your pay is based on the mileage and time it takes to get from the pick-up point to the destination.

    Let’s say a passenger takes a ride from Santa Monica, CA to LAX and the ride takes 26 minutes and comes out to 8.5 miles.  In order to calculate your payout, we’ll need the current rates in Los Angeles, which are $0.15/minute and $0.90/mile.  Additionally, there’s a $1.65 booking fee (this amount is different for every city) the passenger pays that goes straight to Uber.  So the cost to the passenger looks like this:

    • $3.90 = 26 mins. X $0.15/min
    • $7.65 = 8.5 miles x $0.90/mile
    • $1.65 Booking Fee

    The total fare paid by the passenger for this ride will be $13.20.  But the driver will receive a different amount.  In order to calculate the driver’s cut, we need to subtract the booking fee ($1.65) and Uber’s commission (25%).

      • $11.55 = $13.20 – $1.65 (Driver’s Gross Pay)
      • $2.89 = 25% x $11.55 (Uber’s commission)
    • $8.66 = $11.55 – $2.89 (Driver’s Net Pay for this ride)

    As you can see, the Uber passenger paid $13.20 for this ride, but the driver ends up with a payout of $8.66 for about 26 minutes of work.

    What About Uber Surge Pricing?

    As a driver, Uber surge pricing is your new best friend.  Surge pricing basically happens when there is high passenger demand and low driver supply.  During busy times like Friday and Saturday nights and commuting hours, you will typically see red surge on the map.

    Any ride you give on surge will have a surge multiplier, and you’ll receive the surge amount multiplied by the regular fare.  So if we look at the ride from above and add a 2.0x surge multiplier, what happens to the driver payout?

    • $17.32 = $8.66 x 2.0 surge multiplier

    As you can see, the driver’s income doubled in this example, but the driver doesn’t have to do any additional work.  Fortunately, a 2.0x surge is pretty common during busy times.

    Related article: How Uber drivers are making hundreds of extra dollars per month

    How much money do Uber drivers make on average?

    On average, most Uber drivers will make in the $15-$20/hr range.  When Uber surveyed its drivers, they found drivers earned around $19/hour, with drivers in New York topping out at $30/hr.

    The goal of an Uber driver is to always be moving with a passenger in the car, but that doesn’t always happen.  There are times when you won’t be making any money, including the following.

    You are not paid for the following:

    • Waiting for a ride request.
    • Driving to pick-up a passenger.
    • Waiting at the pick-up point for your passenger to come outside.

    Do Uber drivers get tips?

    There’s no way for passengers to leave a tip through the Uber app, but drivers do occasionally receive cash tips.  In general though, you won’t be getting tipped on Uber rides unless you go out of your way to provide a great experience and use a tips sign or accept tips via a Square reader.

    Subtly encourage your passengers to tip by including a tip jar! The Rideshare Candy Jar is a tip box, business card holder, cellphone station and 3-in-1 neon charger all in one, designed to make your pax trip experience better and to encourage tips. For more info, check out the Rideshare Candy Jar here.

    How Much do Uber Drivers Get Paid in a Week?

    According to the drivers we’ve surveyed, a majority of them work 10 hours a week and make around $200-$300/week.  Most full-time drivers are earning around $600-$800/week but I know many drivers who routinely top out at $1,000/week (or more!) due to the many bonuses, guarantees and promotions that Uber offers to incentivize drivers to hit the road.

    So if you’re a brand new driver, not only will you receive a sign-up bonus for signing up to drive with Uber, but you could also earn promotional pay and further bonuses once you get started.

    Related article: how to make more money while driving for Uber

    How Much “Salary” Do Uber Drivers Make in a Year?

    We actually built a model of a full-time driver in Los Angeles and found the average full-time driver will earn just under $42,000 a year (gross earnings).  But remember you also have to account for all of your expenses, which leads us to our next section.

    How Much do Uber Drivers Make according to data?

    Recently, we went out and tracked a full week’s worth of data to find out exactly how much an Uber driver can make.  In this 5,000 word guide, you’ll get free access to spreadsheets, videos and more to help you gauge your earnings potential and learn strategies to make more money!

    What About An Uber Driver’s Expenses?

    Since Uber drivers are 1099 independent contractors, you are responsible for all of your own expenses.  Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of costs to getting started and once you’re driving, taking care of your car will be your only real expense.

    Drivers Are Responsible For Gas and Maintenance

    Your biggest cost as a driver is going to be gas since you’re going to be driving a lot of miles.  Most new drivers are surprised at just how many miles they’ll put on their car, but to give you a good estimate, a full-time driver doing 40-50 hours a week will probably put 1,000 miles a week on their car.

    That’s one of the reasons why you see so many Toyota Prius’ driving around, but you don’t have to drive a Prius in order to be a profitable driver.  Any fuel efficient 4 door sedan will work on UberX, and sometimes passengers enjoy not riding in a Prius 🙂

    Uber Drivers Should Also Save For Their Taxes

    At the end of the year, Uber will email you a 1099-K form that has all of your gross earnings for the year and your total on-trip mileage.  When you file your taxes, you’ll need to fill out a Schedule C and pay state and federal income tax just like a normal job.

    The nice thing about taxes when it comes to driving for Uber is there are a ton of potential business expenses.  Tracking your mileage is of utmost importance since you get a 54 cent per mile deduction (tax year 2016) for every business mile you drive.

    So if you earn $1,000 a week driving for Uber and put 1,000 miles on your car, you’d get a $540 deduction, which means you’d only have to pay taxes on $460!  Stride Drive is a great free mileage tracking option if you’re on iOS, and we have a full list of other mileage tracking options here.

    Sign up here using our link to drive with Uber!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it better to work full-time or part-time as an Uber driver?

    Personally, I prefer working part-time since you’re able to target the most profitable hours to drive.  The more you work, the less flexibility you have when it comes to driving with Uber.

    Want to read more? Check out the complete driver training guide articles below or download the free PDF here.

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    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.

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