Are you worried about driving for Uber during COVID? There are some myths out there that it’s not safe to drive for Uber during the coronavirus pandemic. While we are in a pandemic and it is important to be careful when driving, many myths you may have heard aren’t true. We had RSG contributor Tyler Philbrook break down some common myths – and why they’re untrue.
This article is sponsored by Uber but, as always, opinions are our own. Uber does not guarantee future earnings. Earnings can vary depending on many factors, including time spent driving with Uber, rider demand and other factors.
Interested in driving for Uber? Get started here!
5 Myths About Driving for Uber in a COVID World
Myth #1: Drivers Are Earning Less Money
False! In fact, some drivers are making more money than before the pandemic.
Uber has hit earnings that are very high due to the pandemic and fewer drivers on the road – just take a look at the table below!
Median Earnings Per Hour with Tips and Promotions
From August 16, 2021 to August 30, 2021
|City||Median Earnings Per Hour with Tip and Promotions|
|Eastern Shore, MD||$33|
|Inland Empire, LA||$30|
|Minneapolis – St. Paul||$32|
|New York City||$41|
|Salt Lake City||$25|
|San Luis Obispo||$27|
**The figures above represent median hourly earnings, after Uber’s service fee, for all time on the Uber app (not just engaged time) for drivers spending 20 hours online per week from August 16 to August 30, 2021. Earnings include trip fares, some promotional offers (including Quest and Consecutive Trips), and tips, which are provided at the discretion of the rider. These earnings do not account for expenses, which are drivers’ responsibility. While costs vary based on vehicle choice, fuel prices, and other factors, we looked at the two most popular vehicles on the Uber platform: the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Camry. According to our nationwide estimate, costs hover around $3-$4.50/hour if you own one of these two vehicles. This is not a guarantee of future earnings. Earnings can vary depending on many factors, including time spent driving with Uber, rider demand and other factors.
In many cities, drivers with Uber are earning upwards of $25/hr – well above minimum wage in all of these states. Why is that? One reason is the driver shortage, and driver fears of being safe while driving.
Worried about COVID-proofing your car? Set up a barrier shield and don’t forget to mask up!
When we interviewed drivers about their earnings in late summer 2021, countless drivers shared they were making more money than ever. Of course, these are based on individual experiences, your actual results may vary.
One driver stated, “I average $40 an hour if you were to add my whole week hours. But during weekdays it’s between 30 and 35 an hour and weekends between 50 and 60 an hour.”
Other drivers who preferred to remain anonymous emailed us and said they regularly earn $40 per hour in markets like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and other big cities.
On Facebook, we even had one commenter say, “If you count quest bonuses I’m closer to $50 an hour on average over the last three months.”
Someone even shared a screenshot of their earnings:
This shows an average of $47.79/hr using the online time and about $49/hr using their engaged hours.
Note: The Rideshare Guy independently verified claims via emailed screenshots.
Myth #2: Drivers Are Less Safe
If anything, drivers are much more cautious than before. The safety precautions Uber is requiring, and what each individual driver is doing is more detailed than before the pandemic – for good reason, of course!
For instance, each driver is given EPA recommended disinfectant to use to sanitize their car after the day. In some cities, drivers are also getting hand sanitizer with their health safety supplies, which they can use for themselves or for riders to use in the car.
Uber has also instituted mask mandates, encouraged social distancing with “no riders in the front seat” policy, promoted their Wash, Wear and Air Campaign, in addition to health safety supplies provided to drivers. Also, If a rider is reported by a driver for not wearing a mask, Uber will make them pass a mask verification before they can request another ride..
Uber has supplied face masks to all delivery and passenger drivers using the Uber app and requires them at all times whether you’re vaccinated or not. Uber has also partnered with Walgreens in an effort to help all the drivers to get vaccinated.
Myth #3: Delivery is Busier Than Rideshare
At the start of the pandemic, most people weren’t going anywhere, but they were ordering a lot of food. Delivering during that time was awesome, as no one was on the road, restaurants were empty, and you made a lot of money in very little time.
Those days, however, are gone. While you can still make money with delivery, it is in no way busier or even more profitable than rideshare – and I say that as a driver who does both delivery and rideshare!
Things have opened back up, and people have started enjoying themselves as they did before. Friday nights are just as busy as they have ever been (caveat: I am in Florida, so your results may differ slightly!), and people are needing rideshare drivers.
Though you’ll still be busy delivering food, it’s in no way busier than rideshare driving.
Myth #4: You Will Catch Covid If You Drive With Uber
Let’s be honest here: if you go out in public, even if you’re vaccinated, there’s a chance you could get COVID. It’s just such a virulent disease – that’s why we have breakthrough cases! However, many of us still need to work and pay our bills.
Overall, catching COVID while driving with Uber is a myth in the way it’s presented. You could potentially catch COVID anywhere – including rideshare driving – but also from visiting with friends, going to the grocery store, or from your kid’s school.
The big difference? You have control over how safe you keep your car. Do you insist on the mask rule, or are you a little lax? Do you have good filtration, maybe even using a purifier? Do you keep the windows rolled down to increase air flow? Are you masking up all the time?
Taking a few safety precautions makes the risk of getting COVID much lower.
I know people who work at hospitals with COVID patients on a regular basis who haven’t gotten COVID because they are taking the necessary precautions.
As a driver however, it’s your personal responsibility to make sure you’re going above and beyond to take the necessary steps to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
Myth #5: Uber Requires All Its Drivers To Be Vaccinated
Uber supports government efforts for everyone to get vaccinated and pushes to increase vaccination rates, but at this point they are not requiring drivers to be vaccinated.
Uber is however still requiring all drivers and passengers to wear masks.
Before a driver can go online they have to confirm with the Go Online Checklist to ensure they have cleaned and sanitized their car and are in fact wearing a face mask.
A very similar checklist was made for passengers too, which ensures to the drivers that the passengers are taking precautions to be safe as well.
Uber employees who work in the office are required to be vaccinated before returning to the office.
As drivers with Uber, we make up a far larger number than the employees. However, as independent contractors that rule doesn’t apply to us as of right now, but this could possibly change in the future.
Everything we do during a pandemic is risky, but for most of us, there’s simply no way to bubble up and be 100% safe from being exposed to COVID.
Taking basic safety precautions, like getting the vaccine, wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly, etc. can go a very long way to keeping yourself and others safe.
It’s understandable that people are panicked and scared, but these five myths about driving for Uber are simply that: myths.
Earnings are really high right now, Uber provides health safety supplies and requires passengers to certify they’re wearing a mask, plus there are ways you can keep yourself safe.
If you’re ready to hit the road with Uber, make sure to sign up here!
Drivers, what myths about Uber have you heard during the last year and a half?
-Tyler @ RSG