What’s the easiest way to get from point A to point B? Sure, for some of us, we’re able to drive ourselves around in the comfort of our own vehicles, but what if you don’t have a car? Is public transportation the only thing left to rely on if that’s the case? Luckily for us, there are more options available nowadays for travelling, one of which is Uber. You’ve probably heard of it; it’s the convenient and inexpensive alternative to taking a taxi, that is, with a few minor differences.
How is it different from riding a cab? Well, for one thing, Uber is simply a ride-sharing app; it is not an official taxi service. Unlike traditional cab companies, which typically require for you to call in for a car (assuming that you didn’t flag one down from the streets), Uber is extremely convenient in that you’re able to request a ride with just a few taps on your smart phoneーsimply type your destination into the app, and one of the nearby drivers will be alerted to your request. Another difference is payment; with Uber, you pay the driver online via the appーwhich means, no more rummaging in the dark for your wallet at the end of your ride.
Originally founded in the spring of 2009, Uber has quickly grown to become one of the most frequently used transportation systems in the country. As of 2016, the service is available in more than 66 countries and 545 cities around the world. While many taxi companiesーeven governments in some casesーhave challenged the legality of the online transportation network company, none have been successful in stopping their operations, as they primarily work over the internet. Quite the contrary, it’s only becoming increasingly more popular.
A few advantages of Uber include:
- Lower fare – Uber is substantially cheaper than riding a taxi
- Convenience – Payment is charged to your credit card on file, no need to call dispatch, you can request a vehicle with a few clicks on your phone
- Excellent service – With their rating system, Uber maintains high quality service by deactivating poorly-rated drivers
Considering its popularity, it’s not surprising to know that there are well over 160,000 Uber drivers in the United States. Due to the fact that drivers are ultimately able to create their own schedules and are essentially “their own boss”, it has become an attracting option for those who are looking to earn themselves a little extra cash on the side. Having said that, it’s also not uncommon for individuals to work full time as an Uber driverーthere will always be somebody looking for a ride to somewhere after all, whether it’s five minutes or an hour away. All of this aside, it’s probably fair to assumeーconsidering how you’ve reached this pageーthat you have one burning questionーhow much do Uber drivers earn? What is their salary or income?
Average Salary for Uber Drivers
Unfortunately, the answer to that question varies; there are simply so many factors at play. Before we delve into numbers, let’s take a look at how exactly fees and payments are processed in Uber.
How is Uber fare calculated?
Every time you request for a ride, you’re presented with a fare estimate. Once you’ve successfully reached your destination, the amount is automatically paid to the driver online. Although not mandatory, riders also have the option of giving their drivers a tipーan amount of their choice. So what exactly does Uber take into account when calculating your trip’s fare?
Four thingsーyour base fare, the cost per mile, cost per minute and a booking fee.
In other words, you’re charged a flat fee at the start of the ride, which is then made bigger depending on both how long the ride is, and how far your destination is. Considering this, the shortest routeーwhich the app automatically highlights on the screenーwould naturally result in having the cheapest fare. Of course, the time in which your driver is able to reach the destination also plays a partーthe faster he is able to get there, the less expensive the fare.
How much of the fare do the Uber drivers get to keep?
For every ride that a driver receives payment for, Uber takes a 25% cut. For example, if a ride comes out to be $15, the company will be taking $3.75 from the amount. On top of that however, a portion of the fare, the “booking fee”ーwill also be going directly to the company. Taking this into account, the driver ultimately pockets a little less than 75% of the total fare.
So what are the earnings of an Uber driver?
With Uber, the total income earned by a driver depends greatly on the amount of hours which they’ve worked. For example, a driver who has worked full-time will obviously have a higher salary compared to someone who only drives occasionally on the weekends.
But remember, aside from the commission that Uber takes from the fares, drivers are also responsible for the gas, and general up-keeping of their vehicle (including insurance, which can be costly). With gas being approximately $2.5 per gallon, it can quickly add up for someone who’s been spending their day driving from one end of a city to another. These expenses will decrease a driver’s net earnings.
On top of that, your income will also depend on the amount of work that is available. While some days may be busy, others may prove to be significantly quieter. The time also makes a difference; for example, driving during peak hours will generally allow you to take more passengers, which consequently leads to greater earnings.
Having said that, it’s fair to say that an Uber driver makes anywhere from $8 to $20 an hour on average. While some may be able to push $40 to $50 per hour during peak times, it is considerably less common. According to reports, most full-time drivers are able to take in $600 to $1200 per week after expenses; if we do the math, this works out to be about $30,000 to $60,000 a year.
How to Become an Uber Driver
With the ability to be your own boss, driving for uber can definitely be enticing. Unlike the vast majority of jobs out there, being an Uber Driver doesn’t require any special education. If you’re an able-bodied driver with the necessary documents and vehicle, you too, can work for Uberーthe process is simple! First off, let’s take a look at the requirements.
Uber Driver Requirements
To be an Uber Driver, you must be at least 21 years of age. Besides that, you must also have at least 3 years of driving experience. If you’ve just recently moved from a different state in the country, you may or may not have to verify your driving history with Uber; for this reason, it is highly recommended that you keep your out-of-state drivers license on hand and ready.
But there’s moreーyou must also have an in-state vehicle with the proper insurance in your name and an in-state Driver’s license; your car must also be registeredーhowever, it does not need to be in your name. You must also be able to present a valid Social Security Number for a background check by Uber.
During the background check, which is conducted by company called Hirease, they will be looking to see whether or not you have:
- A criminal record
- Committed any drug-related offences or DUI
- Driven without proper license or insurance
- Been in any fatal accidents
- A history of reckless Driving
It may take a few days for them to process the background check, so don’t be too alarmed if they haven’t gotten back to you right away.
Due to the fact that becoming an Uber driver for UberX does not require you to have any special vehicle or licensing, it is considerably much easier to qualify for.
Uber Driver Vehicle Requirements
To be able to work as an Uber driver, your vehicle must:
- Be a four-door sedan, with the ability to seat at least four passengers
- Have an in-state license plate
- Successfully pass Uber vehicle inspection
- Be under registration
- Be from Year 2001 or newer*
*Although the car year requirement differs from city to city, in most areas, it is year 2001
To get started with uber and start making money right away you can click here!
How to Become an UberBLACK driver
If you’d like to be a driver for UberBLACKーUber’s most expensive and luxurious service, you must meet a different set of requirements.
For one thing, you must have commercial insurance, registration and licensing. Of course, seeing as how its their luxury service, you must also have a luxury vehicle. Compared to UberX, there are considerably less drivers for UberBLACK, mainly due to the extra requirements that you must meet. In some cases, depending on your city, you may also be required to have an airport permit.
Documents required to be an UberBLACK driver:
- Proof of your Commercial insurance
- Your Commercial Driver’s license
- Your airport permits (may not be required in certain cities)
- Commercial Vehicle Insurance
- City Stickers
- Vehicle Registration Documents
- W-9 Documents (in the United States)
Because obtaining a commercial license can be costly, UberBLACK is generally recommended for those who’d like to become an Uber driver full-time for a long periodーotherwise, it may not be worth the hassle. If you’d simply like to supplement your income, signing up for UberX may be a better option. If you also happen to be a fairly new driver, it may be easier to start off with UberX, and moving on to UberBLACK when you’re ready.
Vehicle Requirements for UberBLACK:
- Must have an all-black exterior
- Must have a black, beige or grey leather interior
- Must be from year 2012 or newer
Example of qualifying sedans: BMW 5 series, Lexus G5, Mercedes-Benz E class, Audi A6, etc
Example of qualifying SUVS: Chevrolet Suburban, Lexus LX, Cadilac Escalade ESV, Mercedes-Benz GL class
How to Apply to Be an Uber Driver
If you’ve read over the different requirements and have decided that you do in fact, want to become an Uber Driver, you can apply for the job on their official website. You’ll be surprised how easy and straightforward the process actually is!
Here are the steps involved:
Step 1: You can click here and sign up right on Uber’s official website
Step 2: After making sure that your vehicle qualifies, you will need to take it to an Uber Greenlight location, where an expert will give your car a detailed inspection.
Step 3: Double check and ensure that you have the proper driving insurance and license. You will have to wait for your background check to clear, prior to being able to drive for Uber.
Step 4: You’re done and ready to work as an Uber driver!