If you’re looking for ways to make some extra money in 2023 and wondering if driving for Uber is a worthy side hustle for you.
Uber is a popular on-demand transportation service known for its ridesharing and food delivery offerings through Uber Eats.
Established in 2009, Uber has gained immense popularity and operates in numerous cities globally.
Using the Uber mobile app, users can request rides in participating areas. The app connects them with nearby drivers who will pick them up and transport them to their desired destination.
However, there have been some mixed things about the gig, and you want to know what it’s like behind the wheel before you sign up to accept rides.
In this article, I will share what it’s like, how much you can make, the pros and cons, and whether or not you should consider Uber a worthy side hustle this year.
Uber Driver Review: Is UBER A Worthy Side Hustle?
is Uber a worthy side hustle? This is a common question with no definitive answer.
Driving for Uber can be a worthwhile side hustle for individuals seeking to earn additional income through driving.
The job is only for some, but you might find success if you go in with realistic expectations.
Hence, It’s always best to consider the drawbacks and benefits of the experiences shared by both past and present Uber drivers.
Pros and Cons of Driving for Uber
Considering these advantages and drawbacks is crucial for anyone considering becoming an Uber driver to make an informed decision about pursuing this type of work.
Is Uber a worthy side hustle? Some good points as to why the gig is beneficial might convince you on the positive side:
As an Uber driver, you get to choose your hours and work as little or as much as you want.
If you have free time during the week or want to make extra cash on the weekends, you can simply open the Uber app and pick up riders.
You can work for an hour or 12 hours. It’s totally up to you. The flexibility to set your schedule is ideal for students, parents, retirees, or anyone looking for a side gig.
2. Easy to get started
Becoming an Uber driver is simple. You just need a 4-door vehicle, insurance, a clean driving record, and to pass a basic background check.
Uber handles all the onboarding and training through their app. You can be on the road giving rides within a week or so of signing up.
3. Decent Pay
Uber advertises that drivers can make up to $25 an hour. While rates vary in cities, many drivers report making between $10 to $15 an hour after accounting for gas and other expenses.
The more you drive, especially during high-demand times like evenings and weekends, the more you can earn.
Uber also frequently offers bonus opportunities and incentives like quest promotions to help drivers earn even more.
4. Meet Interesting People
One of the perks of driving for Uber is that you get to meet new and exciting riders every day.
You’ll encounter people from all walks of life and have the opportunity to connect, even if just briefly.
The social interaction and ability to provide great service to riders is rewarding for many drivers.
Of course, you get some rude or disrespectful riders too, but overall most passengers are friendly and courteous.
Working as an Uber driver has its drawbacks that should be considered:
1. Intense Competition Among Drivers
As the popularity of ridesharing services grows, the number of drivers also increases.
This heightened competition can lead to fewer ride requests and decreased earnings.
2. Vehicle Requirements
Uber has specific standards for their drivers’ vehicles. Meeting these requirements may involve additional costs for maintenance or even the need to purchase a newer vehicle.
3. Potential for Negative Reviews
Uber drivers are subject to passenger ratings and reviews. Negative feedback from passengers can impact their reputation and future opportunities for ride requests.
4. Expenses for Fuel, Maintenance, and Insurance
Uber drivers are responsible for covering gas costs, regular maintenance, and adequate vehicle insurance coverage. These expenses can eat into their earnings.
5. Payment Uncertainty
Uber’s payment rates can vary, and drivers may not know how much they will earn for each ride.
This uncertainty can make it challenging to estimate income and plan finances effectively.
How Much Can You Make Driving for Uber in 2023?
If you’re considering driving for Uber on the side to make extra cash. The big question is: how much can you make? The short answer: it varies.
Here is a breakdown of the fees you might make as an Uber driver:
1. Base Fare Rates
Uber pays drivers a base fare for each ride that varies by city and vehicle type.
In most cities, base fares for UberX average around $0.50-$2.50 per mile and $0.15- $0.35 per minute. Expect higher fares for UberBlack and UberSUV.
2. Surge Pricing
Driving during peak hours with high demand, like rush hour or weekend nights, means you’ll earn more thanks to Uber’s surge pricing model.
Surge fares can be 2-5 times the normal amount. Cha-ching!
3. Bonuses and Promotions
Uber frequently offers bonuses and promotions for completing a certain number of rides.
They range from $50 to $500 or more for hitting 20 to 200 rides targets. Always check the latest offers in your city and take advantage of them.
Many riders do tip their Uber drivers, especially for good service. Tips are always appreciated and help increase your total earnings.
5. Cancellation Fees
Dealing with last-minute cancellations can be frustrating, but working as an Uber driver is an inherent aspect.
While the specific amount may differ for each ride, in most cases, you will receive a cancellation fee as compensation for the time and effort you invested in reaching the pickup location.
This fee serves to reimburse you for any inconveniences caused by the cancellation.
Expenses for Uber Drivers
Uber drivers should know various expenses that can significantly impact their overall earnings.
A good rule of thumb is to deduct around 20-30% of your fares to account for expenses.
These expenses should be factored into your calculations when assessing your overall profitability as an Uber driver.
You must keep your vehicle fueled to continue taking trips as a driver. In some markets, Uber may implement fuel surcharges during high gas prices to assist drivers.
2. Auto Insurance
Operating as an Uber driver (or any other ride-sharing company) necessitates having valid and up-to-date auto insurance.
Consider it an essential expense when conducting your business.
3. Maintenance and Repairs
Every car requires regular maintenance and repairs. The more miles you drive, especially within a short time frame, the greater the likelihood of needing maintenance work such as brake or tire replacements, which can be costly.
Uber Driver Requirements: What You Need to Get Started
To start working as na Uber driver, you must meet the following criteria:
To drive for Uber, you’ll need a four-door vehicle that’s a 2006 model or newer.
Your car must also have no significant damage, working air conditioning, and seating for at least four passengers.
Uber periodically updates their list of approved vehicles, so check their website for the latest requirements.
- Sedans: Camry, Civic, Focus, Fusion, etc.
- SUVs: Escape, Explorer, Grand Cherokee, etc.
- Minivans: Odyssey, Caravan, Sedona, etc.
Insurance and Registration
You must have valid personal auto insurance and vehicle registration to drive for Uber.
Uber provides supplemental insurance once you start a trip, but you still need coverage when you’re not on the clock.
Ensure your insurance provider knows you will drive for a ridesharing service to avoid issues.
Uber conducts background checks on all potential drivers before allowing them on the road.
The check reviews your motor vehicle records and criminal history. Minor issues may not disqualify you, but serious convictions could. Be upfront in your application to avoid wasting time.
You’ll use the Uber driver app on your mobile phone to pick up and drop off riders.
The app tracks your location, matches you with nearby requests, provides turn-by-turn directions to destinations, and handles all payment processing.
You must have an iPhone or Android smartphone to access the driver app.
Driving for Uber can be an easy way to generate extra income in your spare time.
It is an easy way to generate income for those looking to earn decent money on a flexible schedule.
Although it has some downsides, the pros often outweigh the cons if you go into it with realistic expectations.
The bottom line is you can make decent money driving for Uber if you’re strategic.
Work peak hours, take advantage of promotions, provide great service to increase tips and track expenses.
Let me know if you have any other questions.