How much do Uber drivers make and How much do Uber drivers make in 2017?? You will find the answer to these questions and more here, but let me back up a little bit: Before I started driving for Uber, I was making $9 an hour at a minimum wage job. It was hard work, I had little to no flexibility in my work schedule, and the pay was only barely enough to survive. So how much do uber drivers make?
Now… how much money do Uber drivers make? As an Uber driver here in Los Angeles, I usually make between $19 and $23 an hour. It pays my bills, while keeping my schedule completely flexible, which is very important for me as an actor. Driving for Uber, I do not need another job.
So the big Uber driver questions are:
I will show you an example of my actual Uber driver pay statement to answer these questions. But first, let me explain how Uber calculates ride fares:
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When someone takes a ride with you, they are charged a fare plus a “Rider Fee”. The fare for UberX in Los Angeles is currently $0.15 a minute + $0.90 a mile. If there is “Surge Pricing” then the entire fare is multiplied by that number. Surge Pricing means Uber increases the fare prices during certain times of higher demand, making these hours more attractive for drivers.
Let’s say for example someone takes a ride from West Hollywood to Downtown L.A. (which is approx. 8 miles and 30 minutes). Furthermore, let’s add a 1.3 surge. The calculation for the ride looks like this:
(8 mi. x $0.90 + 30 min. x $0.15) x 1.3 surge + $1.65 Rider Fee = $16.86
This is the total amount charged to the passenger.
What percentage do Uber drivers make?
Uber takes a commission out of the $16.86.
After a deduction of the $1.65 Rider Fee, Drivers keep 75% of the total fare price for a given ride. Uber takes 25% of the fare.
So here is the math for our example after Uber’s commission:
$16.86 – $1.65 Rider Fee – ($15.21 x 0.25) = $11.41
This is how much the driver is paid before any expenses. My rule of thumb (this may not be an accurate number for you) is that I spend about 10% on gas and other vehicle expenses and 10% on taxes on average (after all the deductions). Which in this case is calculated as follows:
$11.41 x 0.80 = $9.13
This is the approximate net income from the 30 minute-ride.
To make it easier for you to target the busier hours, Uber provides a list of what these hours are in your area. Here in Los Angeles, the best times I’ve found to work are:
Uber driver pay varies depending on where you live and how many hours you drive. I make between $19 and $23 an hour in Los Angeles. Studies across the nation show that Uber drivers make over $19 an hour on average. In New York City, the average Uber driver makes over $30 an hour. Source: TechCrunch
Uber does not pay their drivers hourly. There is also no such thing as an Uber driver salary. As described above, drivers are paid a portion of the fare for every ride that is given.
As promised, here is an example of my pay for one 10 ½ hour day:
$256.30 / 10.5 hours = $24.41 an hour.
Which — if I save 10% for taxes and spend 10% on gas and vehicle costs– is about $19.53 an hour. This is very close to the $19 an hour the average Uber driver makes around the country.
I’ve found that the more hours I drive, the more I make per hour. If I drive 30 hours a week or more I usually make closer to $23 an hour. This is because there is a better chance of getting really high fares due to long distance or high surge pricing. I’ve been paid $150 for driving someone from Santa Monica to Orange County. It only took an hour.
It doesn’t happen every day, but you can get lucky if you drive a lot.
Do Uber drivers get tipped?
Passengers cannot tip directly through the Uber app. However, many passengers do tip the driver in cash.
Thank you very much if you are one of them!
I usually drive between 30 and 50 hours, and I make between $900 and $1200 a week. After gas and taxes that is $750 – $1000 a week.
Out of the 30-50 hours, I do not spend the entire time driving. Sometimes new ride requests do not come in immediately after one ride is completed. I try to use my ‘breaks’ productively, keep a Kindle in my car for these periods of downtime and catch up on my reading.
As I already explained, how much money an Uber driver makes depends on numerous factors. As a practical example, let’s assume you make $19 an hour after taxes and expenses, and you work 40 hours a week, like a regular full-time job:
$19 x 40 hours/week= $760 a week.
$760 x 4.33 weeks/month = $3,291 a month or $39,492 a year after taxes and fuel costs.
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Income from driving for Uber or any other rideshare or delivery platform varies significantly between cities. So we’ve put together a list of driver pay estimates by city. These are estimates based on an average # of hours worked, income, and expenses for each city.
Check out the full list of cities here.
Estimated Annual Driver Pay for Popular cities:
San Francisco: $45,090
Los Angeles: $36,316
Washington D.C.: $40,144
Singapore: $43534.90 (SGD)
New York City: $80,839
Delhi: Rs 1,502,300
Hong Kong: $583,477 HKD ($75,202 USD)
No, Uber drivers are independent contractors operating on the Uber platform. They are required to pay for all of their own expenses including fuel costs. There are a few exceptions, which I’ll address below.
Since you are an independent contractor, Uber does not help you pay for car repairs or car maintenance. Your compensation is a portion of the ride fare.
Uber does carry an insurance policy for all drivers while they are logged in to the app. It includes:
Uber does covers certain specific expenses. For example: If a passenger vomits into your car, or damages your car, you can use the help system on the Uber driver app to request payment. In the vomiting case for example, Uber will charge the passenger a certain amount and deposit it into your account the next day, so that you can get your car cleaned.
Being independent contractors, Uber drivers are responsible for their own taxes. You are mailed a 1099-K at the end of the year. You have to pay both self-employment tax and federal income tax on what you earn.
The good news is that there are a lot of tax deductions. As an alternative of using actual expenses for fuel and maintenance, the IRS allows you deduct $0.535 for every mile driven for business purposes as estimated costs. This can be substantially more than the actual expenses for a car with good gas mileage.
Yes, I drive with Uber full-time, but the majority of Uber drivers work less than 35 hours a week. It is entirely up to you how much or how little you work. If you already have a full-time job, driving with Uber can make an excellent part-time job. It is very easy and the schedule is completely flexible.
Vote or view the results below.
Driving for Uber pays very well compared to other jobs with similar experience requirements (which is literally none) and offers a lot of freedom and independence.
The average Uber driver makes about $19 an hour. Here in LA, I make between $19-$23 an hour. In New York drivers make over $30 an hour. Driving full-time, the average Uber driver in the U.S. can make around $40,000 net a year (after expenses and taxes).
It works as a full time job. It is also a perfect part-time job. Not having a boss and the freedom to choose your own hours are priceless benefits.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or would like to share your own experience driving for Uber, or sign up to drive with Uber for a cash bonus!
We conducted a poll in 2016 to see how much money drivers say they are really making in an hour. The results are below:
Disclaimer: So how much do Uber drivers make, these earnings are not official numbers and are from my own experience driving with Uber.
Update 1-6-2017: New up-to-date rates for 2017 and estimated driver pay by city.