Uber Driver Job Reviews
Type: Freelance Jobs / Ride Share
Overall Rank: 6 out of 10
What is it like to be an Uber Driver?
Being an Uber driver was a good experience for a while because I liked the idea of being able to turn on an app and have money right away. I was having trouble making ends meet and driving for Uber took a lot of pressure off of me. I knew I could get whatever amount of money I needed whenever I needed it. All it took was my car, cell phone, and some free time.
People have a wide range of reasons why they need to drive for Uber. For me, it was that I needed a way to get investment money for business projects. It might be different for you, but either way, ride share driving can help with it.
Pros and Cons of Driving for Uber
What I Liked about Uber:
1. A bigger customer base keeps you busier
Your Uber driver job isn’t really a job. You’re an independent contractor, so if those wheels aren’t moving, you’re not making any money.
Uber has been around longer than Lyft. They already had a following 3 years before Lyft joined the ride share family.
They have a larger customer base so it’s easier to get fares. Turn the Uber app on and you’ll usually get a call within a few minutes, especially on bad weather days.
2. Tax benefits for using a personal vehicle
One of the benefits of any ride share job is that you get savings on taxes. Every mile you drive is tax-deductible. At the time of this writing, you got 53.5 cents for each mile driven for business. You’re going to appreciate that when tax season comes around.
There’s another option to claim all your expenses instead of mileage, like the actually price you paid for gas, car washes, maintenance, etc., but it’s more work to keep track of all of that.
I always went with mileage because it’s quicker and easier. Talk to a tax consultant to see which is best for you.
3. Uber customers are awesome customers
Hopefully I won’t often anyone by saying this, but the people who use Uber tend to be a lot more easy-going than people who use other ride share services. They’ll give you 5 stars just for being friendly. You usually won’t have to jump through hoops for a good rating.
Why is that important to you?
Uber’s rating system is 1-5 stars. If you fall below 4.5 stars, they can cancel your Uber driver account.
That means the only rating that helps you is 5 stars. Any rating under 5, even a 4, hurts your overall driver rating. Having people who are more likely to give 5 stars is a big advantage.
What I Didn’t Like about Uber:
1. Lots of wear and tear on your car
This is to be expected when you’re doing any job that requires you to use your own personal vehicle. When a call comes through, first you have to drive to pick the customer up. Then you take the customer where they’re going, drop them off, and it starts over again.
You get tax breaks, but that’s still a lot of miles on your car. Keeping up with maintenance is a must.
2. Higher booking fees, of which, the Uber driver gets nothing
Uber does a great job of hiding it, but if you navigate through the pay details far enough, you’ll find that they charge double the booking fee, plus a service fee.
The last fare I accepted with Uber was for $6.05. They charged $2.05 in booking fees and $1.00 in service fees, which adds up to $3.05. That’s 50.4% of the bill! That’s a bit higher than the 25% they advertise.
I did the same experiment with several fares and Uber’s share always ended up coming up to 30-50%.
If you’re already an Uber driver, you can find this information by following these steps:
- Click the EARNINGS tab at the bottom of the Uber app.
- At the top, click EARNINGS THIS WEEK.
- Click the date at the top to see earnings from the past and present.
- Click the date range that you want to look at.
- Click the exact date that you want to see.
- Click the exact fare that you want to look at.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom and click FARE DETAILS.
- Scroll to the bottom again and you will see all the data that I’m talking about.
As you can see from all the steps it took to get to it, Uber did a great job of “hiding” this information.
They advertise 25%, so every fare should add up to 25% regardless of how much the passenger paid.
From what I was seeing, it looked like Uber took a higher percentage on shorter rides. Most rides are short.
I also saw an extra $4 taken off my pay from a $35.29 fare and they called it a Rider Fee, whatever that is. On this particular fare, my pay was only 61.15% of the bill ($9.71 + $4 = $13.71 taken out of $35.29).
Pretty far from the 75% that I was supposed to get.
In Uber’s defense, I did see a $20.46 fare that they only took 20% from, but they still need to find a way to make the fees more consistent like Lyft.
3. Lower referral bonuses
Once you’re a ride share driver, you can also make money by referring other drivers.
At the time that I wrote this article, uber was offering up to $50 for referrals. That would be okay except that Lyft was offering up to $725.
Tell me which sounds better to you.
Personally, I recommend you sign up for both because you’re getting a bonus either way. Start with Lyft. Get all the bonus money. Then do Uber when you’re finished. That’s the best way to maximize all the bonuses.
Uber Driver Salary
The actual rates charged to customers are different depending on what city you live in, so I won’t list them here, but your pay as the Uber driver is as follows:
The customer pays a set fee for each minute of the ride plus a set fee for each mile. A booking fee of $2.05 is added into that. Your pay is supposed to be 75% of the total bill, minus the booking fee. That’s not always the case, as we’ve discovered.
You keep 100% of any tips you get. Once upon a time, Uber drivers weren’t allowed to accept tips. They changed this rule to compete with Lyft.
Before you apply to be an Uber driver, make sure you meet these minimum requirements (applies to USA residence only):
- At least 21 years old, 19 years old for Uber Eats
- Had your driver’s license at least 1 year, 3 years if under 23 years old
- Valid U.S. driver’s license
- Vehicle with at least 4 doors
- Proof of vehicle registration
- Proof of auto insurance
- Pass a driver background check
- Pass a criminal background check
Training is mostly about how to use the Uber app. The Uber app does require a little more learning than most apps that I’ve seen.
I have also worked with the Lyft app and the Amazon Flex app. Uber’s required the most learning by far.
Using it to pick up passengers is easy. It gets a little more challenging when you want to look up past commissions and set driver preferences. It’s more to learn compared to everyone else, but still not hard.
Uber support is handled within the Uber app. You just click Account and then click Help.
A sub menu pops up with a list of topics including Support Messages, Trip Issues and Refunds, a Guide to Driving with Uber, Account and Payment, Signing Up, Feedback, Accessibility, Common Phone and App Issues, Legal, Safety and Security, and Community Guidelines.
The Uber team usually responds within a day or two.
My Final Opinion of Having an Uber Driving Job
Uber didn’t get an average rating because it’s a bad place to work. They got an average rating because they are average compared to their closest competitor, Lyft, or other delivery programs like Amazon Flex.
It seems like Uber has a lot of hidden fees to justify taking extra money from their drivers. Lyft doesn’t do that (as far as I know).
It’s still a good part-time driving job that I’d recommend for anyone who can meet the minimum Uber driver requirements and needs freedom to work when they want to.
Some people use Lyft and Uber together so if business is slow for one, they can use the other. That’s what I did, but Lyft was always my first choice.
FINAL RATING: 6 out of 10
Click here to Apply to be an Uber Driver
Click here to learn more about Being a Lyft Driver
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