Can You Really Make Money With Uber? How Much Can You Make?

I bet you have seen some advertisement banners on social media with the tagline “Be Your Own Boss by Becoming a Uber Driver”. Some banners even come with an amount of money you could make per month. Can you really make money with Uber service? How much can you make driving for Uber? Read this article to find out more.

Can You Really Make Money With Uber How Much Can You Make

Can You Really Make Money With Uber?

The technology advancement, as well as the internet age, have created a few new innovative entrepreneurs and ideas that borrow assets of someone else to make money. Innovative companies such as Uber, Etsy, and AirBnB are very good examples. That’s what we call the sharing economy. They have created a lot of opportunities for people like you and me to earn extra cash. Yes, you can definitely make money with Uber with the assets you own – car. With the growth of demand, Uber is always looking for more drivers and you can start making money by becoming an Uber driver.

How Much Can You Make Driving for Uber?

The next question is how much money can you make driving for Uber. Could this be a full-time job or just an income supplement, and how much?

The fair varies from one place to another. Let’s take an example in Los Angeles. The fare for UberX is approximate at $0.18 a minute + $1 a mile and this rate will go up during “peak” hour.

As a passenger, if you are going somewhere within 10 miles and if that takes 40 minutes during normal hours. The fare that you (as a passenger) are going to pay is as estimated below:-

(10 miles. x $1 + 40 min. x $0.18) + $1 Rider Fee  = $18.20.

As an Uber driver, after a deduction of the $1 Rider Fee, Drivers keep 80% of the total fare. That means you are making $13.76.

The price of the fare depends on the type of vehicle the rider chooses, and of course, the distance of the trip. UberX drivers will be paid the lowest fares, whereas UberBlack and UberSUV will be paid the highest.

It’s difficult to give you an exact possible income because the fares depend on your location as much as they depend on the type of car, distance of the trip, and even the time of day.

At times when demand is high, like say, Friday between 1am and 2am, Uber implements “surge pricing”. You can expect surge pricing to take place during normal high-demand hours, like rush hour, Friday and Saturday nights, local events and holidays.

When the surge price is boosted to 1.5 or 2.0. The total fare will for sure be increased with the following calculations

(10 miles. x $1 + 40 min. x $0.18) x 1.5 (surge price) + $1 Rider Fee = $26.80.

As an Uber driver, you can choose the “high demand” hours and maximize your income with these surge pricing factors.

In one of the articles published in the Washington Post, According to Uber, the median wage for an UberX driver working at least 40 hours a week in New York City is $90,766 a year. In San Francisco, the median wage for an UberX driver working at least 40 hours a week is $74,191.

However, you have to take note that these numbers do not take the extra costs that you need to pay for the maintenance.

Uber has retracted those estimates and now claims that the average wage for its drivers in New York City is closer to $25 an hour. In fact, most of the Uber drivers are barely making minimum wage.

What Are the Pros of Becoming an Uber Driver?

Easy to Start

Applying to be a driver for Uber is very simple. Simply visit the Uber website to fill out any applicable forms and submitting to a criminal background check and vehicle inspection. Although you do need to sign a contract to drive with Uber, it is essentially just a standard driver agreement

As a Uber driver, you don’t need to get yourself a commercial insurance in order to carry passengers. All you need is a personal auto insurance.


When you start with Uber you are sent a package that contains a smartphone. This phone allows you to do things like track earnings, mileage, numbers of trips, etc. But it also has an app drivers use specifically to show when they are available to pick up riders and when they aren’t.

When you are ready to work you grab that phone, open the app and make yourself available. When you are ready to be off work, you simply show yourself as unavailable.

This flexibility manages to attract a lot of people to choose to drive for Uber and earn extra cash during their free time.

Earning Extra Cash as a Non-Uber Driver

Other than earning ride fares by fetching passengers, you can also earn extra cash by recruiting new drivers. You will be rewarded $100 when they complete their first ten trips.

You can attract new riders with a discount of $20 on their first ride and you get $5 for it. If you are an Uber driver you can use this to attract tons of new riders.

What Are the Cons of Becoming an Uber Driver?

Everyday Costs

Uber drivers are basically independent contractors operating on the Uber platform. You are required to pay for all the expenses including car repairs, maintenance, and fuel costs.

Depending on the countries you are residing, costs of gas vary from one to another.

One of the biggest drawbacks of working in this industry is the relentless wear and tear on your vehicle that comes with driving strangers around at all hours of the day and night.

Startup Costs

Before you can become an Uber driver, you will have to represent your driving history for the last seven years. That will cost you about $50 to $75.

One of the main preconditions is you need to bring your car to workshops to get vehicle inspection. If you are lucky enough, you may only need to pay $100 for an inspection. If there are any problems with your car, you will need to spend some money to fix it in order to get the approval from Uber.

No Show or Cancellation

You don’t get paid for cancellations or no-shows. This happens pretty often. You can drive for several miles and/or minutes, then get a notification that your ride is canceled. All you can do at that point is drive back to where you were, or stop where you are and hope someone else nearby needs a ride.

A few Uber drivers have made such complaints that they have to wait for new passengers and there were times where there were no ride requests. They just went home probably $3 poorer.

Full Time Or Part Time Income?

Both are possible!

Just like any other jobs in the world, it comes with their share of unfortunate details and events, and anyone who works for someone else has to accept the fact that things don’t always go as planned.

Some UberX drivers are earning a full-time income, making over $70,000 per year. That is the estimate for an UberX driver in New York.

As Uber is recruiting constantly over time, competition may rise. If you are considering to become a full-time Uber driver, my suggestion would be to keep it as a part-time job for now. Don’t quit your job as you won’t know how the demand will look like in the near future.

Start on the weekends and in the evenings, and see how it goes. Boosting your current income a bit in your spare time seems to be what the majority of people are doing.

Tips for Uber Drivers

Don’t accept any rides that are more than five minutes away. Two bad things can, and often do, happen in this situation: You can drive for 10 miles just to have them cancel or end up only driving them a couple blocks down the road to their friend’s house, which isn’t much better.

Don’t drive in the rain or snow if you don’t have a good car for it. You will put lots of extra wear on your car and there could be a risk of flooding your car if your country does not have a good drainage system.

Fetch only when the prices surge. As I mentioned previously, during times of higher demand, Uber will increase the prices of their rides.

Keep track of all your expenses. This includes ALL the miles you drive for the company, especially the miles to and from a ride. Uber doesn’t keep track of those miles, and those miles can easily add up to more than the miles you spend with someone actually in your car.


The best way to maximize your earnings with Uber is to work during the busiest times when the prices surge.

As you can see, there are a lot good things and bad things about becoming an Uber driver. The biggest problem with it is you have to be there to execute the work. You have to trade your time for money, of which you may need to sacrifice your quality time with your family.

In this sharing economy, you can also make money by tapping someone’s assets. You can make use of Uber to recruit new drivers and make extra money from it. It works like any other affiliate marketing programs where you promote Uber platform and encourage people to become an Uber driver. From there, you get rewarded.

Many of them have YouTube videos and share their Uber referral links on social media. If you would like to earn a passive income through their “affiliate” program, you could set up a brand new website and start recruiting.

If you are interested in making extra cash by doing affiliate marketing, you can get it started right here. Then you can be an affiliate for Uber or any company or product you like, including things like car care/maintenance products to enhance the rideshare experience.

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4 Responses

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