2018 Uber and Lyft Driver Survey Results

The comment sections of YouTube, forums, and sometimes even Rideshare Facebook groups can be a little bit negative. I think that if you only spend time in there, you might have a little bit of a warped view or perception on what it’s like to be a Rideshare driver. They’re a lot of people that frankly aren’t super happy when it comes to driving.

My recent annual survey of over 1,100 drivers actually found that Uber drivers are more satisfied in 2018 than they were in 2017, and a majority of drivers were also pretty satisfied with Uber’s 180 days of change campaign.

Is my audience just overly positive or do you think that there’s something else going on? Take a look at my video below to learn all about the results of my 2018 survey, then scroll to the video transcript to see all the points I cover.

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We’ve got a blog post up on the Rideshare Guy and you can actually check out the full PDF report, and take a little bit if you want more in-depth look at the methodology and things like that. But you know, you may have also seen that our survey results have actually been in the news a lot because of this whole MIT and Uber fiasco about what drivers are actually earning. I won’t get too much into that today because I’ve got another video on the channel that I’ll also link to in the show notes, but if you want to learn more about that you can go check that out there.

The survey got 1200 respondents from all over the US

Just a little bit of background, at the beginning of every year I actually send out a detailed survey to everybody on my email list and this year, in 2018, we have about 52 thousand drivers from all over the country. I wouldn’t say evenly distributed, but pretty well distributed. A lot of drivers from L.A. and San Francisco, because that’s where there are a lot of drivers. Chicago, a lot of the big cities, but it lines up well population wise. We got about 1,200 responses.

Uber had a pretty terrible PR year in 2017, yet, they sort of ended up, if you look at the numbers they released, doing more rides, and like I said, drivers are actually more satisfied at the end of 2017 compared to the prior year. Now Lyft, drivers that said that they indicated they primarily drive for Lyft, were actually way more satisfied than Uber drivers, but the gap is definitely narrowing. Like I said, with that 180 days of change campaign, even though they didn’t increase the rates, I think the tipping option, and the 24/7 support line definitely made a lot of drivers happy and I think that shows in the results.

More Uber drivers were satisfied with their job this year

Let’s go ahead and dive in. Like I said, we’ve got a full PDF report of the data that you can actually click on and go learn a little bit about, if you wanna see further. Otherwise, we’ll just go over this blog post right now. Now the first thing is how did Uber’s terrible year of PR affect drivers? Like I said, at the beginning of 2017, 49.4% of drivers reported that they were satisfied with their Uber driving experience. Not quite a majority, but almost. Now in 2018, that number went up by 9%, and 58.2% of drivers reported that they were satisfied with their experience. This graph sort of just compares the two.

I think that it’s easy, like I said, if you only are reading comment sections or if you’re only on maybe like a Uber people type forum, you might think that everybody hates driving. You know, I think one of the nice things about my email list, since there are 50,000 people on that email list, you have a lot of the casual drivers, people who are interested in the industry, but maybe aren’t invested enough to always be commenting. Always be in Facebook groups, or whatever it might be.

They’re just sort of casual observers, and I think that a majority of drivers, they may not even know that these Rideshare Facebook groups, or blogs, or YouTube channels exist. That’s definitely something to keep in mind. And one of the reasons why I think there’s that increase satisfaction for Uber drivers is that, 2017 if you remember, it was actually the first year in a while that Uber did not lower rates. In 2014, 15, and 16 in January, is sort of becoming this annual tradition where drivers would get really scared and upset. And it really sucked when Uber would lower rates, because everyone was making a lot less money.

180 Days of Change may have improved driver satisfaction

Now that was one thing they didn’t do in 2017 and haven’t done so far in 2018, so that’s been nice and I think that could potentially be a reason. And then another thing is, of course the 180 days of change. It’s really just a start for Uber, and they need to do a lot more to improve the driver experience. But at the same time, it clearly shows that hey, Uber at least is recognizing that there’s some problems, and they need to fix it.

Their solutions may not be 100% agreeable with you or I. Alright for example, I think they still have a ways to go with Uber Pool, and ratings and increasing their rates and things like that, but at the same time a lot of these things that Uber is fixing, even something as simple as a $15 item return fee to a passenger. Now that may not quite be enough in every situation, but it’s at least a start, because in the past you had to handle all that on your own and this has been a problem for five years. It’s not exactly like passengers just started losing their phones yesterday, this has been going on for four, five years, these types of problems. Now I think it is a positive that uber is at least starting to not only recognize these problems, but starting to try to at least build their product in a way that now rewards drives and maybe they’ll tweak it in the future.

Like I said, 57% of drivers actually indicated that they were satisfied with Uber’s 180 days of change campaign, 48% saying that they somewhat agree and then 9% saying that they strongly agree. Definitely a majority.

Why did reported earnings increase?

Talking about earnings, we also asked drivers how much they earn before expenses, and so that’s obviously a key point. But Uber drives said that they were in $16.90 per hour, which is actually a dollar more per hour than they reported last year and I think a big reason for that is the tipping option. Uber added this tipping option in 2017 and it hasn’t been a total slam dunk and drivers are now earning double or triple or anything, but obviously as you can imagine I think most of us are getting more tips. While there still is this culture of Uber passengers who aren’t tipping a ton, I think some tips is definitely better than no tips.

One of the interesting things that we’ve found is that there’s a big positive corelation between experience. The number of trips you’ve given and an increase in report to earnings. New drivers, so basically if you’ve done zero to 500 trips reported earnings just under $15 dollars per hour, whereas experienced or veteran drivers with 10,000 trips or more actually reported earning $20 dollars per hour before expenses, so that’s over five dollars per hour difference. Now why the difference? I think that it should be obvious to any of you guys watching my channel. My whole business is predicated and built on the fact that more experience, more savvy drivers will make more money. That’s why we have a video training course, that’s why I have my book coming out, right up here that you probably saw, I’ll show you guys real quick, The Rideshare Guide.

That’s why we have this book coming out, and I think that experienced drivers, they start to realize that, “Hey, maybe there’s times or situations where it makes sense to cancel on that passenger.” You become a little bit more cutthroat. Of course, you’re gonna learn the best times, the best places to drive, not to chase the surge, to find those times where surge is predictable but at the same time I think you become a little bit more cutthroat. You sort of understand, “Hey, this passenger is not where they say they are, they sound pretty drunk, I probably should just cancel this ride and move on to the next one, because this is probably gonna turn out badly. I’m gonna wait 10 minutes for them or they’re gonna wanna go through a drive through.” Maybe you start realizing that, “Hey, I can filter out passengers based on their rating or use an app like Mystro to drive for both Uber and Lyft and maximize my earnings in my downtime.” I think that’s pretty clear, and this graph actually shows that nice corelation. That’s definitely a cool thing.

Did Lyft make up any ground between 2017 and 2018?

And of course when you talk about what other services are out there. Now obviously most of us are primarily driving for Uber. 58.7% of you guys indicated that you’re primarily driving for Uber, 20% said Uber and Lyft equally, and just 16.8% said Lyft. I think that makes sense, that Uber is typically the dominant. If you’re only gonna go with one, you probably wanna go with Uber. But definitely anecdotally over not just last year but over the past few years I feel like we’ve heard from more and more drivers who are switching to Lyft or only driving for Lyft, so they can get that power driver bonus every week, or they just feel that Lyft promotes more driver centric community and culture. I think that that’s definitely something we’ve seen, but it’s still not like Uber and Lyft are completely even yet.

Now obviously this graph just shows how many services drivers are signed up for and you can see that overwhelming majority, almost 80% of drivers are doing at least two or more services and often case three or more. Just to give another quick shout out to Mystro, I’m really liking this app, they recently added Postmates. Now, for example, if you wanna do Uber, Lyft and Postmates all at the same time, especially during those slow times, you can really increase your chances of getting a request.

The marketshare of each ridesharing and delivery service

Now this is an interesting graph right here, because basically what it says is that this is the market share of drivers surveyed. This is saying that close to 90% of drivers have signed up with Uber, 75% of drivers have signed up with Lyft. So Lyft has really signed up a lot of drivers, yet you see that most of them are primarily making their money or getting their trips from Uber. Then you also see UberEats, which I think makes a lot of sense, because it’s so easy if you’re an Uber driver to also just go an opt in to Uber eEats in the cities where that is active. That’s a pretty big number compared to companies like Postmates, DoorDash that specialize in food delivery.

One that I wanna highlight, Amazon Flex, it jumped up from less than one percent amongst market share for drivers, all the way to seven percent in one year, and I think that’s in big part to the fact that Amazon Flex is really expending all over the country. They pay a fixed hourly rate that I know a lot of drivers like. Honestly the feedback we’ve heard from drivers is that there’s just aren’t enough shifts available, so that’s definitely something to keep your eye on if it’s not in your city already. Also, I wanna state that Lyft’s market share actually grew from 62.5 to 75.1%. Seems like Lyft is gaining, and I think a big reason for that is that drivers often end up preferring Lyft over Uber. Lyft’s president John Zimmer, he’s out there driving every new years. Lyft was the first company to have tips in the app, they had the power driver bonus.

Now, of course, in 2018 and going forward these apps are becoming more and more similar. But I think that it really goes to show that that initial company culture has come a long way, and there’s just this sort of perception that Lyft is the more driver friendly culture, and I think that clearly shows with the satisfaction numbers, where basically we have right here 48% of drivers somewhat agree that they’re satisfied with their driving experience with Lyft, 27% strongly agree. That’s 76% of drivers, compared to just 58% with Uber, which I think is pretty shocking, when you think about the fact that Uber’s busier, you tend to make more money with Uber. These Lyft drivers that are able to figure out are definitely happier. This chart right here kind of compares Uber and Lyft drivers, so there’s not a ton that stand out.

What was the most important thing to drivers?

One other question that I did ask was pretty interesting this year. We asked drivers, “What’s the most important thing to you as a driver?” Play and flexibility were obviously up there, everybody wants to get paid. But then we also asked how much drivers think they should be earning? Now overall, between Uber and Lyft, drivers reported that they earn $16.93 cents per hour before expenses. But they also indicated that they think they should be earning $26 per hour or just under $26 per hour, which is basically a difference of 31%, which I think is pretty great.

I think that also reflects the fact that drivers feel like they’re underpayed and then a lot of drivers quit because they’re not making enough or their expenses start to pileup.  Whatever way they manage to do it, they’re gonna have to look at increasing rates eventually, or figuring out a way to pay drivers more if they ever wanna improve the retention of drivers, and they don’t want a bunch of drivers to quite at the end of every year.

Every year I like to ask this question about Uber Pool and I sort of already know the answer, but most drivers do not like Uber Pool. I think a majority, 65% of drivers in Uber Pool market actually indicated that they’re dissatisfied with their Uber Pool experience. This is for pretty obvious reasons. On Uber you actually make less per mile and per minute doing Uber Pool than you do for UberX. You’re doing more work for actually less money, so that kind of sucks.

Do drivers like Uber Pool or Lyft Line?

Then one interesting thing that we also asked drivers about their Lyft Line experience. 31% said that they actually were satisfied, so 45.5% total were satisfied with their Lyft Line experience. So not quite a majority, but 45.5% of Lyft drivers compared to 22% with Uber that are satisfied with Uber Pool. You can sort of see that that’s a little bit interesting there. I think even though Uber is now adding an extra dollar per pickup for the second passenger, it’s not a ton and they still pay lower rates, whereas a lot of drivers have noticed that Lyft actually now pays Lyft rates, whetter you’re on Lyft Line or Lyft. They pay more for Lyft Line per mile and per minute, and not a ton more but they do pay a little bit more than Uber Pool does.

Other questions: Vehicle choice, rideshare insurance, employment classification

We also have just a couple quick interesting questing about vehicle choices. Toyota was number one, 22%. The average age of vehicles was 2012. Ford was also up there with 10.5%. I recently tried out the Ford Fusion hybrid and really enjoyed that car, so that makes sense to me. I lot of drivers still do not have Rideshare insurance, which is always surprising me. We have the Rideshare insurance market place on our site, that I’ll leave a link to in the show notes. We can go and actually get a quote from an agent.

A lot of times it might only be $10 or $12 more each month, or even sometimes the same cost or less, because drivers haven’t shopped around for insurance for so long, so that’s definitely a way that you can make sure you have adequate coverage. Then when it comes to some of these driver employment and miss-classification issues, 76% of drivers say that they wanna be independent contractors, so I think is pretty big numbers. But it also makes sense since most drivers are doing it part time, they’re not putting a ton of hours in. Then we also asked drivers what type of background checks they would like to see, and 63% said fingerprint based background checks, 37% said online or name based.

If you guys haven’t participated in this survey, before we send it out every single January, so make sure that you’re on our email list, we giveaway some cool prizes. This year we gave away a couple grand prizes, first prizes, it’s a membership to our video training course. Second prize was some Amazon gift cards and then we also gave away a bunch of Rideshare Guy trucker hats. But for the most part lots of comments and definitely some interesting findings. If you have any questions, comments or concerns don’t hesitate to leave them below. Look forward to hearing from you guys!

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