Can you drive for Uber and Lyft full time, and should you? This is a great question for discussion that comes up often, and I found a great video by Your Driver Mike that makes some interesting points.
Take a look at Mike’s video, and read the video transcript below to see the points he covers in the video.
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What market are you in? That determines if full time Uber is possible
Firstly, the number one question you need to ask yourself is: What market am I driving in? Look up the city population for your metro area. Larger cities of one million plus may be a good barometer to start considering full-time driving.
Question number two is: How big is the passenger demand in my city? If you’re a current Uber or Lyft driver and if you especially drive on both platforms, you can intangibly measure this by seeing how long you need to wait for ride requests. The more ride requests of course means more demand, but that also may mean there’s less drivers in your market. If you’re in one of the top markets in the United States, New York City or Los Angeles, we know that these markets already have tons of drivers, but passenger demand is still there.
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Here’s a great example of two big cities but vastly different levels of demand. In this first example you can see San Diego, California, doesn’t have a lot of passenger demand at 5:07 p.m. Conversely, we can see Los Angeles at the same exact time having much, much more demand, upwards of 500% primetime.
We’ve looked at the populations of our cities and tried to measure passenger demand as well.
Thirdly, always do the research on the standard miles and per minute cost in your market. Some markets may have lower rates at $0.75 or $0.65 a mile, while other markets may experience upwards of $1.75 per mile.
Smaller, denser markets reduce vehicle expenses
Consider the layout of your city. Smaller, more densely packed markets may have shorter rides than larger, more sprawling markets. Also consider the type of vehicle that you’ll be using on the Uber and Lyft platform as this is going to be one of your largest expenses. Having a hybrid or fully electric vehicle may also have additional benefits in certain markets like access to airport pickups and drop-offs.
What is your yearly income goal?
When considering the numbers of expenses, you also want to have a yearly goal for your income. Whatever your number for your yearly income, you’re also going to need to determine your monthly earnings to hit this yearly goal. Don’t forget that taxes are not withheld from your rideshare earnings. This is something you’re going to have to anticipate when calculating your yearly goal.
When considering the vehicle that you’re going to be driving on Uber or Lyft, also consider the amount of money that you’ve invested in this vehicle. When considering a vehicle for rideshare, remember that newer models or luxury models are going to depreciate faster than used cars that you have to pay as much for. You’ll also need to consider time and when you’ll be available to drive rideshare.
Driving full-time, you may have an expectation of hours, but in order to earn the most money those expected hours may change. Driving part-time, you may have more flexibility and really be able to drive whenever you’d like.
Is the industry as a whole going to stay the same?
Lastly, think about the long-term future of ridesehare. With companies like Uber and Lyft that are always innovating towards autonomous cars, and in general different structures what their pay, your predictability of earnings is most likely going to change year over year. Let me know in the comments below, are you considering driving for rideshare and are you considering driving full-time or part-time? Your Driver Mike here, and I will see you in the next one.
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