Do Uber and Lyft Drivers Get Paid for Extra Stops and Miles?

You’ve probably had at least one passenger ask you to make an extra stop or drive out of your way for a burrito run. But since passengers now have to put their final destination into the app, ahead of time, will you still get paid for these diversions, if you have to go out of the way? Today we’re covering how payment for drivers works with extra stops and miles.

Take a look at my video, then scroll to see the video transcript below.

You are paid for the mileage and time you drive, regardless of route

The first thing that you want to understand is that you are always paid for the exact mileage and time that you drive, regardless of the route that you take. Whether you drive 10 miles in a straight line or whether you drive five miles to point A and then five miles right back, you get paid for that exact mileage. And also, of course, the exact time that it takes, regardless of what the passenger pays. That’s the good news.

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Uber and Lyft both now use this thing called Upfront pricing. What that means is they quote a fixed price to a passenger. To go from point A to point B, let’s say, they tell the passenger it’s going to cost you $10. Drivers though, on the other hand, get paid off of the exact mileage and time so the two aren’t linked. You have the upfront price here and then drivers get paid the mileage and time. And Uber is really using that upfront pricing as an estimate of what it thinks the mileage and time is going to be. If you take a longer route, and takes more miles and more time, Uber doesn’t make as much money on that fare. It probably still makes some, but you’ll still pay the actual mileage and time. It’s sort of in your best interest to take the longest route but not to go too far out of your way.

The rate you make per minute is very low

The one caveat is that Uber and Lyft pay a very low pay minute rate. It most cities it might be around 10 or 12 cents a minute. And so that means that, basically, you’re paid five to six times more per mile than you are per minute. So really, you always want your wheels moving. When you have to stop for two to three minutes, that starts killing your income. Two, three minutes isn’t a big deal, but five, 10 minutes is obviously a big deal and that’s really gonna cut into your income. If you calculate the per minute waiting rate, it might actually be less than minimum wage in your city.

Any stop longer than a minute or two is unprofitable

I don’t usually have a problem with quick stops but I make sure to mention to the passenger if they wanna make a quick stop, “Hey, if it’s only gonna two to three min,” I’ll tell the passenger, “Hey, if it’s only gonna be two to three minutes, that’s fine.” But also explain to them, “You know, drivers aren’t paid much to wait around. We only make 10 cents a minute and so if you don’t mind, you can just request a new ride when you’re ready to go.” And of course, I know the places. If they wanna go to a popular chain, like in and out, or something like that, at 1 AM, that’s gonna have a 20 minute line. I’m going to shut that down from the beginning.

Definitely have to take a little bit of that into account, but the nice thing for drivers is that you always get paid for those extra stops and miles. I’ve had situations where I took the passenger to the destination and they realized they forgot their phone. And so we drove all the way back to their house, and then all the way back to their final destination. It doesn’t matter what the final destination in the app is, on your end. As long as you get them there, you’ll still get paid for all that in-between miles and in-between time, if you do take a diversion.

Hopefully this quick video explained that and if you’re a newer driver, this probably is a question you’ve had, and now you know. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them below or send me an e-mail. Drive safe everyone!

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