A question we regularly look at is: How much do drivers really make with Uber and Lyft? It’s worth coming back to because the rideshare landscape is constantly changing. For this analysis, we’re going to take into account expenses, so you’re going to see what can you make and then subtract expenses, and then what do you make.
Stick around at the end of the video and Jay will show you what a traveling driver could make if they flew into San Francisco for four weeks and then flew home.
Take a look at Jay’s video, then scrolls to the video transcript below to see all of the points he covers.
How much do drivers make? There’s a lot of info out there, but is it accurate?
There’ve been a lot of articles written about how little Uber drivers make. I just say one that said we make about $17 an hour. When I first started driving, I saw articles that said it was less than what they called minimum wage. I guess what I would recommend right off the bat is give it a try if you’re thinking about becoming a rideshare driver. Just give it a try. Go out. You’re not going to lose money, for sure, and you can see for yourself in your city with your bonuses with your skill set what you can accomplish.
My methodology for tracking earnings and expenses
Let’s start off by looking at the numbers of what I’ve earned over the last six weeks. What I did is I listed my last six weeks earnings and hours, totaled it up, divided it by six, and then came up with the hourly figure per week. So as you can see, we’re at about $45 per hour, but now we’re going to go and we’re going to subtract five of the major expenses, all the expenses that I can think of that got to come off that amount to give us a net earnings before tax. Let’s go to the first expense.
Our Top Tips for Drivers:
Accounting for gas expenses
Expense number one, the thing that eats up the most money weekly is gas. I drive approximately 250 miles a day and I work 6 days, so that’s 1500 miles. I drive a Toyota Prius. That means I’m putting about 30 gallons of gas in my car. As of today, in San Francisco at my ARCO station, I’m paying $3.59 per gallon. If you do the math, it comes out to about $107 per week that I’m spending on gas. We’re going to make a note of that and at the end of this I’m going to show you a little spreadsheet that shows you all these expenses subtracted from the total.
Tracking automobile expenses
Number two is my automobile expense. There’s two things we’ve got to consider here. First is how much am I paying, so I am using the Uber Fair Leasing Program. It used to be called Uber Exchange Leasing. Then they switched recently and now it’s called Uber Fair Leasing, but at any rate, I’m leasing a car for $149 a week, and it gives me unlimited mileage. I don’t have to worry about the depreciation or the number of miles I’m putting on the car.
When I got this car, it’s a 2013 Prius, it had 30,000 miles on it. Now it’s got 180,000 miles on it. I don’t care about the depreciation because I’m done, I’m just going to turn the car back in. That’s what I’m spending. Now, what I’m going to subtract from that amount is $300 a month which I would normally pay for a car because I want to look at just the incremental expense that I’m incurring. I’ve always had a car since the age of 16. $300 for a car with insurance and depreciation is pretty small so I think I’m being very, very conservative here. Let’s look at this little, tiny spreadsheet here. You can see I’ve taken the 149, subtracted what I would normally pay for a car, and that gives our figure for our car expense.
Accounting for insurance expenses
The third expense is automobile insurance. As you might know, you need to get regular car insurance plus rideshare car insurance to be fully covered. I work with a company called Metromile. They cover all aspects of my car and I pay about $200 per month for that. You know cars break down, so my car actually has never broken down, but what I have had to pay for is brakes and tires. Now through the leasing program, I get a minor service every 5000 miles. That’s an oil change every 25000 miles. I get a cabin air filter change, they rotate the tires, fill them with air and all of that, but I have, once a year, had to get new brakes, which is approximately $500, and I’ve had to get new tires, which is approximately $500.
Adding up miscellaneous expenses
Now the fifth is just miscellaneous. I thought about should I include my cell phone, but I would have my cell phone regardless of whether I drove or not. I have a Spotify account, but I’d have that whether I drove my car or not. I do pay about $10 a week on parking meters when I park to get something to eat, so I’ve subtracted $10. But other than that, all the expenses like a car wash, I do pay for a car wash. It’s a monthly subscription of $35, and I can go as often as I want, but I would do that anyway because I would want to have a clean car regardless of whether I drove for Uber and Lyft. I’ve added $10 as an extra weekly expense under miscellaneous.
Calculating my net pay after subtracting expenses
Now let’s take a look at the spreadsheet and we can see where we came out. I took the weekly gross figure from the previous spreadsheet and then subtracted all of the five expenses that we just covered to get a net weekly revenue, and then divided that by the 51.5 average hours per week.
We see we’ve now got a per-hour of $39.75. Okay, so we ended up around $40 per hour, which is a lot better than the minimum wage or less-than-minimum-wage, or the $17 that I’ve seen, but it’s all dependent on where are you working. I work in San Francisco. What kind of a bonus can you get, because the bonus accounts for 20, 25%, and what’s your skill set? How good of a driver are you? How disciplined are you? Are you willing to really put in the hours to achieve it, because the harder you work, the better the bonuses get? You really just got to go try for yourself. No article can really tell you what your per-hour is until you go out and do it, and then you can calculate it for yourself.
Bonus: How much would you make if you flew into San Francisco to drive for rideshare?
Now, what I promised you at the beginning is, I was thinking a lot of people say, “Well, you make so much money but it’s only because you work in San Francisco.” Yes, and I didn’t start in San Francisco. I moved here because I wanted to make some pretty good money. I put together the spreadsheet where we could look and see, well what if somebody flew in from San Francisco, was here for four works, and then flew home? How much could they do for take-home? Let’s look at that spreadsheet right now.
So I set your earnings at $2,500 per week, so you’re going to be doing a lot of driving in four weeks, but then I subtracted for an Airbnb room, car insurance, your gas, parking. Round-trip airfare, I said $500 and $250 a week for food. You could get by on a lot less than that. When you subtract those expenses, you’ve got a take-home, I mean coming back with $5000 in your pocket. Do some research. I bet you could do this.
All right, all right. Thanks, everybody. I hope you enjoyed the video. I hope you found that informative. Some of you maybe be thinking, “Huh, maybe I should fly to San Francisco for four weeks, come back with $5000 large in my pocket,” but do your research. Do your research, and you have to be really committed to reach that figure. But I want to thank you for watching.
This is Jay Cradeur with The Rideshare Guy. This is The Rideshare Guy YouTube Channel. If you haven’t subscribed yet, by all means go ahead and subscribe. Get caught up on all the most recent information regarding Uber, and Lyft, and Postmates. You all go out and have a great day. Be safe.
Ready to Maximize Your Ridesharing Profits?
Maximum Ridesharing Profits is The Rideshare Guy's online video course. Enroll to learn how rideshare veterans earn more, spend less, and treat rideshare driving like a real business.