Uber and Lyft Fare Analysis: How Much Money Can You Make Rideshare Driving in 2017?

Today I want to take a look at a recent analysis that I did of a full week of driving. We posted an article on The Rideshare Guy called How Much Money Can An Uber and Lyft Driver Make in 2017? It’s the ultimate guide to earnings and breaking down how much you can make.

It’s about 5,000 words so it is quite long, but there are some good resources in there. One of the things I want to go over in this video is the spreadsheet that I ended up using to calculate a lot of my earnings.

Take a look at the video, then read the transcript I’ve provided below if you prefer to read. This is a really visual process, so I definitely recommend you start with the video.

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Overview of the spreadsheet

This is sort of the final product right here and you can focus kind of right here on this area. 20% commission and basically you can see the nights I drove. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The number of rides. Really just a whole bunch of really good information as far as earnings. We also looked at miles and calculated the expenses, so obviously you need to think about how much you’re making, but also how much you’re spending. We even looked at taxes too. So super extensive information and I laid it all out in this post for you guys, so if you want to go ahead and take a look at that, you definitely can.

If you’re interested in recreating something similar on your own, then this tutorial, this video, and this spreadsheet is going to help you because I do have a blank template that I’m going to give you guys so that you can actually create something similar. Now what you’ll actually want to do is this is where a lot of the calculations get done and you can see here so this is for March 8th driving data and this is March 8th per mile calculations. That’s on the expense side.

Each session of driving sort of needs its own set of two tabs. So you can sort of see right here that this was one session of driving. That’s March 8th, so that was sort of one session and then I come here and make two tabs. So that’s what I’m going to show you guys how to do today. So hopefully you’ll learn a lot and if you want to go ahead and recreate this video, it’s going to help you.

How to create your own copy of the spreadsheet

What you’re going to need to do if you guys are in this spreadsheet, you can see here that I have a template right here and that’s going to pop you over right here to a blank template sheet. Now I left instructions right here, but also if you’re watching this video, obviously you can follow along here too. So basically I say here is in order to use this spreadsheet, you’ll need to track three things. The time of the request, the arrival time that you get to your passenger, and the time of the rid completion.

So what I did is I basically went out with a little notebook while I was driving, tracked those three things, and then you also need to track your total miles driven for the night. So if you guys use one of the mile tracking apps that we recommend like a Stride Drive or a QuickBooks Self-Employed, that part’ll be no problem. Really the only area that’s a little bit at work is tracking all that stuff. So as soon as I get a request, I write the time down.

Uber and Lyft give you some of this data, but as you’ll see, their clock sometimes is a little off and you need a little bit more. So we sort of assume that any breaks you might take or if it takes a few minutes for the rider to come outside, that actually is basically assumed to be negligible or zero. So hopefully that makes a lot of sense.

Now really for the input side, you will need some ride data for your Uber and Lyft dashboard, right? Here. Let’s get started and I’ll show you guys what we’re going to do here. So if I’m following along step three and then we move to step four, add two new sheets and then copy and paste the template driving data and the template per mile calc sheeting into the respective new sheets. So that’s pretty simple. Pretty straightforward. So to add a new sheet, you’re just going to go down here, add a sheet, and then that creates one and then we’re going to create two. We’ll go back to the directions. What does it say?

Rename the new tabs XXX Driving Data. Then we go right here YYY Per Mile Calcs and you’ll see why I’m going to do this. Basically rename the sheet. Rename the new tabs and also we need to add two new sheets and then copy and paste, right? So here’s what we’re going to do.

We’re going to take this whole and you go Command A to select everything. Control C and then that basically you can also go edit copy. You can do the same thing as Control C. Then when I go over here to XXX Driving Data, I go into cell A1, Control V or edit copy or edit and paste and then you can see now that it’s going to go ahead and paste everything. So now we have basically that exact same template right here and here. Then we do the same thing for this one. I’ll select here. Select all. Copy. Go to YYY. Paste.

Sometimes it takes a second and there we go. So we’ve got that step down and now on the XXX Driving Data sheet, it says, “Modify the purple cells so that they link to YYY” All that means is I have a little legend right here. Right? So this purple, I think that’s purple, needs to be updated or linked to another tab. We’re just going to go into all these purple cells and you can see right here that it’s linking to template and we want that to link to YYY.

I’m just going to come in here, change that. This is all you have to do YYY. You can see now that it’s going to go and link to that no problem. So we’ll go here, do the same thing. YYY. All the purple ones, right? What this is essentially doing is basically linking to that YYY sheet. All right. So we got all those changed. Perfect. Now let’s go back to the directions and we did that right on the XXX Driving sheet, modified the purple cells. Now we need to go ahead and do the same thing on the YYY sheet to link it to that XXX.

Find the legend. You can see I tried to make it pretty easy right here. Highlight XXX. Remember that’s going to link to that and then do the same thing here. XXX and then a couple more times. XXX. Oh, one too many X’s. Then on this one a little trickier. You’ve got to do it twice. One right there and then one right there. Now these two sheets are linked. So what we do now, we did instruction number seven. Now we’re going to go to instruction number eight, right? On the XXX Driving Data sheet enter your total mileage from when you left your house until you returned for the night.

Entering your driving data

We’re going to do my March 8th driving data. You come here. So I drove 80.9 miles on this day, so all we’re going to do is follow the instructions and enter it right there. You can see input cells are this sort of light blue color. 80.9. very simple and you can see it’s already starting to update.

You can also see that since we linked it over here it’s going to take that number and bring it in over here to calculate something. So you can see there the on the right shared miles. I just brought that number in, right? Now we typed in our total miles for that night, okay? So I typed in from when I left my house until I returned for the night. Now step nine on the XXX Driving Data sheet, enter the Uber/Lyft commissions and booking service fees for your cities.

Those are important because I’m actually at 20% since I’ve been driving for a very long time. A few years. So I’m at 20%. so if you’re at 25%, you will need to change this so I left the little inputs right there and then also depending on your city, I’m in Los Angles, so the booking fee in March of 2017 right now is $1.85 for both Uber and Lyft. So you can change that if need be. Obviously that’s important.

Now we’re going to actually enter some of this data. So on the XXX Driving Data sheet, enter in your ride data that you tracked and Uber and Lyft’s earning numbers. So what that means is I’ll show you right here. Basically we’re going to go ahead and you can see that I’ve already actually entered it right here and this is all the data. On this night you can see that I did one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight rides. Seven on Uber, one on Lyft. Basically this request time, this arrival time, this end time, right? That’s all the data. This is what I tracked on my own, right?

So this is the data I need to track. So if I just go ahead and copy this into this new template. Right? You guys are going to be entering this in right here. You can see that it starts to fill some stuff out. Now you can see also though that this a blue input cell. All right, so we did all those inputs. Now orange are going to input cells from Uber or Lyft. This is going to be data you need to enter.

These are all my rides from Uber. Hopefully that’s big enough, but you can see that Uber X and you can see the duration, and distance, and total.

Really all we need to enter is going to be the mileage and the pay. You can see that I’ve already done this over here on this sheet, so let’s check to make sure it lines up right on this first trip of the night. 3.99 miles then $5.03 payout. You can see that lines up right over here with all of these numbers and then down at the bottom for Lyft I only did one for Lyft on this night, but same information. 4.1 and $7.18.

Sometimes the Uber and Lyft clock is off so I don’t really like to use their timing, so definitely keep that in mind. When you guys are entering time time into the spreadsheet, you can see that you sort of have to do it in military time. So basically you have to type in 20:15 like that. That’s the best way to make sure that the spreadsheet calculates it and all that good stuff. So I’m just going to copy this because this is what you would need to enter since I’ve already done it although I had to copy it right here. Boom.

Now you can see that we’re starting to calculate and this spreadsheet basically goes through and calculates everything. Now that we have that all calculated, let’s go back to the directions sheet. Make sure that we got everything done. There’s a couple last steps that we need to do. Number 11 is on the XXX Driving Data sheet. Enter the time for drive to home. It’s basically saying when you end your last trip of the night, how long did it take you to get home? Obviously that’s time and miles that you need to consider.

If you look over here I entered 40 minutes. On this night I was pretty far away from home. You can see over here that I actually set this up so that it’ll highlight on your last trip of the night input cell. Remember that wasn’t there before. If you look over here at the template driving data, this is kind of smart and it knows that once you do that, you’ve got to enter in 040, and then you can see that now it shows that drive time to home.

So let’s head over to the directions sheet on the YYY Per Mile Count sheet. The last one, enter the blue inputs. So What this is saying is these light blue inputs, for me these have already been filled out, but for you guys, you’ll actually want to change this. What we did here is basically say that we took the Kelly Blue Book value of my vehicle today with 150,000 miles. Then we looked at the Kelly Blue Book value after we put 50,000 miles on the car and you can see.

So right here Kelly Blue Book say that it’s worth $5,134, so I input that number right there. Then you can see that once it’s got a few more years on the car, it’s obviously going to be only worth $4,335. So that’s such a good quick estimate to see sort of your depreciation. This is a pretty quick and easy so you can see that it says, “With 200,000 miles, $4,335.” So now we enter that difference right here.

This will actually calculate the difference for you because it subtracts this from that. Then you get a per mile cost. We also use a AA maintenance estimate. So these are technically you could fill these in on your own or you can just use the maintenance estimate that we put in. The AAA tire estimate. I input here though my per gallon cost is about $2.75 for me to fill up right now with middle grade because that’s what I use on my car. Then it’s super important obviously the MPG.

My car doesn’t get great gas mileage, but not terrible, so it’s 23 miles per gallon. You can see that it’s basically adding all this stuff up to get a total. Also obviously Rideshare insurance is important, so we added a daily insurance cost. Basically what we said was that it’s $206 extra. For a personal policy you’re going to have that no matter what, so we don’t count that as a cost. If you go out and get Rideshare insurance though, that’s an additional cost. For us it was $206.

We’re going to assume for this estimate that we’re working four out of the seven days a week. When you divide all that up, you get 99 cents per day. That number may be about something like that for you or you can go ahead and change it. Then we also input the federal mileage reimbursement of 53.5 cents and some tax brackets. You guys can probably leave all these tax brackets the same. If you’re in a higher tax bracket, you may want to change it, but other than that, that’s pretty much what this spreadsheet is saying.

Now let’s go ahead and look at the results because I think that’s the pretty cool part. We input these miles driven and look, what this spreadsheet actually does is calculate your miles with a passenger. Your miles without a passenger, which is pretty cool. Basically what that says is what your paid drive time is going to be. I you come over here, you look. 54.79%. That’s basically saying that’s that 44.67 divided by 80.9. that’s saying that how much percentage of the time you have a passenger in your car getting paid.

If you go over here to my summary where I actually have four days’ worth of data, you can see that in this paid drive time when I got all the way up to 70% that had a huge impact on my earnings. I made $27 and 48 cents per hour after expenses. $33 an hour before expenses, which is great. A lot of money. So definitely that number is important and you can also see that this total cost per mile comes from the per mile calculation sheet. Basically what that is doing is saying that depending on the miles you’re driving, how much it’s costing you per mile. That’s obviously going to be important.

Then you can come back right here and this will get calculated into everything. There’s also some efficiency statistics right here. This talks about my total drive time when a passenger was highlighted though or it’s bolded. The average drive time to your passenger, three minutes and 15 seconds. Not great, not bad. That’s saying that from the time you get a request basically your ETA. What’s your average ETA? The lower that is the shorter your ETAs are. This is important because obviously you can ignore trips now on Uber so if you’re getting high ETA requests and it’s super busy, you might want to ignore those in favor of a lower ETA request.

What’s your actual pay?

Average down time is basically the statistic that says, “After you complete a ride, how long is it until you get a new request?” If it’s super busy out, that’s going to be pretty low. You know, if you go out on a Tuesday afternoon you can’t do a whole lot about your average down time. It may go up. At this point it becomes important to find the hot spots in your cities. Bars, restaurants, whatever. Wherever you’re most likely to get pickups because if you’re finding you’re having really high average down times on the weekdays for example, you’ve got to really work hard to go find those concerts. Those events. Sporting things that happen during the week.

We talked about the paid drive time. Now let’s get to the exciting stuff. My totally base pay was $54.60 for this night. You can see my average fare was $6.83. Which is not bad. Then we come over here and look at the commissions. This is really what the medium commission because obviously when you include things like that booking fee, that’s why it’s important to talk about the booking fee because although Uber takes 25% commission, when you include the booking fee, that commission actually goes up.

On this night it was closer to 43%, which is obviously a lot of money. Then over here when you look at earnings, this is what everyone cares about. Obviously my gross pay per hour was $17.43. After expenses paid per hour that takes into account your total cost per mile and the miles you drove. If you made let’s say $55 but you drove 200 miles, your profit isn’t going to be very high. On this night I made $54, drove 81 miles. When you multiply that by the 21 cents per mile, you actually get the pay after expenses.

If you calculate that after expense paid per hour, it’s $11.81, which is not a ton of money. It’s only a couple dollars above minimum wage here in California. So that’s why it’s so important to understand your expenses, understand your income, because then you can come over here and look at our summary an you’ll see that, “Hey, even though on that Wednesday night I may have only been able to make that $11.81, when I went all the way up to Saturday night after expenses, I was actually $27.48 per hour.”

Then you can come in here and look at these metrics. Hopefully this makes a lot of sense. Hopefully you guys now understand how to use this template. If you’re looking to do a similar analysis, let’s say you wanted to add another night. We can now rename this. Let’s say we’ll call this 3/8 and this won’t mess anything up. We’ll rename this to 3/8.

Now that way we have that 3/8 data so if we wanted to add 3/9 for example, we would basically go through that whole process again of creating new sheets, copying over the templates, and then we would be able to get data from each. You can use a summary table sort of like what I did here, but you have to create that on your own. It’s not too hard. Basically you have to create a new sheet and then link up the cells that you’re interested in or you can just try and use my sheet.

Let me know if you have questions

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below. I know this was a little bit of a longer video, but hopefully this walkthrough really helped you guys and you’re going to be able to understand your earnings. Be able to use this sheet going forward and really get some great data. As you guys can see from that summary, there’s a ton of interesting stuff that you can do and a ton that I’ve learned.

Definitely recommend that you go over here and read this post that I wrote. How Much Money Can an Uber and Lyft Driver Make in 2017? I really carefully analyzed everything. Each single night that I was driving, I was testing a new app called Maestro. How much money I was making. Getting more tips. The commission if you’re at 20 versus 25%. I showed how that would impact it. Of course the vehicle costs and then taxes. I know taxes are a big question for people. Of course how you can use this spreadsheet.

Hopefully you guys got a lot out of this and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Feel free to like, comment, subscribe to this channel. Look forward to hearing from you. Take care.

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