The world has changed a lot in the past 10 years. 10 years ago, the idea of getting in a car with a stranger was completely obscure, but now, thanks to some help from Uber, that idea isn’t so strange.
If you don’t know what Uber is, it’s a smartphone app that connects driver-partners and riders. As a drive-partner, you use your own vehicle to pick up riders and drive them to their desired destination in your city.
It’s as simple as that. If you are looking to make some cash with Uber, then you should be looking into becoming a drive-partner. If you don’t know how to do that, that’s fine, that’s what I’m going to show you how to do today.
What You’ll Need
There aren’t many things you need to become an Uber driver. Here is a list of the requirements you must fulfill:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have at least one year of licensed driving under your belt (3 years if you are under 23).
- Have a valid US driver’s license.
- Use an eligible 4-door vehicle.
- Proof of vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance.
- After signing up, take a few minutes to start an online screening. It’ll review your driving record and criminal history.
- Have a smartphone.
How to Get Started
Applying to be a driver is as easy as going to their website, Uber.com, filling out any applicable forms and submitting to a criminal background check and vehicle inspection. Note that you do need to sign a contract with Uber, but it is essentially just a standard driving agreement.
Don’t think that just because you don’t live in a huge city like New York or Minneapolis that you won’t be able to drive for Uber. That’s completely false, the company is currently expanding globally and actively trying to spread its reach into markets of any shape or size, so don’t worry.
I also want to mention that if you are worried about if your car qualifies or not, don’t be. If it isn’t, Uber has got you covered. The app partners with companies like Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Hertz to offer affordable leases and rentals that can be used as part of the service.
As to them not accepting you, there really isn’t much to worry about, unless you have major accidents in the past few years, including DUIs. A clean driving record is important, but a couple speeding tickets won’t eliminate your chances of being accepted.
Benefits of Driving for Uber
One of the reasons for my love of this app is the fact that you are able to make your own hours, and this flexibility extends beyond the hours you choose to work in any given week.
Since you really don’t have to make any sort of commitment, you can easily take time off whenever you want. If you every just want to take a month off, you can do that, and if you are every short on money, you can just ramp up your hours.
If you are wondering how this works, it is actually quite simple. All you have to do is when you feel like driving, turn it on and when you feel sick of driving, turn it off. You can log on whenever you please and get back on when you feel necessary.
Uber is very unique in the sense that you can opt in and out as your schedule permits. If you want to earn more, you have that choice. With Uber, you decide when you are ready to work.
How Much can I Make?
For comparison purposes, lets first look at the average salary of a taxi driver/chauffeur. According to bls.gov, they earned a median annual wage of $24,880 in 2017, or an hourly rate of $11.96/hour.
Even the top earners in the industry didn’t far surpass that, making a whopping $38,500/year, or $18.51/hour, which is really not that great.
Overall, Uber drivers tend to get paid a higher hourly rate, though the amount they earn depends solely on how often they drive.
According to a 2017 poll of 1,150 drivers conducted by Campbell, most Uber drivers are making an average of $15.68/hour before expenses. Around 25% of the drivers claimed to make $15-$20 per hour, and 17.4% said they made between $20 and $30 per hour, and a small 2.5% stated that they make between $30 and $40 an hour.
Obviously, the amount of pay you receive depends on many factors that include where you are driving, the competitors in the area and your reviews.
Getting paid is quite simple. Uber users are required to register a credit card when they sign up and use that card to pay for all of their rides, there are no exceptions allowed. They also recently added a new feature that allows riders to tip if they feel the driver was worthy of one.
All the payments are made all at once, once a week, and it is a very smooth transition from their pocket to yours.
Of course, no job is perfect and being a ride share driver is no exception. One of the biggest drawbacks that I can think of is you having to use your own car and driving strangers around all the time will end up wearing down your vehicle.
Also, the fact that Uber drivers work as independent contractors means that most of the expenses, like gas and vehicle maintenance will need to be paid out-of-pocket.
And by far the worst part of driving Uber is the pukers. If you plan to be driving people around late at night, odds are it is because they are drunk and can’t drive home, and not everyone can hold in their liquor.
This does happen more often then you may think. I would recommend that you keep vomit bags on board in case of emergency.
There is also personal safety to consider. You are allowing a stranger to get in your car, but you are allowed to pick whether or not you want to pick up a customer.
However, just like your riders can rate you, you can also rate them. If a rider has many complaints, they will be barred from the service.
Hit the Road!
You now know everything there is to know about beginning to drive for Uber. As you can see, it is very easy to begin to do and can make you a decent part-time income.
The qualifications are slim and you can get paid quite a bit depending on the amount of time you are willing to put in. In my opinion, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and I believe that this is a solid option for people looking to make some extra cash, especially if you love driving.
If you have any questions or comments of any kind, be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I will reply.