The Unofficial Uber Driver's Guide is a handy resource that will help you navigate the tricky waters of being a ride share driver!
Cashing in with Uber Strategy
When I first heard about Uber, I thought that it was a brilliant idea. Many months later I decide to sign up and become a driver. After watching countless YouTube videos and visiting many forums dedicated to Uber, I realized it was a great deal of information asymmetry. Much of the confusion was on both sides riders and drivers alike. I can't say it is by design but it feels like it. Many riders do not realize that all of the drivers for Uber are independent contractors. Many of the drivers who were indeed independent contractors want to be treated as employees. This creates friction misunderstandings and resentment. If you are independent contractor act like it! Go out and hustle up your own business. It is a big hint Uber does not make you sign a noncompete clause.
The truth of the matter Uber is what you make it as a driver.
I will say this early. If you are considering driving for Uber as a full-time independent contractor. I highly suggest you incorporate your company get whatever chauffeur or limousine license you need as well as tags and commercial insurance. If your car is not tremendously expensive, your commercial insurance is not as prohibitive as many think. As a full-time driver your chances of getting an accident or being hit dramatically increase!
I have had more near misses in the last two weeks, and I’ve had in the last ten years! I totally understand why limousine drivers and taxis drive slow it is a good defensive posture to ward off errant drivers. The slower you go, the more time you have to react to someone not driving correctly. I would also state you form a partnership, or you hire drivers so your car can be in service 24 hours a day. That is how you will make real money. Say your car earns on average $20 per hour, so 12 hours is $250 24 hours is $500.
500 x 7 is $3500 or $14000 per month. Even at that low margin point it is still a decent living after expenses. You can never run your car like that as one person operation. Think if you had two cars running 24 hours a day that would be 4-5 drivers. Many people will work for a guaranteed $10 per hour and a scheduled versus taking on the responsibility of running solo trust me on this.
One the things you must do to be a successful Uber partner is learn your city’s hotspots. I was on a Uber forum, and I saw someone say their best night on UberX here in Atlanta was $188 on a Friday night to early Saturday morning. I have done $255 + $25 tips in four and half hours in the morning during the weekday. Consistently I make more money in the AM than at night of weekends this is the power of a strategy. I also go out on raining days ping to ping it is on days like that.
I want to dispel any notion that many people love to repeat.
“ work when you want to work”
In some cities such as Washington DC, Uber is in demand 24/7 you may be able to pull that off. If you are in the city that doesn’t operate with that degree of demand, you will have to work a dedicated schedule.
Which means you cannot work when you want to work you must work when there is demand.
I have worked early morning starting at 4 AM I try to cut it off at 10 AM or earlier but some mornings I was sucked in by the “ping” as late as 11. I have consistently made more money during that time than at night or weekends.
Before I signed up with Uber, I did my research. My first week I grossed over $800 and worked 30 hours over five days. I made more my second week.
This is how I did it.
I looked for the most affluent areas and simply parked close to one. You get a different rider in these areas. I had several my car is disabled ( tag expired), I did not feel like driving to work today, and I need a ride to work, take to the hospital for procedures runs. Typically those trips are between $18 and $36 on the high- end very close to the airport runs or more in terms of earnings. 5 runs like that is a decent to good day. Many people see Uber as a boon to their existence, and the possibilities of use will continue to expand.
My first week I did not experience much surge pricing. I did have many airport runs.Quick. Nicer clientele. Most sat up front. Less gas consumed.
I had one day with four airport runs. I learned to stay away from transit stations. Typically someone that’s riding public transportation is going to have a short run. Not always but 7 times out of 10 that will be the cause. I will play the odds and not hang close to one!
Those short runs kill your per hour average!
They will also get you caught in traffic that could put you 30 to 40 minutes away from a sweet spot. After a few times of getting caught in places, I didn’t want to be I learned to turn the app off. I have six sweet spots the consistently get calls. If I go to the airport on the way back to my sweet spot, I turn app off. I have also learned to not turn at back on until I get into the center of my sweet spot. There is nothing worse than be pulled away from an area that goes yellow, green and red moments after you leaving it!
My territory has three points of the day that’s surge pricing kicks in on a consistent basis. I try to stay away from surge pricing. That is a quick way to get a low rating. Many riders do not understand completely how Uber dynamic pricing model works. Some will take it out upon the driver in the form of a poor rating. Yes, it tells you exactly what the price is on the app! Does not matter.
It is my belief that Uber needs to do a better job of educating riders of exactly how the rating system impacts drivers. Many people do not believe in getting five stars for average service. I can respect that however the way that Uber is set up that is highly detrimental to the driver.
Marketplace driven services often behave in the same manner. For many years, I was a seller on eBay. My partner and I spent a great deal of time creating detailed and clear descriptions for eBay listings. It did not take us long to realize that most people do not read the descriptions. If something that is covered in the description is not to their liking and still want to return or they will do a chargeback. Many Uber riders react in the same way.
With that, I learned dealing with the buying public is like dealing with an animal that does business inside the house but blames you for making a mess! If you own a business, you will deal with this frequently in your business life. It still stinks. But it doesn't bother me as much these days. I try to educate my riders, so the next driver has a better experience.