Uber drivers make way more money than you think

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For those with access to its mobile app, Uber is quickly becoming the preferred method of transportation over traditional taxis.

It’s a lot easier to summon a ride with a tap on your iPhone screen than hailing down a cab on the side of the street. For drivers, Uber is proving to be not only easier, but incredibly lucrative.

UberX drivers working in around 40 hours a week in New York City make an average of $90,766 a year, reports The Washington Post. Drivers in San Francisco make around $74,191.

The average taxi drivers makes about $30,000.

Designed to compete with cheaper alternatives like Lyft, UberX is the startup’s lower-cost service that requires drivers to provide their own vehicles. Uber is obviously doing something right; the company is valued at $17 billion and 20,000 new drivers are joining each month.

One of the key reasons drivers love Uber is that it lets them set their own hours. You work whenever you want, and you don’t have to waste time looking for rides to give.

During an UberX trip I took over this past weekend, I spoke with my driver about why he joined. He said he was a medical student who drove at night and during the weekends to make some extra cash. He had tried driving for Lyft but found Uber to be more organized and responsive to feedback as a company.

So if you’re looking for a new job or just a way to make some more money on the side, Uber might be the way to go.

  • John Kane

    No, Uber drivers don’t “make way more money than I [you] think.”

    First of all, they are all operating illegally, i.e. without proper commercial level insurance. Second, they are also operating illegally with regards to their own personal policies: personal auto insurance policies require that you disclose to your insurance company if you are using your personal vehicle for commercial purposes. To not disclose this to the insurance company is FRAUD, pure and simple. As soon as an insurance company learns that an Uber driver was using their personal vehicle to transport customers for commercial purposes, they will refuse to pay.

    Commercial level auto insurance is very, very expensive. Cab companies in my community are required to carry $1 million per incident coverage. Uber drivers do not have that level of coverage. So they are basically committing fraud in order to make the money this article claims. That’s not really making money in any legitimate sense.

    Lastly, vehicle upkeep over time is a huge cost that needs to be factored in. Naive Uber drivers might think they’re making money, but they also haven’t taken into account the vehicle wear and tear they are incurring over time. Their personal vehicle will breakdown sooner, have more problems. Pizza delivery drivers know all about this.

    Uber drivers are basically committing fraud, creating situations of high risk with little real auto insurance coverage, i.e. coverage that’s appropriate for a commercial enterprise.

    • Adrayven

      Small correction.. It’s not fraud.. Fraud is lying … If they make a claim and lye about it’s use, then is fraud..

      The driver is ‘liable’ and on the Hook.. Insurance company can refuse to pay. Not updating your insurance is ‘liable’.. Which means the individual driver can be on the hook for costs directly to the passenger and/or others in accident if not properly insured. big difference.

      Second not all Uber drivers are doing that.. and the insurance you’re talking about is for large fleets.. I talked to my state farm agent.. it’s not THAT much more for a single individual and just one vehicle. Many Uber drivers are perfectly legal with license and insurance.. It’s not Ubers responsibility to enforce it, they do advise new drivers to check with their state to make sure they are insured and licensed properly..

      That said.. the Uber drivers do have to cover car payments, insurance, and license.. Even so,l after all that, Uber is much more profitable than your standard taxi..

      • John Kane

        Insurance companies either explicitly ask potential future policy holders if they are going to use their covered vehicle for commercial purposes or else there is a clause requiring disclosure in the policy itself.

        It’s fraud to either lie (not lye) and not tell the insurance company that you are using the vehicle for commercial purposes or to not disclose that you are– as required by 100% of all auto insurance policies as far as I know. That’s lying to not disclose it, hence fraud.

      • FreddyyyY

        ding ding ding … give that man a cookie lol jk.. you’re right sir.
        but i guess it all depends on the state..

        Large fleets like 15 passengers or w.e require $1.5 mil and w.e else is needed so it is the full meaning of “FULL COVERAGE” not just that number, (ppl who have buses w.e know US DOT requires all that)..

        .. not all taxis especially uber thats what between 4-6 ppl?? require all that money for insurance.. i think its something like half a mil some weird number.

        Im not an uber driver but do have “taxi”- commercial, bus driver and I know for a fact that Uber checks your license to make sure you are “legal” (because I went) at least here in nyc, and you’re not just some mofo from the street. they also give you a very basic street-computer generated test, said basic because you have something like 15 min and some ppl who dont have the license/know the language didnt finish it n or couldn’t answer the 4-5 questions they ask you. (yes i know im not writing gramaticalllly correct but its the internet who cares :) …) .
        n yes they also require your insurance and taxi Plates before you can get the “circle-sticker” medallion.. so its not like you say that I can go with my personal car with regular plates with only up to 50k coverage put a sticker saying uber and start working.
        now if once you are in Uber and u want to be slick and use your other personal car and use the phone n or stickers saying your a cab and you are not, im sure that you will be held liable if an accident happens unless you’re broke and cant pay, you’ll prob. do some jail time..

        and I dont know if you do make that 90k i mean yes they make money but from my understanding of some ppl who work it half & full time you have to pay taxes out of that $ which is like some crazy number 30 or 30…something % with fees and this n that..plus (gas, tolls, car payments, car insurance, mechanic, work clothes , -maybe- water for customers, maybe ur own health insurance or just take vitamin C :), your medallion and or taxi license, and some other crap you have to pay which always something else comes in last min to pay….. *tolls if you want to go home quicker or something instead of taking the longgg route with no customers*

        n NO i dont think yellow cabs make 30k a year if that was the case you wouldn’t have that many here working well at least in NY. I know couple Yellow cabbieess and its something like 60’s K yea you do have to prob work harder but you make some money.
        why do you think they drive like loose chickens ..(figure it out, yellow cab has to make aprox MIN $200-250 a day , first 100-150 a day go to pay for the rent of the car for 12hr shift, next $20-40 GAS – $6.00 car wash , plus $10 mcdonalds food lol…so that way he/she wouldnt loose money so minimum their day has to be $300-350 to make some cash
        … now add it up (300 x 5 days= 1500 x50 weeks (take out six vacation weeks lol) = 75,000…) (300x 6days=1800x50weeks = $90,000) even if you go on the low side ($250 x 5 day = 1250 x50weeks = $62,500) blablablabla… ( so yea you figure the cab goes to the airport thats 60bucks he comes back he would try to wait for a trip back which is another 60 bucks thats almost half the day…)
        ……
        self employed drivers could make min. 20% or more $ then just a driver at a company but then you have to pay more stuff so …yea

        or at the end this might be a great article to help promote them :), you never know .

    • Jason P

      Know your facts before you start saying that someone is doing something illegal. Read the info from the link below. It explains how Uber covers it’s drivers and passengers from trip inanition to end. As for the wear and tear on their personal vehicles, that’s their choice.

      Just for the record I have no affiliation with Uber, we can’t even get it where I live because of the unions who fight any sort of innovation so they can continue to screw the general public.

      http://blog.uber.com/uberXridesharinginsurance

    • $23342997

      Curious. Do you drive a cab or know someone who does? Uber was driven out of my province thanks to being able to provide faster, safer, cheaper service than the cabs are EVER going to provide.

      The cab service here is awful, but it’s that or the bus so they get by.

  • Emil Schauffhausen

    This is what Uber says they make. Talk to actual drivers, and you’ll hear a *much* different story….

  • Andrew

    Damn, that’s more money than what I’ll be making as a clinical neuropsychologist lol.

  • Team Carma

    So much for ‘ridesharing’! If the driver is making a profit, either $90,000 or $1, it is no longer sharing.

    At Carma (http://carmacarpool.com) we’re happy to see at least one report on Uber that isn’t incorrectly describing them as a ‘ridesharing’ company.

    Real ridesharing is when people share a journey they would be making anyway, sharing the costs, and completely and utterly not for profit.

  • UberOFF

    Sounds like Uber propaganda. How much is that med student making?? Uber drivers are routinely ignored by Uber. They make nowhere near the amounts cited. The company only cares about the number of cars on the road, not the drivers. See http://uberoff.net/ or http://uberpeople.net/index.php for a more real look.

  • Larry Best

    Check out this independent forum for uber drivers:

    http://uberpeople.net

    Lots of information for and by drivers on driving for Uber.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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