Whenever people find out that I’m a rideshare driver for Uber and Lyft, undoubtedly the first question they ask me is, “So how much money can you make driving?” I think that’s kind of an odd question though since you aren’t normally supposed to ask people how much they make. But I believe the reason why a lot of people want to know, is because they may be interested in driving themselves. So before I reveal the answer to that question on everyone’s mind, I want to tell you about some of the other benefits of being a driver.
The Flexibility Is Unmatched
While it is true that I signed up to drive for Lyft and then Uber to make more money, I quickly discovered that there are some amazing benefits of being a driver. For me, the biggest bonus was the flexibility. I work full time and I spend a lot of time online blogging so whenever I need a break and some human interaction for a change, I flip on my Uber app and wait for a request. It’s as easy as that.
With Uber and Lyft, you don’t need to set hours that you’re going to work and you can figuratively turn the app on and off whenever you want. There have been times where I didn’t drive for a full month and there have also been times where I drove all weekend. There aren’t many decent jobs that allow you to set your own hours and see a correlation between how hard you work and how much money you make.
If I need a little extra cash, I can work a few extra hours and if I want to take a 2 hour lunch break, I can! Obviously, you don’t get paid during that time you’re not working but that’s how it should be right?
So What Do You Need?
Becoming a driver is actually pretty easy and the only real requirements are a newer-ish car and a smartphone (although it helps to have a good attitude too!). With Lyft, you need a car 2000 or newer and Uber requires a 2004 or newer car. You can download the driver app right onto your phone and apply to drive in less than 15 minutes.
You’ll have to pass a background check and get a vehicle inspection but if you wanted to, you could be out on the road in less than a week if things go smoothly. Just in time to make some extra cash for the holidays (Uber is predicting a huge demand increase over the holidays and has bumped up its new driver bonuses).
How Much Can You Make?
Now the question you probably care about the most is how much can you make? The numbers can vary wildly but when I drive, I shoot for $20-$30/hr after gas and commission. Uber and Lyft both take 20% of the fare as commission and you have to pay for your own gas and vehicle expenses.
$20-$30/hr is probably on the high end of the spectrum but since I’m a part-time driver, I can really cherry-pick the best hours and work when it’s busiest. The key to making a lot of money as a driver is getting lots of nice long rides and not spending much time without a passenger. So the bigger the city you’re in, the better, since you’ll get that many more requests.
Becoming a rideshare driver probably isn’t going to make you rich, but it can definitely provide for some nice side income. Uber is actually offering a $100 sign-up bonus after 20 rides and Lyft is offering a $50 bonus after 20 rides so if you do decide to try it out, you’ll get a nice little something extra on top of all the money you make from your fares.
In my opinion, there really isn’t much risk to at least trying it out. If you hate it, you’re under no obligation to continue and you really haven’t invested much. Most drivers though are like me and see it as a great way to earn a little side income and have some fun along the way.
Harry is a full time aerospace engineer and online entrepreneur. His latest project is a blog and podcast for rideshare drivers at TheRideshareGuy.com Feel free to reach out to him if you have any questions about becoming a driver.