Is driving for Uber worth it?

If you’re finding yourself on this page, you’re either thinking of becoming a rideshare driver with Uber or Lyft, or you already have been driving for a TNC company and are having doubts if it’s worth it in the first place. As anyone that hasn’t been living under a rock the past 5 years knows, Uber (and Lyft to a lesser extent) is becoming a popular way for people to make extra money, a side gig that nearly anyone in the US has the skills to do.

When someone signs up as a driver, they nearly immediately become able to start picking up and dropping off passengers. Drivers are sent notifications of people who need rides during the hours they are available to drive, and they make their money through cashless transactions via the mobile app (No tips via the Uber app).

Uber has promoted that their drivers make a decent amount of extra income, however they are often quoting the gross fare amounts instead of the driver’s take home pay after Uber’s cut, taxes, insurance, gas, depreciation and more. Drivers using the Lyft application typically make more per trip, but have an overall lower number of trips – luckily Lyft offer’s a way for it’s passengers to tip drivers electronically via the app. But is driving for Uber worth it for the average driver who only does it as a side gig? Here are the details of what it’s really like to drive for Uber.

How much does an Uber Driver make?

According to City Paper of Philadelphia, the typical Uber driver makes $11.12 an hour after expenses, but before taxes. Which would be the most comparable income to an hourly wage.

“So, leaving December and its possible statistical outlier status aside, Uber’s March numbers work out to about $11.12 an hour for the driver after expenses and before taxes. That’s much better than my $9.34 an hour, but not too far from the two veteran drivers’ $10.53 an hour.”             

Can I make $5,000 a month with Uber?

First of all, Uber has been using misleading advertising to attract new drivers, stating how much money drivers can make while working on their own schedule. At the same time, the company has been lowering the rates it charges to people who use it to get rides, making the company practically unprofitable and bringing the actual earnings of most drivers down to below minimum wage. While the average Uber driver makes around $12 an hour, plenty make a lot less, and most of the drivers are part-time drivers who may only earn enough to pay for the gas money they need to provide rides to Uber customers. The short answer, it isn’t likely that you will meet all the requirements and/or drive enough hours to make $5,000 a month. At the average of $11.12 an hour reported by Uber, driver’s would need to drive nearly 450 hours a month to make $5,000 gross after expenses, but before taxes – Over 100 hours a week, and over 14 hours a day 7 days a week.

A large portion of money cab drivers, and even Lyft drivers make comes from tips, however Uber does not let its drivers accept tips through electronic means, such as credit cards or PayPal, which is the way most rideshare riders prefer to pay for things. Many riders do not carry cash at all, so the ban on taking tips electronically keeps many Uber drivers from reaching their full income potential. It is one of the #1 problems that Harry Campbell, author of takes issue with.

Is tipping Included with Uber?

Even worse is the fact that Uber misleads its riders into believing the tip to the driver is included with the ride or that tipping is not required.

How can drivers make Ridesharing worth it?

Smart drivers are already finding other ways to supplement their incomes, from selling jewelery, delivering packages, and driving for multiple platforms. One of the easiest ways for drivers to start earning additional income is by partnering with Vugo rideshare advertising. Drivers use a tablet device and their own phone to download the Vugo application via the Google Play or Appstore. Drivers will then make 60% of the advertising revenue displayed on the tablet. Although, Vugo is just getting started the potential for making additional income during special events like Football Games, business conventions and more is a no-brainer.


In fact, using the Vugo Rideshare application can increase the earnings of Uber drivers by up to $6,000 a year by matching relevant ads to valuable riders using their patent-pending TripIntent technology.

Maximize your earnings with Vugo + Drive.

In the end, after you have crunched the numbers, driving for Uber alone might not actually be worth it for a lot of people. However, when you couple that earning with Vugo it becomes more likely. There is only one way to find out if driving for Uber is worth it for you. Try it. It is highly unlikely someone will make a full-time income that is enough to support a household driving for Uber alone, but the extra money may help pay a few bills and it is the perfect side gig. On the otherhand if driving is your full-time job, you can make it much more profitable by partnering with Vugo to earn more for work you are already doing.

There are a lot of hidden costs that come with driving for Uber that the company doesn’t discuss openly when they promote their gross fare numbers. You really only discover these when you start driving.

  • Depreciation of your vehicle.
  • Maintenance costs skyrocket due to use.
  • Insurance costs increase if you’re adequately covered with Rideshare Insurance.
  • Cost of Gas (We really recommend driving a hybrid).
  • Taxes (Can be around 20% of your gross earnings).
  • Cleaning your vehicle regularly with car washes.
  • Candy, Water, and other goodies.

When you take these things into consideration, those Uber ads that tell you that you can make $30 an hour or more in fares driving for Uber become clearly misleading.

With that said, when I drived for Uber it was worth it for me. I drove smart. I focused on gaurantees, holidays, and other times when I knew I could make $20-$25 an hour.

Drive for Uber if you need the extra income, but do it the smart way. Use the Vugo Rideshare application to increase your Uber earnings, in addition to taking advantage of other ways to drive smart. Drive on holidays, during surge, etc. Drive a Hybrid vehicle, and find a mechanic’s shop that gives Uber driver’s a discount. When you are driving with Uber, any additional money you can add to your earnings really counts and may make being an Uber driver a more profitable proposition. So, go give it a try, and try Vugo while you’re at it and see how much more it will increase your income. You may be pleasantly surprised at the increase in your personal profitability and it might make driving for Uber worth it for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *