I am a full time "driver-parter" for Uber.

I was never supposed to be full time, but due to some changes in circumstances Uber is my primary income for the time being.

I primarily work in a small, isolated college town, though have a good amount of experience in a major city as well.

I've seen just about everything you can imagine and then some. From funny drunk pax, to annoying drunk pax, I sometimes even wonder if I just dropped someone off for a drug deal or robbery.

AMAA about Uber, the driver registration process, passenger stories or life.

My Proof: Here's a screen shot of my partner dashboard. If you want more, check out my "submitted" tab for several posts to r/uberdrivers. If you still want more, PM

Edit 1:15pm ET. This blew up way bigger than expected. Until it slows down a bit, I'm only replying to top level comments

Edit 2 A few clarifications. At some point I stated that $300 is an average weekly pay. This is based on my entire time driving- when I first started I was less-than-part-time, maybe $80/week. Currently I do between $350-400/week. The full time/part time debate- Under official labor classifications, >30 hours is part time. When I first started, I did maybe 8 hours a week. Over all my time, 20-30 is probably average. Currently I do between 30-40 hours each week. This week for example, I'm on track for 33 hours and ~$400. Yes I live off this. No it is not sustainable. No you should not leave your job and Uber full time. I am not full time by choice. The minute I land a new job in my own field, I'm gone.

Edit 3 Okay guys, its been real, but I'm calling it quits for now. I'll check back more infrequently throughout the next day or so and possibly answer some more, but for now the constant answering shall cease.

To anyone seriously considering becoming a driver- check out r/uberdrivers and feel free to PM me anytime if you have questions about the registration process, getting started, etc. If you're interested, I can give out a sign up link that, depending on location, may get you a sign up bonus of around $100

Comments: 1758 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

SaxyTimeReloaded585 karma

What do you average per week?

Eagle694589 karma

The last month (when I've been working the most steady hours), about $300

Over my whole time as a driver, probably about the same average, but with much more variation (I'm paid weekly and have had checks ranging from $80 to over $400).

SaxyTimeReloaded166 karma

Damn, my area is busier than yours. Im ubering for extra cash as a student. I can make about $500-800 a week if I go hard core with it.

Eagle694131 karma

Mind if I ask where you drive? and how many hours ="hard core"? Big city, suburban or rural?

I'm primarily in a rural university town- 99% of my rides are students.

Occasionally I will venture to the nearest major city, where I likely could see similar earnings, but with greater expenses and some benefits of a rural setting lost (no free parking, hard to find bathrooms, proximity to my house.)

dirtyblueballoons246 karma

Piss jugs bro

Eagle69477 karma

I've done it. I'll continue to do it. Its not my favorite.

I much prefer my primary area because its a small area near my house. Tonight I'll be starting a shift at 9pm. At 9pm, I'll be sitting on my couch watching netflix. When a ride request comes in, I'll go out and do the ride. If more requests come when I'm out, I'll take them. Otherwise I go home until the next.

SaxyTimeReloaded53 karma

I'm not gonna reveal my stomping grounds if that's alright. University town though.

Hard core is 20+ hours of driving.

Eagle69471 karma

No, totally cool... I wouldn't either.

20 hours for 500 bucks?? What are your per mile rates?

IRPancake16 karma

That's before expenses?

Eagle69438 karma

My only regular expense is gas (about $20/week).

I do most maintenance work myself, so those costs are so low and spread out that I'd have to scale up to tracking earnings quarterly for them to make a noticeable difference.

vinylhedgehog536 karma

What's the craziest thing that a client has done in your car?

Eagle6941213 karma

Depends on how you define crazy.

If you mean funny crazy, that would be the very drunk gay guy who hit on me constantly for a 20 minute ride (I'm straight). The whole time he was also showing me a picture on his phone of his "boyfriend". I wasn't really looking because driving, but I realized later that it was actually an NFL quarterback.

If you mean WTF crazy, I had a guy one time who was dead silent for about 10 minutes. Then all of a sudden "this must be scary for you guys" and he went on until his house to talk about how easy it would be for a pax to rob their driver (while also assuring "but I'm not gonna rob you bro")

rambopr85 karma

The wtf crazy guy was probably a lil stones (hence the quiet first 10 minutes of him analyzing wierd shit then blurting it out)

Eagle69441 karma

most likely. Still weird though

anthroadmin293 karma

Are you in favour of Uber becoming a real formal and legal employer for chauffeurs?

Eagle694509 karma

It has its pros and cons.

Pros- W2, no self-employment tax, reimbursement for vehicle expenses

Cons- reclassification potentially means giving up the benefits of making your own hours, loss of commission based pay (that could be a pro for some- drivers keep 80% of gross fares. For some that could mean making less than minimum wage. As employees we'd be guaranteed minimum, but that could also mean uber eliminating commission and just paying minimum).

I know that doesn't really answer what is basically a yes or no question, but really the best answer I can give is that I'm not entirely sure

oreesama179 karma

that seems like a lot of trips for no money gained whatsoever, is that for what period of time?

Eagle694129 karma

As shown on the dashboard, the top shows my last 7 days, which is any trips, anytime in that period. (50 trips, ~$220). Anytime a dollar amount is labeled "Fare", that is the gross fare- what is charged to the passenger. Of that, I'll keep 80%-$1.60.

The four individual trips that are shown cover a period of less than 2 hours.

Uber recently cut our rates, but did introduce "Guarantees". For certain high demand times of day (basically rush hour and weekend nights), I am guaranteed approximately $13/hr (net) as long as I meet certain minimum average trips/hour requirements.

So for the $220 gross shown over the last 7 days, I'll actually take home closer to $300.

In the area where I primarily work, most of my trips are very short (minimum fare), but there are a lot of them- usually back to back all night. I prefer this over fewer, longer trips, as the meter is almost always running (as opposed to waiting for fares, wasting time and gas). I also don't mind bad pax as much with these trips, as they'll be out of my car in 5 minutes or less.

saurkor149 karma

Dude $300 for 7 days of working is dog food. You are getting scammed. I'm sorry for you. Please stop.

Eagle694118 karma

If I was working 8 hour days, yes absolutely.

M-Th I work 3 hours a day. Fri and Sat 6, Sun 3-5.

Jourei47 karma

(50 trips, ~$220)

Are your trips like two miles or something? How come that number is so low for 50 trips? I can't imagine it being that beneficial, especially over 7 days!

Eagle69437 karma

That 7 days doesn't mean last 7 days of driving, but total trips over the last 7 days. For example, I missed a day yesterday because I had to do some work on my car.

The values shown are also actually less than what my take home will be

lovestobetortured9148 karma

How many hours did you spend to make $300 less taxes, car depreciation and gas. Why are you doing this to yourself?

Eagle694124 karma

As explained in the original post, this was never supposed to be a full time thing. I got into it because there is very high demand and very limited supply where I live. When I started, I was working another real job, but figured I could work one or two weekends a month and add a couple hundred dollars to my income.

Unfortunately I had to leave that job, but while I find a new one, I have to pay the bills somehow. I don't consider this a sustainable long term income source, but it's keeping money in the bank for now.

I'm in a good situation as far as those expenses at least. I use about $20 worth of gas a week (an efficient vehicle and the new low prices are awesome). Taxes aren't as bad as one would think. Again, when I started (August '15) I was working another job (with a W2). Even after 5 months of self-employment tax, I'm still getting a refund due to over-withholding at other job. I certainly plan on finding another job before May, so 2016 taxes won't be a big deal either.

As far as depreciation, I don't consider it at all. I'm on my lifetime's 3rd car and I've never sold one. I do almost all auto maintenance myself (at pretty good savings) and just keep cars going until there is nothing left in them. By that time I've typically had enough savings to buy a "new-to-me" car for cash. I look at cars as a consumable product rather than an investment that is guaranteed to have a negative return. Depreciation only matters if you ever intend to sell the car

FWilly94 karma

Depreciation only matters if you ever intend to sell the car

I disagree. Depreciation matters a lot for at least two different reasons.

  1. The vehicle cost is part of the wear and tear/maintenence cost of the activity(so is insurance). You're not making $300 a week. You're making far less and allowing Uber to trick you into thinking that your making more than you really are. The cost of the vehicle and the insurance need to be subtracted from that gross amount as well and depreciation allows you to spread that cost over time.

  2. In business - and I think you're counted as self-employed - the IRS will allow you to deduct your costs, including vehicle cost, insurance) as a business expense. But it only allows for a fixed annual amount over the course of the asset's(car) lifetime. So depreciation is how that amount is spread over the life of the car.

You need to look at depreciation and you need to look at IRS mileage allowances for your taxes. Did you pay self-employment tax(social security and medicare) like you're required to? These are things to ask a tax expert or accountant, another expense.

Also, you need to look at your healthcare costs as an expense that comes out of your $300. Presumably you would get that from a W-2 type employer, or at least something towards it.

Regardless of your specific situation, the point I'm trying to make is that just because you receive a check for $300 does not mean that you are making $300.

Eagle69461 karma

I get where you're coming from, but my situation is far from typical.

My father being a CPA, I've been self-preparing taxes since I was 15, my taxes are all in order.

For business vehicle deductions, you can itemize, or take a standard per mile (57.5 cents for 2015). $0.575 times my work miles in 2015= what the IRS considers the sum total of all my business vehicle expenses.

$300-business expenses=earnings. My business expenses are maybe $20 for gas per week and the cost of whatever self-performed maintenance I do every couple months or so.

Rounded off over months or a year, yea about $300/week net income.

angrynewyawka45 karma

You didnt answer his question: How many hours?

Eagle69456 karma

Hah, you're right- I got in to answering the "why are you doing this to yourself" part and neglected to go back and finish the first. My bad.

$300 equates to about 24ish hours. Most weeks when I can, I work all of the high demand hours- 33 of them, to the tune of $375-$400

angrynewyawka23 karma

That ain't bad at all for someone who can work whenever and have a flexible schedule. I've been thinking of doing it in the meantime while I find a good job since I recently got fired.

Do you have any idea what people make in the NJ area? like Hudson County? I tried doing Uber in NYC last year but the commercial insurance and fees make it so that you have to work 100 hours a week to make any type of decent money.

Eagle69412 karma

Unfortunately I know next to nothing about earnings in other markets.

I would suggest you head over to r/uberdrivers where you can probably find someone from that area who will know more than me.

matusmatus102 karma

How shitty is it that Uber keeps lowering fares? Are you making significantly less than when you started?

Eagle69483 karma

I'm really not, but only because in my area 9/10 rides is minimum fare. Which hasn't really been changed much. 50 $4 rides in a weekend is as good as 10 $20 rides. Only with the lower rates, a $20 ride means more mileage than it used to, but a minimum fare is still the same mile or less to take a frat star from the bar to his apt.

WayGroovy83 karma

Why Uber over Lyft?

Eagle694110 karma

I would love to do both, but lyft is not present in my primary area

kennetth35 karma

does lyft pay more? From the little I have heard it does but do you know anything about that?

Eagle69448 karma

I have zero experience with lyft, so I'm not the best person to ask

mrcuntasaurus71 karma

what is most inappropriate thing you've seen a passenger do?

Eagle694114 karma

I've noticed a lot more the tendency of people to pretty much ignore me at times. When you're in a cab or an uber or some similar situation (and you're not alone), often times people tend to act as if the driver just isn't there.

Usually this manifests in just carrying on whatever conversation like you're alone with your friends, but I have had couples going pretty hard in the back.

I would never let them get to the point where anything that shouldn't be out is coming out, but it is interesting how much people can be in their own world

cablecore71 karma

Why do you keep calling people 'pax'?

Eagle69455 karma

Its an abbreviation we commonly use for passenger

BhaisaabTheGreat52 karma

Did it ever happen that you wanted the ride to continue coz it was sooo good? Did you make any friends over rides?

Eagle69487 karma

Only once- It was actually kind of weird too.

This girl was obviously having a bad night. Something to do with a guy. It was approaching the tail end of my shift anyway, I ended up stopping the meter and going off duty ~10 minutes early.

I had actually driven her the previous night, so she "knew" me and was just drunk enough that that made us friends in her mind.

Between her little guy problem and my own recent thing with an ex, we actually ended up talking for a good 20 minutes or so. Eventually brought her home, did get her number (in a purely platonic type way), but nothing ever came of it.

IsNotANovelty70 karma

Isn't "stopping the meter" and "going off duty" with a passenger in the car a big no-no? Isn't that usually how the "Uber driver beat and robbed passenger" stories start?

Eagle69463 karma

There is no rule against it, but driver's generally regard it as proceed with caution.

When the meter is on, you have a huge corporate insurance policy and can hold the passenger liable for any mess/damage they cause to your car.

Once its off, you're on your own.

I'm certainly not one to rob my pax, so I don't consider that an issue. And if I have any doubts whatsoever about a pax, it is running from the moment they touch my door handle to the moment I'm driving away from the drop off.

This was a special cirumstance. We were already past the point of "I was her driver one time" and I didn't really want to charge her for the two of us sitting there talking (and as a driver I have no way of overriding a fare).

helloimpotato50 karma

What's the furthest distance you've driven a client?

Eagle69466 karma

50 miles. Gross fare was about $75 (this was back before the recent rate cut)

fluffykayak45 karma

As a college student, would you think it's worth it to drive for uber with a car of 140k miles?

Eagle69460 karma

If you're looking for less-than-part-time work just to put some extra cash in your pocket, absolutely.

Only requirements for the car are that it be in good condition, at least 4 doors/5 seatbelts (incl. driver) and be appropriately registered, insured, etc. (some markets have a model year requirement, others just good condition). I don't know of any mileage requirements.

Driver requirements are valid license (obviously), 21+ and clean driving and criminal record checks

If you're interested in driving, PM me and I can get you started with the registration process. I can also give you a sign up link that, depending on your location, could get $100 or so in a sign up bonus.

Andosphere30 karma

Did you get to deliver puppies yesterday?

Eagle69440 karma

I vaguely heard about that being a thing- don't really know the specifics, its not in my market.

But coincidentally I did have my first guide dog- we're allowed to refuse pets, but under the ADA have to accept service animals.

Ladies_send_me_nudes23 karma

Any attractive women hit on you during the course of a ride?

Eagle69437 karma

Men and women. I have gotten numbers a couple times.

tberriman17 karma

What's the furthest you've ever gone to get that sweet five star rating?

Eagle69457 karma

I don't go out of my way for ratings whatsoever. I'll be friendly and courteous to all pax, as I would to anyone and I'll give them a safe, efficient ride to their destination.

TenchiRyokoMuyo15 karma

Here's a few questions I always ask my Uber Drivers

How long have you been driving for Uber? What did you do before becoming an Uber Driver? How long did it take your application to be accepted? Do you purposely drive to 'surge' area's to get more money, or do you go with the flow?

Eagle69420 karma

I started August '15

Previously I was working as a rock climbing instructor. I started uber as a side thing, just some extra cash. I didn't plan to switch- I had to leave the other job and for now uber is just to keep money in the bank. I fully plan on leaving (or at least cutting back to the original plan of extra cash) as soon as I can find a new job in my chosen field.

Maybe a week, don't really remember. Not too long at all, once I had all necessary documents submitted.

I don't follow surge (haven't even seen one in quite a while), but I only work high demand times when I'm guaranteed at least $12/hr net

ekdn15 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA I have a few questions

What do you drive? How did you get started with uber? And why What's been your longest fare? Did you find something for the return trip? Ever get frustrated at the job? Ever driven a mate?

Eagle69419 karma

I drive an '11 Kia Soul.

I started because I got a new car that met their requirements and based on the demographics and demand of my area, figured I could relatively easily add a couple hundred dollars to my monthly income.

My longest fare was an airport run, 50 miles, $75 gross fare (which the pax would later try to scam her way out of, but that's another story). With where I was coming from, it was almost zero odds I get a trip back to the area of origin. But that was okay, because this trip meant I got paid to drive to a busier location, so I stayed around for a few hours and made enough to make the solo return trip negligible.

There are certainly times of frustration. My biggest is people who don't know where they're going (not like when people ask what's a good [bar, club, etc], but when they're so drunk they don't know where they live, or out of town folks don't know if they're staying at the Marriot on W 4th street or E 8th) and people who don't even speak enough english to tell me where they're going (nothing at all against foreigners, just that in order to use a service that completely depends on your ability to communicate with the provider of that service, I feel you should be able to at least do that).

I've never picked up anyone I would really consider a friend, but have certainly driven people I've known (more as acquaintances). I also do see a lot of frequent fliers and have become friendly with some.

disarmed8915 karma

What's the story with the scam!

Eagle69421 karma

Drove this girl to airport, ~50 miles ~$75 gross fare.

I get my payment statement the next week and find they've adjusted it down to $5.

Apparently she contacted them and said that I took her to a starbucks a couple blocks from where I picked her up.

Can't be 100% sure she was scamming, or maybe got mixed up with another ride she did take to coffee, but really how do you not remember taking an uber 50 miles to the airport

disarmed894 karma

Definitely trying to scam. Good thing you've got that dash cam app! But I would prob get one facing the inside of the car, for things like this, that way the person can be identified for that timestamp and for how long they were in the car, or other things that can happen in there!

Eagle6944 karma

it does face in

TheFlamingN7 karma

I just took an Uber yesterday. I'm never sure if it's better to talk to your driver or just to keep quiet. Is it nicer if we initiate conversation? Also are you guys not allowed to play the radio? Every Uber I've taken has not had the radio on.

Eagle6946 karma

I always leave my radio on a mix station, unless a pax has a request. In which case they can name a station or I have an aux cord.

For me personally, I'll engage in any conversation you initiate. Some people want to, some people don't, I find its better to let them tell me.

SupaZT5 karma

Have any ladies invited you to come in after you dropped them off and did you accept?

Eagle69414 karma

I would never do anything in that context, because 1. I need to work 2. 90% of my rides take place at a time where I'm going to just assume she's too drunk to consent.

I have received numbers and would have no issue connecting later if I actually liked the person.

ILoveToEatLobster4 karma

Do uber drivers with cooler/better vehicles make more or are selected more? Also are there limits to what vehicle you can use?

Eagle6945 karma

You can't really choose your driver/car (other than the broad classes of X, XL, Select and Black) so what type of vehicle doesn't really matter.

The basic vehicle requirements are 4 doors/5 seatbelts (incl driver), good condition, some markets requires 10 model years or newer

Mean-Dean2 karma

I just started driving for Uber as well. How do you optimize your tax expenses? i.e. writing of mileage, gas purchases, etc.

Eagle6942 karma

Keep track of everything. If you don't know what you're doing come tax time, get qualified help

CanadianUkr2 karma

Do you get often get beaten by taxi drivers?

Eagle6947 karma

Beaten physically or lose fares to?

In either case, no. I've never had any sort of interaction with a cabbie and as far as losing fares, there is plenty of demand in my area to go around.

On a weekend night, I'll usually have back to back rides all night and as I'm driving around rarely do I see an empty cab.

pone_pone21 karma

Can you talk about Uber fees etc? Are there other charges, fees? 20% seems a bit much, then they cut rates.

Eagle6941 karma

Drivers keep 80% of the gross fare.

On top of that, a "Safe ride fee" of between $1-2 depending on location is charged to the pax for each ride. This goes 100% to uber.

Other fees which may apply are split fare fee, airport fees (only applies to pick up from airport) and tolls. split, airport and such go to uber. Tolls go 100% to driver.

apwessen1 karma

So how much do you get per month in food stamps/government assistance?

Eagle6941 karma

I have never and will never take a penny of government assistance

iamrezn1 karma

What kind of car do you use?

Eagle6941 karma

2011 Kia Soul

jammybaker1 karma

Do you have a dash camera in your car? I've been in a lot of Ubers but never noticed a dash cam

Eagle6946 karma

I have a dash cam app. I prefer this because (well, 1. because free) and because it hides in plain sight. My phone mounted off the windshield just looks like a phone mounted in the car.

It will record with the screen blacked out, so there's no way to know its recording video.