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How to Make Money on Uber

Gig Platform Resources

PUBLISHED BY Sally Pau / May 4, 2021

How to Make Money on Uber

Now that rideshare work has become all the rage, opportunities for benefit via these avenues have skyrocketed. That’s great news for users and a double-edged sword for drivers. More opportunities mean more work for everyone, which also means more competition. And while the competition does deserve congratulatory praise, rideshare drivers do have to make money.

Uber is one of the most well-vetted, popular, and rewarding rideshare companies of times current. In fact, record-high demands have taken the company by storm as of late. The platform is available in more than 10,000 cities worldwide and hires an average of 50,000 new drivers every month—and it’s growing by the day.

Before diving into just how to make money on Uber, let’s introduce the system under which Uber functions. Being a rideshare company, Uber doesn’t actually employ anyone, but instead, offers the opportunity for independents to employ themselves.

Uber is one of the best platforms for independent contractors, placing a strong emphasis on flexibility and personal responsibility. In short, you’ll get out what you put in—no obligations, no mandates, no boss. If you’re new to the rideshare economy and are wondering how to become an Uber driver, check out our step-by-step guide on the process.

For readers who are well-experienced with Uber and its contemporaries, consider for a second your personal success as a rideshare worker. Perhaps there are some things you’d never considered which could add to your performance, and eventually, your success. Remember that being a successful rideshare driver means maximizing profits while providing irreproachable service for your customers.

This article breaks down how to be a successful Uber driver, and brings to light the best tips and tricks for Uber drivers.

Go the Extra Mile

Since rideshare systems are decentralized, the “star-rating system” becomes the only voucher of integrity. It’s impossible to earn big if your riders are unsatisfied. The value you bring to the table will become a marker for your short-term and long-term success. In light of that, be sure to go the extra mile on service! (pun intended)

Keep some complimentary snacks or water in your car at all times. Also, have at least one charger for both Apple and Android phones in case someone needs to charge their device on the way. A pro tip for being a successful Uber driver is to offer riders to play their own music–who wouldn’t love that?

When communicating, always remain polite and agreeable. If your customer has some heavy bags, give them a helping hand. Run around to get the door for them on their entry and exit. Be considerate whether or not that person is in the mood to talk, and satisfy their desires.

Make sure your car is kept clean and fresh for every ride, both inside and outside—it’s worth the extra trip to the car wash. Keep a small vacuum in your trunk for a quick go-over every hour or so. It may surprise you, the strength a “spotless” impression can have on your customer’s experience.

Keep things smelling good, but avoid overpowering fragrances. Stick some books or magazines in the seat pockets for entertainment, or play a pleasant image from the TV if you have one. Remember, humans have a natural inclination for reciprocity, so dish out what you hope to receive!

Track and Write Off Uber Expenses

If you’re asking yourself “how much money do Uber drivers make?”, consider the difference between those who maximize their deductions and those who don’t. As a self-employed worker, you’re able to write off a myriad of expenses come tax-filing time. We’ve got comprehensive guidelines on how to write off taxes as an independent contractor, but the general process is fairly simple: Track your expenses throughout the year, carry the amounts to their corresponding tax form come filing season.

The best part is that there are tons of apps and techniques you can use to help you track and manage your finances throughout the year. Also, there are probably more things that qualify as tax-deductible than you think, including all of the complementary goods that were mentioned in the section above. This is one of the less utilized, yet absolutely essential tips for making money on Uber. Not only that, but it’s also a legal obligation!

Know Your Market

A very most important tip for making Uber a successful side gig is to know your market, inside and out. This includes where to drive, when to drive, and how to drive. Normally, the best time to drive for Uber is during the weekends or on holidays. Fares and demands will be higher during these times (surge pricing), especially in the more dense areas of your city. Uber also offers reward incentives for consecutive work during peak hours. That being said, it’s also wise to make availability off-season when fewer drivers are out on the road. Explore which option works best for you.

Knowing where to drive is also a game-changer when considering how to make money on Uber. If it’s the last weekend of a long holiday, expect some trips to the airport or intercity bus terminal. If the local town hero is having a concert, be there. If there’s a huge sporting event tonight, hang around the stadium near end-game time. If it’s a blowout, anticipate that some folks may want to cut out early–know your market. Considering “what’s the best time to drive Uber?” is an all-inclusive matter, which takes practice and insight to master.

If you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to seek advice from other Uber drivers about their experiences driving in your locality.

Extra Tips on How to Make Money on Uber

  • Refer Friends: Share the love, and share the wealth while you’re at it. Use your referral code to help new drivers get started, and earn a bonus for both yourself and your friends.
  • Use Uber Eats: During the slower hours, make the most out of your time by juggling another delivery app like Uber Eats. Make food deliveries in between normal rides. All the qualifications are the same—simply switch between the two apps on your phone, and get busy.
  • Uber Quest: This is somewhat similar to surge pricing but not quite. It’s Uber’s way of gamifying the user experience, using real dollars. Basically, if you complete X amount of rides in X amount of time, you’ll get a bonus. It’s especially useful for full-time Uber drivers.
  • Avoid Driving: This is one of the most underrated tips for rideshare drivers. Try not to drive around aimlessly or leisurely while you’re waiting for requests. The gas you spend during this time can quickly cut into your profits. In truth, it’s better to drive less—find a key location, get comfortable, and wait for your next request.

Is driving for Uber and becoming your own boss on your path to financial independence? Don’t let the financial burdens of self-employment weigh you down. We offer business cash advances for the way you work–no credit checks, interest, or paperwork involved! 

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