Do Uber Drivers Make Money?

The rideshare craze continues to grow as more and more people use it to get from place to place.  The question that always seems to pop up is “do Uber drivers make money?”.  I will explore what a rideshare driver can expect with a break down of the pros and cons. Is driving for Uber going to earn you a full time income or should you plan on it only as a part time gig? Let’s find out if becoming a partner is worth it or just a waste of time.


What Is Uber Rideshare?

Before I jump into whether or not there is money to be made as a driver, I will explain what this is about for those of you that are not familiar with the business.

Many of us are familiar with taking a taxi to get from place to place.

You would pick up your phone and call to give them your pick up location and your destination. In the area that I live, it could take up to a half our or longer for the taxi to arrive.

Or you could flag one down in a busy city, jump in and get to where you wanted to go.


Technology Changes The Industry

Smartphones have made life easier for most people by way of apps. There are apps for just about everything.

The Uber app allows a potential rider to look up what it will cost to get from place to place along with the arrival time of the driver.

There is also an app for the drivers.  The Uber driver app alerts them to when a ride has been requested and where to pick up the rider.

The simplicity and convenience is what has helped the company to grow like wild fire!


What Does Uber Pay Drivers

I can only answer this question for the market that I have driven in. Each market is different and what a driver will earn will vary from market to market.

There are 4 ways that Uber drivers make money on each ride. Base fare, time, distance and referrals.


Base Fair

With each ride given, a driver gets a base fare.

It’s not really anything to get excited about. In my market the base fare is just .77 cents!


Paid For Time

As soon as a driver picks up a rider and starts the trip, a timer begins keeping track of how long the ride is.

In my market it is 15 cents per minute.

Once you reach the riders destination and complete the trip, the timer ends.

Drivers will also get paid for wait time. If you pull up to pick a rider up and they aren’t ready, then after 2 minutes the timer will start while the driver is waiting.


Paid For Distance

As an Uber driver, you will also make money per mile driven. This starts when the rider gets in the car and ends at the drop off location.

How much can a driver make per mile? Once again this will depend on the market, and each market will have a different per mile rate.

In my market it is currently .77 per mile driven.

So as an example, if a 10 mile trip was driven, then a driver would earn $7.70.


Paid For Referrals

The Uber referral program is another way for drivers to make money.

When you sign up as a driver, you will get a invite code. You as a driver will be able to give out your code to others that may be interested in driving for Uber to make some money.

If that person signs up using your code, then you would receive a referral fee which varies from market to market.

Currently in my market, if I refer someone then I would receive $50 and the person that signs up would receive $10.


Surge Pricing

This is when there are more riders than there are drivers in a particular area.

Uber surge pricing gives drivers a way to make a lot of extra money when they are in an area that the surge occurs.

For example lets say that normally in my market I get .77 cents per mile. If a surge occurs and I am in that area I may be able to get 3 to 4 times my regular per mile rate. So instead of .77 cents per mile I would get $2.31 to $3.08 per mile.


How To Get Started As A Uber Driver

First off you will need to visit their website and sign up. Please use my code CHRISB89128UE when signing up, so that I can get credit and you will get your $10 sign up bonus.

There is no cost to get started driving for Uber.

The sign up process is fairly simple and all you will need is your cell phone. It will be used to take pictures of the required documents and upload them to the company for processing.

Sign Up With Uber

All I did was get the required documents ready and the whole process took about 5 minutes.

Here is what you will need to sign up as a Uber partner:

  1. Drivers license
  2. Insurance card
  3. Registration card

There also might be some questions that a potential driver may need to answer.


Am I Ready To Start Making Money With Uber Now?

Not quite yet.

Once your documents have been uploaded, the company will have to review them to make sure everything checks out and that you don’t have a criminal record.

This may take up to a week, especially if you need to submit more information.

For me it took about 4 days, then I was able to use the app and start picking up riders.


Places for Uber Drivers To Make Money

There will be certain areas that have the most volume of people looking to get rides. Below are some of the places that a driver should spend time:

  • Airports
  • Colleges
  • Bus stations
  • Malls
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts

I live in a college town and I spent some time around the university. There are about 22,000 on campus, so it was easy to get riders frequently.

If you plan on spending time at airports and bus stations, it would be a good idea to know when arrivals would be coming in, so that you don’t waste time sitting around.

Now that you know some of the best places for Uber drivers to make money, lets look at the best times.


What Are The Best Times To Make Money?

The best times to make money as an Uber driver are going to be the morning hours when people need to get to work and school. Then you have rush hour when people need to get home from work.

Weekends offer more opportunity as well.

Friday and Saturday nights are when people like to get out and hit the town. Knowing where the local hot spots are for bars and restaurants is an easy way to find riders.

Many times when the bars let out an Uber driver can make more money with surge pricing, because there won’t be enough drivers.


Pros and Cons

Now lets explore some of the pros and cons of being an Uber driver. Here are just some of my own experiences a well as those that I have heard from others rideshare drivers.



  • Work whenever you want
  • No boss
  • Easy to get started
  • No cost to get started


  • Wear and tear on your car
  • Can’t make a full time income
  • Too many drivers


What Is The Reality Of Driving For Uber

Most people have the dream of working for themselves, but starting your own business is not easy.

Uber has made it easy to become a driver and start making money almost instantly. The thing is that making it easy will allow everyone else in the world to be able to jump on the same opportunity.

With that being said, this will never turn out to be a lucrative full time income in my opinion.


Expected Uber Driver Income

As I stated above, don’t expect to make a full time income driving for Uber. You may be able to make an extra $100 to $200 income per week realistically working part time hours.

What you can use this opportunity for is to make some side income to support your hobbies or pay some of your monthly expenses.


Final Thoughts

I had to take the challenge and try driving for Uber myself, to get the answers needed.  After doing it for the last 8 weeks I was able to answer the question “do Uber drivers make money?”

The answer is yes, but it will depend on the specific market that your driving in as well as areas and times being driven.

I don’t believe that it is going to be a way to support a family, or earn a full time income. It is a way to make some quick money when needed.

If want to give it try and see what driving for Uber is like then click here and use my invite code  (CHRISB89128UE) to get your bonus when signing up!


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