I can drive. As a matter of fact it’s one of the few things I can do and it requires little effort on my part. So when I needed to find a new job, it seemed like a no brainer to drive for a company which I didn’t have to even apply to. I could just plop down into the driver seat, turn on the app, and then I’ll be rich.
Back to reality. The first part, signing up, was easy. That’s all the easy. The rest is a magical journey into hell on earth.
I had to change my car insurance to cover ride sharing services. Let me break down how much sense this makes. While driving your car normally, say to pick up some burritos from a gas station, you are covered under regular insurance. When you have a passenger in the car, you are then covered under Uber insurance. When you receive a ping to pick someone up, all of the sudden you require commercial insurance. This specialized insurance comes with the added benefit of costing you more money for the same thing you would normally do. Thanks to Geico though, I secured this for a mere $30 a month.
All documents and necessary paperwork sorted out, I could now offer my services as a glorified taxi driver. Oh yes, I had high hopes from reading these testimonials about drivers making between $30 to $eleventy million an hour or more.
I think I made about $5 my first hour in. Well it will get better right? Nope.
By the time I got it all down to a science, the app updated with new terms and conditions. My per mileage rate dropped from $1.25 a mile down to $0.75 a mile. There is also a per minute charge of about 10 cents a minute.
Let’s do some numbers.
I get a ping. 5 miles away and it takes 10 minutes to get there. I get there and pick them up, take them 10 miles away and it takes me 20 minutes. The total cost on that that ride is going to be $7.50 for mileage and about $2 for the time. I get the $9.50. Oh and the passenger gets charged a booking fee of $2, but I don’t really see that.
The passenger total cost is $11.50, the driver makes $9.50 for only 30 minutes of work, rainbows and unicorns are everywhere. Hooray!
Not so fast. of that $9.50 Uber cuts 25% for themselves and leaves the driver the rest, and I’m just going to estimate this, about $7.25.
This is before tax, and any expenses. Also this might be the only ride I see that hour. This doesn’t cover the cost of vacuuming fingernail clippings out of my back seat. ( yes this happened. )
Did I mention the fact Uber actively tells passengers not to tip drivers?
All in all, drivers usually don’t make too much for the hours they put in and the hassle they deal with. Less than minimum wage most of the time. I’m going back to being a pizza delivery driver. A large pepperoni and bread sticks never vomited cheap beer in my car.