There is no doubt that the sharing economy has taken the 21st century by storm.
From people renting out their rooms using AirBnB to ridesharing apps like Uber – making money on the side has never been easier.
The disruptive force of the gig economy now gives you a lucrative opportunity to pick up a decent amount of money in the most flexible of ways, while also promising a good income and the chance for you to grow a business on the side.
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Whether you’re tempted by the idea of using your car to make money as a full-time plan or as a part-time one, there are obvious benefits to jumping on the ridesharing wagon.
The whole idea sounds enticing, but like any good entrepreneur, you need to be aware of the fact that, yes, you will be making money instantly, but this also comes with its risks and disadvantages.
Pros of Making Money with Uber:
Before we explore how you can make money with Uber, it’s always important to weigh, both, the pros and cons so you can end up making a calculated decision.
I’ll lay everything out and help you decide if it’s worth it.
1. You have a flexible schedule
This is possibly the biggest advantage of making money with Uber.
Your schedule is entirely up to you.
You can literally work as much or as little as you want with no consequences.
You won’t need to schedule your working hours around any other important activities.
Need to work late at night? Do it.
Take a whole month off because you just need some “me time”?
Yup, go for it.
Have a friend’s baby shower all the way across the state? You guessed it…Do it!
2. It’s perfect for entrepreneurs
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s in the process of starting or funding their own business, then Uber is a great way to make just that extra money you need to fund either your life or your business.
Usually, entrepreneurs go for part-time jobs but those often come with strict schedules, and, well, a boss.
Which brings me to the next point…
3. There’s no micromanaging boss
The percentage of people who actually like their boss is close to none.
To anyone who’s currently reading this right now and actually likes their boss – just know that I envy you.
Anyway, you are your own boss with Uber.
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You have no one telling you what to do, how to do it or when.
If you don’t like being constantly supervised, then Uber is definitely your cup of tea!
4. There are no special requirements
You don’t need to be a great writer, a crafty person, some Bitcoin guru or even skilled at all to be able to use this incomparable source of additional income.
You don’t even need anything but your phone and your car.
There’s a very low barrier of entry to the job in general (all you need is a car, a license, and no criminal background) and you don’t even have to be good when it comes to interviews!
5. You get to meet new people
This could honestly be, both, a pro and a con.
If you’re an extrovert, then you will love the fact that you get to meet all types of people.
Maybe you’ll get to learn a thing or two from them.
Most “side hustles” don’t give you the opportunity of constant social interactions.
6. You’ll see new places
A lot of freelancers complain about the sudden monotonous routine that they find themselves in after a while.
They are sick of working from home or from the same place every day.
When you make money with Uber, you’ll actually get to see new places and maybe even neighborhoods you’ve never heard about.
7. Listen to what you want
Yes, you can listen to music or news on your job but a major advantage is listening to podcasts.
You can use the time you work and make money to also be some sort of guru on whatever topic you want.
Listening to podcasts is an undeniable learning opportunity that you could take advantage of.
8. Take advantage of the surge
Let’s be honest – this definitely sucks for the rider.
For you, though, it’s definitely quite freaking cool.
If you are in an area or a time that is surging, you make double the money for the same amount of work.
Although it’s not smart to always be chasing the surge pricing (you’ll get to know why in a minute), it’s still a major advantage.
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Cons of Making Money with Uber:
There are some drawbacks to this line of work as well. Including…
1. You have to pay taxes
There is no nice way to put this, but calculating your taxes is a dreadful task.
Since you’re an independent contractor, you’ll have to calculate your own taxes and pay your own expenses.
2. You subject your car to wear & tear
The biggest enemy to your car is the wear and tear.
The number of miles will increase, you will need to keep up with maintenance, and you will see the number of repairs increasing.
This adds up unnecessary expenses that might even take up half of your earnings.
3. Consider your own safety
You’d probably think twice about picking up a hitchhiker, right?
Think of Uber as the more “sophisticated” way of picking up a hitchhiker.
I am not necessarily saying that being an Uber driver is unsafe, but it definitely comes with safety risks.
You will need to be completely comfortable with having strangers in the back seat of your own car.
4. Customers may leave unfair rating
If your average rating falls below a 4.6-star rating average, then Uber will deactivate your account and you won’t be able to ride again.
Having a bad rating is not completely out of your hand, though.
5. It’s a sedentary lifestyle
If you’re making money with Uber as a side hustle, then you won’t have to really worry about this.
But if you’re taking up Uber as more of a long-term, full-time plan then this can affect the health of your back and neck.
6. There’s no growth potential
There really won’t be any potential for growth – in the end, it’s a dead-end job.
It’s incredible when you think of how much money you can make with Uber, but it’s not something that you’ll be putting on your CV or learning from.
8 Tricks for Uber Drivers to Make More Money
How much money you can make with Uber completely depends on you.
There are a few tricks for Uber drivers that you can utilize to maximize the amount of money you can make in the shortest time possible.
1. Always keep water and snacks in the backseat
Nothing feels better than getting inside of an Uber car and finding a few snacks and water.
It shows the passengers that you care about their comfort, and increases your chance of getting a tip and a good review.
2. Don’t follow the herd
A few weeks in and you’ll already know about the “recommended times” and the “recommended locations” where the demand is high.
Whether that’s a busy Saturday night or a certain morning route – it’s always better to completely ignore those.
You’ll be dealing with a very high competition since all Uber drivers will be there anyway – you’re more likely to actually get a request where there is a lack of drivers
3. Log out of the app before a surge
Learn about the general surge times and log out of the app 15 minutes before.
Let’s say you know that 5 p.m is a huge time for surge pricing as everyone is leaving work.
Log out of the app 15 minutes before since that reduces the number of drivers, hence increasing the surge fare and you won’t get a request right before the surge pricing, so you won’t be missing out on it.
4. Stay in one place when you’re waiting for a request
Although driving around endlessly may give you a higher chance of getting a request, it’s not a smart move long-term.
This will add wear and tear your car and is not worth a request or two.
5. Watch the the Uber Passenger App
This is one of the most important Uber tricks for drivers.
You need to understand your local market, and to do that, I recommend downloading the Passenger App.
You’ll be able to know how many Uber drivers are near you and make a strategy around it.
For example: if people are leaving a concert, all drivers may be in the same place by the main entrance.
Instead, go to the other entrance where you’re more likely to get a request instantly.
6. Follow the alcohol
Friday and Saturday nights, along with major holidays, are definitely the best ways to make the most money with Uber.
Surge pricing usually lines up with bar closing times.
You do have to deal with the inebriated and there is always the risk of someone getting sick in your car.
7. Dress and act professionally
Always dress in clean and nice clothes, and put a lot of effort into being polite and respectful to the passengers.
It’s a foolproof way to ensure a good review and maybe a tip.
8. Make even more money by incorporating other apps with Uber
Instead of just making money with Uber as a driver, you can capitalize on being an Uber driver in multiple ways.
- Use Vugo. This is a company that will pay you to set up a tablet in your car and display ads in the backseat.
- Use Wrapify. They are a company that will pay you to wrap your car in a commercial ad.
Is Uber worth it?
That’s ultimately for you to decide. There are plenty of pros and cons to go around, but if you are in need of some fast cash, would enjoy driving strangers around, and don’t mind the additional wear and tear on your car, driving for Uber is for you.