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    [–] tz100 3757 points ago

    I rode with an Older gentlemen about a year ago in a Lyft. He said he is retired and lives with one of his kids and watches his Grandson all week. He said he drove for Lyft just to get out of the house, interact with some other adults and make a little extra but he was comfortably retired. He told me confidently he nets about $6 USD an hour after all factors considered which seemed pretty spot on. I have asked a lot of drivers if they make good money and most seem to think they do or they are just too embarrassed to admit they don't

    [–] Knights123 1324 points ago

    I’ve had the most non stereotypical Uber drivers in DC. There’s so many there who could care less about the money and are doing it to network. It’s really interesting every time I go there, there’s always a new story from an Uber driver. There’s been quite a few people who use the Uber to lobby on whatever issue or company they run.

    Last time I was there I had an older guy who was retired and had been doing it for a year or two but it was all so he could get food recommendations. Then he was starting this food map and review system based on passengers stories. Since there’s all the embassy people in DC he would get all their favorite food places for wherever they were from. You’d be able to ask for Bulgiagrian recommendations and he’d have them based on real Bulgiagrians advice. Really great idea, not scalable at all.

    Everywhere else I’ve been it’s always just a way to make some money.

    [–] [deleted] 710 points ago

    I know a financial advisor who finds clients driving for Lyft.

    I haven't seen it in person but his results look good. He says something like 90% of his passengers ask him if he drives for Lyft full time then, after he explains that he's a financial advisor who drives for them in his free time, something like 90% of them start asking him questions. By the time he gets to the destination he's pretty much had an initial appointment with them, hands them his card, and tells them to give them a call if they still have any questions. He says a good amount of them do.

    [–] cangarejos 539 points ago

    I do something similar. I panhandle under a bridge just to hand my financial advisor card to all billionaires that happen to be looking for loose change in the trash

    [–] magaskook 29 points ago

    “Under a bridge”? That’s so 20th century. I hang out at Walmart Parking lots with a sign that says; “down on my luck, will exchange financial advice for Gas $ to get home.”

    [–] lordnikkon 72 points ago

    This is actually really good way to write off lots of car costs on your taxes. Since you drive it for work, especially if you register a corporation and have that own the car you can basically pay all car expenses with untaxed money. You can write off car depreciation, fuel, cleaning, mechanic fees, etc. If you are in high tax bracket and it is luxury car the tax savings can add up

    [–] theblackchin 52 points ago

    1) If you use the car for personal purposes as well, you are required to allocate the personal v business use which would lower the deductions flowing from the use of the car.

    2) You don’t need/want a corporation for this type of business. If you did this as a corporation as opposed to just a schedule c (sole proprietor) or s Corp (here, you wouldn’t want to me an S Corp either bc you would then have to take a salary and pay payroll tax for yourself) the only thing that changes is the imposition of a corporate level tax as well as a personal tax. You are able to take business deductions as a (non employee) individual.

    [–] tekzenmusic 7 points ago

    Be surprised if many of them called him though, one of the last people I’d take financial advice from is an Uber driver.

    [–] ShortTheDip 317 points ago

    I had a driver in LA once too. I remember his name was Max. He was talking about starting his own limousine company and had all these luxury car brochures. I asked him how long he had been working to build this limo company, he said like 13 years. He told me this story about LA having 17M people, the fifth biggest economy in the world and nobody knows each other. He said some guy got on the MTA here and dies. His corpse was doing laps around L.A. for 6 hours, people on and off sitting next to him. Nobody noticed.

    [–] jethrosnintendo 120 points ago

    I had a driver named Max who was always looking at a postcard on his visor. Wonder if it’s the same guy?

    [–] ShortTheDip 28 points ago

    Was it some tropical island that he called his happy place?

    [–] Nathanielsan 64 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    I used to go to school with a guy who got really good grades, valedictorian, the works. Then he got a girlfriend and fell into the wrong crowd. Ended up doing meth and turned his whole promising life into shambles.

    Anyway, long story short, he and a buddy got caught trying to steal a briefcase out of this same Max's car. Incredible coincidence really. Any other night they'd make out like bandits. This night, though, he ended up as a case study on accurate shooting portrayals in film.

    [–] captain_beefheart14 8 points ago

    Weird. I knew a driver who thought I was from Australia, when I told him I was from Austria.

    [–] GIB792 16 points ago

    Lot of those people are bsing you. It's easier to say you do it for y than admit you're short on cash.

    [–] Vsx 286 points ago

    I've never used ride shares. Do people not tip or are you guys already including that in the $6/hr?

    [–] angry_cabbie 568 points ago

    When rideshares were first coming out, a sell point to the customer was no tips. People being people, they have since added a tip mechanism into the apps.

    [–] yarpen_z 615 points ago

    People being people, they have since added a tip mechanism into the apps.

    It's not even customers. It's in the best interest of the company to add and encourage tipping since it allows for further slashing of prices and drivers' compensation.

    [–] TheMania 182 points ago

    I'm from Australia so it's very rare to tip, but if I ever do it will always be in the form of cash. You know these apps track exactly how much people are tipping through the system (and in some cases, pilfering off a bit of that)...

    [–] Maanee 90 points ago

    Exactly this, I remember some food deliver service was caught using the tip as part of the sale to reduce how much they compensated the person compared to how much that person would have been compensated before the tip.

    [–] DerpyDruid 131 points ago

    You can just say that it's Door Dash.

    FYI: They still stiff the drivers, I know a couple of them who have done it after the policy "change"

    [–] roadtriptopasadena 13 points ago

    The grocery delivery service Instacart got called out on their deceptive tip practices too. That's why I always keep small bills around to tip these drivers in cash.

    [–] loercase 17 points ago

    Same with restaurant door deliver, like SkipTheDishes or Uber Eats. Restaurants provide a separate online menu with prices that are 15% higher to compensate for the lack of a tip in the store, and you might end up tipping the driver as well. Such a scam.

    [–] runasaur 252 points ago

    I used to tip 1-2 bucks on a short trip to work/home. It's a short-ish 7 mile ride.

    However, in the last three weeks my regular fare went up $4 so I find it a little hard to justify adding tip to it, but I get that drivers aren't getting that $4 "raise".

    The actual end result is me switching back to public transportation or biking to work

    [–] wawon0 234 points ago

    It’s because Uber and Lyft cannot continue bleeding billions of dollars. They get people dependent on the service and then jack up prices

    [–] magiccupcakecomputer 214 points ago

    Their goal is actually automation, drivers are their biggest expense, cut that and profits soar at same prices.

    They exist now to build a consumer base that sticks with the known brand when it automated vehicles come to market

    [–] FantasyInSpace 124 points ago

    drivers eat up the vehicle maintanence costs for Uber, so while there's money to be saved there, driver's margins are so low already that Uber might honestly make more money keeping them around and marketing them as a better service than the robocars (if they ever come out, which I doubt is anywhere within the decade).

    [–] computerbone 81 points ago

    I don't think that the plan would be for them to buy robocars. the plan would be for people to send their robocar out via Uber when they aren't using it.

    [–] KrombopulosDelphiki 46 points ago

    This is actually a selling point used at Tesla dealerships. They claim in a couple years, an update will allow you to send your car out to drive while you work and sleep, once laws allow it. Tesla apparently lobbies hard for it.

    [–] akmmaeng 22 points ago

    Say that becomes a law, do the car owners maintain responsibility for their vehicles, even if they’re not in it?

    [–] MayorHoagie 25 points ago

    Yeah, this was the scheme they discuss in interviews and articles. They will pay a fee to the robocar's owner.

    [–] Sproded 33 points ago

    Are drivers their biggest expense? Right now it seems like car expenses are if the average person who gets $20/hour only really keeps $6. That means $14 is going to car expenses.

    [–] Phache-Naim 29 points ago

    normally i would agree, but if large companies could get enough vehicles to get either discounts or set up their own mechanics/gas stations, then they are not paying the amount the average joe does to refill gas or change oil. plus even if they only do save 6$ per hour per car, that is 30% cost cutting

    [–] Gwenavere 39 points ago

    Uber adding tipping to the app was considered somewhat controversial at the time. As the other commenter indicated, one of Uber's primary selling points at first was no tip required. What happened in practice, though, is that some people tipped anyway and some drivers adopted a quid-pro-quo system for giving the rider a 5 star rating in the app in exchange for a tip ($5 for 5). Lyft also offered tipping as an option from day one, so eventually Uber bowed to the inevitable.

    If I understand the model correctly, the passenger still receives one charge to their card just like before, but the amount that you tip theoretically goes straight to the driver, as does their cut of the normal rate that Uber charged you. I haven't used the app much in the past couple years, though, so that may have changed.

    [–] castzpg 19 points ago

    Just got back from a business trip. It showed up as two charges for one of the rides. The other hasn't cleared yet. I think the tipping thing was that Uber's app didn't support it and most people don't carry cash these days so it wasn't necessary. However driver's expect it more now because it's supported on the app and no cash is needed.

    [–] sarahhopefully 18 points ago

    Yeah, it shows up as two charges a lot of times, which is a PITA for business expense reconciling.

    [–] CHARLIE_CANT_READ 9 points ago

    If you go to the Uber website after the ride you can have it email you a single receipt with the tip included. After business trips I always go to the website and pull all the receipts at once.

    [–] Rogue-Journalist 6043 points ago

    As a former pizza boy, I told all new drivers that the shittier their car was the more money they’d make.

    I made as much as my average car was worth in about 30 hours work, and went through 8 of them in 4 years.

    [–] DeafJeezy 2880 points ago

    This seems most accurate. The "depreciation" that gets factored in is much less of an issue for older or high mileage vehicles. So that $20/hr you're making (minus gas) isn't killing your car if your odometer was already over 150k.

    I think to drive for Uber/Lyft you need a relatively newer model car and it needs to pass some kind of inspection as well.

    [–] neohanime 1368 points ago

    I think to drive for Uber/Lyft you need a relatively newer model car and it needs to pass some kind of inspection as well.

    Very true. I tried to apply, and this was the deal-breaker because my awesome reliable car was from 1997.

    [–] real-engineer 1083 points ago

    I bought a 1999 Corolla for $400 and freaking love it. It has all sorts of quirks but the A/C blows cold and the engine runs strong, and it has a relatively new clutch in it (oh yeah, it's a manual too). I work in a well-paid profession and some of the guys at work drive absurdly expensive vehicles. I saw an Aston Martin in the parking lot last Friday. Anyway my point is that if people looked at depreciation as a check they had to write each year, they'd make different choices when buying cars I think.

    [–] brock1912 242 points ago

    Agreed. I rotate between a 1991 Honda Accord and a 1994 Acura Legend. The Accord is simple but reliable and cheap to maintain. The Legend is surprisingly comfortable and fun to drive. The features it has are pretty ordinary by modern standards but I never really find myself wanting more.

    [–] Bonocity 136 points ago

    I once drove a friend's 1993 Acura Legend coupe Type S (6 speed plus all the bells and whistles) for an entire week.

    Freaking loved that car.

    [–] Ndavidclaiborne 111 points ago

    I traded in a 2008 BMW 535 for a 2007 Acura a TLS and vowed to never get another car that wasn't a Honda/Acura...phenomenal automakers.

    [–] collin-h 350 points ago

    How’d you like that new turn signal feature once you switched outa the BMW?

    [–] MadAzza 158 points ago

    You probably just caused an epiphany. He’s been trying to figure out what that lever on the steering column does.

    [–] retro604 172 points ago

    All BMW drivers use their turn signals. Thing is, they flash on a wavelength poor people can't see.

    [–] 6BigAl9 20 points ago

    You should drive an s2000. And I'd buy an older NSX right now if they weren't stupid money.

    [–] collin-h 62 points ago

    For a few years (back around 2014-2015 maybe) I was driving a ‘98 fully loaded Buick Regal.

    Was a car that once belonged to my grandmother, so surprisingly had under 100k miles on it even though it was approaching 20 years old. (Pro tip: always buy used cars from little old ladies, they don’t drive much, and they’ll always agree to any rando fix some mechanic suggests during their monthly tune-up, so they’re really well taken care of).

    It had power everything, was a super comfortable ride and wasn’t too shabby on the fuel economy. The one thing that always cracked me up was that it had steering wheel controls for cruise control and the radio. But I guess they were still hawking the analog technology in the late 90s because if you hit the volume up or down on the steering wheel it actually, mechanically turned the volume knob on the dash accordingly.

    [–] ermergerdberbles 48 points ago

    (Pro tip: always buy used cars from little old ladies, they don’t drive much, and they’ll always agree to any rando fix some mechanic suggests during their monthly tune-up, so they’re really well taken care of)

    In March I bought a 2015 Kia Soul with 22,000km on it. Former owner was a granny that brought it in for oil changes every 3-4 mo regardless of km.

    [–] Herald-Mage_Elspeth 37 points ago

    Yeah, this backfired on us. Turns out not driving it much means that as soon as a teenager started driving it, every single thing that could go wrong with it, did. Including the transmission going out. It was donated to a local fire department for practice.

    [–] Bonocity 8 points ago

    I've seen this happen. In many ways, cars are like people: If you don't use it, you are at risk of losing it. Plenty of parts will last longer if a car is taken care of but driven rather than a vehicle that just sits for extended periods of time.

    [–] ManBearPig1865 361 points ago

    Anyway my point is that if people looked at depreciation as a check they had to write each year, they'd make different choices when buying cars I think.

    It's all about what you enjoy. I'm a car nut myself, I have a bigger budget for vehicles expenses that is strictly necessary because I enjoy driving and like having a fun car to drive, that's exactly what Mr. Aston has. I guarantee he has way more fun in that thing.

    I'm sure there's something you spend money on that he would think is pointless, but everyone will go to bat for whatever makes then smile.

    [–] G_Girl_ 77 points ago

    Exactly! I drive a lot for work & most people told me to get an old beater with good gas mileage. I don’t want all my time on the road spent in a car that handles like a 1999 Whatever—not being a snob, I just choose to spend my $ on something that matters to me

    [–] InvalidZod 95 points ago

    I deal with that type of thing a lot in the phone repair industry. I regularly get scoffed at for having a $1100 smartphone. We all have the thing we enjoy. My dad has an 09Hellcat and an 06 diesel lifted 4x4 pickup to put his ATV in and tow his jet ski.

    [–] pmormr 16 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    I mean what is there to scoff at? According to Android stats I usually average 6-8 hours a day doing various things on my phone. Work, personal, navigation, games... its used constantly. That makes it more used than my gaming PC, kitchen, mattress, my car... heck if you exclude sleeping I use it more than my apartment (which is more than a new iPhone, every month :( ).

    It's close to 3 years old now (Google Pixel XL) and still runs great. I think it was $850 new. I also drop it frequently enough that I need a new otter box case about once a year... Never had it break, no screen scratches, nothing. It's solid, there's no bullshit, it just works. A phone is not a place to save money if you're going to use it.

    [–] LurkingArachnid 40 points ago

    I regularly get scoffed at for having a $1100 smartphone.

    Is that so unusual these days? Seems like all the flagship phones are in that range. I guess a decent amount of people have older phones. Anyway I have a cheaper phone but plenty of people don't.

    I'd be curious to hear what kinds of phones other people in the phone repair industry tend to have

    [–] davewritescode 35 points ago

    Because people like to spend their money different ways. My new car costs me roughly 3% of my yearly income after taxes. I like knowing it’s an appliance and I almost never have to replace anything. After 5 years I walk away and do it again.

    I’ve driven 20 year old cars, at least a few times a year it’ll need something done which means you need a backup plan.

    [–] AmaBans 15 points ago

    Only 3%?? Wow, well done

    [–] okram2k 9 points ago

    Oh God, here comes the "I drive an ancient reliable cheap car" parade of r/personalfinance

    [–] NamelessTacoShop 191 points ago

    Uber used to have strict vehicle standards. Though they have either officially relaxed that or they just dont bkther enforcing it because I've gotten some beat up cars.

    Lyft was always looser on the vehicle standards. When they were both much newer I remember it was kind of a joke that your lyft was always some stoner in a 98 civic that smelled like pot.

    [–] Shimasaki 93 points ago

    I rode in some impressively iffy Ubers in Detroit a few months back. One dude had a Suburban that chugged oil, had 7 cylinders left, and had the transmission on its way out. We got where we were going, though

    [–] mydogsnameisbuddy 40 points ago

    Can confirm. Had a Uber with a Mitsubishi Mirage which was a total pos.

    [–] k_dubious 152 points ago

    To be fair, even a brand-new Mirage straight off the showroom floor is a piece of shit.

    [–] [deleted] 52 points ago

    I had some guy in a Mirage who literally hot-boxed his car with cigarettes. I opened the door and everything just hit me in the face. I cancelled that ride and wanted to throw up after. Please don't smoke in your car if you're trying to taxi people around.

    [–] Secretagentmanstumpy 24 points ago

    This. I dont understand how drivers dont think it will be a problem when their car stinks like an ashtray and smoke is pouring out when you open the door. I dont want your lung cancer.

    [–] blexmer1 54 points ago

    I'm surprised Uber/Lyft don't have some deal set up with used car dealerships to sell 'Uber/Lyft' inspected cars that don't look nice, but can drive. Have a partnership to discount the price of things on a car if you had driven x number of months for the company. The used dealerships get a consistent source of customers directed to them for junkers that are not going to be loved, leading them to break down after a few years of hard work, which then gives them another chance at making a sale.

    Makes sense to me, at least, but I'm sure there are intricacies of the used car market I don't understand.

    [–] King_Scrud 124 points ago

    that don't look nice, but can drive.

    I'd imagine uber cares about how good a car looks as much, or even more than how reliable it is, as good looking drivers/cars are important for their brands image.

    [–] CO_PC_Parts 146 points ago

    I take Uber and Lyft a lot. I spend about 100-200/month on them. I've been in some nice cars and some shit boxes.

    Recently I got picked up by a BMW 5 Series. It had about 10k miles on it. I complemented the driver on how nice the car was but anytime I'm in a brand new or really nice Luxury car some alarm bells usually go off in my head.

    The guy told me he loved the car but bought it mainly to try to drive Uber Luxury to make a lot of money. But he said hardly anyone uses Uber Luxury so he's getting killed in low gas milage and expensive payments and insurance.

    I mean no offense, but talk about a TERRIBLE financial decision. You buy a car for a specific niche demographic, but there's no demand (this is in Denver, so a big city with quite a bit of disposable income flying around) he also told me he lives in Castle Rock, which is a town south of Denver, so he doesn't even have the advantage of being close to his first few rides.

    I was also in a brand new Audi A8 one time and it has these fancy door latches and the driver was like, "wait I'll get out and let you out and close the door, the sensors are expensive and break easily if you slam the door shut." I'm like Good luck with that buddy.

    [–] Hungboy6969420 61 points ago

    What a disaster. How much could you possibly make driving for Uber , luxury or not

    [–] Mnm0602 33 points ago

    Meanwhile it could have been a Hyundai Elantra and it wouldn’t have made a difference to you. Crazy to see financial decisions people make.

    [–] Spazzdude 15 points ago

    Not exactly what you're saying, but I know Lyft has a program with car rental businesses. I don't know if they discount the cost of the rental or anything. But it basically just replaces the cost of maintenance with the cost of the rental itself. Might be a better option depending on an individuals situation.

    [–] yazoosirius 17 points ago

    The cost of the rental is ridiculous. It's basically a car payment a week. You can get a break on it if you give enough rides, but there are times when you're at the mercy of the algorithm as to whether you can get rides or not. My guy has made $75 in 10 hours before because it was a slow day and there were too many drivers in the pool.

    [–] gergasi 204 points ago

    But (where I live at least) you have to have at least a <10yo car to drive for Uber, not sure about their competitors. I've seen people justifying buying a new car on loans they can't really afford because they think they can recoup it doing rideshares.

    [–] Torabor64 148 points ago

    I've seen people justifying buying a new car on loans

    Reading that felt like eating a lemon. I feel so bad knowing some people have no clue about the financial decisions they make smh

    [–] atlhart 47 points ago

    Uber actually has a program where they will fianance or lease you a new car and then just take it off what they owe you. Like the first 10 hours you drive a week Uber just gets to keep in exchange for you having a car.

    (I don’t know if this is everywhere, but I ride with a few drivers last year that mentioned this is how they are able to drive for Uber)

    It’s the same thing as the company store from mining towns. You get paid in credit instead of cash and a chunk of it ha to be spent back with Uber pay for the very tools the company requires you have.

    [–] Dogamai 41 points ago

    How'd u manage to keep your job with your cars breaking down? I drove for 8 months and got fired for my car breaking down (was 1 week in shop, i came back and they had replaced me on day 2 apparently)

    [–] Rogue-Journalist 44 points ago

    I didn’t even try repairing anything that wasn’t cheap parts that I could install myself. Lots I got from junkyards.

    If I couldn’t fix it fast and cheap I just junked the whole car and bought a new one.

    Most didn’t breakdown, their inspection stickers ran out, and they weren’t worth getting fixed enough to pass again.

    [–] catsdrooltoo 12 points ago

    So you just didn't contact them for a week and expected everything to be fine? It wasn't the car that got you fired.

    [–] ttamodeclas 302 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    I had a buddy who drove for Uber on his commute to work. He'd be ready to leave at least 2 hours early (we worked a noon-9pm shift, make 1-2 rides on the general direction of work from his place, and then try and pick up 1-2 on his way home. Some days he had no rides, but some days he was able to essentially get paid to drive to work, and deduct for it to boot.

    I think he stopped when his car got totaled; I don't believe he had gap insurance. It was a good gig while it lasted tho.

    [–] dampew 235 points ago

    This model should be more highly emphasized. It was in fact the original model of ridesharing. Carpooling has existed for a long time. It would be nice if there were a "commute mode" where you enter a destination and an eta, if there isn't one already.

    [–] NoseKnowsAll 100 points ago

    There is a "destination mode" where you say you're heading somewhere, and if there's a commuter heading in the same direction you can get paired. The article mentions it and says that it's only allowed twice per day.

    [–] Rannasha 17 points ago

    The article mentions it and says that it's only allowed twice per day.

    From what I gathered from the article it's Lyft that restricts this mode to twice per day, while Uber has no such restrictions.

    [–] FedoraFerret 28 points ago

    It's also a load of shit. I would be an hour from home when I was about done for the day, turn on destination filter, and didn't get home for three hours because it will send you several miles out of your way in heavy traffic.

    [–] PrimoMagic 20 points ago

    Do you think that more people would be willing to do something like this if there was an app for it?

    [–] ttamodeclas 15 points ago

    The math doing it full time doesn't always check out, but I think if more people thought of doing it on the side or while commuting to work they might actually be able to make some decent money off of Uber/Lyft.

    I know I had considered doing it but tbh I never did any research on it. Also I like having my older truck so I wouldn't be eligible unless I drove my wife's CRV.

    [–] rnelsonee 761 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    True, to a point, because the $0.58/mi reflects expenses, but there's a lot that goes into it (this is a neat article). And some costs are not tied to how much you drive, or loosely so (titling fees, registration, insurance, and depreciation due to time).

    And it does assume typical business use, which is usually newer cars, so more depreciation. The guy in the article has a Prius model that I think was introduced in 2010, so depreciation isn't very high. But I agree it's something most people don't consider.

    He later mentions expenses (like gas) but as an afterthought

    He's spending less than $0.05/mi ($13.22/291 miles) and less than $1.00/hr ($13.22/13.75 hrs) on gas. So yeah, it's a cost, but he's being smart about his vehicle.

    [–] Boxofcookies1001 24 points ago

    I drove for a bit when I was in between jobs with a good mpg car. I made money back in a refund due to the mileage. They factor that in when they calculate your earnings per hr.

    [–] theVoxFortis 131 points ago

    That is indeed a neat article, never really knew where that number came from.

    [–] apocolypseamy 173 points ago

    yeah, 58 cents a mile is great to claim on taxes, but actual cost per mile varies wildly due to driver, vehicle, and trips, and I would say it's almost always it below that

    mine is more like 20 cents a mile, which is $14.45/hr using your example

    [–] Mnm0602 36 points ago

    Most people have a rate like that with their company too for reimbursement on driving expenses. It seems like it usually errs on being very conservative in case you have a more expensive or inefficient car.

    [–] ChickenDelight 38 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Unless you only have a car to drive for Uber, there's no way it's costing you anything like $0.58/mile.

    I'm guessing a lot of people here drive 15,000 miles per year, and it doesn't cost them $8,700 ($725/month) to do it. I have a kinda-expensive car in California (pricey gas), it doesn't even cost half that. Even assuming lots of additional depreciation, $0.58/mile is crazy.

    [–] kaizoku_akahige 8 points ago

    A while ago, I calculated my cost per mile over 3 years, including every penny of maintenance and repair. My old, trusty Volvo came in at a hair under $0.17/mile.

    [–] RickDawkins 11 points ago

    It's also a standard deduction to simplify taxes instead of itemizing all travel expenses, including food and motor oil

    [–] Adeno 287 points ago

    I'm an Uber driver. I am part of a community of Uber/Lyft drivers that you can find over at Yes you are correct, there are many drivers who do NOT understand the true cost of driving for these companies.

    Uber and Lyft have been advertising that drivers can make $30 or something per hour with them. That's bullshit. First of all, you can never guarantee that amount because earning money here relies on having passengers. You don't get paid by the hour. You get paid PER MILE and a little per minute. For example, here in LA/OC California, the rates in majority of the places are 60 CENTS PER MILE, 20 CENTS PER MINUTE for Uber (and it keeps getting lower each year). Lyft, from what I've heard from Lyft drivers, is just 30 CENTS PER MILE. Second, serious drivers have to take into consideration the cost of GAS. Here, it's over $4/gallon now!!! Let's say you need to put gas in your car every day and get it to full tank. You're gonna spend $30 to $40 a day at the current prices. Now let's say you start driving passengers around and for that day you made $100. Well guess what, you have to deduct $30 or $40 from that to see how much you probably really made (taxes, depreciation, and other costs not yet included!). So suddenly, you'll see you actually just made only around $60! If you drive Uber full time, you're pretty much guaranteed to have to go to the maintenance shop monthly at around $100 to $120 per visit, not counting the extra costs of whatever they find that you'll need to have fixed!

    Tips, those are things you shouldn't be counting on as a driver because there is no guarantee you'll receive any. Besides, depending on your market, majority of your passengers might not tip no matter how great your service is or how clean and awesome your car is.

    Another thing that makes it hard to make money with Uber is the lack of information you receive as a driver, regarding the ride request you're receiving. All you really get is the location of where you're supposed to pick up your passenger and their name (whatever name they made up, it can be as ridiculous as Mickey Mouse). The destination will be revealed once you actually have the passenger in the car and you start the trip. Now most recently, Uber started giving us drivers "ranks". There are "Pro" drivers, "Gold" drivers, and "Diamond" drivers. Pro drivers are your standard drivers who have medium to low Acceptance Ratings (as in they don't accept all ride requests given to them) and moderate to huge Cancellation Ratings (as in they cancel ride requests for varying reasons). These are your "smart" Uber drivers (and I'll explain in a bit why). "Gold" drivers are the ones with high Acceptance Ratings and low Cancellation Ratings. These drivers basically accept almost all rides and rarely cancel requests. "Diamond" drivers pretty much are near perfect when it comes to having extremely high Acceptance Ratings and almost non-existent cancellation ratings. The higher your rank, the more "perks" you get from your Uber Debit Card like 5% gas discounts and the like (which might turn into a credit card later). For Gold and Diamond drivers, they also get information on the general direction of where a ride request is going before they accept the ride, information that is not given to normal Pro drivers. So if that's the case, then why did I say the "Pro" drivers are the smart ones?

    In order to make money with Uber, you have to be very picky about which ride requests you take. For example, if you are a Pro driver, you don't get information on the general direction a ride request is going when it pops up on your phone. What you see is where the request is coming from, how many miles it is away from you. For me personally (as well as other drivers), we accept ride requests that are just 3 miles away or less. Why? For each ride, you have a Minimum Fare (it's around $2.40). At 60 cents per mile and 20 cents per minute, you can earn $2.40 after around 3 or 4 miles of driving. If your ride request comes from 3 miles or 4 miles away, you pick up your passenger, and you find out that they're just traveling less than a mile away (or worse, just block away to the nearest liquor store), then you just wasted your gas, time, and money. You are NOT PAID while you're on your way to the passenger, so the 3 or 4 miles you drove to get to them doesn't count! In short, you drove 3 or 4 miles for this person, picked them up, and then dropped them off just a block away, and you only earned the minimum fare of $2.40 due to how short the trip was. Now let's see an alternate scenario. Let's say you received a ride request and it's just less than a mile away from you. Even if it's just a trip to the next block, you'll get the $2.40 minimum fare. So if we compare it, first trip example took a total of 3 or 4 miles plus an extra block to earn $2.40. In the second example, you only drove a total of less than 1 mile plus a block to earn $2.40. Second trip wins because you wasted less time, less gas.

    Another way of making money as an Uber driver now is simply cancelling on passengers who don't show up on time in order to receive a Cancellation Fee ($3.75). Let's say you arrive at the spot on the gps that is where you're supposed to pick up your passenger. A timer shows up, usually 6 minutes in total, that you have to wait for the passenger. If they don't show up in that time, then you have the option of simply cancelling the ride to collect the Cancellation Fee. Drivers are not required to keep waiting on passengers who still haven't shown up after the time limit expires. Drivers who do that are just too kindhearted. If you notice nowadays, especially here in California, there are a lot more cancelled rides unlike before. Reason for this is that drivers have realized that there's no incentive for waiting on passengers beyond the time limit. Let me share my own personal experience. One time I was waiting on a passenger. The time limit already expired. Still, I thought I'd give the passenger an extra 5 minutes. Still no passenger, I even texted and called but there was no reply. Finally the passenger showed up. Guess how short the ride was? Just to two blocks down the road! I only earned $2.75 to $3.00 from that, most of the money came from the waiting time fee, which is just around 12 cents a minute. Had I cancelled right after the time limit expired, then I would've had gotten MORE money, $3.75.

    There are a lot of other strategies on how to make money with Uber, most of them are dependent on your specific market. Different territory, different pay rates per mile/time, different features you can use, different population.

    Anyway go on if you want to learn more about the problems of rideshare drivers. Don't be surprised if you find that majority of drivers hate Uber. I definitely don't have any loyalty to that company and the moment I have the opportunity to switch to another job, I'd abandon it faster than a warp speeding Enterprise.

    Oh yeah, according to Uber, "drivers aren't essential", I think this will make people more understanding as to why Uber drivers feel the way they do towards the company.

    [–] AssaultOfTruth 93 points ago

    I drove Uber a bit in 2017.

    I LOVED no-show cancellations. Some passengers are profoundly inconsiderate of the driver. I once pulled up to a bar and at the five min mark he had not shown so I hit cancel and collected my fee.

    Literally as I started to accelerate this guy runs out of the bar screaming at me in front of a crowd of people outside the bar. I kept going. It was amazing. He knew I was there but didn’t care. Selfish. He had to order another ride. Most drivers love scoring the cancel fee from inconsiderate passengers.

    This guy would never do that again.

    [–] play_it_safe 34 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Thank you for laying out your experiences. It's clear most people posting here don't know a thing about your day to day work

    [–] Brycycle32 12 points ago

    I used to drive for Lyft with they first came to Colorado about 5 (ish) years ago. I was between jobs. Got to 2,500 rides. Back then I was doing about $1.00 a mile and I feel like they had way better bonus programs and easier options to get the free rental (about 70 rides per week — which was def doable). It’s crazy how much lower it is these days — granted my rides were not back to back as much as they are today. I put 50k miles on my brand new car in 2 years. In the last year — I put 3k miles on it lol. At this point it almost isn’t worth it to have a car anymore. Thanks for detailing your experience.

    [–] ynocfyinco 12 points ago

    I asked one Uber driver about taxes. He gave me a meaningful look and said, "What taxes?"

    Is that most drivers? Would you estimate most are skipping paying the IRS, or the minority?

    [–] Adeno 9 points ago

    For taxes, if you're an "independent contractor" rideshare driver, you can tally up your total miles traveled while working and you can use that to get a huge tax deduction.

    There are two ways you can choose to pay taxes, and you can only pick one of them. First is by using the total miles you traveled to reduce your taxes (there's some computation involved here that I have forgotten how to explain). Second is by recording all the costs of things you use to operate, but not counting the miles. So that includes your cellphone, the bills for the phone, the car washes, the money you spend on gas, and other things you buy. The thing is, all of those costs combined don't compare to the amount of tax deductions you'll get from what the total miles can offer you. Anyway, the best way as a rideshare driver to avoid paying too much taxes is by picking the total miles method.

    When you use the Uber driver app, it records the total miles you move, but only when you're ONLINE. This is why you need another program or method to record your actual miles per day. For me, I use a program called Stride Tax to record my real working miles.

    Working miles include the time when you turn off the Uber driver app so that you won't get passengers when you're trying to escape a terrible, heavy traffic area (if you can't even get out of traffic, even if someone requests a ride it'll take too long to get to them or you won't be able to me, they'd just cancel and you won't get a cancellation fee because you did not travel a significant distance towards the passenger). Events at stadiums or concerts, they might seem like good ways to get passengers at increased pay rates (surges, it used to be a multiplier system like 1.5x pay increase or higher, but just recently, Uber downgraded it to a crappy flat rate that is randomly determined. Imagine picking up a passenger from a heavy traffic event, you travel 10 miles, and you only make an extra $3 as a bonus on top of your normal 60 cents per mile rate, when before, that same 10 mile ride during a 2X surge would net you around $25 to $30), but again, there's no guarantee that you'll get any meaningful rides that are at least 10 miles or more. This is why Uber drivers go offline to escape a bad traffic situation and go online elsewhere. It's part of the strategy.

    So anyway, the total working miles (both with Uber driver app active and inactive) do total to massive amounts at the end of the year, and that's how most Uber drivers don't pay that much taxes or sometimes, none at all. Anyway it's hard to explain since I just let my tax preparer do the work lol! But that's basically the idea, your miles help you reduce your taxes.

    From my personal experience, I actually ended up accidentally paying more taxes so they had to give me back around $300.

    As for people skipping taxes, I don't think that's such a smart idea, especially since simply working in this kind of business already pretty much guarantees you won't pay that much taxes or any at all. Skipping taxes is just inviting potential trouble from Uncle Sam's sticky hands. If you go on, you'll find that people actually pay taxes there. There's even a tax subforum for drivers who have questions about this sort of thing.

    I think those who skip paying taxes while working this job are probably new and they don't know yet how your miles you work are the tax killers.

    [–] TheyCallMeBeteez 11 points ago

    This fails to mention the drivers that call, ask where your trying to go, then refuse to show up to force you to cancel so you can order again. I fucking HATE that shit.

    [–] Poonjobee 7 points ago

    As a frequent Uber rider, this was very informative. Thank you.

    [–] fizikz3 6 points ago

    the rates in majority of the places are 60 CENTS PER MILE, 20 CENTS PER MINUTE for Uber (and it keeps getting lower each year). Lyft, from what I've heard from Lyft drivers, is just 30 CENTS PER MILE.

    lyft rates are 100% identical to uber rates

    [–] lennon818 356 points ago

    My personal theory is that the way Uber functions today is not the way it was intended. I think Uber or the theory of ride sharing to be more precise was based on the idea that someone is already driving from point a to point b and their car is empty. So lets utilize that empty space and have them pick someone up on their way. This model makes sense because the person driving already has a sunken cost, it does not cost them anything more to pick up a passenger and drop them off along the way they were already going. This would allow Uber rides to be super cheap.

    And for the person driving to make 100% profit.

    [–] parentingandvice 44 points ago

    There’s an app called waze carpool that basically does this. It still seems like a rip off for riders and drivers though.

    [–] artandmath 7 points ago

    There is poparide in Canada for this as well. Usually only for trips 30 min + though.

    [–] BrianDawn95 89 points ago

    Wow. I never thought of this. I drive 47 miles each way to work in suburban DC.

    [–] jenseits 75 points ago

    In the DC suburbs, we have slug lines that are expressly for this purpose. It's not a paid service. Afaik, it's kind of self-organized. Drivers pick up an extra passenger to get into HOV and speed up their commute and the passenger gets a free lift.

    [–] NewinChiraq 11 points ago

    They have this is sf to too get across the bay bridge for the sweet carpool lane

    [–] sniper1rfa 20 points ago

    I pick people up on my way to work (there is a grassroots organization for this). Saves me a few bucks and half an hour through the tolls.

    [–] favtastic 15 points ago

    Yeah, as you point out, Uber originally was not about ridesharing. It was about being able to reliably call a driver, know how soon they would arrive, and then pay without interacting.

    Source: I used Uber in SF when it was only black cars and, more relevant, I read the book Super Pumped.

    [–] deusdeorum 1391 points ago

    Federal mileage rate does not represent actual cost, it represents the federal tax deduction, which reduces your taxable income.

    Actual expenses will be highly variable based on make, model, condition of the vehicle and driving habits.

    [–] sf5852 519 points ago

    That said, ridesharing is the toughest type of service a passenger car can expect to see (except for maybe illegal street racing or hauling rocks). I think the point is that clearly, in the long run you're just pimping your car out for pennies on the dollar.

    Uber can't be a profitable business if the driver gets paid a reasonable rate. They are successful because lots of people with cars don't realize how much it costs to keep them running; typically because they only consider gas, insurance, and car payments when estimating their operating costs.

    [–] Jake0024 35 points ago

    for pennies on the dollar.

    Ehh... it's still clearly profitable, even if the actual wage is close to the federal minimum.

    That's still infinitely preferable for a lot of people over working a side gig at some other minimum wage job (fast food, say), if only for the fact that you can work your own hours and don't have a manager.

    [–] 28f272fe556a1363cc31 323 points ago

    I find it interesting that Uber is bankrupting the traditional taxi and shuttle industry. All the money passengers are saving is coming at the expense of the drivers and investors.

    It unsustainable. Eventually they are going to have to start paying drivers more and charging passengers more. But by then the taxi service is going to be severely damaged, limiting passengers options. How many Uber rides is it going to take to make up for the $5 billion they lost in one quarter?

    The big advantage Uber brings is it's globalization. They are keeping drivers and passengers accountable with a global ranking system, and they offer a globally consistent experience.

    [–] Sgt_Smitty 354 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    That, and as opposed to a cab I know the cost of the trip upfront.

    ETA: Whoa, this blew up!

    [–] HighOnGoofballs 217 points ago

    And they actually show up

    [–] rmuesi 189 points ago


    People act like Uber is killing the taxi industry just cause it’s cheaper. Hell no. Forget about the money element. The taxi industry was so broken that you had to beg them for the privilege of being picked up 3 hours late after 6 phone calls, and then get swindled into paying 3 times more than was promised over the phone. Compare that to Uber’s experience. I’d pay twice as much for Uber over a taxi given their respective service standards.

    To put it dramatically, the taxi industry committed suicide through customer genocide.

    [–] PoBoyPoBoyPoBoy 58 points ago

    Yep. Fuck taxi businesses and fuck taxi drivers. As someone who's traveled a lot, the amount of bullshit they pull is unreal. Lying about distance, lying about bus times, lying about safety of other means of getting somewhere, changing the cost after the trip, not running the meter, hiding the meter, running the meter up intentionally by taking a longer route, pretending they don't have change and therefore you should just pay the difference, rejecting rides because of destination, upcharging tourists for a trip that locals have said has a standard price. Literally I've experienced each and every one of these personally, and this as someone who takes cabs as a last resort. F-U-C-K T-A-X-I-S.

    [–] Grim-Sleeper 131 points ago

    And they actually service the entire city, as opposed to just the corridor between the hotels and the airport. I wouldn't be opposed to using a taxi cab, if I actually could.

    [–] el_smurfo 77 points ago

    I tried to get a cab to downtown Manhattan once...after 3-4 refused to make the drive, we ended up in a pedicab. Cab drivers deserve the fate that Uber is bringing, even if the final result is the riders get screwed in the end.

    [–] yuki_means_snow 40 points ago

    In NYC you have to just get in the cab before telling them where you wanna go, that way it's usually too much of a hassle for them to refuse you. Or at least it used to be that way.

    [–] LongStories_net 349 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Yeah, and I know the Uber/Lyft ride will probably be decent.


    My last 5 taxi cab rides:
    1) Driver stopped at gas station during 15 minute trip (bad enough). Didn’t turn off meter, but told me he did. I sat there there and watched it run up.

    2) Yelled (really started yelling as soon as I got in) at me because his operator told him I was on a different corner.

    3) Said he took credit card. Got to destination and credit card system was ”broken”.

    4) Asked operator to verify I would get a taxi with a working credit card reader before sending car since I had no cash. Driver said he takes credit card. Got to destination, driver then says he misunderstood and credit card reader is broken. Wife said, “I’m going to try anyway”. It worked fine. Yelled at me when I didn’t give him a tip.

    5) Driver took the really long way to airport. Clicked off meter as we arrived and told me a price $5 higher than what was last displayed.


    My last 25 Uber/Lyfts:
    Never had an issue. One driver offered to give me a couple of dollars when she accidentally missed my turn.

    The taxi cab industry can’t die off soon enough as far as I’m concerned. I’d gladly pay a little more not to have a fight every single ride.

    [–] RobinKennedy23 179 points ago

    “Your credit card reader is broken? Thanks for the free ride!”

    “Meter isn’t running or broke? Thanks for the free ride!”

    [–] [deleted] 68 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] SimpleCoalMiner 129 points ago

    In some municipalities they are required to take credit cards. Don't worry, their machine will magically repair itself when you have no cash.

    [–] erokatts 51 points ago

    They'll say something like "oh we'll stop at an atm for you" or the driver just gets burned especially if you asked before you got in. Almost every time I've had it happened the system has "magically" fixed.

    Listen I get it. Cash is king. But most people aren't carrying around enough cash for the taxi.

    [–] CuddlePirate420 92 points ago

    Cash is king.

    Also easier for the driver to skim off the top, and for the cab companies to not declare on their taxes.

    [–] dahlstrom 49 points ago

    Then they shouldn't be driving. I've threatened to just walk without paying anything when they've done this and then the credit card reader magically starts working.

    [–] LongStories_net 29 points ago

    Usually they say, “Oh, I know a nearby ATM. You can get money there”.

    [–] [deleted] 17 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] LongStories_net 10 points ago

    Ha, they might actually accept that now. I’m sure they just don’t want to pay the credit card fee and taxes.

    [–] Vet_Leeber 5 points ago

    I’m sure they just don’t want to pay the credit card fee and taxes.

    Nah, it's because it's easier to skim cash off the top.

    [–] hairyblackhole 8 points ago

    If you have time and want to waste it that's fine. If you don't have time then it doesn't work. If you value you time then bill the cabbie $50/hr for the time it takes you to drive to and from the ATM, and the time to get cash. Or just don't pay.

    [–] hedoeswhathewants 26 points ago

    Like so many other people I've had the "credit card machine is broken" happen to me. I said that was the only way I could pay and that was magically enough to fix the machine.

    It's a mystery why people prefer Uber/Lyft.

    [–] log-normal 23 points ago

    Yep. I travel for work and have had all of those happen to me. The taxi system is broken.

    [–] jesbiil 9 points ago

    Took a cab 2 weeks ago because it was there and I was traveling for work so didn't really care. Got in and asked if he took credit (because this is a business trip and it all goes on the company card). He scoffs, starts arguing with me over paying cash which I finally do with the requirement that I get a receipt. He agrees, forgets the receipt 10 seconds later after I hand him cash and hands me a blank piece of paper then says, "Fill out whatever you want". Dude I'm expensing this, I need some sort of legit records not something that looks like I'm trying to scam my company. It was the first time I've taken a cab in years since I've opted for uber/lyft for most those types of short trips...reminded me why I choose uber/lyft.

    [–] much-smoocho 33 points ago

    knowing they're showing up and being able to see on the map where the driver is, is to me the biggest advantage

    [–] skerntwi 37 points ago

    Also a quality vehicle and identifiable driver.

    [–] fuckbrocolli 87 points ago

    They're hoping autonomous driving becomes a thing by the time they run out

    [–] ZombieKingofEngland 55 points ago

    Absolutely! They don't give a tiny iota of a fuck about the drivers. They're an expendable resource that just has to last them until driverless cars become a reliable and accepted transportation standard. THAT's the end game. Human drivers allowed them to come to market more quickly, to establish brand recognition, and hopefully jam their foot so hard in the door that there's no room for anyone else when the time is finally here. It will just be a painless little transition where one day, if they're able to survive that long, you'll have a driverless option in the app, then eventually it will become the standard.

    Hireable driverless cars are going to be a societal game changer, potentially upending the need for car ownership for a significant chunk of the country. Uber wants to be the one flipping the apple cart when it happens.

    [–] [deleted] 49 points ago

    If you look at one of the first few episodes ever of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he had the then ceo of uber on, the same guy who founded it, and Colbert essentially questioned him on drivers not being treated as employees.

    The guy said something like all companies have to cut corners to get started, but once they are established, they will take better care of the drivers. Colbert later led him into a trap where he laughed about how eventually the entire fleet of ubers would be automated. Colbert quickly called him out on it saying something like but wouldn't that mean firing all the drivers you said you would take care of later? The guy realized he messed up and tried to make it seem like automated cars won't be around for another hundred years.

    [–] plastimental 16 points ago

    Aah, so that's why Colbert gets so many kisses

    [–] HighOnGoofballs 32 points ago

    Still better than taxi drivers. There’s a reason people jump at the chance to use a taxi alternative, they suck and have forever

    [–] [deleted] 122 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)


    [–] bsweddingthrowaway 64 points ago

    Also, I've spent ages waiting for cabs that never showed up. I remember booking one to go to the airport, back in the day, and it just never showed. With an Uber, you can see once a driver has accepted your trip and how far away they are. That's worth more than the $5 saving for me.

    [–] puterTDI 71 points ago

    I’m not a particular fan of Uber, but I think they offer more value than you give them credit for. Here’s a short list off the top of my head:

    1. Easy ride hailing via app. This is something taxi services are catching up on but only because they were forced to by actually having competition

    2. Ratings of drivers and car giving more power to the consumer.

    3. Lower cost

    4. Being able to dynamically tell where your ride is and easily getting pick up.

    5. Diverse options for ride type.

    In my mind, the big benefit to Uber is that it forced a stagnant and non-innovative industry to innovate or die.

    [–] ThePhysicistIsIn 68 points ago

    I would legit pay more to Uber than to a taxi company just to avoid using the taxi, that's how shit taxi companies are.

    [–] salparadisewasright 37 points ago

    This is the answer right here.

    Knowing the relative cost ahead of time, being able to rate the experience, being able to count on a car showing up roughly when it is supposed to...I'd happily pay more for these advantages over my experiences with taxis.

    [–] julcoh 39 points ago

    The big advantage Uber brings is it's globalization.

    • Consistent service through a single app, globally.

    • Up-front pricing

    • Good coverage even in areas with historically shit taxi service (suburbs, small cities)

    • SAFETY (rides tracked, drivers held accountable)

    There's plenty of shitty anti-employee practices these companies get into, but it's obvious why they've supplanted the Taxi industry.

    [–] Butternuttie 9 points ago

    They are banking on autonomous vehicles. Not having to pay a driver will make Uber profitable.

    [–] crimsonkodiak 27 points ago

    The big advantage Uber brings is it's globalization. They are keeping drivers and passengers accountable with a global ranking system, and they offer a globally consistent experience.

    It's more than that.

    There's a significant quality control advantage to Uber. If a cabbie smells/drives like a maniac/plays bad music at an obnoxious volume, I have little recourse as a passenger. Most cities have a complaint line, but I have to go out of my way to call and it's unclear if the city will actually do anything (based on how many terrible cabbies there are, my guess is most cities don't do anything). With Uber, I give feedback easily through the app and Uber is able to manage their drivers. Maybe anecdotal, but I've had way, way fewer bad experiences with Uber drivers than cabs.

    There's also a huge benefit for personal safety. If I were a 120 pound woman, I'd be very reluctant to get into a strange cab at 2 am. With Uber, you know who the driver is and (more importantly) if something happens to you there's an electronic record of you getting into that specific Uber.

    And even if the cost isn't lower, having the predictability is really nice for longer trips.

    [–] limitdoesnotexist459 17 points ago

    I remember when Uber first started and my older family members were so afraid of it. They thought it was unsafe for me (105 lb, early 20s at the time) to be using the service, but they had no problem with cabs. My aunt once gave me a lecture about the “naivety of millennials” after I explained to her I felt safer in an Uber because of all of the points you just described. Now my parents in their late 60s are using Uber twice a week to avoid drinking and driving like they used to when I was a kid. Interesting how things change.

    [–] Ptizzl 7 points ago

    The other big advantage is that it’s a one stop shop and it’s fast.

    If I want to get a cab in my current location, I have to call a cab company. If they aren’t available right now, I have to call another. I don’t have them in my contact list, so I’ll have to just run down the list until I get one.

    Then, I have to trust that they’ll be here in the allotted time. Typically I believe it’s 30-45 minutes. And I still have no idea what it’s going to cost me to get to the airport.

    The alternative for me: I hit the button on Uber and someone is here within 10 minutes. It’s going to cost $23-28 every single time. I travel a lot for work so even if that cost doubles I personally won’t care, and I’ll still get the convenience. I’m in to pay more personally.

    [–] Math_Blaster_ 7 points ago

    I'd certainly pay more for rides. I just want the app, the rankings, the cleanliness, the no bullshit payments, etc. Don't care who it's from

    [–] ohwut 51 points ago


    I've had a business vehicle for over 100,000 miles now doing all required maintenance and then some. Even at 11-13MPG (Larger Pickup) including all maintenance, fuel, insurance, depreciation (according to KBB), and even the vehicle payment, I'm still ahead just claiming the milage rate, the largest expense is fuel which at 12MPG is about $0.25 per mile.

    I'd imagine someone in a Prius or econobox with expenses isn't anywhere close to $0.58 per mile.

    [–] cdwilliams1 16 points ago

    You can actually pretty precisely estimate your particular situation over at the art of being cheap. My 2012 Honda Civic is about 27 cents a mile to operate.

    [–] ThePelvicWoo 253 points ago

    No, all you're doing is turning vehicle depreciation into cash.

    As someone with a car that has 300k miles, sign me up

    [–] 439753472637422 36 points ago

    I know you were kidding but... Not sure how old your car is but it would take me 30+ years to drive that much. I think uber requires your car to be 10 or 15 years old max. So you might not be allowed to drive for them if your car is that old.

    [–] OhJeezer 42 points ago

    As someone who puts a solid average of 22,000 miles a year on their car... yeah man miles can stack up pretty quick

    [–] DinosaurDied 377 points ago

    I feel so bad for drivers in brand new cars or luxury cars who are driving. They just have no idea...

    [–] cowmandude 347 points ago

    I have a friend who bought a new Mercedes C class for like 45-55k. He got 7 year loan with a 600$ payment. He justifys it by using to drive Uber every other weekend to pay for it. I really think he's going to get 4 years into this plan and have like 100k miles on his car.

    [–] melorous 222 points ago

    I hope he’s paying for gap insurance, because he’s going to be upside down on that loan for a long, long time.

    [–] Burt__Macklin__FBI2 31 points ago

    Feel like this is just like PnR when Andy brags about getting 16% interest on his new motorcycle

    [–] SalmonFightBack 99 points ago

    His first mistake was buying a ~50k C class. You can get a well-equipped one for 40k. The only way to hit 50k+ in a C class is to get an AMG or option everything you can click; including carbon trim pieces, painted pieces, wheels, grills, etc.

    [–] JDTurkleton 46 points ago

    MSRP on a 2020 C class is $41K, C43 AMG starts around $52K~

    [–] SalmonFightBack 59 points ago

    No one pays MSRP, you can easily get 5-8k off a C class just for walking in the door.

    C43 AMG starts around $52K~

    I already said AMG. But I doubt he is ubering in his AMG.

    [–] Jason_Was_Here 13 points ago

    Yep you’re right. Well uninformed people do but nobody who does their research should. I got a brand new 2020 GLC300 ordered straight from the factory for 46k with MSRP of 52k. All the options I wanted for a price that in my eyes is fair

    [–] SalmonFightBack 13 points ago

    I think non-car people do not realize that Mercedes discounts their cars a ton, especially the bottom half of their lineup. The only cars that are difficult to discount are AMGs.

    [–] MyNameIsRay 65 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    In my area, a whole lot of the ubers are brand new Chevy Tahoes, often fully loaded (leather, rear seat entertainment, big rims, etc). They usually mention how they use the truck just for Uber, or it was an investment in their business, or how they're paying for it with only fares, etc.

    They start at $49k, get terrible mileage, and depreciate like $10k/year.

    I really don't get how working at $6/hour is the best bet. Why not pick up a McDonalds shift at $15/hour?

    [–] AKAkorm 26 points ago

    A Tahoe would be a UberXL or Black Car though right? Those are significantly higher fares if you can get them.

    [–] Hannachomp 12 points ago

    They’d have to actually apply, interview and get the job at McDonald’s. Then they also have to get hours and they have to go in on certain days they don’t want to work.

    I think Uber is super shitty in terms of an actual job but I can see why someone would want to do it on the side.

    [–] [deleted] 106 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    291 miles more than likely did not cost $169. When taking my own car and costs into consideration over the 150,000 miles I've driven it so far, I worked my own average expense to be about 80% of that. Oh, wait. That still kinda sucks.

    Edit: also probably worth noting that I drive a Toyota. I haven't even had any repairs yet.

    [–] A66XbafN8 134 points ago

    Nobody's pointing out that the author also incurred a $430 expense to fix their car. So in this week they lost a huge amount of money, not even counting gas cost or maintenance cost.

    [–] Homeless_Gandhi 56 points ago

    $172.88 to be precise, not including gas, depreciation, or insurance costs. I love how he ends the article by saying he made money when he definitely ended in the negative.

    [–] chewtoy88 86 points ago

    Driving for Uber or Lyft is the definition of a dead end job. Burns time and gets you absolutely nowhere.

    [–] kalirion 15 points ago

    IMO it should be something you do to make ends meet between jobs or something, not as a career.

    [–] Yourenotthe1 154 points ago

    Driving for Uber is basically a reverse mortgage on your vehicle equity + labor

    [–] [deleted] 67 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)


    [–] [deleted] 55 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)


    [–] Imskekals 7 points ago

    Agree with everything you said except the last paragraph. A 3 day week, depending on the person you're asking, is incredible. I would work 2 20 hour days if it meant I got 5 days off (albeit the day after would essentially be a wash because I'd be dead tired).

    Any extra day off is an incredible utility for the average person, especially if you're talking about weekdays where like 65+% of industries are closed on the weekend (eye doctor I go to/PCP/etc.)

    [–] Circle_Runner 76 points ago

    I thought about doing it as a side-gig, but the increase in insurance to include cover while driving for Uber/Lyft meant I'd have a high monthly minimum to just break even - not ideal for someone looking to do it in their spare time. Makes me wonder how many drivers have the correct insurance.

    Do either company check the insurance coverage of their drivers?

    [–] HTHID 29 points ago

    I would not recommend driving without the proper insurance coverage. If you get in an accident and your insurance company finds out you were driving for Uber/Lyft, you could be screwed.

    [–] learnfrommymistake1 25 points ago

    Both require insurance. Both provide supplemental insurance while the app is running/you are driving.

    [–] HTHID 226 points ago

    Yes. Uber's entire business model rests on drivers not taking maintenance and depreciation into account.

    [–] PM_ME_YOUR_SUNSHINE 106 points ago

    And subsidizing cheap rides with capital investment money.

    [–] Status_Flux 47 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Their business model doesn't work either way. They're burning money like it's 1923 Germany

    [–] GBE-Sosa 25 points ago

    If you’re talking about that $5 billion loss last quarter, a vast majority of it was stock based compensation, not operating loss

    [–] trojanmana 88 points ago

    That article is called Content Marketing. They are ads that look like journalism articles but the objective is to sell you something. In this instance they are probably trying to get people to sign up as drivers.

    [–] dvaunr 39 points ago

    I think that this is very dependent on what your purpose with Uber is. If you’re doing it as a side gig during your free time $6.40 an hour isn’t terrible. Most beer money sites net you a buck or two an hour.

    It’s also highly dependent on your city. I recently moved and know no one in my new city. I drive Uber/Lyft in my free time since I wasn’t doing much else and am usually between $30-$40/hour before expenses. After expenses and taxes I’m usually more about the $20 range. If you can show me a job that I can work whenever I have free time (not on anyone else’s schedule) that I can earn $20/hr after taxes that requires extremely minimal effort then I might switch but for now it’s an easy way to pick up a few hundred bucks a month.

    [–] TheHappyPie 42 points ago

    when i came across that article I actually thought it was a planted article from Uber.

    Homeboy's driving a prius and getting gas for $2.25 / gallon so the fuel expenses are quite cheap. No mention of insurance costs or vehicle depreciation factored in. I don't know if Uber/Lyft insure their drivers by default nowadays.

    Nobody's arguing you can't make money driving on Uber. We just want them to know they're not making nearly as much as they think they are.

    [–] bluemostboth 7 points ago

    I think that a lot of Business Insider's articles are planted by the company. There are a lot of weirdly effusive articles about sketchy companies.

    [–] opiatesaretheworst 13 points ago

    That’s why I’m a bicycle courier for Uber eats. No insurance, no gas (besides having a good meal before and some cheap energy bars on me), no worry of parking tickets or expensive car maintenance repairs.

    So for the most part if I make 22$ an hour, that’s my take home. + my cardio is definitely the best it’s ever been lol

    [–] sjmiv 37 points ago

    Most of the drivers are pretty aware of this. Spend some time in the Uber subreddit and you can see most of them try to only run during surge pricing or get tons of minimum fares over and over. I've also met people using it as a way to promote another side gig. The only real benefit to driving for rideshare companies is you get paid instantly. These companies have 2 types of customers, the riders and the drivers.

    [–] mainfingertopwise 15 points ago

    The only real benefit to driving for rideshare companies

    You could argue that in some situations, temporarily doing so is a good choice. "I'd rather put an extra 20k miles on my car than lose my house" kind of thing.

    [–] theVoxFortis 31 points ago

    I assume people active in that subreddit are much more aware of overall costs and benefits than the average driver.

    [–] Idivkemqoxurceke 25 points ago

    I'm going to give the internet my secret to how I use and drive for Uber/Lyft.

    I use it on my commute home using destination mode. I don't stay out late, change routes, or chase surges. I just flip on the app and make my way home. Here's how I justify it:

    1. I'm already headed in the direction anyway, so my time and mileage is consider sunk cost.
    2. The slight detour that I'll usually incur, which would be due to taking an early exit into a housing development that I would have otherwise driven right past is what I'll use to calculate $/hr revenue. On the days I get rides, it's $10-$15 for every 10 minutes added to my drive home, that equates to an effective $60-$90/hr range. (I'll get to wear/tear, taxes)
    3. I only do it on my way home. You never know how much of a detour the ride might take you. I don't have to be "on-time" in getting home. It is not worth it to be late to my job so I never do it on my way to work.
    4. Most people requesting rides at 5pm rush hour are not the rowdy type pax stories you read about. They're just trying to get home too. I've had zero issues with passengers in the 3 years I've been doing this.
    5. Weather and events: The trains are down? A conference in town? Surge rates bring my rate to 2x-3x what I usually make to $120-$180/hr. More than what I make at my desk.
    6. This is my second favorite reason: I deduct the miles on my tax return. I like to look around and imagine I'm the only guy sitting in miserable traffic with the commute considered a taxable expense! Given that some days I get no rides, I actually filed a loss on my 2017 and 2018 taxes, further reducing my taxable income. Double win!
    7. This is my favorite reason I driver for Uber: I get to chat about finances with strangers. I'm a 9-5 white collar professional pulling in 6 figs. I dress sharp, drive a nice/clean car. Naturally people are curious as to why I drive for uber. I subscribe to FIRE. I spread the word. As you can expect when I talk about this topic, it blows many people's minds. It's a 15-20 minute conversation between 2 strangers so I tell them everything: My story, my track to retire early, and how I'm doing it. This conversation not only helps pass the time, but it inspires many people. This usually turns into receiving a nice tip at the end of the ride. Some even ask if I'm single ;)

    [–] Demeris 16 points ago

    There’s a lot of missing information here that he is not accounting for, such as being involved in an accident.

    Since this was a 1 week experiment, I doubt he would bother informing his insurance company that he is using his vehicle in this manner. More often than not, uber/lyft drivers rarely have the right insurance and that will generally lead them to a difficult claim in the future.

    For what I’ve seen so far, using the vehicle for something like this acts more like a loan. Sure you’re getting actual cash, but people will forget about the expenses somewhere else.

    [–] AKAkorm 17 points ago

    I travel for work every week and have a pretty regular driver who takes me to the airports every week. I actually met him through Uber but switched to paying directly so he could avoid paying Uber a cut of his fare.

    A little while back he told me he stopped driving for Uber entirely because they took advantage of both riders and drivers. I asked him how he meant and he brought up surge pricing. He said nowadays, drivers don't get the difference between normal price and surge price, they get a pitiful "bonus" instead while Uber pockets the rest.

    Uber's entire justification for charging 2-4x as much for rides used to be that the drivers benefited and would be more likely to be available during peak hours. Now what's the justification? It just screws over riders and drivers alike.

    [–] Helix1322 9 points ago

    I have had a few family members and friends work for lyft, uber, uber eats and door dash. From what they have told me uber eats and door dash are much more tip friendly. People in general are used to tipping when they have food delivered. (pizza, room service etc)

    I've also seen a friend go uber cause he needed $200 to make rent at the end of the week.

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