I have driven for Uber and Lyft and did not make as much money as I thought I would. For one thing, I have a house and family to manage. I just do not enough time to drive. Also, expenses were eating into my pay so much that I was losing more money than I earned the longer I worked. It’s a contradiction that is plaguing lots of ride-sharing drivers.
The Battle of Expenses
Uber drivers earn anywhere from $9 to $13 an hour on the average after expense. That is not a lot of money to cover living expenses. There have been several workers strikes this year over the issue. What most people do not consider is that ride-sharing drivers pay their own expenses. Depending on where they work, they are only seeing depreciating returns in pay. Every Uber, Lyft and ride-sharing driver is considered an independent contractor.
They pay for work-related expenses out-of-pocket. This includes gasoline, car leasing and maintenance, tolls and permit fees, and insurance. About 20% of every fare must be deducted to pay expenses. New York state recently increased ride-sharing hourly pay to $27-an-hour, which equates to $17-an-hour after expenses. How much money you can make depends on hustle, local demand, and where you work.
Still, there are only 24-hours in a day. Drivers in Honolulu, Hawaii make $25.55 an-hour while drivers in San Francisco, California make about $20-an-hour. However, drivers in those cities have relatively higher standard of living costs and correspondingly higher expenses. Some drivers are working 12-hour shifts and sleeping in parking lots to make more money. After all, gas costs about $2.82-a-gallon. If things are that bad for drivers making $20 to $25-an-hour, imaging how expenses are eating in the pockets of drivers in Akron, Ohio. In Akron, the average hourly pay is less than $5-an-hour.
Driving, Delivering, and Car-Wrap Advertising Gigs
A good way to make more money despite expenses is to work in areas of high demand and to diversify the type of driving gigs you accept. As an independent contractor, you can work gigs for different clients at the same time. For example, you can work out a strategic work schedule to work as a ride sharing driver, delivery driver, and wrapped-car advertiser.
Carvertise, Wrapify, StickerRide, and other wrapped-car advertising companies, pay you to wrap your car in car-covering advertisement decals to promote local businesses and events. The average pay is about $500-a-month. You must drive often and in populated areas to positively affect the business you promote. So, why not hire out your car as a moving advertisement and drive for Uber, Lyft, or as a delivery service at the same time?
DoorDash, Amazon Flex, PostMates, and Uber Eats are services that allow you to use your car an independent courier service for food and retail deliveries. How much you make will also be undercut by expenses, so it is important to choose a service based on demand and where you live.
Maximize and Strategize
Metropolitan areas pay more for these services than rural locations. Yet, Amazon is hiring drivers to get deliveries to consumers in rural areas quicker, so it helps to know the business models of your clients. Of course, you can’t overextend yourself. Perhaps you can only wrap your car in advertising and work as a ride-sharing driver or courier. The point is, do your research and strategize how to maximize gigs to make more money.
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