How Much Do Uber Drivers Make? Is It Worth Your Time? (2022)

Money / Side Gigs

By Emily Cahill August 11, 2022
  • 2021 Uber Stats
  • Hourly Earnings
  • Pay by Location
  • Pay Structure
  • Uber Eats
  • Gross vs. Net Income
  • Driver Shortage

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make? Is It Worth Your Time? (2)

charnsitr / Shutterstock.com

A day to yourself on the open road sounds pretty good: no boss to interrupt your break and no co-workers to tell you to turn down your music. But is driving for Uber the freeing, profitable gig it’s made out to be?

Gig work is a continually growing field of contract workers looking for side hustles or freedom from the 9-5 grind. Yet how much do Uber drivers make? Is it worth your time to pick up some rideshare work?

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(Video) How Much Uber Drivers Make In 2022? | Uber Driver Pay

2021 Uber Stats

Learning the Uber platform’s viability as a business opportunity before committing to it as a driver is an important first step. So, how did Uber do in 2021?

In the 11 years since its founding, Uber has expanded into over 70 countries. Around 4 million drivers serve over 93 million customers. Together, they take around 1.4 billion rides each fiscal quarter.

Compared to other rideshare options like Lyft, Uber leads the pack with over 60% of the industry’s rides completed through its app.

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Uber’s Rebound

Though 2020’s statistics show a decline in regular riders, this was most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber is already seeing a rebound in rides and will likely follow the overall trend of 2014 through 2019, which saw an almost 50% increase in riders.

Given its lock on the market and steady projected growth, Uber will undoubtedly continue to prosper as a company. But does that translate into an equal opportunity for each new Uber driver?

Location and Demand

Unfortunately, these stats do not bode well for many Uber drivers based simply on location and demand. Of the 10,000 cities across the globe that Uber is present in, five account for nearly a quarter of its rides — 22%. These cities are London, São Paulo, Chicago, Los Angeles and NYC.

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An Uber drivers’ pay is based entirely on how many rides they book and complete. Being in an ideal location can vastly increase pay, whereas a rural Uber driver would generate significantly less income.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Actually Make?

Uber’s pay structure factors in several variables: base fares, tips and other incentives. Calculating a realistic average is difficult. However, according to Salary.com, most Uber drivers earn about $15 to $22 per hour.

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(Video) What I earned driving Uber for a 70 HOUR week

Uber Driver Percentile Pay by Location

The following data shows the percentile distributions of Uber driver earnings in several different locations. Note that median earnings appear in the 50% column.

Location10%25%50%75%90%
Connecticut$27,211$33,402$40,202$49,102$57,205
New York City$30,183$37,102$44,702$54,602$63,615
Kentucky$23,730$29,102$35,002$42,702$49,712
San Francisco$31,409$38,602$46,502$56,702$65,989
Wyoming$22,403$27,502$33,102$40,402$47,048

Uber’s Pay Structure

Uber’s pay structure is dynamic and flexible. It is calculated according to location, time of day and frequency of work. Pay may vary on a day-to-day basis.

Uber provides “earnings estimates” instead of a set wage to help drivers identify their likely profits. These should be viewed strictly as projections. They are based on what other drivers working the same hours in the same location earned over the previous month.

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Qualifying Earnings

Uber drivers earn from a combination of factors including customer tips and trip fares. Occasionally things like Quest promotions may lead to additional earnings.

What Is a Base Fare?

The base fare is the flat rate that a pick-up pays. Time and distance increase the trip fare.

Does Surge Pricing Affect Drivers?

Uber uses surge pricing when demand is high, increasing the costs of rides. Uber drivers can use a local map to find surge prices and time their availability. This can increase earnings.

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Cancellation Fees

Drivers are protected if a ride is canceled while they are en route to pick-up. They will receive a cancellation fee.

(Video) Uber Driver Pay | How Much Uber Drivers Make | Is Uber Worth It

What About Uber Eats?

Uber rideshare drivers also have the option to deliver orders through Uber Eats. This entails opting in, accepting delivery orders and then transporting food and beverages to customers.

Choosing to deliver food can boost an Uber driver’s pay, especially on days when rides are slow. Uber encourages its drivers to diversify their payment options, depending on demand.

Uber Eats pays drivers a delivery fare based on pick-up, drop-off and distance. There is also a similar surge pricing for food delivery known as “Boost” that will increase pay at certain times of the day.

Gross vs. Net Income

Several significant deductions will reduce the amount that Uber drivers net. These are important to consider when considering gross versus net income as a driver.

Uber drivers are contract, or 1099, workers. This entails they work on their own schedule with their own supplies. Drivers are responsible for all vehicle maintenance, gas and insurance compliance.

As contract workers, income taxes are not withheld from pay. Drivers must remember that they owe taxes on the pay they receive from Uber. Not only do they need to calculate their income taxes, but they must also pay a self-employment tax if they make more than $400 per year as a 1099 contractor.

The self-employment tax is 15.3% and covers both the Medicare and Social Security tax contributions that both employee and employer pay in a typical job. Since Uber drivers are self-employed, they must pay 7.65% — half of the 15.3% total — more than they would as regular W-2 employees.

A Shortage of Uber Drivers

Recent increases in gas prices have led to a shortage of Uber drivers, which may bode well for those looking to pick up some rideshare gig work. Here, again, understanding the fine print and variables is important.

Fewer drivers result in increased costs for riders. As more people are looking to get back on the road as COVID-19 restrictions ease, they’re finding wait times and prices that reflect the shortage of drivers.

In April of 2021, Uber developed an incentive program number of $250 million to get drivers back on the app. It also started charging riders fuel surcharges to help drivers cope with the increasing gas prices of 2022. This, combined with increased fares due to scarcity, means drivers are seeing better financial opportunities than before. In large cities like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, drivers are making over $30 per hour.

However, this temporary demand imbalance combined with Uber’s dynamic pricing structure suggests this pay increase is likely an unusual exception, not the rule. Those signing up as drivers now can make good money, but they should do so with an end date in mind.

Good To Know

The average car insurance will not cover a vehicle used for rideshare work. Uber provides insurance that covers drivers while they are waiting for a request, en route to pick-up or during a ride. To protect yourself when you use your vehicle for Uber, be sure to sign up for a rideshare auto insurance policy.

Doing Uber the Right Way

Due to the wide variability of pay as an Uber driver, managing expectations based on opportunities is essential. Optimizing Uber work can maximize your income, but it hinges on the opportunity for rides and deliveries in the area where you drive.

Uber Driver FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about becoming an Uber driver.

  • Can you make $500 a day with Uber?
    • Technically, a driver could make $500 in a day with Uber — if everything fell into place. In May 2021, The Washington Post reported that some drivers in big cities were making close to $50 an hour due to a good strategy and a driver shortage. In such cases, if drivers work 10-hour days, they could certainly reach $500.
  • How much do Uber drivers make working 20 hours per week?
    • Uber's average pay to drivers seems to hover around $15-22. Average Uber drivers working 20 hours per week would make around $370.
  • Is being an Uber driver worth it?
    • Being an Uber driver is worth it if you approach the gig with the right expectations. It is certainly worth it in large cities where you can make a fair wage due to demand and availability of rides. It may also be worth it in less populous areas for those just looking for a side hustle.
  • Does Uber pay for gas?
    • Uber does not pay for gas, maintenance, insurance — besides the coverage they provide — or other associated costs with driving. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for maintaining the equipment you use for work.
(Video) How Much Uber Drivers Make | Uber Driver Pay | Is Uber Worth It

Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

Data is accurate as of Aug. 11, 2022, and subject to change.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Emily Cahill

Emily Cahill is a writer with over three years of experience creating digital content. Previous to that, she worked as a freelancer in publishing while attending Trinity College for English/Rhetoric.She specializes in SEO-driven content that highlights the unique properties of a product or service while making them digitally “findable,” particularly for the finance, geek culture, and lifestyle niches.

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(Video) How much I make driving for UBER part time, and is it worth?

FAQs

Is it worth it doing Uber? ›

Overall, driving for Uber is still a worthwhile side hustle for many people. You're not going to get rich driving people around in your spare time, but it's a flexible way to make extra money.

Is Uber driving good money? ›

How much does an Uber driver make in London? The Uber driver hourly wage in London is between £14 – £22 (after paying the Uber service fee), which is higher than the minimum wage.

How much can u earn as an Uber driver? ›

How much money do Uber drivers earn? So how much do Uber drivers make? The Uber driver's hourly wage is roughly £15 per hour, so in an average week working 40 hours you could earn £565.

What does the highest paid Uber driver make? ›

How Much Does Uber Pay? In our experience, you can earn up to $50 per hour with Uber depending on your location and strategies. Many Uber drivers make between $15 and $25 per hour. The difference between a typical earner and a higher earner comes down to how the driver takes advantage of Uber's driving promotions.

Is being an Uber driver worth it 2022? ›

Uber drivers earned an average of $13.76 per trip in the first quarter, while Lyft drivers brought in $13.03 per trip. Once again, gross earnings steadily went up over the first three months of 2022. Uber drivers earned $12.53 per trip in January, and $13.32 in February.

Who pays more Lyft or Uber? ›

According to a recent survey of close to 1200 drivers, rideshare platforms revealed that Lyft drivers averaged around $17.50 per hour, close to $2 more per hour than Uber drivers. Lyft and Uber drivers earn approximately the same average per month, but the tips and earnings per trip are higher for Lyft.

Why are Uber drivers making less money? ›

For years, drivers have seen their earnings decrease despite putting in longer and longer hours behind the wheel. Earnings are decreasing because Uber and Lyft keep changing the rates - keeping prices the same for passengers, lowering pay for drivers and pocketing the difference.

Is it better to Uber or drive? ›

If you live in a busy area and drive less than 10,000 miles per year, rideshare services tend to be cheaper. For car owners who live in a highly dense area, you're also saving money on parking costs. So for those who drive more than 10,000 miles each year, it might cost less to own a car.

Can you choose your own hours as an Uber driver? ›

As an Uber driver, you get to choose how and when you work. Whether you do it as a side hustle or a full-time career, the hours you put in are up to you.

How much a Uber driver earns daily? ›

How much does a Uber driver make in India? The average uber driver salary in India is ₹ 300,000 per year or ₹ 154 per hour. Entry-level positions start at ₹ 253,775 per year, while most experienced workers make up to ₹ 480,000 per year.

How much do Uber drivers make per week? ›

Potential Earnings

The amount of money an Uber driver earns is dependent on a number of factors, including which vehicle class they operate. According to Uber's driver portal, drivers in Johannesburg can expect to make between: R80-R120 per hour. R4,000-R9,000 gross earnings per week.

Can I make 100k a year with Uber? ›

It will take at least 60-65 hours a week of driving full time using both apps, taking advantage of all the Incentives, CRBs, Boost, and definitely Surge in order to make $100,000 as a rideshare driver.

What city pays Uber drivers the most? ›

San Diego: $21.73 Per Hour

If you're looking to become an Uber or Lyft driver in San Diego, prepare for some of the highest earnings across the U.S., as this city's average pay falls at $21.73 per hour.

Who pays the most Uber or? ›

If you're simply looking at which company's drivers make more, Lyft's hourly average of $17.50 is higher than Uber's average of $15.68. Lyft also boasts better driver satisfaction.

Who pays better LYFT or Uber 2022? ›

Neither company reports how much a driver makes in each area, but many are around $0.70 per mile. Some drivers who have been driving longer make a little more, since they were grandfathered in at higher rates. I've found in my area that both Lyft and Uber stay around the same in pay.

Who pays more LYFT or Uber 2022? ›

According to a recent survey of close to 1200 drivers, rideshare platforms revealed that Lyft drivers averaged around $17.50 per hour, close to $2 more per hour than Uber drivers. Lyft and Uber drivers earn approximately the same average per month, but the tips and earnings per trip are higher for Lyft.

Is Uber or DoorDash better? ›

DoorDash Pay

According to this data, DoorDash pays more than Uber Eats and is therefore a better gig job if you want to make as much money as possible. It's also worth noting that DoorDash is the most popular food delivery app in North America, so it has more market share than Uber Eats.

Why do Uber drivers have two phones? ›

Why You Might Want Two Phones To Drive For Uber and Lyft - YouTube

What makes more money than Uber? ›

Best performing apps:

GrubHub, which pays 4.67% better than. Uber, which pays 3.55% more than. Lyft, which pays 0.06% better than. Instacart.

Can I drive for Uber and Lyft at the same time? ›

Yes, you can drive for Uber and Lyft at the same time. Since drivers are independent contractors, you're not legally bound to either company as an employee. There's a lot to learn to make this method work for you. Read on to learn how you can switch between two jobs at once.

Can Uber drivers see destination before accepting? ›

Drivers across the U.S. will be able to see exactly how much they'll earn and where they're going before they accept a trip. They'll also be able to see more than one trip request at a time by using a new feature called Trip Radar. Uber said those changes will also help lower wait times for riders.

What is Uber's cut from drivers? ›

More than 25% The amount that Uber says it charges their drivers is 25%, but it actually takes a little more than that from their earnings. This is all due to the fact that some additional fees are taken by rideshare companies, resulting in a higher percentage for the cut.

Can you lose money driving for Uber? ›

Most of the money “lost” while driving for Uber comes in the form of depreciation on our cars. So even though a driver may know they're losing money in the long run, they also know they can prevent a calamity TODAY by driving some more and extracting the equity from their car.

Can you Uber to work everyday? ›

When riders consider Uber, it's often as a one-time transportation solution. They might use it on vacation to get from the airport to the hotel, for instance, or to head downtown on a weekend. But there's lots of ways that Uber can be used on a daily basis, whether it's to commute to work or to pick up groceries.

Are Uber drivers happy with Uber? ›

Overall, it did surprise me that 80% of those surveyed said they are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their experience driving for Uber.

Do Uber drivers like long or short rides? ›

Most Uber drivers prefer short trips since they can carry more passengers—and make money quickly. However, some drivers prefer longer trips since they can make more money at once. Still, it's usually a good idea to let them know if you plan on taking a long trip so they can decide if they want it.

Can you Uber for 5 hours? ›

Uber sets an eight-hour time limit on all rides, whether that's all highways, back roads, or anything in between. So to plan out your longest Uber ride, you can start with that time limit.

What are the best hours for Uber drivers? ›

According to data from Uber, the peak hours during the week are in the morning and evenings. Specifically, the data notes that you should target the hours between 7 am and 9 am and the evening rush between 5 pm and 8pm.

How much Uber drivers make monthly? ›

Average Uber Driver monthly pay in India is approximately ₹ 13,410, which is 7% below the national average.

Is Uber profitable 2022? ›

Uber more than doubled its revenue in the second quarter of 2022, notching $8.1 billion, a 105% increase from the same period in 2021.

Does Uber have a good future? ›

Uber has a great well-run business and a future mega-cap. Uber's ecosystem is unparalleled, and Uber One is a game-changer. The unit economics are great, and profitability is around the corner.

Is Uber a good long term investment? ›

Given Uber's financial strength, especially the fact its up-and-coming freight segment grew 245% in Q4 2021, there's a legitimate argument to be made that Uber stock should be trading significantly higher. That, combined with the ongoing expansion of the gig economy, makes Uber stock a great buy for the long run.

Does Uber make or lose money? ›

Since going public in 2019, Uber has been locked in a pattern of steep financial losses, ranging from the billions to hundreds of millions of dollars on a quarterly basis.

What is the biggest problem with Uber? ›

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is Uber's failure to mandate that their drivers obtain the same license types as professional taxi drivers even though Uber drivers offer many of the same services as professionally licensed taxi drivers.

Are longer rides better for Uber drivers? ›

The profitability of either option varies. With short trips, you can take advantage of surge pricing and ride bonuses, but you may earn less on each ride (if there is no surge). Long trips allow you to earn more on each ride, but you may accumulate dead miles which can reduce your earnings.

Will Uber be around in 10 years? ›

Ride-sharing companies are likely going to be around in the next 10 years. However, this will require strategizing and being able to overcome the handles of operational costs, safety, and competition that they are likely to face along the way.

Why is Uber still not profitable? ›

The fundamental problem Uber and Lyft keep running into is that most people are not willing to pay the fares it would cost to run a profitable taxi service with the overhead Uber and Lyft require, to say nothing of paying drivers a decent wage.

What makes more money than Uber? ›

Best performing apps:

GrubHub, which pays 4.67% better than. Uber, which pays 3.55% more than. Lyft, which pays 0.06% better than. Instacart.

How do I maximize my Uber profit? ›

How to Make More Money with Uber
  1. Schedule Driving Times Around Surge Pricing.
  2. Refer Friends.
  3. Track and Reduce Expenses.
  4. Drive for Lyft at the Same Time.
  5. Go Above and Beyond.
  6. Check for Weekly Promotions.
  7. Drive for Uber Eats When There are no Rides.
20 Jan 2022

Why is Uber losing drivers? ›

Ride-hailing companies have struggled with supply and demand since Covid-19 took drivers off the road. Uber had to rely on incentives to bring drivers back, which ate into financials.

Is Uber losing money 2022? ›

Financial Highlights for Second Quarter 2022

Net loss attributable to Uber Technologies, Inc. was $2.6 billion, which includes a $1.7 billion net headwind (pre-tax) relating to Uber's equity investments, primarily due to aggregate unrealized losses related to the revaluation of Uber's Aurora, Grab, and Zomato stakes.

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