How I Made Hundreds This Weekend Driving with Uber

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Let's cut to the chase: If you want to make extra money quickly, driving with Uber is a really good option.

I know what you're probably thinking… why in the world would I want to let complete strangers into my car and drive them all over town, while, at the same time, accumulate wear and tear on my vehicle?

I know, I thought that too.

But listen to this– the first weekend I signed up to drive, I brought in over $400.

Sure, I gave a ton of rides (and talked to more drunk people than I really wanted to), but it was a nice haul for a weekend's work.  It was definitely worth the effort.

Below I'll share 3 tips on how to maximize your hourly earnings and make the most money possible driving with Uber:

Driving with Uber has helped me make over $427 in the last two days and is an awesome way to make extra cash. I wish I had tried this sooner!

If you've been on the fence about driving with Uber, I'd say it's at least worth trying.

It's definitely not for everyone, but from my experience, it's a decent option if you are strapped for cash and need a bit of extra income.  I was skeptical about the whole thing at first, but I figured I had nothing to lose by signing up and giving it a shot.

And for work that requires no specialized skills, Uber is definitely among the highest paying gigs out there (relatively speaking).

Perhaps even more appealing than the high pay is the flexibility that driving with Uber provides.   As a driver, you have no set work schedule– whenever you have free time and want to give a few rides and make some cash, you simply turn on the app on your phone and wait for ride requests to come in.

In this post, I'm going to break down for you exactly how I pulled in over $400 with Uber, along with some other benefits of being a driver that most people don't consider.

Related:  Make Money At Home: 10 Ways To Make An Extra $1,000 Each Month

My Average Hourly Earnings Doubled Minimum Wage

I'll get right down to brass tacks:  my hourly earnings while driving were pretty good.  I definitely didn't expect to bring in as much cash as I did.

With that being said, you have to be smart about how you approach it, or you can easily end up wasting a lot of time (and gas).

Drivers get paid per ride they give, based off the trip distance and the current demand for rides.  During busy times, riders have to pay a higher rate to get an Uber, called “surge pricing.”

According some recent data released, the average hourly earnings of a driver is $19.04.  So how did I beat the national average and end up pulling in the equivalent of a $44,000/yr salary?

First thing's first, I got a $100 dollar bonus after finishing my first trip.  I signed up through a special promo, just like the one below:

Sign Up Now and Get a $100 Bonus After Your First Trip

Signing up through a promo is the closest you'll ever get to free money, so be sure to do it.

Alright, here we go:

3 Things I Learned Right Away

1. You Need to Drive During Peak Hours to Maximize Earnings

I live in a college town.  After my driver application was finished and I was ready to go, I posted up at my local Starbucks one afternoon and waited for rides to show up near me.  After getting only 1 ride over a 2 hour window, I knew I wasn't going about this the right way.  I turned off the app for a few hours and worked on other stuff for my website, and decided I would wait until later that night to try again.

**cue in the first Friday night all the college students are back in town from summer**

Holy smokes, this was a game changer.  Everyone was out having a great night out on the town, and that meant a constant flow of rides from 8:00 PM til about 2:30 AM, when I finally decided to call it quits.

2. Make a Concerted Effort to Give Your Riders a Great Experience

I found that driving for Uber is just like any other service-based job- if you give the customer a great experience and connect with them on a personal level, they will treat you well.

Even though the Uber app doesn't let passengers give tips, many will decide to tip you in cash.  When I went out of my way to make the rides enjoyable, the volume of tips I got went way up.

Some things I recommend for a great passenger experience:

  • Have a spotless interior that also smells clean.
  • Especially late at night, I ALWAYS offered up the AUX cord.  This was a huge hit every time with the partygoers.
  • Get to know your passengers!  Make small talk.
  • Have water and/or snacks on board.
  • Bring a vomit bag (luckily I didn't need this, but I'd rather be safe than sorry)
  • Drive safe and go the speed limit.
  • Secret tip: Carry change for a $20.  You'd be surprised how many more tips you get this way.

Related:  Use Your Uber Earnings to Open Your First Investment Account and Accelerate Your Earnings

3. Use Your Time with Passengers to Your Advantage

Almost every passenger likes to ask, “so what do you do for a living outside of Uber?”  I don't know why people like asking this, but they always do.

While I don't really bother doing this when I'm driving at night, there is definitely value in networking with your passengers during the day.  As an entrepreneur, I like the idea of meeting people in the community and spreading the word about my business and what I do.

You never know who you're going to meet and how you might be able to help them or they can help you.  Keep all options open!!  Use the intimate platform of ride sharing to your advantage.

Downsides of Driving with Uber

Although I definitely think the benefits of being an Uber driver are worth it, it's not all sunshine and rainbows with this gig.

Uber Doesn't Pay You for Gas or Expenses

Between rides that cancel when you're halfway there to pick them up, to stop and go downtown traffic, your gas bill can add up pretty quickly.  This also means that you shouldn't drive around between rides, because it quickly burns through gas (and you're not making any money between rides).

Wear and Tear on Your Car

When you have people getting in and out of your car consistently your car is going to take a little bit of damage.  For me, it wasn't anything too terrible, but I can see how the wear and tear can add up.

It's Not a Great Long Term Option

At the end of the day, there aren't really any growth opportunities with being an Uber driver.  And while giving people rides can be a good time, you need to make sure you prioritize actual resume-building jobs and skills.  Don't let the above average pay blind you.  Think long term.

After my initial stint of driving for Uber, I've cut back a lot.  Now I only do it on the occasional Saturday night because I'd rather stay focused on building my business.  You can't beat the money though, especially for something that requires no real skills.

So, in the end, I think Uber is a great option, as long as you recognize it for what it is.  Between the $100 sign up bonus and working during prime time hours, you can definitely pay your rent with a few days of work.  Give it a shot.

Start with Uber Today!

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Jeff Proctor

Hi there! I'm Jeff. I started VTX with Ben after working in professionally in the personal finance field for almost 3 years.

You'll usually see me on here writing articles about how to save (and make!) money, how to make smarter investment choices, and how to have a better overall financial life. If there's ever a topic you'd like to see me cover, shoot me an email!
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  1. How awesome! I love Uber and use it often. Looks like you cracked the code to maximum financial gain with the service 🙂

  2. Hey Jeff
    Thanks for sharing your experience! I never thought about becoming a driver for uber, but seems like you can make a decent amount with it.
    Was there any kind of vetting process you needed to go through to become a driver?

    1. Hi Cath! Yes, there are some basic requirements has for all drivers:

      -You must be at least 21 years old
      -You must have access to a 4-door car that is year 2006 or newer in most cities
      -You must have in-state auto insurance with your name on the policy
      -Must have an in-state driver license, licensed in the US for at least one year
      -You must have a social security number
      -In-state plates with current registration (commercial plates are acceptable as well)
      -Pass a background check and a driving record check

      Pretty reasonable expectations!

  3. In college I got a job for the campus police driving the big, giant van that picked up people from far parking lots. (Technically? My job was listed as “escort,” lol.) This sounds like much less stress than driving a 20-person van/bus! And I like driving. Definitely filing this away for the future!

  4. These are great tips! My husband drives for Uber and everyone loves that he offers the aux cord or Bluetooth connection. It’s all about the customer experience.

  5. I wish I’d read this a few days ago. I just started driving for Uber this past Friday. I only made $30. I never got any tips but I was able to give out a few of my business cards. I’m going to try again this week and try not driving around so much looking for riders.

  6. My husband was going to do it but after reading all the reviews decided against it and with them reducing their fares it seemed as if the money wasn’t there as it once was. I am glad it worked out for you though.

  7. Jeff,

    This is really informative and timely…thank you so much for sharing it! I’ve been interested in driving for Uber and your article hits on some key areas I was wondering about.


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