In present times, there has been a strong shift from the industry to the individual. This can be seen in many ways, from crowdfunded products, to Etsy storefronts, and even in transportation.
You’ve probably heard of “Uber,” the transportation giant that is challenging taxi services across the country with its innovative new system.
It also offers a fantastic opportunity for drivers to make money driving for Uber.
How does Uber work?
Uber, like RelayRides (the company that let’s you earn cash by renting your car), is part of the new ‘crowd source’ phenomenon that is revolutionizing so many industries.
How it works is that if you have a car from 2005 or newer, you can sign up to be a driver for Uber’s service. Of course, you’ll need to be insured and registered.
If you are, just apply and the company will get back to you in an expedient manner.
Once accepted, you’ll be sent an iPhone 4S, which will have Uber’s signature app on it. This app is your work hub. It will alert you when customers in the area are asking for a ride, and it’s also what you process your payment through.
You can even accept or deny a customer’s request, but know that accepting is a commitment. The customer will see your profile after you accept, so they’ll be anticipating your car and your profile picture.
How to make the most money with Uber?
If you’re asking yourself this question, that’s good news– This is definitely a service that you can have varied success with, so you’ll want to put your best into it.
Just like taxis, Uber works best in population centers. In other words, we mean urban areas– San Francisco, LA, New York, Boston. Anywhere that has a lot of people per mile.
Success with Uber is purely statistical in that way; obviously, you aren’t going to have wall-to-wall business in a 2,000 person rural town!
Of course, you can also improve your business by operating out of areas that have a high demand for transportation services. Namely, I mean hotels, bars, and commercial airports. Just like a taxi, these are the businesses that will attract the most customers for your service.
How much money can I make driving for Uber?
If you go looking on the web, you’ll see various reports about success from drivers.
On one end, you have some people making very generous sums, up to 3 or 4 thousand in a month.
On one end, some people only make a few hundred or less.
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Let’s talk about the exact methods here, to clear it up.
An Uber rate starts at $3.50. The minimum fare is $8.00, so even if the customer wants a ride around the block, you’ve made $8.00 automatically.
Otherwise, the fare builds up by one of two increments (from the original $3.50.)
If you are traveling above 11 mph, the rate is 2.75 per mile. If you are traveling slowly (below 11 mph) the rate is 55 cents per mile. This is to ease the burden on the customer, because nobody wants to pay a bunch of money just to move through stopped traffic.
If you’re giving someone a ride from the city to the suburb, you can expect to pick up between $20 to $60 bucks, with upwards of $90 or so depending on distance.
There are also certain trips that Uber will make for a fixed rate, like the trip between SFO and San Francisco itself, which will net an even $50 every time.
Uber takes between 10% and 20% automatically, so that means a driver can earn a guaranteed $40 for a 14 mile drive. You can make that drive in about 20 minutes, so I’d call that good money!
How do I get paid?
Uber has truly made the transaction part simple and quick by creating a cash-free transaction system.
When users sign up, they have to enter their credit card info. From that point on, whenever they use the service, that credit card gets charged.
Now, as a driver, you don’t get paid right away. Uber keeps track of each individual driver’s earning throughout the week and makes a direct deposit to their account once a week.
The beauty of this is that although you aren’t getting paid in cash right there and then, like taxi drivers do, you are making almost the same amount as a taxi driver and in some cases even more. Plus, when you get your whole week’s worth of earning, you get a big lump sum that makes it look more like a paycheck.
How do I get started?
The first step in becoming a driver for Uber is obviously applying for it. To do so, visit their website and fill out the application form. They will do a vehicle inspection, and also check for your criminal background.
And thanks to the company’s tremendous growth, you may even get a $100 sign up bonus, but you do have to complete 20 drives first before you get that 100 bucks.
Also keep in mind that just because Uber is only operating in a few big cities currently, it doesn’t mean you can’t apply. The company is expanding rapidly and I am sure it won’t be long before we see Uber operating all over the world.
So, what’s the final word?
Uber can be an amazing way to make money with your car, no doubt.
There’s just the two major sticking points: first is that you own a car that is relatively new, and second is that you live somewhere that is relatively dense in population. Once you clear that hurdle, it’s all about using your head to make money.
The most successful drivers take advantage of the different aspects of Uber. For example, high traffic/high danger nights, like Halloween, will experience a significant price hike (the costs are multiplied!).
If you’re operating on a night like that, you might make a few hundred to over a thousand!
People who are willing to really commit to it might even consider commuting to the city in order to get the best fares. It’s all about following the demand– the more demand, the more money you can make with Uber!