It's been quite a while since I published my last post for my side hustle ideas series, but I have a fun one today for you. If you are interested in learning how to become an Uber driver, then you should continue reading!
My friend Harry is a driver for both and let me interview him the other day. Enjoy!
Just to start off, can you share what exactly your side hustle is? Who do you drive for?
I'm a part time rideshare driver for Uber and Lyft.
For those unfamiliar with rideshare, it's basically a way to hail a ride with a smartphone app. There are thousands of drivers out there just like me who work full time jobs, part-time jobs, etc and whenever they want to drive, they can just turn their app on and they'll be matched with passengers in need of a ride. The entire transaction is cashless and everything is done over your mobile app.
Why did you decide to do this as a side hustle idea?
I've always been good at making money but I love jobs that align with a hobby or a passion since that way it hardly feels like work. Since I like to drive and love to meet new people, I figured this would be the perfect side hustle.
I also love the flexibility aspect since you can drive 80 hours a week if you'd like or you can take an entire month off from driving like I did over the summer when I got married. There aren't many decent paying jobs that will allow you to do this.
How long have you been driving for side income? How many hours do you estimate you drive each week/month?
I started off driving for Lyft about 8 months ago and I signed up for Uber about a month later since they were offering a $500 sign-up bonus after doing just one ride!
I usually drive about 10 hours a week and I always try to drive for at least a few hours during special events or holidays since that's when you can really make the big bucks. I averaged about $50/hr after expenses working on July 4this year.
How are you paid? Do passengers give you money or is it all electronic?
Everything is handled by the app and you are paid via direct deposit weekly. Some customers will tip in cash but for the most part, the entire transaction is cashless.
How much does it cost to be a driver? How much do you think you spend to be a driver, and what are some of the costs?
The start-up costs are pretty minimal if you already own a car and a smartphone. Lyft requires all cars to be 4 doors and 2000 or newer while Uber requires all cars to be 4 doors and 2005 or newer.
As a driver, you have to pay for pretty much everything including gas and maintenance on your car but typically I don't use more than a few dollars worth of gas per hour. The big ‘hidden cost' is probably the depreciation of your car but you do get to deduct 56.5 cents/mile on your taxes as a driver.
What do you like and hate about this side hustle idea?
I love the fact that I get paid to drive people around. I don't go out as much as I used to so it's also a good way to live vicariously through other people 🙂 I typically try and make $20-$30/hr after Uber & Lyft's 20% commission and gas cost.
Lyft and Uber also run promotions for drivers sometimes that will guarantee you $30/hr for example on big weekends and they are always offering great sign-up bonuses to new drivers. Uber is actually offering a $100 sign-up bonus after 20 rides right now and Lyft is offering a $50 bonus after 20 rides.
The only thing I really don't like about being a driver is that you are sometimes at the mercy of Uber and Lyft when it comes to rate cuts. Both companies have cut rates over the past few months so I don't get paid quite as much as I used to but there is still plenty of opportunity available if you know what you're doing.
Do you have any interesting or fun stories to share?
Yes definitely! One of the coolest things that has ever happened to me was when I picked up a former Los Angeles Laker basketball player. I am a huge Lakers fan so we were obviously talking about that a lot and when he got out, he left me two tickets to the next night's game. I was totally shocked and to this day, it is definitely the best ‘tip' I've ever received!
Harry Campbell is a full time engineer and part-time rideshare driver. He also runs a blog and podcast for drivers at TheRideshareGuy.com where he teaches drivers how to make more money by working smarter, not harder.
Are you interested in learning how to become an Uber driver?