Guide: How to Increase Your UBER Driving Monthly Income
The promise of the gigging economy is that you can generate income on your own terms—setting your hours, doing things your way, calling the shots. It’s a promise of freedom, but of course, it can get a little complicated. Take Uber. While some drivers do generate enough money to make Ubering a full-time gig, there are countless others who struggle to bring in the kind of cash flow they may have hoped for.
There are steps you can take to sweeten your Uber paychecks, though—both by increasing your income and decreasing your expenses. We’ll offer a few tried and true tips in this post.
Curb Your Expenses
While it is often said that Uber drivers can make on average $25 hourly, the reality is that there are also some significant expenses that eat into your profit margins—expenses that include taxes and auto maintenance, fuel and insurance, and more. Some of these are fairly unworkable, but others can be minimized. Here are some suggestions.
Use Gas Apps
Not all gas stations are going to charge the same amount, so if you’re in need of a fuel-up, it’s smart to shop around. The easiest way to do so is to get an app that will help you pinpoint the cheapest gas station in your area. There are a number of good ones to choose from, including GasBuddy and Gas Guru.
Shop Around for Insurance
Auto insurance is another big expense, and your policy will hinge on several factors—your age, the kind of car you’re driving, your own driving record, and more. With that said, it also varies depending on the insurance company you choose. It definitely pays to shop around, and to ask for several different quotes to ensure that you’re really choosing the best deal.
Don’t Forget Tax Deductions
Uber drivers are contractors—not employees—which means the tax liabilities can be significant. With that said, there are also some deductions you can claim to minimize that burden to Uncle Sam. Some of the primary ones to look into include:
- Interest on your auto payment
- Standard mileage
- Vehicle property taxes
- Cell phone bill
Don’t miss any of these next time tax time rolls around!
Boost Your Income
Curbing expenses is smart, but to really stretch those Uber paychecks, you’ll also want to up your income. Again, there are a few well-worn techniques that deserve consideration.
Drive During Peak times
When demand is high, Uber fees go up—which means drivers make more money. So, if you want to generate more cash from your driving, it’s best to be out there picking up fares during the busy times. You probably have a pretty good idea of when the rush hours are in your city, and we’d also recommend being out there when there’s a big concert or sporting event going on. Those tend to be times when more people are seeking Ubers.
Hang Out Near Hotspots
As a driver, you need to know your city from top to bottom. Specifically, you need to know where the high-demand areas are for Uber drivers. Airports are no-brainers. Sometimes, major shopping centers and malls are good place to pick up passengers. As you drive around, make notes of the places where you seem to have the best luck getting fares—and make those the places you spend your time.
Keep Snacks and Water Handy
Yes, you’re supposed to have refreshments you can offer to passengers—but that’s not what we’re talking about here. You will also want to have some stuff to eat yourself, to prevent you from having to pull over at a fast food joint. For one thing, daily stops at Wendy’s will add up, and nibble away at your profit margin. And for another, the time you spend at Wendy’s is time when you could be picking up the next passenger.
Know Where You Can Find a Bathroom
Eventually nature will call, and you’ll need to pull over—but the last thing you want to do is waste a lot of time looking for a public restroom. Find some good ones in the areas you frequent—ideally, bathrooms you can access quickly, without having to pay for parking!
Avoid the Temptation to Just Drive Around
While you’re waiting for Uber to ping you about a new passenger, it can be tempting to drive in circles, to the point where you may wind up out in the suburbs and away from the hotspots. Avoid this temptation, because all it’s really doing is adding wear and tear to your vehicle. Instead, wait it out in the areas you know to be hot ones.
Augment Your Income
A final thought: If Uber alone isn’t paying the bills, you can supplement what you’re making from them by picking up other gigs. The most obvious and common way to do this is to drive for both Uber and Lyft, of course, but there are other gigs you might also try.
VidoTek Damage Inspection Program is one that requires no technical training or formal know-how; in fact, all you need is a car and a cell phone—which you’ve obviously got! All you have to do is drive to locations where vehicles have been damaged, and use the VidoSee app to take quick videos of the vehicles involved. The whole process is easy, guided, and just takes a few minutes—and VidoTek pays a flat rate of $25 per assignment. This is a really good way to make money while you wait for that next fare.
Also worth considering: Services like UberEats will pay you to pick up takeout orders from restaurants, then deliver them to the diners who requested them—another non-technical gig that doesn’t require anything of you but a vehicle.
By picking up extra gigs, you can make the best use of your time behind the wheel—even during those moments when Uber isn’t quite coming through for you. Combine that with the other tips here and you should be able to get more value from your Uber gigging.
Did you find these tips useful? Be sure to share your own tips for drivers to help improve their overall bottom line in the comment section below!