I have been involved in the rideshare industry for quite awhile. I still am an active driver on the Uber & Lyft platforms with over 6000 rides under my belt between the two. I also am a driver coach for new and existing drivers in Los Angeles. This week I am going to give my answer to the most popular rideshare driver question, "How much can I make driving for Uber?"
This is a very controversial topic but something new drivers ask very often. As I said before, driving for Uber and Lyft is not rocket science. You gas your car up and go. However, strategy, knowing your city, when and where to drive, are important issues when it comes to driver earnings. Over the past seven years, one thing has been a constant. That is Uber and Lyft have severely cut rates over and over again. At the moment, in Los Angeles, where I live, drivers are making 60 cents a mile and 21 cents a minute for the most popular Uber platform, UberX. Lyft drivers are making 80 cents a mile and 12 cents a minute for regular Lyft rides.
As a new driver, there is a steep learning curve, accepting every ride Uber and Lyft throws your way is definitely not the way to go. Be picky, do the rides that you want to do. A few years ago when incentives such as quests were as juicy as 40 rides for $120 extra dollars, it may have been worth chasing them. But these days, quests have dwindled down to very little making them something I wouldn't suggest chasing anymore. Surge and prime time have been changed and replaced by flat rate surge or Lyft’s PPZ. Without some of these old benefits, we now as drivers have to work a little bit smarter for our money!
A lot of surveys have been done by various outlets and most have come to the conclusion that lately driving for Uber and lyft may not be such a great idea. National averages range between $15-18 per app on hour GROSS (before expenses such as gas, insurance, car wear and tear, etc). Depending on what city your drive in, you will be paid differently but one thing remains constant. Drivers who have a strategy do much better than drivers who aimlessly drive. I have always been a quality over quantity surge mostly driver. My earnings obviously have been negatively impacted by the cuts but I still manage over $30 per app on hour the days I decide to go out and drive. I have attached my earnings screenshots from last year to this year. With everything I know and I know every trick in the book, it is tough out there. If you would like to get in touch with me, you may contact me through the Rideguru Forum (Uberserge) and I would be happy to provide you with some tips.
What a difference a couple of price cuts make in a year. The screenshot above left is my earnings from April of 2018 and screenshot above right is from April of 2019. That was right after Uber cut the rates in Los Angeles by 25%.
While rates and bonuses have been cut drastically, I still believe that in some markets with the proper strategy you could earn over $30 per hour (as you can see in my second screenshot). Granted, Uber and Lyft are always moving the finish line by adjusting their algorithms, cutting rates, and getting rid of incentives but that does not mean we should collectively cave in and become subservient drivers. What are your top tips for driving smarter in your city? Let's hear your thoughts on the forum!