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Is it possible to support my family driving for Uber or Lyft? (Driving full time)

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KimStigs
46
 Posted 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I saw this excellent question on Quora, but there doesn't seem to be many answers there.  I decided to post it here because I am very interested in what the drivers have to say.  

No, I am not an Uber or Lyft driver currently.  (Full disclosure: My husband signed up and drove once, just once, on a friend's dare. Hahaha)

I'm curious driving full time for Uber actually works. I'd love to hear your experience.   Can you really make a living with it as a primary job?

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    Wes
    1450 Rider Driver
     8 months ago

    It depends on your interpretation of "support your family".  And it depends on how expensive the vehicle is not only in value, but also in upkeep and maintenance which is an enormous factor for full timers.

    As a part time driver it's easier to ignore the miles you're logging on your personal vehicle as it doesn't seem like much when you're only doing it a day or two a week and most of us enjoy the extra jingle in our pocket without being forced to account for the reality of expenses incurred.

    But as a full time driver, I could NEVER possibly use my personal vehicle as it is way too expensive to use as for a fT gig in my case.  ($52K vehicle, one year old, enormous payments etc...)

    If I were going to do it full time, and I plan to do that when i retire in a couple of years, I will purchase either a hybrid or a mini van hybrid (x or xl, haven't decided) probably through an auction where I can get a lower mileage, high mpg vehicle at the lowest possible cost.  Probabl...

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    It depends on your interpretation of "support your family".  And it depends on how expensive the vehicle is not only in value, but also in upkeep and maintenance which is an enormous factor for full timers.

    As a part time driver it's easier to ignore the miles you're logging on your personal vehicle as it doesn't seem like much when you're only doing it a day or two a week and most of us enjoy the extra jingle in our pocket without being forced to account for the reality of expenses incurred.

    But as a full time driver, I could NEVER possibly use my personal vehicle as it is way too expensive to use as for a fT gig in my case.  ($52K vehicle, one year old, enormous payments etc...)

    If I were going to do it full time, and I plan to do that when i retire in a couple of years, I will purchase either a hybrid or a mini van hybrid (x or xl, haven't decided) probably through an auction where I can get a lower mileage, high mpg vehicle at the lowest possible cost.  Probably something that is approx 3-6 years old so much of the depreciation works in my favor. 

    Keep in mind, it doesn't matter how old the vehicle is (up to 15 years in our market) as long as it's clean, void of blemishes, smells and looks good.  Most people won't even recognize the age anyhow!  What matters to "really" make any money in the Rideshare business is keeping your costs to a minimum.  Otherwise you will end up earning something in the "minimum wage" category after expenses.

    To make "better" money you will be forced to work late nights and early mornings during rush hour and peak party hours.  That's when the best money is made.  Those are not hours you may enjoy!!!  So even though you can "work Uber any time you want and make your own schedule"... the truth is, to really make any money you will have no choice but to work when rides on in demand. 

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    StuffinMuffin
    770 Driver Rider
     8 months ago

    This is a real great question, because I think it comes with a great deal of reality check. 

    Just for the record, I am a part-time driver.  Maybe 10 to 20 hours a week.  I have another fulltime (ish) job.

    There are drivers out there who do indeed this full time.  There are many who have been doing this for years, so we can surmise that you can indeed make a sustainable living.  This does not mean that it's a lucrative job though.  A large part of it will be dependent on your expectation of income and your life style.

    When I say life style, drivers get great flexibility in its job.  The hours are flexible, and you don't have to commute to an office every day.  I think those are great benefits.  Then, there are negatives that come with it. For example, if you flatten it all out, I think the hourly rates are very low.

    As a data point, I did the math once and I make $13 an hour through Uber and a bit more on Lyft. That's less than half as...

    Read more...

    This is a real great question, because I think it comes with a great deal of reality check. 

    Just for the record, I am a part-time driver.  Maybe 10 to 20 hours a week.  I have another fulltime (ish) job.

    There are drivers out there who do indeed this full time.  There are many who have been doing this for years, so we can surmise that you can indeed make a sustainable living.  This does not mean that it's a lucrative job though.  A large part of it will be dependent on your expectation of income and your life style.

    When I say life style, drivers get great flexibility in its job.  The hours are flexible, and you don't have to commute to an office every day.  I think those are great benefits.  Then, there are negatives that come with it. For example, if you flatten it all out, I think the hourly rates are very low.

    As a data point, I did the math once and I make $13 an hour through Uber and a bit more on Lyft. That's less than half as much as I make in my primary job.  ..but you know what?  Half the time I am "working" for Uber, I am sitting around reading a book and enjoying the weather. :)

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    mboscorelli
    251 Rider
     8 months ago

    I believe great majority of drivers are part-time.  More than 80% are part-time.

    How much do Uber drivers work? How many hours do they drive?

    Why do I mention this? You have to wonder whether Uber driving job is meant to be done as a full time job.

    Is Uber even designing or positioning it as a career?  or completely a supplemental job for those who already own cars and have extra time?  ...because that profile is pretty easy to find. 

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    RedANT
    943 Rider Driver
     8 months ago

    It depends on where you live and what it costs to "support your family."

    In some areas the cost of living is cheap, but drivers don't make anything near what's required to survive.  (examples: Orlando and Detroit)   In other areas drivers make ok money, but aren't able to afford the high cost of living.  (Examples:  San Francisco and Boston) 

    Some drivers earn less than minimum wage.  Others are able to clear $30+ /hr doing this.  Some areas also limit how many hours you can work per day, so that can limit your earning potential.  YMMV

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    LCarpenter
    219 Rider Driver
     8 months ago

    Just like anything, I am sure you can make a living out of anything, despite having a family.  It's just a matter of your goals and expectations.  and balance that against life style and level of quality of living that you require.

    I am sure some people can drive a bit, make $500 a week, and be fine with it.

    The important thing, and perhaps a lesson we need to learn is that it should be easier to tell how much money I would be making.  Uber is being so crooked right now how they deviated from a straight commission model, and now I can't even tell how much I would be making. 

    This is an important point because even if I am going to live humbly and am okay living a reduced "lifestyle", I should still know how much I will be making.    we have to make choices Uber.

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    LG-PA
    793 Driver
     8 months ago

    It will be tough. To make any money you will have to drive when everyone else is going out, if your ideal life style is not to be there for your family then maybe. But you are now self employed and will have to pay taxes on 1099, many expenses. When car breaks no money coming in, no benefits and it is exhausting work to put in 12 hours a day.

    as a part time gig if you like driving and meeting people it is fun. In my market Philadelphia and NJ I typically average between 15$ - $22 per hour as a part time driver. This is before gas, expenses and taxes. 

    All depends what you are trading in as far as job to become a driver. If you Work in McDonald’s perhaps rideshare is better.

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    KaySHarvey
    90
     8 months ago

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    CharlieLazie
    92
     8 months ago

    Well, most sources say that you make $14~22 an hour, and that comes with flexibility and long shifts that have some downtimes.  Of course, you can make a living off of it.  Plenty of people make $20 / hour and have a perfectly fine life!

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    DrevenTremino
    21
     8 months ago

    I would recommend finding some other full time job, one where you are not putting wear and tear on your personal property. Then to supplement drive Uber part time. It will be exhausting but you will notice an increase in your income and the extra cash you can get from driving can just take the edge off when it is time to pay the bills.