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When driving for Uber, which trips are more profitable? Longer trips or shorter trips?

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 Posted 5 years ago

This is to the drivers.  Do you make more money with longer distance rides or shorter distance rides, when all expenses and circumstances are considered.  In other words, which do you prefer?

I used to think it was commonsense that you prefer the longer trips, but I heard that isn't the case from real Uber drivers.


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    457 Driver Driver
     5 years ago

    This is actually a good question.  Longer rides do seem to pay out much better and also profitable. After all, you are getting paid for that whole duration you are driving.  This sure beats the down times between rides and the drive to go get the passenger, where we aren't paid at all.

    With that said, there are two things working against long drives:

    • Longer trips have the risk of long return trips - the dead leg!
    • Shorter trips have the booking fee, which increases the fare for the distance driven.

    So learning from the above, shorter trips can be better if you are getting them in a row with very short pickup distances.

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    41 Driver
     4 years ago

    Long trips.  but you have to look at the big picture.  Long rides are often followed by a long ride back to the city or airport or something. 

    At the end of the day, we realize that the most profitable days are the ones where I was constantly driving people, going from one request to another. You get into a rhythm, and that can be a bunch of short and medium trips around town.

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    447 Rider Driver Driver
     5 years ago

    Fares are like lotto   scratch tickets ,  should you buy five $1 tickets or one $5 ticket ?  Metered rides show more profit when the rides are short and consistent  .    75% short and 25% long  produces a good day 

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    8198 Rider Driver
     4 years ago  (edited 4 years ago)

    Longer rides are better. Most of the driving is highway, better gas mileage less wear & tear on car. Even if its a long pick up 20 min. You get $9/$10 to go get them. Covers your gas for the whole trip or most of it. Dead miles back do suck. With any luck.you will at least get another long trip before you get back to where you wait for long trips. So way back not a total loss. 1 long trip is better then taking 5 to 10 short trips.  If you dont hit traffic on way back still can be profitable with no rider. Leave apps on as you can deduct those miles on your taxes. If you run into traffic that can be an issue. I stay away from most trips during rush hour. I take my breaks then. I still get plenty of long trips during non rush hr. I also tend to get 20% or more in tips on long trips.

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    86 Driver
     5 years ago

    You are correct. The longer drives pay far better, brother.