We’ve all heard Uber’s claims that drivers can make $25 per hour and seen those enticing ads for the hefty bonuses you can earn just by signing up. For anyone interested in a flexible job or a side gig, those numbers are rather appealing.
But are Uber drivers really making that much? For most of them, the answer is no. But earning $25 an hour behind the wheel isn’t impossible, either. In this post, I am going to break down how much Uber drivers actually make. Plus, I’ll provide some tips on how you can boost those numbers.
So How Much Do Uber Drivers Really Make?
According to Uber driver surveys, Uber drivers earn an average of around $14 profit per hour. However, there are a variety of factors that determine how much you can make.
The four main factors are:
- Where you drive.
- When you drive.
- What you drive.
- How much you spend on driving.
To understand these factors better, let’s take a deeper look into how each one affects your net profit.
Where You Drive
It should come as no surprise that drivers in major cities report the highest earnings per hour. According to our 2018 survey of over 2,600 drivers, some of the top-earning cities are:
- Honolulu, HI ($25.55)
- Seattle, WA ($24.98)
- Long Island, NY ($24.88)
- San Jose, CA ($22.41)
- New York, NY ($20.92)
But drivers who don’t live along the east or west coasts tend to make much less. The cities with the lowest hourly rates are:
- Akron, OH ($4.94)
- Raleigh/Durham, NC ($6.62)
- Houston, TX ($8.67)
- Springfield, MO ($8.78)
- Tulsa, OK ($9.17)
As the study shows, Uber drivers in major, coastal cities do far better than drivers in midwestern and southern cities.
When You Drive
Another factor that affects your earnings is when you drive. After all, certain times of day are a lot busier than others. Uber drivers get the most business during the commuting rush hours (morning and evening) and late nights on weekends (when more people are out drinking).
As an Uber driver, you can choose your own schedule and drive whenever you want. But you’re not going to make much money if you treat Uber like a 9 to 5 job. In fact, the hours between 9 AM and 5 PM tend to be the slowest times of all. By driving at peak times you increase your chances of getting Surge Pricing rates. Driver rates increase when there’s a higher demand for drivers. In order to take advantage of this policy, make sure to work during rush hours and after big events like concerts.
What You Drive
When and where you drive are extremely important – but what you drive may be the most important factor of all. Uber offers six levels of service:
- Uber Black
- Uber Black SUV
How much does the level of service you provide affect how much you can earn? Well, take a look for yourself:
Average hourly earnings by ride type:
- UberX: $13.70
- UberXL: $14.84
- UberSelect: $14.85
- Uber Black: $24.87
- Uber Black SUV: $25.38
The nicer your vehicle, the more money you can make. As each tier of service increases, so does the price per mile that passengers pay for their rides.