Let’s face it, not everybody is cut out for the traditional 9 to 5 office job. Thankfully, technology has made it easier for people to make money using everyday items they may already have like a smartphone and car. Uber has disrupted traditional means of transportation, connecting everyday people like you with opportunities to make money. This is the perfect alternative for those who have contemplated becoming a taxi driver to earn some extra money but don’t want to be overly limited. Nearly everyone around the world has heard about Uber by now although it remains more popular in certain areas than others. Customers love the ability to just use a smartphone app to get an Uber instead of having to call a taxi or trying to hail one from the street.
It is just as easy to use Uber as a driver as it is for the customers. Once you become an Uber driver, you get notifications when someone within your area requests a ride. Let the system know you are available and you go pick them up and drive the passenger to their destination, earning some extra money in the process. Since there isn’t a middle man in the form of a taxi company, Uber drivers get to keep more of their money. Customers are also more likely to hire an Uber than hail a cab since the company offers very competitive rates during non-peak times. This system means that it is incredibly simple to earn money being an Uber driver provided you meet the basic requirements. It’s a perfect way to supplement or completely replace your income.
The Requirements For Becoming An Uber Driver
You will obviously need a smartphone to become an Uber driver since the application is what lets you know a client is around. You also need a four-door car, insurance, and a valid in-state driving license. Uber only hires drivers that are at least 21 years old and have a minimum of three years of driving experience. If you don’t meet these requirements quite yet, just wait a few months and you should. Additionally, you will need a social security number so Uber can conduct a background check. Unsurprisingly, your background check will need to turn up clean and your driving record must also be clean. Specifically, you should not have any of the following within the previous seven years: DUI or other drug-related offenses, criminal history, reckless driving history, fatal accidents, or instances of driving without license or insurance.
What Kind Of Car You Need
The requirements for your car as an Uber driver are not too extensive. It must be a four door that can seat four people in addition to you. The car has to feature in-state registration as well, although the vehicle doesn’t have to be in your name. To confirm that your vehicle is in good shape, you will have to pass an Uber inspection, either at one of the company’s designated locations or by an approved third party. The car must have in-state plates and can’t be a salvaged vehicle or taxi. The car will also have to meet age requirements. The general rule is an Uber vehicle must be ten years old or newer, but the requirements vary based on city.
If you want to be an Uber Black or Uber XL driver, you will have to meet stricter requirements, which once again will vary slightly by city. You will have to check the specific vehicle requirements, but Uber XL requires a vehicle that can seat at least six passengers and Uber Black requires luxury class vehicles.
Make Sure You Have The Right Insurance
Having insurance as an Uber driver is actually much simpler than you may think. You don’t need commercial insurance. Instead, you just need personal auto insurance and Uber covers any extra insurance with part of the cut they get from your profits. The insurance must be in your name and valid in your state.
Enjoy The Benefits Of Uber
Driving an Uber as opposed to a taxi or some other job is perfect for those who want flexibility. You get to drive your own vehicle instead of having to rent a taxi or limo from the company you work for. You also get to set your own schedule without having to worry about when co-workers will be doing. This means you can take your vacation whenever you want. Best of all, you can get paid instantly instead of having to wait for your next paycheck to arrive. You can use the Uber feature called Instant Pay as many as five times every day.
Uber’s Reviewing System
As an Uber driver, you are considered a contractor. Obviously Uber can’t directly keep track of every single driver so they get some help from passengers. Users will rate their experience in your Uber vehicle with you as a driver. They will rate you based on a scale that goes from 1 to 5 and Uber uses these ratings to make sure you are delivering high-quality service. Uber asks drivers to maintain a rating of 4.6 on average across reviews.
What The Average Uber Driver Makes
Just as in any other profession, there is a reasonable range in how much Uber drivers will make. This will depend on where you live and how in-demand Uber is in that area. That being said, Uber drivers do tend to make more than taxi drivers. Across the country, the average Uber driver makes somewhere between $10 and $20 an hour. This figure is after you take expenses like car maintenance and gas into account. Of course, you can increase your profits by driving a more efficient vehicle or driving during times when Uber uses surge pricing. As a new Uber driver, you will also get a cash bonus after successfully giving a certain number of rides.
How Do Uber Drivers Pay Taxes?
Remember that you will have to pay taxes on your income as an Uber driver. Since you are an independent contractor, you will get a 1099-form at the end of the year. You will be paying taxes all at once when the year is over so you will want to account for this during the year by setting money aside. Keep track of your expenses and miles as you can write these off on your taxes.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Being An Uber Driver?
If you are thinking about being an Uber driver, you will want to consider the disadvantages as well. Remember that you will be driving your own vehicle and accumulating wear and tear on it. Of course, most Uber drivers will still make a good profit even accounting for this wear and tear. The bigger problem for some Uber drivers is dealing with unruly customers, including those that are drunk and vomit. Personal safety is also a consideration since strangers will be in your vehicle all the time. This is mitigated somewhat since passengers have to sign up for Uber with a credit card and personal information. They do also get rated by drivers and can be barred if they are repeatedly unruly, keeping you and your vehicle safe.