Exploring Side Gigs 101: Is Uber a Good Side Hustle?
Looking for a flexible way to earn more money? If you have spare time and your own car, you're already on the road to improving your finances with Uber. Uber is an excellent side hustle idea to manage your own schedule while also making extra money.
Becoming an Uber driver can give you the power to turn your daily drives into a source of extra income. If you’re looking to explore if Uber is the missing piece in your financial puzzle, we’re about to give you all the details you need to determine if it's the perfect fit for you.
How Does Uber Work?
Uber is a convenient and user-friendly platform that connects passengers with drivers through a smartphone app.
Customers simply open the app, enter their destination, and request a ride. Drivers in the area receive the request and, after accepting it, pick up the passenger and take them to their desired location. With the app, payments are automated, ensuring a seamless experience.
Those interested in driving with Uber sign up and indicate their availability and location on the app. When a ride request is received, drivers can accept or decline it. If they take the ride, they can follow the app's navigation, pick up the passenger, and drive to their customer's destination.
How to start driving for Uber
To officially become an Uber driver, you must follow their sign-up process, which is very straightforward.
Start by telling Uber a little about yourself and whether you have a car or not. This is important to note because if you don’t have your own car, you may be given the option to rent one through one of Uber's rental partners.
You can then sign up by downloading the Uber Driver app or by visiting partners.uber.com.
After that, make sure you meet the Uber driver requirements:
You must meet the minimum driving age.
Show evidence of residency in your city, state, or province.
Must have a valid driver's license and at least one year of driving experience.
Pass a background check.
Ensure your car is insured if you plan to drive it.
Once Uber checks and approves your documents, you can access the Uber app, begin receiving trip orders, and start making that extra cash you’ve been looking for.
The Pros of Driving for Uber
Driving for Uber gives you flexibility, independence, and the chance to make money on your terms. To give you a better idea, we've listed some of the most relevant perks of being an Uber driver.
One of the most significant benefits of becoming a rideshare driver for Uber is their flexible hours. What does this mean? It means you can drive for Uber after your shift if you already have a full-time job.
Alternatively, if you have some spare time on the weekends, you can drive part-time for Uber during those days. As you can see, when Uber says you can make money on your own hours, they truly mean it.
Uber is an excellent way to make money while driving. With each completed ride, you earn a standard trip fare plus additional cash based on how long and far you travel. The more you drive, the more money you can earn.
Moreover, if you've already been matched with a customer and they cancel, they'll be charged a cancellation fee, so you'll still make money even if the ride isn't completed.
Uber pays its drivers efficiently and promptly. Uber's website says you can choose how you get paid. From weekly bank transfers to immediate cash-outs. If automatic cashouts are your thing, they offer a special debit card that lets you cash out after every trip, free of charge.
When you drive for Uber, your exceptional service can earn you extra rewards. Customers can tip you if they're happy with your service. These tips can add up and significantly boost your earnings. A pleasant, comfortable ride can translate into more tips, so go the extra mile!
The Cons of Driving for Uber
Despite the benefits of driving for Uber, it's essential to understand the risks too. There are always two sides to every coin; knowing them can help you make a good decision. Next, we'll explore the cons associated with driving for Uber, so you can see if it aligns with your goals and needs.
Wear and tear
One downside to driving for Uber is the strain it puts on your car. Driving around city streets can wear down your car, increasing maintenance costs.
You can mitigate this con by setting aside a portion of your earnings for vehicle maintenance. Staying on top of routine maintenance can extend the lifespan of your vehicle, making it more sustainable and profitable.
Potential safety concerns
As a responsible Uber driver, understanding and addressing safety concerns is vital. Some people who request rides don't mean well.
However, proactive measures can help eliminate potential risks during each trip, from choosing riders carefully to staying focused on the road. Staying alert and well-rested is essential, as is avoiding distractions like texting while driving.
Don't worry, though; Uber has your back. Trust your intuition and use the in-app emergency button when you're in an urgent situation. Also, you can rate your passenger after each ride, and Uber's 24/7 response team is available to address any concerns.
You have to pay taxes
Uber drivers are independent contractors, which means the federal and state governments do not withhold taxes from their earnings. Hence, you are responsible for handling your tax affairs.
Even though this is undoubtedly a downside, meeting your tax obligations and understanding them beforehand can help you succeed at driving for Uber. Using your Driver Dashboard's Tax Information tab will help you meet your tax obligations as an independent contractor.
You can read more about this subject on Uber's website.
Changing terms and conditions
Uber's terms and conditions have changed and can continue to change. This means you'll need to stay updated and adapt to any new rules that may affect how you work. Awareness of these potential changes is key to making informed decisions about this side hustle.
How Much Do Uber Drivers Make As a Side Hustle?
According to an estimate by ValueWalk, US Uber drivers can earn between $13 and $22 per hour. However, it's worth mentioning that Uber doesn't offer an hourly wage. Earnings can vary based on base fares, tips, and other incentives.
Additionally, your earnings greatly depend on the time you commit to driving for Uber. This means that the potential profits are subject to the particulars of each driver's situation.
Still, there are a couple of things that you can do to boost these earnings:
Opt for prime driving times: Specific hours or days might experience a surge in ride requests. Watch for local events like concerts, festivals, or sports games.
Select high-demand spots: Consider driving around popular tourist destinations. These zones attract more riders, potentially leading to increased trips and, subsequently, higher earnings.
Strategize with incentives: Uber often introduces promotions and bonuses to motivate drivers to hit the road at specific times or in particular areas. Take advantage of these opportunities within the app.
Other Side Hustle Ideas to Maximize Your Income
If you're a fan of flexible schedules and earning more money, we have some exciting news! With just a few minutes of your time and a device with internet access, you can explore many alternative opportunities right from home.
Here are some awesome ways to make extra money:
Taking paid online surveys is a flexible and adaptable way to earn extra money. Many websites and apps reward users for completing surveys. Among these choices, Forthright stands out for its user-friendly interface and stellar track record.
Once you complete the sign-up form, you'll be ready to dive into surveys immediately. Rewards include cash and gift cards to some of the best retail stores, making it a great deal. Get started with ForthRight now!
Sell your data:
Another interesting way to increase earnings is through browser extensions. As an example, SavvyConnect uses cutting-edge technology to gather valuable data from your online interactions while protecting your privacy and data security.
Similarly, the National Internet Observatory (NIO) offers a platform for passively selling data. A broad network of companies uses this platform to get valuable insights. Contributions are fairly compensated, and your data is always safe.
Market research studies:
Programs like SJ Pulse collect data from online surveys and phone usage. With SJ Pulse, you get cash rewards and other good stuff from Survey Junkie, a respected paid survey site.
The survey methodology collects data, but the app gathers usage info. If you're comfortable sharing more details about your online behavior, you can use this option.
Money is Calling Your Name!
It's hard to beat Uber when it comes to side hustles. With flexible schedules and the chance to earn extra cash, Uber can be the solution you've been looking for.
If you want to know more about other side gig ideas, we invite you to keep reading our posts! We'll give you all the information you need to begin your journey to financial growth!