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Do the math please

gofry

Well-Known Member
Here's my semi-annual plea to Uber drivers to sit down and do the math and figure out if it is worth it to beat up your car and drive for Uber. For some it is, for most it is definitely not.

Everyone's numbers will will vary, but here's a common scenario with a driver taking home $8 per hour after Uber fees. So if you drive 8 hours per day for 300 days a year (2400 hours), you'll take home $19,200, or $64 a day.

Let's say you drive 240 miles a day (72,000 annually) and get 30 miles per gallon, that's 2400 gallons of gas, at, let's say, $2.00 per gallon, so you'll pay $4800 for fuel leaving you with $14,400.

You won't have to worry about income tax because the mileage expense credit (.55 per mile x 72,000 miles) will bring your taxable income down to zero but you will have to subtract self-employment tax of 15.3% from your net income of $14,400, leaving you with $12,196.80. Divided by 2400 hours, that's a net hourly rate of $5 per hour.

Throw in some car washes, and the depreciation on your car, and you're probably breaking even.

As I said, your numbers will vary but even at double these numbers, it's not a very productive or profitable way to spend 2400 hours of your life each year.
 

WVboyinOH

Active Member
You won't have to worry about income tax because the mileage expense credit (.55 per mile x 72,000 miles) will bring your taxable income down to zero but you will have to subtract self-employment tax of 15.3% from your net income of $14,400, leaving you with $12,196.80. Divided by 2400 hours, that's a net hourly rate of $5 per hour.

Throw in some car washes, and the depreciation on your car, and you're probably breaking even.
You can't double-dip folks. If you are using standard federal deduction of $.54 per mile, either for taxes or profitability analysis, it's all inclusive. You cannot throw in maintenance (car washes) and/or depreciation again. These are factored into the federal mileage allowance already. Since everyone's situation is different (Prius vs. Suburban, or somewhere in between), the only completely accurate way to evaluate profitability is to track actual vehicle expenses and actual individual depreciation vs. Gross Revenue.
 
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UberHammer

Well-Known Member
Past Sponsor
I question some of the claims you made, but I agree with your point.

Unfortunately even if it's $6 an hour, or $4, or even $2, some drivers will still drive.... because it's better than $0 an hour. Uber's non-surge rates feeds off of desperate drivers, and Uber's surge rates feed off of desperate riders. Kalanick swears up and down that this is how free market capitalism is supposed to work, and if you're a disciple of Ayn Rand like he is, you probably agree. But our society agreed a long time ago that free market capitalism should not feed off of desperation. That is why we have laws for minimum wage and price gouging. Kalanick is just exploiting loopholes around those laws.
 

pedex

New Member
Isn't just Uber, many driving jobs make it nearly impossible to make a living.

I have been doing deliveries as a contractor for courier companies, pizza shops, my own courier service for 13 years, and recently just out of curiosity mostly, ubereats. I have racked up well over 125,000 deliveries and over 1.1 million miles of driving and over 50,000 miles biking doing deliveries. It is basically all I have done since 1986. Wanna make $$ in this business, real $$, be the broker. Uber takes 35% to answer the phone and do the billing. Think about that.

Want some comparisons if you really are serious about driving as a full time gig to make living? Pizza, $18-$20 net take home and anywhere from about $0.50 per mile to $3 per mile hourly pay included. I did 28 runs in 8 hrs last night slinging pizza in the south end trashy neighborhoods and walked out with $155 cash net and only drove 51 miles total counting my 4 mile round trip commute to work. At the other end of the spectrum a month ago I was slinging pizza up in Powell in the rich neighborhoods but only getting about 9 runs a night and driving almost 6 miles each on average and only allowed about 3-4 hrs a shift. I was getting about $60 net per shift which is about $20/hr until my costs kick in. The commute and lack of runs made that job location and shop not feasible. Isn't just the courier businesses that can make it tough to make a living. As a contractor in the courier business I was doing 1000 miles a week 5 days a week for $600-$650 gross........ya, after expenses I was getting around $10/hr. Ouch.

Near as I can figure, all costs included I spend about $4.50 per hour actual operational time driving my vehicle and I have gotten quite good at keeping that as low as possible with all the experience I have accumulated. You can count on taxes taking about 15% minimum off the top. So ya, after you gross $18-$20 an hour for Uber by the time it is all said and done you are at or close to minimum wage if you are lucky.

From what I have learned over the years as far as earnings go, actual take home net earnings in the private contractor hierarchy it is something like this: private chauffeur> tow truck driver> pizza delivery > courier > "ridesharing" . Somewhere in the middle is commercial trucking. You can make really good $$ under optimum circumstances at any of them but the deck really gets stacked against you the further down you go.
 
Wanna talk about detailed analysis, pop into my head... Here's the ridiculous dashboard of the spreadsheet I use to figure things out. I also have a map that I analyze pick ups, drop offs and next pickup. It's a bit nuts... :smiles:
 

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occupant

Well-Known Member
If I had the time I'd totally do that much detail. My takeaways from that...

best hours to drive 6pm-midnight
best days Fridays and Saturdays
best areas are obvious
avoid dead areas and dead miles
don't worry about short trips
don't worry about surge
don't worry about tips
drive and have fun
 
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