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New Driver Question - D.C. Metro

Discussion in 'Washington DC' started by OTB, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. OTB

    OTB

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Hey Everyone! I am a former professional driver. I have driven cab, and have also driven for a courier company as an I.C., where I put my own car on the road. The commissions and the expenses of using my own vehicle as a courier seem to be very similar to what I can expect as an Uber X driver.

    I've crunched the numbers, upside down and sideways, trying to determine which might be better, leasing a cab or putting my own car (with a car payment) on the road. Honestly, having done both and understanding the math (expenses) involved, it's really a 'dead heat'.

    My personal preference would be Uber. Simply for the fact that, I won't be locked into paying a lease on a cab. When you drive for a cab company, and you need a specific day off, you either pay the lease for that day and 'eat the fee', or you turn you cab in with the possibility of never seeing it again.

    I know there are a lot of part-time Uber drivers on the board, but my question is really for the drivers who might be putting in 12 to 14 hours on the road on any particular day. I would rather have 16 to 20 calls in a fourteen hour period period as an Uber driver, than sitting idle in a cab for 3 hours, praying for a trip to Reagan National, if you know what I mean.

    So here's my question - is the volume out there? If a person is willing to stay on the road 12 to 14 hours a day, and keep moving, can you stay consistently busy as an Uber driver?

    Thanks in advance! I mean, I know the business, and from what I've read on this board, nothing much has changed as far as the expectations of humans trying to get from point A to point B. I never take it personally and just keep moving to the next fare. Thanks!
     
  2. Aztek98

    Aztek98

    Location:
    Maryland
    With the current amount of uber drivers I would say no.

    6 months ago yes.

    It's too inconsistent for a full time gig from what I can see.
     
    OTB likes this.
  3. OTB

    OTB

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Thanks Aztek98. Yeah, I should have added another parameter. I would probably go overnight, 9 p.m. to 11 a.m. or 10 p.m. to noon. I don't know if this makes much of a difference or not, as far as volume and rates are concerned.
     
  4. Aztek98

    Aztek98

    Location:
    Maryland
    I work in the morning until 10ish and the again in the afternoon from 3 to 8. I normally make around 125 a day after uber cut sometimes much more depending on weather.

    I also do lyft and just started Postmates this week. My theory is if I'm in my car I want to be generating income it doesn't matter where it comes from.
     
    OTB likes this.
  5. OTB

    OTB

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Thanks again, Aztek98. Yeah, I am of the same mindset. That's why I am more concerned about volume and being able to cast a big enough net. I know driving in this area is intense and making a living at it, isn't the easiest thing in the world. My hat's off to all those out there trying their best.
     
  6. Ubermanpt

    Ubermanpt

    Location:
    Dc
    Seems while there a lot of drivers, uber x does stay busy if you know where to go. A lot of drivers now wait for surge, which happens less frequently now, so they are not as busy. Hiw much do you want to make a day? I was talking to a driver the other day and he was making $20hr before ubers cut.
    Would you be buying a car just for uber? Most would agree that's not smart, since uber could cut rates again or raise their fee they take from drivers. There are quite a few car services that let you rent a car to use for uber. I would do that for a few weeks and see if you make what you want. That way if you don't, you aren't stuck with a car payment if you don't like. If you already have a car, try it out and see how it goes.
     
    OTB likes this.
  7. OTB

    OTB

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Thanks Ubermanpt. That's a good idea, to lease through a car service and see whether I can reach my target figure. After all is said and done with, my 'break even' amount would be $65 a day with Uber, verses about $145 leasing a cab. This is a 'break even' amount, including all expenses, so everything after that is income. This is what I meant about it seemingly being a coin toss. The fares are lower for Uber, but my BE is half of what it would be leasing a cab again. With Uber, I think I would feel more comfortable knowing that the volume was there, if I needed to drive a few more hours in a day, for what ever reason. I've talked to several cab drivers recently, who have expressed that they are hitting long dry spells without a call. For me, that can be very nerve wracking.
     
  8. drivinindc

    drivinindc

    Location:
    DC
    Driving:
    Lyft
    This week I worked ~55 hours and made ~1000 after Uber/Lyft's cut. I've only been doing this about a month, but $18-20 an hour before gas & depreciation seems normal so far (about 1000 miles/week), so ~$12-14 per hour net.

    Note, though, that I work the most profitable times already. Were I to do 70-80 hours like you're suggesting, the per-hour rate would drop a bit.
     
    OTB likes this.
  9. OTB

    OTB

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Thanks drivinindc! This helps me greatly to get a better idea of the market share and what I can expect; thanks to everyone who posted. I am wide open as to when I can be on the road and not locked into a specific schedule. You sound as if you have had prior driving experience. I simply need to hit a specific figure and an $11 hr net base would fit. Having 24 hr flexibility, I can't imagine that being too difficult. Thanks again!
     
  10. Bart McCoy

    Bart McCoy

    Location:
    Waldorf, MD
    Driving:
    UberX
    Are you driving UberX? if you getting 1000 after their cut, then you made at least 1200, but X is only $1/mile. Plus you HAVE to be having dead miles. Even at a generous .5 to 1 ratio that means you're driving about 1500-1700 miles a week if all X. That's over 80,000 on a brand new car, in a year, wow wee jeezy
     
  11. Another Uber Driver

    Another Uber Driver Moderator

    Location:
    See avatar
    Driving:
    UberTAXI
    I am assuming that you hacked in the suburbs. I suspect further, that you drove either for Lee Barnes or Neal Nichols. Did you drive Central Delivery or Allstate Courier, as well, or are you not that old? I make these statements/ask these questions so that I can better tailor my responses to your queries.

    I did drive for Neal, in Arlington, but not for long. I drive in D.C., now. I drive both taxi and Uber. Uber offers taxis in the City. I have Uber Taxi. I own my cab, a 2015 Ford Fusion hybrid. My UberXmobile is a 2014 Fusion hybrid.

    As you indicate a familiarity with the business, I do not need to remind you of stories that cab drivers have told and still tell. I have noticed similar patterns forming among TNC drivers.

    I find no money in UberX. I do much better in the taxi. As I have a hybrid, I spend far less than most do on gasolene. As it is a new car, I do spend more on insurance. As an owner-operator, I do not have the nut that the rental driver has, particullarly the suburban rental driver. As an owner-operator in the City, I do not suffer the historic mistreatment that suburban rental drivers have suffered at the hands of their companies. These are the factors that merit consideration.

    You need to compare your one-hundred-forty-five daily nut to what you might spend daily (an average, of course) for things such as insurance, maintenance, cleaning.......you get the idea. The newer the vehicle, the less time that it spends in the shop. Keep in mind that as someone who is driving a vehicle that he owns for a living, you lose twice every time that the vehicle is in the shop. Still, while you may not be spending as much on a mechanic, with a newer vehicle, you are making payments and paying more for insurance. The critical stage is a vehicle's middle age. At that point, mechanic bills become more frequent and higher. You are still making payments and still paying more for insurance. This is the period that could make or break you. In many cases, it is a simple matter of surviving the middle period. In the final stage, you no longer make payments, your insurance costs are less (exceptions for certain vehicles and those that do retain their value, thus are worth keeping fully insured) but the maintenance costs rise markedly. It is during this period, especially, that you will start to pay for replacement of parts that most mechanics did not know existed. Those repairs are worse than expensive.

    As one poster has correctly indicated, in order to earn the money that some claim that they do, you would need to put an inordinate amount of miles on your vehicle. The miles are what bring on the expensive repairs.

    Your weekly nut is eight-hundred-forty-five dollars, including gasolene. If you add the weekly cost for insurance (divide the six month premium by twenty-six), the average weekly cost for projected repairs, the average weekly cost for car payments, how close does that come to eight-hundred-forty-five?

    If you consider that you might run three trips per hour at an average of eleven to fifteen dollars per trip, the arithmetic renders thirty-three dollars-sixty per hour net-to-driver, as a best case scenario (I am using Uber's base fare and its formula for what it takes from the driver's earnings). The lower end of the spectrum renders twenty-four dollars per hour net-to-driver. Most drivers can not do this in the City. Those of us who know what we are doing can, but the scenarios that I just illustrated are very best cases. You would have to be doing pick-up-and-drop, pop-pop-pop, driving few, if any, blocks between drops and pick-ups and have every customer on the kerb to keep up something such as this for any length of time. Read enough of the topics on this forum, and you will learn that this happens rarely.

    The more frequent and realistic scenarios render a net-to-driver of twelve-to-fifteen dollars hourly, out of which the driver must pay expenses before he turns a profit. If I am running anything near those figures as a gross in the cab, I go home or to Nationals Park.
     
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  12. THE MAN!

    THE MAN!

    Location:
    DC
    Have been driving UberX off and on since beginning 8/13 ($5 - $2.50 mile). And not nearly as often as I use too. Drove today 10a - 8p, 26 trips and $240 net with very little surging. Sunday's aren't bad, with longer distance fares. Problem with Uber is not only fares cut 3x, but minimum fare $5 ($3.20 net). Some days you get stuck it seems with nothing but. Last summer Sat/Sun 20-25 hrs could do $600-$800 in fares. With Dulles/BWI flat fares a thing of the past and reduction in fares impossible to do now. Just don't travel far for p/u, downtown 5-6 min & burbs 6-8 min ETA's. Other drawback is tips are few and far between.
     
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  13. 1000-1200 miles a week..Man if I pound my car like a MMA match..it'll be ****ting blood from the exhaust
     
  14. KGB7

    KGB7

    Location:
    Maryland
    Driving:
    UberX
    I pound an average 900 miles a week. I'll gladly do 2,000 miles a week if i could.

    A car is a tool that makes you money just like any tool, its not a Faberge Egg to be looked at.
     
  15. OTB

    OTB

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Hey, thanks everyone for your responses, especially 'Another Uber Driver' for so much detail. I drove and dispatched for Lasership out of the Dulles office for several years. I delivered to the district on a daily basis, so it was lucrative before gas skyrocketed, and I hacked in Nova for 3 years.

    I appreciate all of the input. The industry has changed drastically, and as everyone knows, it's a business and the numbers have to work. All the responses have helped me immensely. Ubermanpt mentioned rental cars to use for Uber. If anyone has experience doing that, it would be great to hear about it. I planning to get on the road in the next few weeks or so - Thanks again everyone!
     
  16. Bart McCoy

    Bart McCoy

    Location:
    Waldorf, MD
    Driving:
    UberX
    No, not normally. A car is a tool that can be used to make money, but clearly most people who buy cars get them to go to work and back, trips, and regular errands, NOT to be using them as a tool to make money.

    So with that being said, the average person that does not want to use their car to make money doesnt want 50,000 miles on it in one year. Because if you decide to sell it, you'll take a big hit
     
  17. KGB7

    KGB7

    Location:
    Maryland
    Driving:
    UberX
    Most people aren't part of this discussion.
     
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  18. Bart McCoy

    Bart McCoy

    Location:
    Waldorf, MD
    Driving:
    UberX
    Lol what
    Most are because they are part time, so they dont want big miles on their car

    And even if you're full time,or are a person that does want to use the car as a tool to make money, good business sense says to try to get paid more money by driving the least amount of miles possible anyway

    Bad business sense says hey, I'll drive for 50cent/mile because i can careless how many miles I put on this car because its meant to be used as a tool to make money.....

    To tell you the truth, Uber LOVES people like you who think that way(that miles dont matter and miles were meant to be put on a car).

    That's why they are able to get away with the current low prices as they are now....
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
    THE MAN! likes this.
  19. KGB7

    KGB7

    Location:
    Maryland
    Driving:
    UberX
    Most car owners on this planet.

    A cars main purpose is transportation, no matter what your job is. So its a tool, just like a hammer.
     
    gg mh likes this.
  20. I put in 12 hour days and 90% of the time it is nonstop. I have been doing this since earlier this year and your best bet is to sign up with both uber and lyft and have them both on at the same time. Park in a high traffic area somewhere and grab whichever one comes in first. Forget about surges. Just sit parked and wait. I rarely have to wait longer than 2-3 minutes between fares. Just get a car with good gas mileage and you should be fine.
     
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