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New/used cars for UBER

sUBERbs

Active Member
Starting this thread for Chicago specific new and used car advice. Feel free to argue points, agree, disagree, etc.

Used seems to be the general preference. Lower overhead, no worries about beating a car up that's already been beaten down by our infrastructure.

I went for new.

Here's my experience so far.

2018 Prius 2. Interior and exterior protection packages, Lojack, viper, 125k bumper to bumper.

33k after tax title license and financing.

Over 6 years I'll drive at least 300k miles. That breaks down to 150k+ in tax write offs by the time its paid off. I've found plenty of info about operating expenses, and they're roughly 20c a mile driving full time.

Gen IV prius has level 2 automation, it's probably already saved me from fender benders and stray pedestrians. Automatic parallel parking has also made pickups easier when pax don't come out right away amid i needed to get out of the drive lane on a1 way.

15k miles over 3 months is averaging me 68 mpg with hypermiling techniques between pax.

I know the vehicles history due to being the only driver. Protection packages mean bumper rash, rocks, and vomit ate all covered for cleaning or repair should it not get handled by standard cleaning or touch up paint. Rims and suspension are covered from our horrendous potholes.

I know new is not the popular opinion, not i feel like i made the right choice.
 

leroy jenkins

Well-Known Member
good luck (not sarcastic). be well insured.

At the other end of the spectrum.

Something from 2007-2010 under $5,000 if you're patient and willing to go through a lot of junk listings and get the car inspected for frame/accident damage..

Minivan or Camry or Accord or maybe something like an Escape. and put aside $1000 as a repair slush fund.
 

sUBERbs

Active Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
I can see that being worthwhile, though wouldn't you need to do that every 2-3 years based on age requirements and possible high cost repairs?

I am well insured, i was inspired to buy the car after i got rear ended downtown. I was stopped at a red light, while online but not en route or on trip. This guy yelled "sorry bro, i fell asleep, and while i pulled off the roadway he took off down a side street and bailed. 3500 dollars in damage, uber would not cover the incident. My insurance policy carries a rideshare rider, so they paid the damage minus the deductible(1000.) Soon after i reduced my deductible to 250 and used the car as a trade in and the money as a down payment.

I noticed an uptick in ratings due to the new prius having more passenger space and not looking like a toaster.
 

veblenrules

Well-Known Member
I can see that being worthwhile, though wouldn't you need to do that every 2-3 years based on age requirements and possible high cost repairs?

I am well insured, i was inspired to buy the car after i got rear ended downtown. I was stopped at a red light, while online but not en route or on trip. This guy yelled "sorry bro, i fell asleep, and while i pulled off the roadway he took off down a side street and bailed. 3500 dollars in damage, uber would not cover the incident. My insurance policy carries a rideshare rider, so they paid the damage minus the deductible(1000.) Soon after i reduced my deductible to 250 and used the car as a trade in and the money as a down payment.

I noticed an uptick in ratings due to the new prius having more passenger space and not looking like a toaster.
My minivan looks like a toaster and that's the way I like it, uh huh. A big black toaster.....
 
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Stlman

Well-Known Member
Don’t buy new only a person without a brain nor knowing how to do math you will get rapped. Also don’t buy a used minivan, horrible on gas mpg.
Buy used if your doing this full time somewhere around 15-18 k and don’t get the extended warranty that’s for suckers.
For instance I myself got a 2016 Civic sedan plenty of room in back and front maintenance is almost nothing I pay $71 for oil change and tire rotation every 5k miles the car now has 69,000 miles on and runs like a dream.
 

veblenrules

Well-Known Member
Don’t buy new only a person without a brain nor knowing how to do math you will get rapped. Also don’t buy a used minivan, horrible on gas mpg.
Buy used if your doing this full time somewhere around 15-18 k and don’t get the extended warranty that’s for suckers.
For instance I myself got a 2016 Civic sedan plenty of room in back and front maintenance is almost nothing I pay $71 for oil change and tire rotation every 5k miles the car now has 69,000 miles on and runs like a dream.
Call us at 100,000 miles.
 

ChrisFZ

Well-Known Member
Driver with an eligible $2,000 car is doing better than driver with $5,000 car and so on. And they're both doing wayyyy better than you. Couple weeks of driving wages to buy their car versus you taking a year or more of driving just for a cheap rate cab driving for bus fare rates.

But you're doing better than someone in a $70,000 vehicle if it makes you feel better I guess.

Call us at 100,000 miles.
Call us after your next accident, not if it happens, it WILL happen.
 

Pinhead76!

Member
To me, in this gig, payments are for suckers regardless of all the other math and figuring you do. All that crap is simply hypothetical and pipe dream info.

PAX dont give a damn what kind of car you have either, as long as it qualifies for services rendered. Several of them also aren't going to respect the vehicle either.

This year I bought a 2005 Tahoe LT. High miles but meticulously cared for by one family, and primarily driven by the middle aged wife. When I bought it, I had no intention of using it for Uber. I bought it for me because they are simply awesome vehicles that run forever and are cheap to fix.

The benefits are that its an X and an XL, which help tremendously at the airport which is what I like because I'll drive regular and professional people all day long instead of drunks and entitled millenials. Its beyond comfortable, never gotten out of the car after a full day of driving feeling stiff or achy. It's a huge vehicle so other cars (especially in TNP) stay out of my way. Prius owners you dont have a chance against me jockeying for a spot, position, OR getting there quicker than me. I can drive, and transport passengers, safely in ALL weather conditions. Roomy as Hell for the PAX, and when this truck shows up on an X fare they are beyond pleased, and several tip. Huge payload for cargo and heavy items so I dont have to worry about bottoming out suspension on potholes and speedhumps. Rear seat entertainment system for people on long rides with kids. I keep a few cartoon DVDs on hand for this scenario. And finally the biggest benefit, its PAID FOR.

The downside, 15 MPG, but hey since there is no payment, I can absorb the cost of fuel and get more fares off two platforms, outdo you in severe weather which adds revenue, and get to PAX quicker which makes them happier, and more inclined for a bigger tip. Another downside, it's a late model so next June it wont qualify due to age restriction. No biggie, I'll buy and 06 if need be, or with a little luck I wont need to do this anymore. Another downside, TIRES. A truck this size is 1000 dollars for a set of new tires, but this last time I lucked out and found a matched set of used BFGs for 100 bucks with 75 percent left, and another 80 bucks for balance and mount.

What makes sense for any rideshare driver is all in the eye of the beholder I guess, and how you use the vehicle and where you like to drive. This is just my 2 cents.

Truck has 221 thousand and counting. Member of Chevy Truck Legends. Original motor and trans with no signs/symptoms of failure on either. Runs like a top from regular maintenance. Gets accolades and compliments all the time from riders. Best vehicle I have ever owned, and that's the key here. You HAVE to have something you ENJOY driving. Without that, this will be the worst source of income in your lifetime.

Good luck!!
 

chitownXdriver

Well-Known Member
Does uber now allow manual vehicles? I know that didn't used to but when I looked at the spec qualifications I didn't see it wasn't allowed anymore.
 

Vladko

Well-Known Member
We just took the same "luxury" as the trade in. Older Tahoe,2004, but less miles. 201k. We paid 2500 for this rusty bucket. Guess what the guy bought? P...pr...prius))) "luxury" as well. Jbl music,leather,solar panels. And 52 mpg. To do....rideshare...)))
 

Pinhead76!

Member
We just took the same "luxury" as the trade in. Older Tahoe,2004, but less miles. 201k. We paid 2500 for this rusty bucket. Guess what the guy bought? P...pr...prius))) "luxury" as well. Jbl music,leather,solar panels. And 52 mpg. To do....rideshare...)))
I was lucky and got mine with virtually no rust on it at all, just a little bit at the rear of the rockers which is hardly noticeable. The truck looks and drives like it has 50K on it.
 

Vladko

Well-Known Member
My brother owns a used car dealership. He gets many trades from rideshare drivers. Mostly the car with expensive maintenance. Old S classes, Rovers...people enjoy them till the 1st visit to a mechanic. Everyone loves air suspension. But when it comes to repairs it is thousands people usually do not have.
 

sUBERbs

Active Member
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  • #13
That makes a lot of sense. I prefer small vehicles. I've got a 2015 explorer as a family vehicle and although it's comfortable, i hate driving bigger vehicles. It would qualify for xl and select, but costs would be much higher, and it cost the same as the new prius with 30k miles on it. I only drive it when we're hauling a trailer(just because i don't like it doesn't mean i can't drive it)

My first car was an oldsmobile achieva, my first new car was a ford fiesta. That little 2600 lb car could fit ANYWHERE

Maybe ive gotten lucky with pax, but most of the suburban pax tell me it's clean, spacious, surprisingly attractive outside. It probably helps that i don't use this car for anything but uber. I seldom fight for position, or speed anywhere. I take almost every ride I'm offered. I think each driver and vehicle combo comes with their own perks. I have heard complaints about "my last uber drivers car" quite a bit, so i can't agree that pax don't care about what you're driving. Tahoes are nice, how are xl fares? Frequent? Lucrative?
 
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Pinhead76!

Member
That makes a lot of sense. I prefer small vehicles. I've got a 2015 explorer as a family vehicle and although it's comfortable, i hate driving bigger vehicles. It would qualify for xl and select, but costs would be much higher, and it cost the same as the new prius with 30k miles on it. I only drive it when we're hauling a trailer(just because i don't like it doesn't mean i can't drive it)

My first car was an oldsmobile achieva, my first new car was a ford fiesta. That little 2600 lb car could fit ANYWHERE

Maybe ive gotten lucky with pax, but most of the suburban pax tell me it's clean, spacious, surprisingly attractive outside. It probably helps that i don't use this car for anything but uber. I seldom fight for position, or speed anywhere. I take almost every ride I'm offered. I think each driver and vehicle combo comes with their own perks. I have heard complaints about "my last uber drivers car" quite a bit, so i can't agree that pax don't care about what you're driving. Tahoes are nice, how are xl fares? Frequent? Lucrative?
Good and valid points.

XL fares pay pretty good with a decent surge out of TNP. On the other hand, with no surge and a short ride, it's not worth the aggravation of having that many passengers in and out of the car.

Huge advantage is when the queue is winding down with TNP. At 30 XLs and 15 Xs to go, I turn off the X option and start exiting the lot. There is a small chance the XL queue could come down quickly depending on the exit time up to Balmoral. If it isnt gonna time out correctly, I just turn X back on at about 50 feet to the finish line and there will be an instant ping to X, I'm on the way to PAX with minimal aggravation and they are happy because I'm there in 5 minutes instead of waiting 20 or 30 for me to get out of the lot. As everyone knows that spends any time there, 45 to 60 seconds can change everything in that lot. You gotta be able to outsmart the unsmart, and unskilled drivers.

To answer your question the XLs are less frequent but sometimes worth the wait. I've actually never had a rider tell me about the car of a past rider, however with a lot of what I see at TNP, I'm sure there are plenty of stories out there to be heard
 

sUBERbs

Active Member
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  • #16
5*s. I'll tip you in the app

I stopped going to the pit. Ive been there probably 8 or 10 times, used the john, talked to other drivers, shook out my floormats. Ive never once had a positive experience or had a trip that paid enough to compensate for wait time plus exit time.

I used to go occasionally, but after rematch went away its a shitshow.

We need a light on balmoral. Or a parking garage with numbers spaces and they can shuttle the pax to us if they don't like us in the terminal... that might actually solve some problems though

I did have a rematch once that took me to Michigan... one of my 3 100+ mile fares.
 
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sUBERbs

Active Member
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  • #18
Worse in the airport, better in the lot. At least they wouldn't have to block traffic periodically to dump the lot
 
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