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Typical Night

Discussion in 'Pay' started by RussellP, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. RussellP

    RussellP Active Member

    Location:
    Portland Maine
    Driving:
    Lyft
    Some nights I guess I get lucky and get a long ride on a surge, but not most... Here's what seems to be my typical night... I usually drive from about 8PM to 2AM (bars close here at 1AM)

    Hours Online: 6
    Earnings: $70
    Rides Given: 15
    Avg Earnings Per Ride: $4.66
    Gas Used: 8 gallons @ $2.39 = $19.12
    Unreimbursed Tolls: $1
    Car Wash, Vacuum: $3
    Total Miles Driven: 170
    Vehicle Depreciation: $39.10 @ $0.23/mi
    Vehicle Maintenance Fund: $5.10

    Total Income: $70
    Total Expenses: $67.32
    Actual Earnings: $2.68
    Saving 20% for Taxes: $0.54
    Final actual earnings: $2.14
    Avg Hourly Earnings: $0.36 per hour


    If you're wondering how I came up with $0.23/mi for vehicle depreciation:
    I paid $13,500 for my 2006 SRX with 95000 miles, but I actually paid about $18,500 for it because it was a 5 year loan with crappy interest rate... But I also had to replace the engine in it, that cost an additional $3,500, so I basically paid $22,000 for my car... And since it already have 95,000 miles on it, I would only expect to get maybe another 95,000 out of it, so 22,000 / 95,000 = $0.23/mi cost to use my car.

    Also, my vehicle maintenance fund is to cover oil and other fluid changes... I budget about $120 every 4000 miles or $0.03/mi.

    So why do I keep driving? I ask myself this more and more... I guess it's because I get to get out of the house, drive around in a nice comfortable car, listen to some good music, meet some people and get some brief socialization, and feeling like I have a bit of a mission... the app dictating where I go, its like a challenge. But it's surely not for the profit.
     
  2. CvilleUber

    CvilleUber Active Member

    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    Driving:
    UberXL
    I'm a bit fuzzy on your math.

    Is 170 miles your actual miles or your billed miles? If it's actual, you're driving a lot more without riders than you should be. Even 85 miles should net you more than $70 (assume you had all one-way, deadhead trips back to your start point). This screws up all your per mile stuff (half of your income towards vehicle depreciation).

    If it's 170 actual miles, that means you're only getting 21 MPG. Not a good idea for a system based on miles and gas (at 30 MPG, you would have saved $5.50).

    And you're not counting the tax deduction you get - if the IRS calculates .55/mile (depreciation, wear and tear, oil changes, etc are thrown into this). So you wouldn't get taxed on any of this income (0.55 * 170 miles + $3 car wash = $96 deduction). At McD's I'd get taxed a lot more on my $10/hr.

    If you're going to take out taxes to determine $/hr (which nobody does) you probably should count back in the deductions you labored over in your breakdown.

    My take-away: care about MPG - don't drive around. Only drive out and back if you end up in a crap area.
     
  3. MSUGrad9902

    MSUGrad9902 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Rochester
    If those were my numbers I don't think my wife would let me drive anymore, even though she can't holler at me while I'm ubering, which is worth its weight in gold.
     
    RussellP likes this.
  4. RussellP

    RussellP Active Member

    Location:
    Portland Maine
    Driving:
    Lyft
    Sure... 170 is the total miles i drove for the night.... Including all the dead miles... Cadillac SRX v6, 20MPG avg... Also, when it's Zero Degrees outside, I dont shut the car off between trips, can't or I'd freeze.

    Maybe it's just a Maine thing... See, here in Portland, the whole "City Part" is about 2 miles across. That's the only area where you get frequent ride requests, but there's also like 6+ drivers covering the same area. In between rides, I take a look at where the rest of the drivers are waiting (in the Pax app) and I go park somewhere that gives me the most coverage on the peninsula. For the most part 80% of rides start and end on this 2 mile peninsula so i basically get $3.20 per ride... and i can maybe do 4 or 5 in an hour maximum.

    Anywhere outside of that, ride requests are far and few between... so if i picked up on the peninsula, and they wanted to go to say Scarborough which is a $10 fare, the ride back from Scarborough to Portland is always dead miles. Every trip has dead miles... If i was to sit in Scarborough I could be waiting an hour for the next trip request... It's because the service area is so small here I guess. I live about 15 miles north of Portland, so every night also starts and ends with a 15 mile unpaid trip too... i've tried waiting around here at my house, sometimes waited 2+ hours and no rides, so I dont bother. Even waiting 5 miles outside of town isn't profitable because it will be so long of a wait before the next ride.

    Last night... I got called to pick someone up 10 minutes away. I drove 10 mins to get them thinking they'd probably be wanting to go to portland so i'd get paid the 10 minute trip back, but nope... They wanted to go 2 minutes farther away from portland... so I drove 10 minutes to them... 2 minutes to the destination, and 12 minutes back to portland... 30 minutes burnt for a $3.20 fare. that's why so many dead miles...

    Also, yea, i was pretty sure that nothing would be taxable out of this, I just started driving middle of last year, and haven't been to my accountant yet to find out about taxes, but I'm pretty sure.

    I mean yes, I do have about $45 more cash in my pocket than yesterday, but it seems like this is basically just like, taking a loan out on the mileage left in your car... If I keep this up, i might need a new car several years sooner than otherwise.
     
  5. MSUGrad9902

    MSUGrad9902 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Rochester
    Sounds like you are in a terrible market. Move to Detroit. Just kidding, sort of.
     

  6. RussellP

    RussellP Active Member

    Location:
    Portland Maine
    Driving:
    Lyft
    Isn't detroit pay like $0.23/mi to drivers? lol
     
  7. MSUGrad9902

    MSUGrad9902 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Rochester
    Ha! .70 cents per mile for Uber X. But there are consistent surges in some areas and boost zones almost every night here.
     
  8. 1rightwinger

    1rightwinger Active Member

    Location:
    Fargo ND
    Driving:
    UberXL
    I think your depreciation calculation method is wrong. There's no way your depreciation should be that high. Is your car going to be worth 0 when it has 180000 miles on it? no there will be a value. For one you're not accounting for that. Secondly you're taking a lot of the depreciation on the entire vehicle but really you need a vehicle for personal use anyhow right if you are not driving Uber you still would have bought that car and had to put a new engine in it. Your method is not really a fair calculation. A better way to look at it I think is go to edmunds.com or Kelley Blue Book. Check the value of your car for a private sale. With the actual current miles. Now we do the calculation and add 50,000 miles to the mileage. See how much the difference changed and divide that by fifty thousand miles. Realistically that is what it's costing you to add miles to your car. Because those marketplaces show with the car is worth with this many miles and with that many miles and that divided out is basically the depreciation period because that is essentially what it is costing you in terms of value of the car to add miles to it.. My depreciation is 1/10 of $0.01 per mile
     
  9. RussellP

    RussellP Active Member

    Location:
    Portland Maine
    Driving:
    Lyft
    98% of the miles I drive are for Uber currently, I work from home, so no commute. I might drive a mile to go grocery shopping once a week and maybe another mile or 2 or errands.

    You're right that it'll have some value when its dead, but Im sure it's not much. I plan on driving it until it doesn't work anymore, and if i sold it would be for junk/parts, maybe get $500 if i'm lucky.... probably more likely gonna have to pay to get it towed somewhere...

    I dont really see the fault in the reasoning though... If you paid 22k for a vehicle that'll go 95k miles, then you paid $0.23/mi

    Also looking it up on KBB wont give you accurate information. When I bought the car in 2010 the value then was $15k with 95k miles. If I enter in all the same info today 6 years later, it says 4k, with the same # of miles. So simply changing the miles wont give you an accurate prediction of what your car would be worth several years from now regardless of mileage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  10. 1rightwinger

    1rightwinger Active Member

    Location:
    Fargo ND
    Driving:
    UberXL
    what year did you buy your car?

    when you bought your car was it prior to you planning/wanting to use it for Uber?

    not trying to argue with you but I will show you some reasons why it makes more sense to think of the true cost of adding miles to your car rather than using "accounting" type depreciation.

    Some places are definitely better to drive Uber. some places may really suck. Excuse my geography....but are there any other cities in Maine about an hour or so away that have Uber? if so you could check with Uber to see if you are authorized to drive there and then consider going there and driving an 8-10 hr shift and see what it is like. there are a lot of different city/local/state rules & regulations so in some places this is not allowed but in many places even with bordering states a driver can be authorized to drive in the state next door. it all depends on situation but it may be worth looking into for you because it sounds like you have a tough market. how far are you from Boston? check that out too. maybe it is worth going there for a weekend and drive if you can.
     

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