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Well ... that was certainly an interesting experience

Discussion in 'Houston' started by DarthUber, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. DarthUber

    DarthUber

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    Hello, all.

    Thanks for the dynamic dialogue on Houston's forum. Been reading for a while before jumping into Uber driving seat—which I did as of last week. And I have to say ... that was an interesting weekend. I'm a skeptic at heart, so I was a bit surprised to bring in about $300 ... most of that Friday and Saturday. Still a skeptic though ... and feel like, perhaps, Uber throws a little extra to the nUbers—you know—to give'm a taste (AKA hooked). It was fun though. I did the math on my gas and wear'n'tear ... I definitely was well within the green. It wasn't huge money. But it was money. Anyway ... in the process of getting that TNC license (did most of my driving in The Woodlands, Conroe, North Houston outside city limits) ... but man, it is certainly a process—especially when you have a 9 to fiver. Trolls ... I'm more than happy for you to eviscerate me now—just remember the sun will shine you to stone if you're at it for too long. To the rest, as always, open to good advice and practical wisdom.

    So long and thanks for all the fish,
    DarthUber
     
    chi1cabby likes this.
  2. MakeMoreCash

    MakeMoreCash

    Location:
    Houston
    Don't forget the taxes.
     
  3. Just one more trip

    Just one more trip

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    Ahhhh, we all remember when we were new and believed we would make money. Then reality and TK stepped in. Travis has been a world class party pooper. Bring in the clowns!
     
  4. DarthUber

    DarthUber

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    Good point. I've been tracking every mile for tax purposes ... was thinking these might prove useful later as line items ... i.e. business expenses/asset depreciation. Plus, my game plan is to put 35% of all monies made into one of my savings accounts just for taxes, maintenance/repair, and gas. That a good ratio?
     
    tootsie likes this.
  5. MakeMoreCash

    MakeMoreCash

    Location:
    Houston
    Uber doing good job of reeling in new fish, I mean Victim.
     
  6. What's "bring in" I hope you aren't referring to gross earnings?
     
  7. DarthUber

    DarthUber

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    To be more accurate: Minus gas ≈ $270. I included tips in that number ... which I made sure to say tips were not required. But I think I got pretty lucky there. I got three pretty nice tips (≈$20) ... which were about the same or more than the actually fare. I'm very sure that doesn't happen a lot.
     
  8. HOUTXRon

    HOUTXRon

    Location:
    Houston
    Welcome to the forum. Make sure you are fully covered as there were some changes in insurance regs for commercial vehicles earlier this year. Keep $1000 sitting aside for James River deductible when it is needed. Invest in a good quality dashcam if you already haven't. You should have at least a cab-facing version with good quality audio and video recording capabilities. Trust me you'll need it.

    Depending on the miles and hours driven, $270 gross may or may not be OK. Depends on your goal/perspective too.

    Good luck!
     
  9. nowiwannabeyourdog

    nowiwannabeyourdog

    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    Driving:
    UberX
    Welcome to the ****show
    You have 30 days to opt out of binding arbitration.
    Don't forget to stash back some cash for the ad valorem taxes on your commercial vehicle for hire.
    Takes about 30 to 40 days for whatever they put in the koolaid to wear off.
    In the meantime I suggest you get yourself a big ol heaping helping of the midtown sat.12-3am shift this will help you understand the truth
     
    chi1cabby and HOUTXRon like this.
  10. Just one more trip

    Just one more trip

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    So you drove about 400 miles and forgot that depreciation and car expenses per the IRS are $.54 per mile this year so thats about $216 in real expense if we are honest. Now if $300 was gross fare, you will be in for a real surprise when you start to see what the company really withholds. Enjoy the ride. Most of the rest of us are tired of it which is why driver retention is less than one year.
     
  11. Fuzzyelvis

    Fuzzyelvis

    Location:
    houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    FYI this was not a typical weekend. I saw quite a bit of surge in the Woodlands and all over the suburbs. Don't think that's usual.

    Post your actual figures. What is your vehicle cost per mile? You mentioned wear and tear and gas. What about depreciation? Did you keep track of dead miles?
     
    Richard Cranium likes this.
  12. DarthUber

    DarthUber

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    I've been keeping track of everything ... for tax purposes mostly. Have miles driven with fares, en route to fares, and between fares (which I have separated from my regular driving miles, i.e. home, work). I'm not exactly clear on how to calculate an accurate depreciation figure into cost per mile ... but I definitely think the IRS's 54 cents per mile does not reflect actually depreciation (which I think someone mentioned earlier). At 23-24 miles a gallon, including current gas prices, maintenance, vehicle property tax, (eventual) TNC-related cost, ... I'm rounding up to 25 cents per mile. With dead miles (since, without TNC, I had to drive back from Houston without being able to grab a fare), I logged about 440 miles. Uber payout plus tips got me right at about $300. And then I set aside 25% of that $300 for income tax purposes. I'm sure I'm missing something, but I'm also confident that, in my case, I did not lose money in this exchange ... at least not in that week.
     
  13. Instyle

    Instyle Moderator

    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Hasn't been proven beyond reasonable doubt yet, but Uber seem to throw more meat towards nUbers. Even a blind man can see this!
     
  14. sts713

    sts713

    Location:
    houston tx
    Driving:
    UberBLACK
    You can either choose mileage deduction or actual expenses. With mileage deduction, gas, oil, car washes, registration, insurance, vehicle depriciation etc. is all included with the $.54 mile. With actual expenses all of those items are deductible. I went with actual expenses and saved an additional $3000
     
  15. Fuzzyelvis

    Fuzzyelvis

    Location:
    houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    The IRS number includes depreciation. When you figure your actual costs, figure in depreciation as well as everything else. I assume your 25 cents is NOT with depreciation? I wasn't clear on that.

    I also don't know (unless you mentioned it earlier, but it's not in this post) how many hours you worked. Anyway, to me this isn't enough info to know how you did.
     
  16. DarthUber

    DarthUber

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    I guess I'm confused now, too. I was just saying ... that I think the IRS's 54 cents is a very generous calculation. For instance, 100,000 miles would be $54,000. At 23 miles/gallon ... it would take about 4,347 gallons to go 100,000 miles. At $2/gallon (which is higher than gas prices actually are right now), that would come to about $8,694. Plus, let's say my vehicle has a market value of, say, $14,000; that's a finite amount of depreciation. Add maintenance and we're still not even close to $54,000. Hence, when trying to find out if a driver is operating at profit or loss ... not sure how useful bringing in that IRS 54 cent rate is.

    As far as how long I worked, a little over 15 hours.
     
  17. Thatendedbadly

    Thatendedbadly

    Location:
    Metro Detroit
    Driving:
    UberX
    LOL
     
  18. sts713

    sts713

    Location:
    houston tx
    Driving:
    UberBLACK
    it depends on what you drive, a $14,000 car that's in good shape then mileage deduction makes sense. If you drive a $85,000 SUV , that is expensive to maintain and has a lot of room to depreciate then expenses make sense.
     
  19. Fuzzyelvis

    Fuzzyelvis

    Location:
    houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    How many miles do you think you will drive this year? Including and excluding uber? Look at what your car will be worth both ways if you sold it. Doesn't matter if you don't plan on selling it. If you total it you will be hit with the depreciation. This happened to me (not ubering) last year to a 2 year old car I had no intention of selling.

    That will give you depreciation per mile. You can figure it over 5 years if you want, or 10, but I prefer 1 because who knows what I or uber will be doing in a year, and like I said, if you total it...

    Also, when you look at blue book value, it asks if your car is excellent, good etc. condition. Plan on going down a class at least from where you normally would be. Your interior will be torn up more than if you don't uber. Unless your kids normally tear it up...I don't have kids and my interior would be pristine if not for uber. Also see below about dings.

    Maintenance you said you covered. Add in extra unexpected repairs. Bear in mind driving for uber is more wear and tear than you normally have. You will hit more potholes, go in more areas you don't know where you're more likely to suddenly stop, etc. You will also be more likely to get dings because of stupid pax. Don't expect those to be paid for. You will stop and start more often. Brakes, front ends, starters all go out faster with commercial driving. I put in a buffer as there is likely to be some repair over the years that is costly and unexpected.

    I still don't know what your costs are as you still haven't told us. I still don't know if you're thinking 25 cents includes depreciation. I agree with many people here that the IRS is not a true number much of the time. My costs ARE lower. But I have done ALL the math.

    EVEN IF we assume your 25 cents is correct, that means you drove 440 miles for $300 before expenses. At 25 cents per mile (which I'm almost certain is too low) then you have $110 in car expenses. You made $190 in 15 hours and that's $12.67 per hour. That's not terrible, but certainly not a huge amount. If your expenses are more then it's of course less.

    And as I pointed out, this was a pretty busy weekend with plenty of surging.

    Get a REAL handle on your costs, which I don't think you have. I'm curious to see what you think of this in a month.

    Oh, and what shape is your insurance in ???? Have you read the threads on that?
     
    Just one more trip and DarthUber like this.
  20. rchrwb

    rchrwb

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    Here is an exercise to give you an idea of some of the hidden costs of driving for F U Brrrr. Go to edmunds web site and do "apparaise my car". I went through it twice - once with the mileage of 70k which is about what I had on my car when I started driving and then did it again with the 110k I have on it now a year later. Although the car made a couple of trips over to gamble in Louisiana, and it was not all paid miles. Here are my results:
    Trade-in $7900 with 110k miles and $10,300 with 70k miles
    Priv party $9300 with 110k miles and $11,600 with 70k miles
    Dealer price $10,600 with 110k and $13,000 with 70k miles
    average difference is about $2400 for the 40k miles I drove or .06 per mile. This is a KIA Sportage SUV and hold value pretty well.
     
    DarthUber likes this.

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