Working as a part-time Uber driver seems to be the go-to solution for overcoming financial hardships or supplementing your monthly income when your day job is no longer enough. Uber is well aware of this, which is why they play this card quite often in its marketing messages addressed to potential drivers. According to one of their studies, Uber drivers make more per hour than taxi drivers while working less, and in several US states, such as California, there are more part-time Uber drivers than full-time ones.
But is being an Uber driver really the best side-gig ever? Looking at the data, it seems that job satisfaction is on the rise within the company because 70% of drivers are still actively working with Uber six months after signing up. However, there’s no such thing as a universally fulfilling job – every side-hustle has its pros and cons, and if you manage to see the big picture, you’re more likely to make a good decision.
PROS of Being an Uber driver
Without a doubt, this is the biggest benefit of being an Uber driver. Depending on how much free time you have, you can set your own hours. Whether you’re a student or work from 9 to 5, you decide if you want to drive in the morning, in the evening, or at night, without having to worry about changing shifts or asking for permission from your superiors.
Unlike traditional jobs with set schedules, Uber drivers have the ability to work whenever they choose, making it an attractive option for those who need to balance work with other commitments such as school, family, or other part-time jobs.
With Uber, drivers can log in and out of the app at any time, and are free to work as many or as few hours as they choose. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial for those who want to work around other commitments, or for those who prefer to work outside of traditional 9-to-5 business hours.
For example, a student could choose to drive for Uber in the evenings and on weekends to earn extra money while still attending classes during the day. Alternatively, a parent could work as an Uber driver during their child’s school hours and be home in time to pick them up from school. The flexibility also allows drivers to take time off when needed for personal reasons or emergencies without the constraints of a traditional work schedule.
Do you need money now, not next week? Uber has an option where you can demand payment for your services instantly, as long as you have a debit card and you live in the United States, and you can cash out your earnings up to five times per day. This way, if something comes up, you can get cash immediately. Drivers can earn good money, especially during peak hours or special events. This can be an attractive option for those looking for a side gig or a way to supplement their income.
According to some estimates, Uber driver’s in California typically earn $20 per hour. However, in big cities drivers do report making $50 per hour. According to talent.com, the average Uber driver salary in India is ₹ 300,000 per year or ₹ 154 per hour.
Depending on your rating and how long you’ve been an Uber partner, you may be eligible for hefty bonuses. Combined with what you already make from rides, the profit will add up.
Uber offers various incentives and bonuses to its drivers, but whether or not an individual driver is eligible for these bonuses depends on a variety of factors, including their location, the level of demand for drivers in their area, and their performance as a driver.
For example, Uber may offer sign-up bonuses to new drivers who complete a certain number of rides within a specified timeframe. There may also be bonuses for drivers who maintain a high rating from riders or who complete a certain number of rides within a given period.
In addition, during peak periods or special events, Uber may offer surge pricing, which can significantly increase a driver’s earnings. Some drivers may also be eligible for other incentives, such as referrals or rewards for consistently high performance.
However, it’s important to note that these bonuses are not guaranteed and may vary depending on the individual driver’s circumstances. Drivers should carefully review the terms and conditions of any incentives or bonuses offered by Uber to determine their eligibility and the requirements for earning these bonuses.
CONS of Being an Uber driver
Damage to your vehicle
When you drive for a living, you’re more likely to be involved in a traffic accident, and, when working for Uber, you’ll need comprehensive and collision insurance on top of your usual car insurance. To make the most of this side gig, you have to compare car insurance quotes and make sure you get the best coverage. Otherwise, you risk paying for damages from your own pocket.
Although Uber has a good feedback system where you can see the client’s rating before accepting a ride, that doesn’t provide 100% protection against unforeseen circumstances. For example, when working at night, you may have to drive home people who have been drinking and can become unpredictable, even though their rating is nearly perfect. These incidents are rare, but they’re something to consider.
Changing terms and conditions
When you sign up for Uber, you have to agree to certain terms and conditions. However, Uber has a habit of updating its terms every once in a while, and not always with the driver’s best interest in mind. For example, they may increase the percentage they get from your rides or change the number of rides after which they offer a bonus.
Lack of job security
Uber drivers do not have the same job security as traditional employees, and may be subject to deactivation or termination for reasons such as low ratings or complaints.