Uber enlists drivers to ferry people around town in their own cars

Expected pay: $15 to $25 per hour

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide / worldwide

Requirements: Driving experience, clean record — both driving and criminal; drivers license; insurance; good-condition car; smart phone.

What is Uber?

Uber is the world’s largest ride share company, enlisting millions of drivers worldwide.

(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our full affiliate policy here.)

How it works for drivers

To drive for Uber, you’ll need to sign up and provide basic information about you, where you are and what kind of car you drive. If you’re using your own car, you’ll need a driver’s license and car registration. Generally, your car should be in good condition and insured. You may also need to pass a background check.

However, because this site operates all over the world, the requirements vary by your location. Generally speaking, when you sign up, the site will use your computer’s location data to send you to the right requirements for your city, state or country.

Getting gigs

Once you’re accepted into the Uber system, the site will track your location via the Uber app and send you ride requests in that area. Drivers have no set hours. You can flip on — and off — your app at any time.

You also have the right to accept or ignore ride requests, which show where you’re picking up, dropping off and how much you’ll earn for the ride. Once a ride is over, the rider can choose to rate you and tip in cash or on the app. However, tips are not guaranteed.

Uber review

With 131 million active users per month, Uber is the undisputed king of ride share, accounting for roughly 74% of all ride-hailing traffic. Its sister site — Uber Eats — has also become an industry leader in delivery and it appears that if you qualify for Uber, you automatically qualify for Uber Eats.

That spells plenty of opportunities for drivers. And, in areas where the site is actively recruiting, Uber may offer minimum pay guarantees and other incentives.

However, Uber’s driver payment formula has gone through seemingly endless revisions. And these revisions rarely work in the driver’s favor. Average pay appears to range between $15 and $25. However, experts say you can earn as much as $50 an hour, if you’re highly strategic about taking rides and driving only during peak hours that are likely to offer driver bonuses. But you can also earn considerably less.

And, once you account for your gas, maintenance, insurance and unpaid wait time, it’s rare for drivers to earn much more than minimum wage.

Even in states with minimum wage laws for ride share drivers, the minimum wages only apply to the time you’re on Uber’s clock — i.e. from the moment you’ve accepted a ride to the moment that you drop that person off.

No pay for waiting

You don’t get paid for wait time. So, the key to making this gig pay more than minimum wage is to immediately go from one ride to the next. That suggests working mainly during high-demand hours — or signing up with multiple apps that you juggle to remain fully-engaged.

Notably, the issue of not getting paid for the time between gigs is nearly universal to all of the driving and delivery apps. It is the main reason that industry experts maintain that you’ve got to sign up with multiple driving and delivery apps to earn a living wage. With multiple apps open, you can cherry pick the best gigs and keep downtime to a minimum.


Drivers are generally told where the rider is; where they’re going; and how much they’ll earn for each ride before they accept it. So you’ll know whether a ride is worth taking at the outset. And riders can tip at the end of the drive, so you might get pleasantly surprised.

Uber pays drivers once a week by direct deposit. But you can also choose an instant cash-out option.


It’s important to recognize that you are using your own car; paying for gas, insurance, upkeep and depreciation on your vehicle. And, the more you drive, the faster your car loses value or “depreciates.” So, while depreciation isn’t an obvious day-to-day cost, it needs to be considered.

The IRS estimates that these costs currently run 67 cents per mile. Thus, you can figure that a 10-mile ride costs you $6.70. Any amount you earn over that is what you’re being paid for your time.

Benefits of driving for Uber

The main benefit of driving for Uber is that you are in complete control of your time. You don’t have to sign up for a set schedule; you don’t have to work any set number of hours. (If you want to earn bonuses, you may need to take a minimum number of rides, though.) This can be a compelling benefit for people whose lives don’t accommodate set hours for their side hustle.

But, the downside is that you aren’t paid for every hour you work. You’re only paid when you’re actively engaged in driving a passenger. Thus, it may make little sense to drive if you are only available during slow times.

You can sign up with Uber here.


If you can schedule your time and you happen to live in one of a handful of cities where it operates, you may want to sign up with Alto. This ride-share app hires its drivers and provides them with a company car. So you have no expenses and you know how much you’re going to make for each and every hour that you drive.

Alto currently operates only in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C.. If you live in one of those cities and want to learn more, you can read our Alto review here.

Can’t schedule ahead?

Then, sign up for Uber. But also sign up to drive for at least one or two of the company’s competitors — Lyft, GrubHub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats (You can sign up with DoorDash here. And sign up with Uber Eats here.)

You can see the entire list of SideHusl-reviewed “drive” options here and all of our “deliver” options here.

We also recommend that you download a free app called Gridwise that provides information on airport traffic, weather, and event times so you can better manage where demand is likely to be greatest.

Other options

If you don’t mind picking up packages, we’d suggest that you check out  Amazon Flex.

You can find airport gigs with Wingz.

Have a clean background and experience with kids? You may also be able to drive kids around after school with Kango  and HopSkipDrive.

You may also be able to get animal-driving gigs with Citizen Shipper.

GrubHub,  DoorDash (sign up here) and UberEats are your best bets for delivering food.

What their drivers say: (from Indeed)

You can work for Uber if you are looking for extra income but you can not depend on it as your main source. Hours are flexible, you choose the hours that you drive. When it comes to safety, it is not so safe.

I like working for Uber for many reasons. The flexibility, finding new and interesting places in L.A., talking to people and improving driving skills. What I didn’t like was the wear and tear on my car, the annoying customers, the less than stellar opportunity to make decent money.

Low pay unless tips are counted. Uber was paying really well as the base pay, but a few months ago that completely changes and now offers the least out of the delivery companies. (commenter is from Tampa, Fla)

Your personal experience with Uber is reflected by who you interact with on a daily basis. Understand they make it very clear, you work for yourself. They provide the platform to get you business and in return they set the prices for you and the rider. That is it. There is no other connection or communication from anyone at Uber other than when someone trashes your vehicle. They will help you in that regard.

(from Glassdoor)

“No consistency in pay, cheap fares, customers always right even when they’re wrong. Not much incentives, no health care. Expensive insurance.”

“Too much BS and not enough benefit. Wear and tear on your vehicle, and too many THREATS over the most trivial of things. Some riders love to lie, and they will rat you out over anything – naturally Uber sides with its riders. You lose money when having to transport groups of 3 or more in one trip. The pay we get is disgusting.”

“No schedules, no boss, money can be good. But there are app issues, drivers are the least importance of the company. Ride fares keep getting lowered so you’ll have to drive much longer to make decent money.”

  • Updated 1/18/2024

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