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What's it really like to be an Uber driver?

What drivers make, the benefits, risks and more
Posted at 4:45 AM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 07:03:41-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — You definitely have to like to drive. It helps if you're a people person too. Uber driving has been Tamas Feher's full time job for about two years. He's from Budapest, but now lives in Buffalo with his wife.

"I feel like I have the best job ever. I feel like I'm on a road trip all day long," said Feher. "I can do this anytime I want. I have no boss who micromanages me. I'm my own boss."

He said the pay is subjective. It varies by what hours he puts in, the time of day and the time of year. He usually makes more money during rush hours or super late at night. Overall, he said drivers make about 50-60% of the fair.

"What I'm earning, overall, with the good times and the bad times... yearly average it comes out to $20 an hour," Feher said.

Pros

  • Flexible schedule
  • No boss
  • Benefits like discounts on car cleanings, gas

Mark Manion is retired, so he drives part-time. He's been ubering since the app first launched in Buffalo back in June 2017. He said he makes about the same amount.

"Some nights I turn on the app and then I have to turn it off just to go home. That's how busy it is," said Manion.

Drivers get to keep all of their tips. There's also benefits, like discounts on gas and car cleanings. Uber even offers free tuition to the online university, Arizona State University, if you reach a certain level of driving.

You're protected by Uber's insurance when you're working, but Feher said your regular insurance rates will still be affected.

Cons

  • Personal insurance increases
  • High operating expenses
  • Risk of customers making mess in car

"Because you're driving more, they automatically raise your regular insurance," Feher said.

As for taxes, you can write off your expenses like gas and car maintenance, or you can clam vehicle depreciation.

"I hardly paid any taxes because I earned it through my vehicle depreciation," Feher said.

But there are some things you need to consider before hopping behind the wheel and hitting the road as an Uber driver.

"There's a lot of people don't think about... I have car expenses. My mechanics wife thinks I'm having an affair with her husband because I see him so often," said Manion, "It's a business that requires a lot of expenses just to do it day to day."

Feher also mentioned occasionally customers have gotten sick in his car. He said it's because he frequently ends up a designated driver. He bought hospital grade bags to protect his car's interior.

Both men said being a high rated, revenue generating Uber driver is all about the work you put in.