Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

7+ Best Times To Drive For Uber In 2024

Curious about the best times to drive for Uber? Our data-driven analysis offers in-depth insights and strategies to help you boost your income effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Best times include weekends (Friday to Sunday) and early mornings/late nights, aligning with high social and commuting activities.
  • Peak hours, marked by higher demand, often lead to surge pricing. These include morning and evening rush hours on weekdays, and nights on weekends.
  • Earnings can vary widely based on the city, with some locations offering significantly higher rates than others.
  • Staying informed about local events, weather conditions, and using tools like Uber’s resources or online communities can help in identifying the most lucrative driving times.

What is the Best Time to Drive For Uber?

The best times to drive for Uber are during morning and evening rush hours on weekdays, and on weekends, especially Friday and Saturday nights. For Uber Eats drivers, lunch (11 am to 2 pm) and dinner times (starting around 6 pm) are peak hours.

Additionally, driving during large events, work commutes, airport rides, weekends, in bad weather, and on certain holidays like New Year’s Eve can be more profitable. These periods typically coincide with higher demand and surge pricing, offering increased earning opportunities.

Driving During Uber Peak Hours is the Key

Peak hours in the context of Uber driving refer to the times of day when demand for ridesharing services is at its highest. These periods are significant for Uber drivers because they often coincide with surge pricing, where fares are higher due to increased rider demand.

This higher demand typically occurs during morning and evening commute times, as well as on weekends and during special events or bad weather conditions.

For Uber drivers, understanding and capitalizing on these peak hours is crucial as it can lead to increased earnings, making them the most lucrative times to drive.

Peak Hours for Uber Rideshare Drivers

The best peak hours for rideshare drivers are predominantly during morning and evening rush hours, when people are commuting to and from work.

This usually means early mornings and late afternoons or early evenings on weekdays. Additionally, weekends, especially Friday and Saturday nights, are also peak times due to social outings and events.

Peak Hours for Uber Eats Delivery Drivers

For delivery drivers, peak hours tend to align with mealtimes.

Lunch hours, typically from 11 am to 2 pm, and dinner hours, starting from around 6 pm, are the busiest and most profitable times. These periods see a higher demand for food delivery services, offering greater earning opportunities for drivers.

How to find Uber Peak Hours While Driving

To maximize your profits as an Uber driver, it’s essential to identify peak hours when demand is highest. Here are strategies to find these optimal times:

  1. Utilize Uber’s Resources: Regularly check Uber’s official website and social media for updates about promotions and discounts. These can often signal an increase in demand, helping you to plan your driving schedule around these peak periods.
  2. Engage with Online Communities: Join online forums and communities, such as those on Reddit, where Uber drivers share experiences and tips. These platforms are valuable for gaining insights from fellow drivers about peak driving times in your area.
  3. Monitor the Uber Driver App: Keep a close eye on the Uber driver app. Watch for trends in surge pricing and demand fluctuations. Events in your city, for example, can lead to a surge in demand, and the app will provide real-time updates on these changes.
  4. Explore Tools like Gridwise: Consider using applications like Gridwise, designed to assist rideshare drivers in maximizing their earnings. Gridwise offers features such as “When to Drive,” providing data on the best times to drive in your area. Note that some features might require a subscription to Gridwise Plus.

By combining these strategies, you can effectively pinpoint the peak hours for Uber driving in your region, optimizing your schedule for better earnings.

The Best Times to Drive for Uber Ridesharing

Save yourself the time and research. We’ve identified several times and places that are almost guaranteed to lead to higher fares for you as a driver.

Of course, it’s impossible to generalize for all cities and market conditions, so you should always talk to other drivers in your city to get advice on the best driving times and places.

The following list, however, is a great place to start.

vector image of a car driving and money coming out the back to demonstrate how much do uber drivers make

1. Large Events

Popular events like concerts, fairs, or sports matches create prime opportunities for Uber drivers. During these events, the demand for rides significantly increases, especially just before the event begins and right after it ends. This surge in demand often leads to higher fares, making it an ideal time for rideshare drivers to work.

For sporting events, the end of a game usually triggers surge pricing due to a large number of attendees needing transportation. Whether fans are heading home or off to celebrate, being available as a driver during these times can be highly profitable.

However, it’s important to be selective about the events you target. For example, a Sunday NFL game will likely be more lucrative than a minor league baseball game on a weeknight. In some areas, like the Southern U.S., college football games can also be a profitable choice.

Keeping track of special sporting events in your city can help boost your earnings, regardless of your interest in sports.

2. Work Commutes

Driving during work commutes presents a valuable opportunity for Uber drivers, and it’s a time slot that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The main advantage is the higher demand during these hours, as a significant number of people are traveling to and from work. This increased demand often leads to higher fares.

Additionally, for drivers who are doing Uber as a side job, aligning driving hours with morning and evening rush hours can be practically beneficial. It allows for earning extra by accommodating passengers along your own commute to or from your primary job.

However, it’s essential to manage this schedule carefully to ensure it doesn’t conflict with your work timings or other responsibilities.

3. Airport Rides

Airport rides are a consistent and lucrative opportunity for Uber drivers, largely due to the high cost of airport parking which discourages many from driving themselves. As a result, ridesharing services become a preferred choice for airport transportation.

Two key times are especially busy for airport routes:

  1. Early Mornings (4 am to 7 am): This period is bustling with activity as people head to the airport to catch early flights. Additionally, those arriving from overnight flights or red-eyes often need rides from the airport around this time.
  2. Late at Night (9 pm to 12 midnight): Many travelers opt for late-night flights, especially for long-haul journeys, so they can arrive at their destination during the day. Driving in this late-night window can cater to these passengers, providing them with convenient transportation to the airport.

Focusing on these time frames can ensure a steady flow of passengers and potentially higher earnings for Uber drivers.

4. Weekends

Weekends, particularly Friday and Saturday nights, offer regular opportunities for higher earnings for Uber drivers, without having to wait for special events or holidays. The strategy lies in targeting the right kind of rides during these times.

1. Early Evening Strategy

If you position yourself downtown in the early evening, you’re likely to pick up a lot of UberPOOL rides as people move between bars. These trips are frequent but may not be as profitable as longer-distance fares.

2. Capturing Higher Fare Rides

To maximize earnings, consider starting your evening a bit further from the city center, perhaps in suburban areas. Here, you might find fewer drivers competing for rides, and passengers traveling into downtown tend to pay higher fares for the longer distances.

3. Early Morning Strategy

Uber driving in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday is often highly profitable. From midnight to early morning, as bars and clubs close, the demand for rides spikes, leading to increased fares.

This surge in demand, coupled with limited public transport options, makes these hours especially lucrative for drivers, providing a steady flow of passengers and enhanced earning opportunities.

4. Post-Bar Rush

Knowing your city’s regulations around bar closing times is crucial to maximizing this strategy.

In some cities, bars close as early as 2:00 a.m., while in others, the nightlife extends to 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. In places like New Orleans or Las Vegas, some bars never close, so strategic location choice is key.

Being near popular nightlife areas when bars stop serving is a smart move to catch the rush of people needing rides home, often resulting in higher fares due to the demand.

5. Bad Weather

Bad weather significantly influences the demand for Uber rides, as people who might have chosen to walk or bike opt for a ride instead.

This increase in demand isn’t limited to severe weather; even a light rain shower or a mild drizzle can lead to a rise in Uber ride requests and higher fares.

However, predicting when to drive based on weather can be challenging. Weather forecasts aren’t always accurate, and making decisions based on a slight chance of rain might not be effective.

On the other hand, a forecast indicating a high likelihood of thunderstorms could signal an opportune time for higher fares.

However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and avoid driving in hazardous conditions that could jeopardize your safety or that of your passengers. The risks involved in driving in dangerous weather conditions are not worth the potential earnings.

6. Holidays

Driving on holidays can either significantly boost your earnings or result in wasted time, depending on the holiday.

For instance, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving typically see less demand for Uber rides, as most people stay at home and those who do go out often choose to drive themselves.

In contrast, New Year’s Eve is known to be highly profitable for Uber drivers, with fares sometimes surging to exceptional levels. Despite passenger complaints about high prices, many are willing to pay, allowing drivers to earn substantially more than they would on a typical day.

When deciding whether to drive on a holiday, consider how people usually celebrate it. Holidays like New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, and Halloween, which often involve going out to bars or parties, are prime times for driving.

On holidays where people are more likely to stay in, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, you might find it more beneficial to take the day off.

The Best Times To Drive For Uber: A City-By-City Analysis

Now let’s take an in-depth look at each city in the data to give you a clear idea of exactly how much you can expect to earn in your specific location.

But before we analyze what the data tells us about Uber driver earnings, let’s briefly go over how the data was collected.

This data was collected through Solo Marketplace Insights. This platform accurately gathers data for earnings for a range of different independent jobs across different cities in the United States.

As there is often such a diverse range of figures reported online, this is a far more reliable way of ascertaining exactly how much you could make for a given job.

In this case, we’re looking at data for Uber drivers. This dataset covers earnings for Uber for 67 cities across the whole of the United States. The data also examines mean and median total pay per hour, as well as a breakdown of base pay, bonus pay, and tip pay.

In addition, this data also shows us the best days of the week to work for the highest earnings, as well as the best time of day to work and what you can expect to earn in that hour in your particular city.

All in all, this is a pretty comprehensive dataset!

The Best Times to Drive for Uber [By City]

CityAverage Hourly EarningsBest Days to WorkBest Hours to Work
Seattle36.62Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday5.00 AM, 7.00 AM
New York28.71Sunday, Friday, Saturday7.00 AM, 11.00 PM
Denver28.61Sunday, Monday, Saturday5.00 AM, 8.00 AM
Portland27.95Sunday, Friday, Saturday7.00 AM, 8.00 AM
St. Louis27.69Sunday, Friday, Saturday3.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Tacoma-Olympia27.24Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday4.00 AM, 2.00 AM
Pittsburgh26.87Sunday, Monday, Saturday9.00 PM, 1.00 AM
Charleston25.91Sunday, Thursday, Saturday8.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Baltimore25.47Sunday, Monday, Saturday4.00 AM, 1.00 AM
Chicago25.17Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Las Vegas24.96Sunday, Monday, Saturday5.00 AM, 4.00 PM
San Francisco24.35Sunday, Wednesday, Friday7.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Minneapolis24.19Sunday, Monday, Friday5.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Austin24.18Sunday, Friday, Saturday6.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Bay Area24.14Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Philadelphia23.64Sunday, Friday, Saturday7.00 AM, 10.00 PM
Nashville23.60Sunday, Friday, Saturday6.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Cleveland23.50Sunday, Monday, Saturday5.00 AM, 3.00 AM
Louisville23.49Sunday, Friday, Saturday8.00 AM, 3.00 AM
Springfield23.36Sunday, Monday, Thursday9.00 PM, 10.00 PM
San Diego23.23Sunday, Monday, Saturday5.00 AM, 11.00 PM
Columbus23.22Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 3.00 AM
Cincinnati23.14Sunday, Friday, Saturday5.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Detroit23.13Monday, Thursday, Friday1.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Virginia Beach23.06Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 6.00 AM
Washington, D.C.22.91Sunday, Friday, Saturday5.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Huntsville22.81Sunday, Friday, Saturday9.00 AM, 4.00 PM
Atlanta22.61Sunday, Friday, Saturday5.00 AM, 6.00 AM
Kansas City22.53Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 1.00 AM
Phoenix22.53Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 6.00 AM
Knoxville22.41Monday, Friday, Saturday5.00 PM, 5.00 AM
Neward22.34Sunday, Monday, Saturday3.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Salt Lake City22.26Sunday, Friday, Saturday1.00 AM, 8.00 AM
Dallas22.13Sunday, Friday, Saturday5.00 AM, 8.00 AM
Providence22.07Sunday, Friday, Saturday8.00 AM, 4.00 AM
New Haven22.06Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 12.00 PM
Baton Rouge21.93Sunday, Friday, Saturday2.00 AM, 3.00 AM
Los Angeles21.80Sunday, Tuesday, Saturday7.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Hartford21.60Sunday, Monday, Saturday4.00 AM, 11.00 AM
Harrisburg21.55Sunday, Friday, Saturday1.00 AM, 3.00 AM
Chattanooga21.51Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday12.00 AM, 1.00 AM
Spartanburg21.49Sunday, Friday, Saturday3.00 AM, 2.00 AM
Birmingham21.28Sunday, Thursday, Saturday4.00 AM, 8.00 PM
Sacramento21.28Sunday, Friday, Saturday3.00 AM, 6.00 AM
Raleigh21.17Sunday, Friday, Saturday5.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Albany20.97Monday, Friday, Saturday8.00 AM, 10.00 PM
New Orleans20.93Sunday, Friday, Saturday5.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Charlotte20.92Monday, Thursday, Saturday7.00 AM, 6.00 AM
Richmond20.78Sunday, Thursday, Saturday7.00 AM, 1.00 AM
Tampa20.66Sunday, Monday, Saturday6.00 AM, 5.00 AM
San Antonio20.57Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Milwaukee20.56Sunday, Thursday, Saturday7.00 AM, 5.00 AM
Riverside20.55Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday1.00 AM, 7.00 AM
Indianapolis20.36Sunday, Monday, Saturday4.00 PM, 6.00 AM
Memphis19.96Monday, Thursday, Friday4.00 AM, 7.00 PM
Oklahoma City19.83Tuesday, Thursday, Friday6.00 AM, 10.00 PM
Jacksonville19.52Sunday, Friday, Saturday7.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Orlando19.52Sunday, Monday, Saturday3.00 AM, 4.00 AM
Buffalo19.27Thursday, Friday, Saturday1.00 AM, 11.00 PM
Allentown18.92Sunday, Friday, Saturday3.00 PM, 6.00 AM
Greensboro18.69Wednesday, Friday, Saturday12.00 PM, 8.00 AM
Miami18.39Sunday, Friday, Saturday4.00 AM, 6.00 AM
Columbia17.79Monday, Wednesday, Saturday5.00 PM, 5.00 AM
Tucson17.21Thursday, Friday, Saturday2.00 AM, 10.00 AM
Toledo16.58Wednesday, Thursday, Friday5.00 AM, 9.00 AM
Wichita16.21Sunday, Friday, Saturday12.00 PM, 7.00 AM
Fayetteville15.28Sunday, Friday, Saturday7.00 AM, 6.00 AM

Overview of Key Findings

So, if we analyze all this data, what does it tell us?

One thing that is clear from the data is that the city where you will have the highest earning potential is Seattle.

Uber drivers in Seattle make an average hourly rate of $36.62. The next best cities are New York at an average of $28.70, Denver at an average of $28.60, and Portland at an average of $27.95.

Looking at the median rates instead, Seattle again comes out on top at $35.44, with Tacoma-Olympia in second place with a median rate of $29.90.

Looking at the other side of things, the city that had the lowest average pay rate was Fayetteville at $15.28.

This is followed closely by Wichita at $16.21, and Toledo at $16.58. The lowest median rates were again in Fayetteville at $16.19, followed by Witchita at $16.30.

Overall, the average hourly earnings for an Uber driver were $22.44.

From this data, we can also see what the most profitable times to drive are. Across the board, the best days for Uber drivers are overwhelmingly Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

There is more variance relating to the highest earning hours; however, the early hours of the morning and late at night are the most profitable, as well as in the morning from 7 am-9 am.

Comparative Analysis

Looking at the data for each city, we can see that there is significant variability in the amounts earned across cities.

The difference between the lowest average-earning city ($15.28) and the highest average-earning city ($36.62) is a whopping $21.34 per hour!

This shows how the city you are driving in can have a huge impact on your earnings.

We can also see that there is a fairly even spread of earnings across cities that start at the lowest amount of $15.28 and go up to $28.71 in New York. However, from there, it’s a significant jump to $36.62 in Seattle.

The average hourly earnings for an Uber driver sit in the middle somewhere, at $22.44 per hour.

Looking at the best times to drive, pretty consistently across cities.

The best days are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Also fairly consistently across cities, the highest earning hours tend to be in the early hours of the morning and late in the evening.

The Takeaway: Strategies for Maximizing Earnings Based on This Data

For those wanting to maximize earnings, drivers should be prepared to work on the weekend!

In addition, working those hours between sunset and 9:00 am will gain you the highest earnings per hour, and see you earning more in tips as well.

Drivers in most cities would benefit if they started a shift at 1:00 am and finished at 9:00 am. This period of time will provide you with the highest earning hours.

Exceptions to this are Springfield, where the highest earning hours are 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Therefore, doing an evening shift in Springfield makes the most sense.

In a few other cities across the United States, the highest earning hours are at opposite times of the day.

Examples of this are Columbia, Indianapolis, and Las Vegas. In these cases, consider doing split shifts to make the most of the high-earning hours.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Time to Drive Uber Delivery?

The best time to drive Uber Delivery is during meal times. This means your earnings will be highest around lunchtime from 11 am to 2 pm, and around dinner time from 6 pm onwards.

What Days of the Year Are Best for Uber Drivers?

The best days of the year for Uber drivers are usually during holidays. Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day will be days when your hourly earnings will be higher than usual.

Do Uber Drivers Get Paid More at Night?

Yes, Uber drivers can earn more at night, especially during events when surge pricing is in effect and less traffic allows for faster completion of rides. However, outside of these factors, nighttime fares are generally similar to daytime rates.

Wrapping Up

As we’ve seen, the amount you can earn as an Uber driver per hour is highly dependent on the city in which you live.

Some cities in the United States pay a lot more for Uber drivers than others. If you live in one of these high-paying cities, it may well be worth your while to become an Uber driver!

In addition, the days of the week have a big influence on earnings, with weekends being by far the best days to work as an Uber driver.

Furthermore, typically the early hours of the morning and the evening are where the highest earning hours are to be found.

As a result, be prepared to work outside normal office hours if you’re looking to maximize your earnings as an Uber driver!

Leave a Comment

vector graphic showing the Uber transit service
  • Basics

Uber Transit: Everything You Need to Know (2024)

April 17, 2024
7 min read
vector graphic showing an uber direct driver holding a box and getting into a vehicle labeled uber direct
  • Basics

What Is Uber Direct? How It Works, Benefits, and More

March 30, 2024
6 min read
vector graphic showing a hand holding a smartphone running the grubhub app wondering how does grubhub work
  • Basics

How Does Grubhub Work? Order Process, Costs & More

March 30, 2024
8 min read