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How Much Do Uber Black Drivers Make In 2024? Explained

In this post, we analyze Uber Black driver earnings, the investment worthiness of purchasing a car for it, and strategies to boost income.

Key Takeaways

  • Uber Black drivers can earn between $100 to $200 per hour in optimal conditions, though this is not the average.
  • On average, an Uber Black driver makes about $50 per trip, considering an average of four trips to make $200 in a shift.
  • Working five days a week, an Uber Black driver can earn $1,000 to $2,000 weekly, depending on the daily hustle and earnings.
  • Uber Black drivers generally earn double compared to UberX drivers, but this requires top-rated service and substantial tips.

How Much Do Uber Black Drivers Make?

On average, an Uber Black driver can make around $32 and up to $35 per hour in multiple U.S. cities, with New York having the highest rate, then Los Angeles, then Dallas, then Chicago.

The salary of an Uber Black driver can vary greatly depending on several factors, some are similar to those of any Uber driver, and some are unique to the service.

Since Uber Black drivers offer excellent services, they get higher ratings and have a better overall experience. Accordingly, they receive more requests and can earn more per hour.

Some additional factors can affect an Uber Black driver’s income, including:

  • Vehicle: Drivers who have a newer and more luxurious car may be able to command higher fares.
  • Language skills: Professional drivers who are fluent in multiple languages can make more requests, especially from tourists, for rides to and from the airport.
  • Knowledge of the city: The deeper a driver’s knowledge of a city, the more efficient they will be in navigating the city. This saves time and money but also increases income.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Per Hour?

One major benefit of Uber Black is that drivers can make a lot of money quickly. It depends on the location, but some drivers can make $100 to $200 in an hour.

That estimate depends on everything working smoothly, from the passenger ordering the pickup to delivering the ride on schedule.

However, most Uber Black drivers aren’t making $200 an hour. There are down times and periods when traffic holds a driver and passenger up, cutting into the hourly rate.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Per Trip?

How much a driver makes on a trip depends on where the passenger wants to go. On average, Uber Black drivers will average around $50 per trip, based on four trips making $200 over an entire shift.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Per Week?

The total an Uber Black driver makes in a week depends on how much they work. If they work five days a week and earn $200 a day, they make $1,000 a week. If they’re hustling and making $400 a day, then they make $2,000 weekly.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make in Tips?

Tips are passenger driven above and beyond the fare, so there’s no way to accurately assess how much an Uber Black driver will make in tips. One can assume that a higher-end clientele will tip on average more than a lower-end clientele.

Impact of Location on Earnings

Uber Black drivers typically operate in major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. As a result, they tend to earn significantly more than those in smaller cities.

There are plenty of factors that can impact your earnings, and Uber helps you understand those with the Earnings Trends feature they offer.

Uber Trends shows you where and when you can make the most money while driving. You can check out the earnings over the past month on a map, showing you the areas with the highest earnings.

From there, you can check out the earnings per week, day, and hour within a given day. Accordingly, with the help of the feature, you can specify the days and even times of day that work best for your earnings.

With that in mind, you can utilize your time with informed decisions instead of leaving it up to luck.

Working Hours and Frequency of an Uber Black Driver

People typically order Uber Black for long and tiring trips, which means that Uber Black drivers work for longer hours. Consequently, they earn more money.

While it may seem that it’s a simple relationship between working hours and money, there’s more to it if you’re working in the ride-hailing industry.

Instead of working more hours, you can focus more on working during high-demand and peak times. There are even some tools you can use, like an app for surge notifications, to make sure you’re optimizing your working hours.

Additional Income Sources for Uber Black Drivers

People tip higher rates for Uber Black drivers since they’re premium drivers with exceptional service, and that’s a major part of their income.

During times of high demand, Uber charges surge pricing, which can significantly increase the amount of money a driver can earn per trip.

Yet, surge pricing only applies to the first hour of a Black Uber trip, so, the first hour has a higher rate than the default.

An Uber Black driver can make some extra cash if a waiting fee applies. If a driver arrives at the location and the rider isn’t there, making them wait more than five minutes, a wait time fee applies to the rider’s fare before the beginning of the trip.

Apart from the driver app policies and changes, though, you can work on passing some milestones that Uber sets for you. You make more cash when you achieve them.

These include finishing a specific number of trips, or Boost+ trips. The latter are trips initiated from a certain promotional zone and completed.

Uber Black Expenses and Operational Costs

Since Uber Black drivers can make so much more than regular fares, their expenses and operational costs must be higher, too, right?

Here are some of the expenses and costs associated with becoming an Uber Black driver.

Vehicle Expenses

The first aspect that distinguishes Uber Black drivers from regular ones is the vehicle. Only certain makes and models are eligible to work as an Uber Black vehicle.

Each Uber Black vehicle’s model can’t be older than six years. The vehicles must also have black exteriors, and the interior must be black or vegan leather.

Maintaining a High Rating

To become an Uber Black driver, your rating must be at least 4.85 and up. A driver’s ratings are based on the most recent 500 trips, taking into account only those that were rated.

Documents – Commercial Insurance

Uber Black captains must be professional drivers with commercial auto insurance. Note that it has to be a commercial one since personal insurance doesn’t qualify.

The driver also must have any permits required by their respective city to drive a commercial livery vehicle in the area.

Comparative Earnings: Uber Black vs Other Uber Services

It’s only natural to wonder just how much more you can make with Uber Black as it’s a higher-earning service than UberX or Uber Comfort.

With Uber Black, not only is the base fare higher but there’s also the possibility of tipping and surge pricing.

On average, Uber Black drivers make 2-3 times more than UberX ones. For example, an Uber Black driver can make around $35 per hour, while an UberX driver could be making $16.

Thanks to the premium service, people are more likely to tip more generously—especially since Uber Black targets well-off riders.

Finally, the surge pricing works incredibly in favor of the driver since it’s applied to the entire first hour of the ride.

How to Maximize Earnings as an Uber Black Driver

Driving specifically with Uber Black can be a lucrative way to earn a good living for professional drivers, but it requires strategy and effort to maximize your income. Here are some tips to help you:

1. Understanding Business Needs

What do we mean by business needs? We mean checking off the following:

  • Work during peak hours: Analyze your local demand patterns and focus on driving during peak times. These can include weekends, holidays, and evenings—that’s when surge pricing is more likely to be in place.
  • Target high-demand areas: Make sure to be in areas with frequent business events, airports, or popular nightlife venues, all of which are where Uber Black services have the best opportunity to thrive.
  • Use Uber’s heatmap: Uber’s heatmap feature shows areas with high demand in real-time, enabling you to position yourself strategically for optimal ride opportunities.
  • Maintain a high rating: Your exceptional customer service has to be your top priority, so make sure you maintain your rating by offering amenities like chargers, water, and local recommendations to encourage larger tips.
  • Manage your vehicle: Part of your rating comes from your car’s cleanliness, smell, etc. So, make sure it’s in tip-top shape, and even add extras like WiFi and music streaming.
  • Manage expenses: Minimizing expenses is the ideal way to make more if you can’t expand your income. With time, you’ll learn where the money comes in and where it seeps out—but you should make sure to identify those. This way, you can always plan your trips in a way that maximizes fares and minimizes expenses.

2. Understanding Uber Pro

It’s worth talking about Uber Pro as you can cut costs and track expenses well through it. It’s free for Uber drivers, and all drivers are automatically enrolled in the first tier, which is the Blue tier.

Uber Pro tracks your rides and gives you a point for every trip you finish. The program also gives you extra points when you work during peak hours.

The higher the number of points you have, the more rewards and access to higher tiers you get. Those include diamond cash rewards, fuel discounts, in-store perks at certain places, and area and trip duration preferences.

You’ll be eligible to reach a new tier and unlock more rewards in a cycle of three months.

It’s important to maintain a good status too, which includes a rating of 4.85 and above as well as 3% or less in terms of cancellation rate.

That said, there are four Uber Pro tiers: Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Each comes with its own set of rewards and exceptions. There’s also a points multiplier that gives you five points per ride that you make at certain hours of certain days.

The program works as follows:

  • Monday to Thursday: 7 AM to 9 AM and 5 PM to 7 PM
  • Friday: 7 AM to 9 AM and 4 PM to 11:59 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday: 12 AM to 5 AM and 9 AM to 11:59 PM

Conclusion: Assessing the Viability of Uber Black Driving

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to become an Uber Black driver is a personal one. There are both pros and cons to consider, and the best way to decide if it’s right for you is to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks carefully.

The way you should think about it is that if you already check the boxes of eligibility and Uber Black is available in your area, there’s no reason you shouldn’t seize the chance of a higher income.

Yet, if you need some more work on your driving skills or if you won’t be able to keep up with the maintenance costs that keep your car qualified to work as an Uber Black driver, you might want to wait a while before you make that decision.

Uber Black vs. UberX Driver Pay

A driver for Uber Black’s earnings will be about double what a driver for Uber X makes. That total, of course, is contingent on the Uber Black driver providing top-rated service and collecting substantial tips.

A more accurate measurement than straight earnings is the amount of effort needed to get the money each type of drive earns.

An Uber X driver will have to drive more and maintain a high customer rating to drive up tips to make about half of what an Uber Black driver will make during a standard 10-hour shift.

The first thing people want to know is how much money you can make driving UberBLACK.

Well, the only accurate answer to that question is that you can make a lot more per mile and per minute than you can driving for UberX or UberXL!

But that’s not to say that you will ultimately make more per hour-online. More about that in a minute.

how much do UberBLACK drivers make

In the beginning, uberX rates were higher than UberBLACK rates are today!

For instance, when Uber first came to New York City, uberX was $4.50 per mile. UberBLACK was $9.00 per mile!  uberX at that time was priced higher than taxis.

Now, uberX is $1.75 a mile in New York City – about half the price of a taxi – and UberBlack is $3.75. It is exactly double the uberX rate.  Around the country it ranges between 2-4 times higher than the local uberX rates.

The greatest thing about driving UberBLACK is that you can make a great deal of money in a short period of time.

For instance, depending on the city and traffic conditions as well as the distance of the trip, you can make anywhere from $100 – $200 in an hour.

$200 if you get very lucky and all the right conditions, in the right market, come together at the same time.

That’s not bad, considering uberX drivers are struggling to make minimum wage. But, it’s not the whole story.

Obviously, if everyone was making $100-$200 an hour, everyone else would be rushing down to the local Uber office to sign up! You’d probably even see doctors and lawyers running down to sign up!

So, Black drivers are not making $100-$200 an hour on average, but there are some hours when they do. Because UberBLACK is a lot more expensive than uberX, you get a lot fewer trips than you do with uberX.

Since Uber is not forthcoming with trip data, we will describe this from the personal (verified) experience of real drivers. 

Breaking Down The Numbers

What usually happens if you compare a New York City uberX driver’s daily invoice to an UberBLACK driver’s, you will typically see that both drivers spent a lot of hours online. And by a lot of hours, we’re talking at least 10 hours.

In those ten hours, the uberX driver will have done 15-20 trips. The UberBLACK driver will have completed 4-7 trips. The uberX driver will have made around $150-$200 and the UberBLACK driver will have made anywhere from $200-$450.

Notice the lower end of the UberBLACK driver’s potential earnings is the higher end of the uberX driver’s. It is possible for a Black driver to make the same dollar amount as an X driver, but he will have done so with a lot less effort, a lot less miles driven and a lot less hassle.

But, he would have also had a lot more waiting time. He’ll put in the same number of hours “online”, it’s just that a lot more of those hours will be spent idle rather than driving.

By “online hours”, we mean the number of hours the driver is online with the driver app and standing by to take calls.

For example, the UberBLACK driver may be sitting in a Starbucks knowing it’s going to be a couple of hours before he gets a call, while the uberX driver is out furiously running around, completing $5 trip after $5 trip!

Oh, and every now and then a lucky $7 call! Big money can be made with UberBLACK, but it’s not at all guaranteed. And with Uber changing everything every few months, it’s not a sure long-term bet.

Just this year in New York for instance, they drastically reduced the geographic area New York City drivers were allowed to drive in. In the area that they cut drivers out of they also slashed prices by 50%.

This was a great shock to New York drivers and some are still reeling from it. A lot of guys, who were financially on the edge, lost their cars.

The bottom line: don’t go out on a financial limb to drive UberBLACK. If you can just barely afford the car, don’t do it, because the stability that you’re going to need just isn’t there.

Another factor that makes it a risky long-term bet is the fact that Uber puts no limits on the number of cars they’ll allow in their system for any given city. They allow tons of new drivers to sign up for the platform.

What do I mean?

This year in New York, for instance, Uber’s “Black” passenger base has grown significantly over last year, yet drivers are seeing their earnings actually going down. The reason is because Uber has continued to pour new Black car drivers onto the road.

They did seem to realize they needed to cut back on the number of cars, so they instituted a minimum-rating requirement where Black car drivers would be required to have at least a 4.80 rating.

Apparently though, so many drivers were above 4.80 that whatever small reduction this has produced has not offset the number of new drivers Uber continues to add.

Our view is that long-term earnings security for UberBLACK is low. So, don’t go out and overspend on a car if your sole intention is to use it to drive for UberBLACK .  You could be putting yourself into great financial risk.

It All Depends on Where You Are

In the end, how much UberBLACK drivers earn is largely dependent upon where they drive. Some cities are far more conducive to UberBLACK than others.

Very wealthy cities like New York and LA, are naturals for UberBlack.

Two factors that are key for a particular city to possess in order for UberBLACK to be viable, are:

  1. it needs a lot of wealthy people
  2. it needs a lot of wealthy people who are showoffs

New York and Los Angeles certainly have their fair share of wealthy showoffs! And they are naturals for UberBlack.

A city like Phoenix, while possessing a lot of wealth, is not nearly as wealthy as LA and New York and its wealthy people tend not to be quite the showoffs that New Yorkers and Angelinos are. If they were, they’d live in LA or New York!

If you’re considering driving UberBLACK, you need to consider the characteristics of your market.

Is there a large core of wealthy people who live in your area? Do you think they’re likely to spend 2-3 times what uberX costs to get a little extra comfort? Or are they the very practical kind of wealthy people who no matter how much they have, they’re always going to spend it frugally?

How Much Are Uber Black Expenses?

The cost of keeping an Uber Black vehicle up and running is roughly the same as keeping a regular vehicle up and running.

Presumably, the Uber Black driver will keep their vehicle in pristine condition, which can be costly, but the Uber X driver cannot drive a junk vehicle and expect to do well.

Vehicle inspection, routine maintenance, and repair expenses will be about the same.

Conclusion: Is Driving for Uber Black Worth It?

The question of whether Uber Black is worth it depends on your driver rating, whether you have a luxury vehicle and if you have the correct certification and insurance. If you do, you can make more money for less work compared to an Uber X driver.

So, how much do Uber Black drivers make? Uber Black drivers can make $50 to $200 per hour. But earnings depend on various factors, including location, tips, and service.

My Take On How Much UberBLACK Drivers Make

The best way to get a sense of your city though is to simply talk to UberBLACK drivers. And the best place to find them is in the airport holding lot while they’re waiting on a trip.

If you’re an uberX driver, just go up to some Black drivers in the lot and start up a conversation with them. They’ll probably be more than willing to help you.

They will naturally tell you things are very hard, but you’ll want them to show you. Don’t believe anything they tell you about earnings unless they show you their earnings on the driver app.

Drivers love to exaggerate their earnings – up and down – so you’ll want to see for yourself on the app. But the guys who are doing well, will want to show you on the app – because they love to brag!

In the end, Uber is not about to make earnings figures available to the general public. So, the best ways you can get a sense of it is to check back with us here at Ridester often.

We’ll be posting information on this as we get it. And talk to current drivers and see if you can get them to let you look at their actual earnings as displayed on the Uber and Lyft apps.

How much do UberBLACK drivers make in your area? Have you seen success with this type of service? Let us know in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Uber Black More Expensive for Riders?

Uber Black is pricier than standard services like UberX due to factors like higher-rated drivers, better training, and commercial insurance.

Luxury vehicles like Lexus or BMW used in Uber Black also contribute to the cost, with fares varying by market, often higher in cities like New York and Los Angeles.

Does Uber Pay More for Nicer Cars?

Yes, Uber indirectly pays more for nicer cars. Although there’s no direct extra payment for specific vehicle types, drivers with higher-end vehicles can qualify for Uber Black, where customers pay more for the service. Thus, drivers with nicer cars can potentially earn more due to the higher rates of Uber Black.

Which Uber Service Level Makes the Most Money?

The most lucrative Uber service level is typically Uber Black due to its premium rates. However, a driver’s earnings depend on factors like hours worked, customer ratings, and location. An active Uber Black driver in high-demand areas can earn more than an Uber X driver.

Is Uber Black Worth Doing?

The answer to whether anything is worth doing is the comparison between what you’ll gain and what you’ll lose.

If you already have an eligible car, excellent ratings, and all your required documents at hand, opting for Uber Black for the higher ratings and fares would be an incredibly optimal step.

How Much Does a London Uber Driver Earn?

The average UK Uber driver makes anywhere between £13 and £18.72 per hour, which is the equivalent of $16 to $23.49 per hour.

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