- Uber drivers earn, on average, between $15.28 and $36.62/hr. Tips can add another $1.01 to $4.00/hr.
- Promotions like Uber’s Guaranteed Earnings can add significant increases for new drivers.
- Uber driver income has steadily been increasing. In 2018, average driver income was $14.73/hr. In 2020, it rose to $18.97 before dropping 80% due to lockdowns. Currently, the nationwide average is $22.38/hr.
- How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Before Expenses In 2023?
- Top-Paying Cities and States for Uber Drivers
- Ridester’s Driver Surveys (An Overview)
- How Much Does Uber Take From Drivers?
- Don’t Forget Driver Expenses
- Other Things to Might Impact Uber Driver Pay
- How Do Uber Driver Payments Work?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Before Expenses In 2023?
Uber drivers typically earn between $15.28 and $36.62 per hour on average. However, the median hourly earnings, often a more accurate reflection of a driver’s income, fall between $16.19 and $35.44. Drivers also receive tips, which can add an extra $1.01 to $4.00 per hour to their pay.
How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Per Week?
Based on the diverse marketplace data, an Uber driver’s weekly earnings can significantly fluctuate based on location, hours worked, and demand.
On average, with an hourly pay range of $15.28 to $36.62, a driver working a full-time schedule of 40 hours could make between approximately $611.20 and $1,464.80 before expenses.
How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Per Year?
In terms of annual earnings, assuming consistent full-time hours and no changes in pay scale, an Uber driver’s income before expenses can be quite substantial.
Calculated using the average hourly pay data, a driver working 40 hours per week might earn roughly $46,541 over the course of a year.
How Much Do Uber Drivers Make in Tips?
Tips can significantly supplement an Uber driver’s income. According to the collected data, Uber drivers can expect to receive tips ranging from $1.01 to $4.00 per hour.
The actual amount will depend on various factors such as service quality, customer interaction, and regional tipping habits. Over time, these tips can constitute a substantial portion of a driver’s total earnings.
Large Promotions At Play: Uber’s Earnings Guarantees
When we look at the Solo data, the impact of Uber driver promotions becomes evident. I chalk this up to Uber’s Guaranteed Earnings promotions that the company is currently running in an effort to recruit – and retain – new drivers.
These promotions provide drivers with a promise of consistent income for meeting certain conditions like a minimum number of trips within designated zones and times.
Paid weekly after the guarantee period ends, these earnings ensure drivers make a certain amount regardless of demand, with Uber covering any shortfall between actual earnings and guaranteed rates.
These promotions are typically incredibly lucrative. The amount you can earn varies widely by city and the need for drivers in it. But as you can see from the screenshot from my referral link above, Uber is openly advertising that these can reach up to $1,650.
Top-Paying Cities and States for Uber Drivers
Now let’s take a look at the city-specific numbers. We’ve taken the 15 top cities among the 60 in total that we analyzed:
|City, State||Average Hourly Pay||Base Pay per Hour||Bonus Pay per Hour||Tips per Hour|
|New York, NY||28.71||24.40||2.37||1.94|
|St. Louis, MO||27.69||23.00||1.99||2.70|
|Las Vegas, NV||24.96||16.13||5.72||3.11|
|San Francisco, CA||24.35||19.89||2.25||2.21|
|Bay Area, CA||24.14||19.49||2.59||2.06|
|Top 15 Averages||26.80||21.17||3.00||2.64|
The top-paying cities for Uber drivers may not surprise you because the cities have higher costs of living. But, when we analyze the best times to drive in each of the top cities, it becomes clear that pay really varies by city:
The Best Times to Drive In Those Cities and States
|City, State||Best Days to Work||Best Hours To Work||Amounts Earned|
|Seattle, WA||Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday||5.00 AM||35.83|
|New York, NY||Sunday, Friday, Saturday||7.00 AM||31.88|
|Denver, CO||Sunday, Monday, Saturday||5.00 AM||25.07|
|Portland, OR||Sunday, Friday, Saturday||7.00 AM||30.41|
|St. Louis, MO||Sunday, Friday, Saturday||3.00 AM||31.50|
|Tacoma-Olympia, WA||Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday||4.00 AM||27.38|
|Pittsburgh, PA||Sunday, Monday, Saturday||9.00 PM||32.34|
|Charleston, SC||Sunday, Thursday, Saturday||8.00 AM||34.53|
|Baltimore, MD||Sunday, Monday, Saturday||4.00 AM||30.54|
|Chicago, IL||Sunday, Friday, Saturday||4.00 AM||27.76|
|Las Vegas, NV||Sunday, Monday, Saturday||5.00 AM||28.57|
|San Francisco, CA||Sunday, Wednesday, Friday||7.00 AM||32.58|
|Minneapolis, MN||Sunday, Monday, Friday||5.00 AM||29.55|
|Austin, TX||Sunday, Friday, Saturday||6.00 AM||26.59|
|Bay Area, CA||Sunday, Friday, Saturday||4.00 AM||29.36|
|Top 15 Averages||30.26|
In comparison, here’s how our RIDES survey breaks down city-specific driver pay:
Which brings me to my next point – coming full-circle between the two sources of data.
How These Amounts Compare To Our RIDES Survey Findings
In 2018, we surveyed earnings data from over 2,500 Uber drivers as part of our RIDES survey. It revealed that Uber drivers earned a median net income of $13.70 per hour, with the inclusion of tips bumping the figure modestly to $14.73 per hour.
The survey underscored the often overstated self-reported earnings by drivers, which were 37.40% higher than the actual income verified by the data. This pointed to a notable discrepancy between perceived earnings and the reality captured through direct evidence from driver earnings screenshots.
Fast forward to the current insights from Solo’s marketplace, and the landscape of Uber driver earnings appears to have shifted. The average hourly pay has increased to approximately $22.38, with a median hourly pay of $21.15.
Not only do these figures suggest an uplift in earnings, but they also reflect a narrowing gap between average and median pay, implying a more consistent earning experience across the board.
Seattle stands out as a perennial high-earner among cities, featuring prominently in both datasets. In contrast, the cities that round out the bottom earners have changed, indicating fluctuations in local markets, the impact of Uber’s evolving fare structures, and the dynamic supply of drivers.’
My Thoughts On This Comparison
This comparison suggests a positive trend in earnings for Uber drivers since 2018, although it’s crucial to account for the differences in methodologies between the RIDES survey and Solo’s data collection.
Solo’s insights may offer a broader view, less susceptible to self-reporting biases, providing a more accurate reflection of the current earnings of Uber drivers.
Either way, these findings line up with what I am personally seeing as a driver – which is great for drivers as a whole.
How Much Does Uber Take From Drivers?
Uber deducts a standard service fee for each trip, claiming that the fee is 25% of the total fare. But, when you factor in additional Uber fees, the booking fee can actually be much higher than 25%.
Say Uber charges 25% of a ten-dollar fare. If there is an additional one dollar fee, the total taken is more than 35% of the total fare. But if the fare is one hundred dollars, that one dollar fee doesn’t hit as hard in terms of a percentage of the total.
As it turns out, Uber hasn’t been so transparent about fees it’s charging its drivers. In our research, we found that Uber is actually taking a much higher portion of driver earnings than the advertised 25 percent commission.
There are actually a number of additional fees that rideshare companies take. As a result, the Uber booking fee is actually much higher than that 25 percent.
How does this happen? We put together a quick video to easily explain:
Uber and Lyft both charge a “booking fee” and “safe rides fee” on each ride. These vary by city but are generally somewhere between $1–$3 dollars in the United States and are added directly to the passenger’s fare.
Unfortunately, Uber drivers don’t actually see any of this booking fee in their bank accounts It goes directly to Uber and isn’t included in the driver’s fare.
Even if you’re driving a Tesla or another high end car, they still take a healthy cut. On lower priced rides, this means that Uber is taking a much higher cut than 25 percent.
Further, Uber has lowered its prices significantly over the past few years, hurting Uber driver salaries in the process. For example, in 2013, Uber drivers only had to drive roughly 2.36 miles to make $10 before fees.
Nowadays, the average Uber driver has to travel a whopping 4.71 miles to make the same amount of money. Oh, and that’s before the $3.26 Uber takes.
In other words: the lower the ride fare is, the higher Uber’s commission becomes. And the higher Uber’s commission becomes, the less rideshare drivers make.
Despite claiming to take just 25 percent commission on rides, rideshare companies like Uber actually take up to 42.75 percent of their drivers. That’s just for a minimum-price fare ride in San Francisco.
That means that short rides are becoming less and less profitable for drivers. For many rideshare drivers in San Francisco (and elsewhere), almost half of a driver’s earnings are lost to Uber.
So before you rush out and sign up to become an Uber driver, we suggest getting a firm understanding of what’ll get taken from your paycheck first.
The Drain on Your Commission
According to the San Francisco-based study, the median commission that drivers lost out on over the course of 37 rides was around 39.01 percent — much higher than the 25 percent claim that Uber makes.
Here’s an infographic that analyzes a recent study of Uber rides in San Francisco.
As you can see, after Uber’s booking fee and 25 percent commission are added up, the fee can sometimes be significantly more than one-fourth of the ride that Uber promises.
See the full infographic below:
Don’t Forget Driver Expenses
It is essential to remember to factor in your driver expenses when trying to estimate your earnings.
After a driver has given an Uber ride, they must calculate the hidden cost of the ride. Often drivers overlook these expenses, which then comes back to bite them later down the road.
Some of the biggest expenses you will incur are:
- Insurance: This includes personal insurance and a rideshare or commercial insurance policy.
- Car/lease payments: The amounts a driver pays to drive their vehicle. Drivers either own their own vehicles or lease one from Uber or a third-party provider.
- Tolls, license, permit fees: Drivers pay for all of these fees. Passengers pay an added surcharge when drivers must incur toll fees.
- Gas: Since drivers are considered independent contractors, they must pay for their own gas, and are not reimbursed.
- Vehicle maintenance: Drivers are responsible for their own vehicle maintenance and upkeep. They will be reimbursed if a rider damages their vehicle, however.
- Taxes: including a 10% Self-Employment Tax with the IRS
These types of expenses, again, can vary widely based on a bunch of different factors, including what type of car you drive, what city you drive in, age, and driving record.
Given that fact, we’ll summarize these expenses and speak in broad generalities.
It’s a general rule of thumb for the rideshare industry to budget roughly 20 percent of the total ride fare amount for ride-related expenses.
In our example, that would mean: $10.24 x 0.8 = $8.19
At that rate – hypothetically speaking, after factoring in pick-up, drop-off, and dead time – the UberX driver could estimate to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $15–$20 an hour if they were to get two similar rides each hour they drove.
Other Things to Might Impact Uber Driver Pay
1. Uber Driver Income Varies by Uber Service
One factor that determines how much an Uber driver can earn is the type of Uber service they provide.
Uber economy services like UberX, Comfort, and UberXL charge riders less than when they use premium services like Uber Premier. But that doesn’t always translate into more money for drivers who provide premium rides.
If there are fewer riders, you will get fewer customers. So, many Uber drivers also opt to provide deliveries for Uber Eats to maximize their earnings by doing food deliveries while in between rides.
2. Uber Driver Income Varies by City & Region
Right now, Uber estimates that a driver working forty hours per week will earn $1,309.
But that figure is drawn from data obtained in the suburbs of New York City, where driver supply tends to be high, and there are large population centers near one another. That figure also includes an estimate of $72 in tips provided by customers and excluded the costs for which a driver is responsible.
So, after an Uber driver pays all their fees, insurance, and taxes, plus the costs for owning, maintaining, and cleaning their vehicle, their earnings will be substantially lower than the figure estimated by Uber.
Also, consider that if an Uber driver has to perform significant maintenance on their vehicle that takes them out of service they will be unable to complete trips and earn wages.
And, if you move that same driver to another area with less volume, the average driver’s salary will drop substantially. For instance, the median earnings of a driver in San Francisco are almost 30% more than a driver working the same hours in Kentucky.
3. Uber Driver Income Varies by Hours Worked
The bottom line is that the more you drive, the more you will earn.
Uber’s estimates show that a driver working about twenty hours per week will make just over $600, including about $40 in tips. That is less than half of what a driver working about forty hours per week will earn.
Earnings are not necessarily linearly tied to the hours worked by an Uber driver. But, by understanding the Uber pay structure and optimizing your time in the car to maximize your earning potential, you can make more money than drivers who do not.
How Do Uber Driver Payments Work?
By default, Uber pays drivers once per week using an ACH bank transfer directly into their account.
A week for Uber runs from Monday at 4:00 a.m. to the following Monday at 3:59 a.m. All rides during that time period will count towards that week’s pay period, which will be reflected in a driver’s Uber pay stub.
You will receive a weekly statement of earnings on Monday or Tuesday which shows your earnings for the previous week, but you can also check your driver earnings from within the app by clicking on the “Earnings” icon on the bottom of the driver app.
For most banks, direct deposit will show up on Thursday for the previous week’s pay. For some people, the direct deposit shows up on Friday, but it really depends on your bank.
While an ACH bank transfer is the standard method for payments, drivers can also elect to be paid by two other ways.
- Instant Pay: Instant Pay services allow a driver to collect their earnings more quickly than via a traditional bank transfer. If they elect to use a personal debit card, they incur a fifty-cent charge per transaction.
- Uber Debit Card: Uber Instant Pay users can avoid the transaction fee by opening an account and using the Uber Visa Debit card from GoBank to receive their payments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions people ask about driving for Uber.
Is Uber meant to replace a full time job, or supplement income as a side hustle?
Uber is generally more suitable as a side hustle to supplement income, with most drivers not finding it consistent enough to be a sole income source.
While some may earn a decent living by driving full-time in busy areas, they do not receive the benefits that come with traditional full-time employment.
How long does it take to make 100 Uber trips?
The time it takes to complete 100 Uber trips varies greatly—drivers in busy urban areas might reach this number within a week to ten days, while those in rural regions or working fewer hours could take significantly longer.
Can you make $1,000 in a week with Uber?
Yes, making $1,000 in a week with Uber is possible, though not common for most drivers.
By strategically working during surge pricing times, providing excellent service for tips, and understanding Uber’s pay structure, drivers can potentially increase their earnings to hit this goal. However, success depends on various factors and personal effort to maximize income.
Does Uber Reimburse Surcharges and Tolls?
Uber does not reimburse drivers for most local surcharges. But, drivers are supposed to receive automatic reimbursement for tolls they must pay during a given ride.
However, many drivers have complained that they don’t always receive their toll reimbursements automatically and that they have to take action to receive compensation from Uber.