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This post is part of our Uber Driver Training Mini-Series, designed to help drivers get through the application process, and earn more once on the road. Today, we’ll discuss how much Uber drivers make and how the driver payment process works.
When talking about the topic of Uber driver pay, there are two important questions to cover:
In this post, we’ll explain how to get paid by Uber and how the fees, bonuses, and toll reimbursements work.
This is one of the most common questions prospective drivers ask us. How much can they make driving for Uber?
As we outlined in a recent write up about driver pay, the amount an Uber driver makes depends on the driver, where they live, when they drive, how often they drive, and even what kind of vehicle they drive. All of these factors will affect how much money you can earn as an Uber driver.
The average driver earns $19.34 an hour according to Uber’s marketing site, which they promote through advertisements on social media and even on television.
Keep in mind that this is Uber’s marketing department telling you this. Some drivers make more than $19.34 an hour, but many actually earn much less.
Also, keep in mind that it depends on your city. In Detroit, an average driver will make significantly less than a driver in New York or Los Angeles where the ride fares are a lot higher.
You Control Your Uber Earnings
How much you earn is really up to you. Do you want to drive during the busiest hours where surge pricing takes effect and you get paid more per ride? Do you want to drive full time or just pick up a passenger now and then? Do you have a premium ride like an SUV that can fit extra passengers and qualify for XL? Or do you have a luxury vehicle like a Tesla or Mercedes that might qualify for UberSELECT, UberBLACK, or UberLUX?
I drive UberSELECT and UberLUX. On weekends my goal is $40 an hour (or more). Of course, on weekends you are going to make more. That will make up for the time during the week when you’re struggling to catch rides.
Even if you are a driver in a small city, the amount you earn is up to you. Some people will hustle more. Some people will find where the rides are. Some people will travel the extra distance to get closer to where the passengers are. Some people will work nights and weekends or even early morning hours. Some will drive in inclement weather.
Pro Tip: The times when people don’t want to drive is when the most money can be made! Is it raining or snowing? That is probably a good time to drive. Most people don’t want to drive (or walk short distances) so they request an Uber!
Uber pays rideshare drivers via ACH deposit every week. 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.
You will receive a weekly statement of earnings on Monday or Tuesday which shows your earnings for the previous week. You can also check your driver earnings from within the app by clicking on the “Earnings” icon on the bottom of the driver app. You can even see your earnings including current and previous weeks in the Uber Partner dashboard.
Drivers also have the option of getting paid via Instant Pay. Once they hit a certain minimum payout limit, they can request their earnings to be paid out instantly without having to wait the entire rest of the week till the next payment cycle. (More on this below.)
When you are approved to drive, the Uber app or website will ask you for your banking information, including your account and routing number. You provide your bank details for direct deposit, then insert them into the Uber Partner Vault at vault.uber.com.
This is the information that is usually found at the bottom of your checks from your personal checking account.
When Does Uber Pay?
For most banks, your direct deposit will show up on Thursday for the previous week’s pay. For some people, the direct deposit shows up on Friday. It really depends on your bank. Even though my direct deposit usually shows on the following Thursday, I’ve also seen instances where the pay didn’t show up in my account until Friday.
Note: Uber does not withhold any taxes from the money they deposit into your bank account. Since Uber drivers are independent contractors, you’re responsible for tracking and paying your own taxes on Uber earnings. See our guide to self-employment taxes for more info.
Uber Instant Pay
The Uber Instant Pay program is a new program Uber is testing in some markets. Drivers sign up for a debit card with GoBank, which essentially is a mobile checking account which is connected to an Uber-branded Debit Card.
You can request instant pay deposit to your GoBank card, then use it just like a regular debit card to make purchases. You can even add funds to your GoBank debit card by going to participating stores like Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and 7-Eleven.
The Instant Pay option with GoBank is a debit card, though. They do not put funds directly into your bank account. You could use the debit card at an ATM to make a withdrawal but keep in mind your withdrawal limits at ATMs.
You can also use the debit card to make purchases or you can request a transfer of funds from GoBank to your personal bank account. This takes additional time; usually another 24 hours for the funds to hit your personal bank account, maybe more.
The good news is that even if you cash out funds from GoBank to your personal bank account, it may be faster than waiting until Thursday to get paid. The bad news is it isn’t really “instant pay” and you may have to pay fees to GoBank for using the GoBank debit card. Lyft’s Express Pay program is actually much better. You get your funds into your personal banking account usually within hours of submitting a payout through the Lyft app.
Uber Driver Pay for Referrals and Bonuses
Uber driver pay for referrals and bonuses (like new driver signup bonuses) is paid on a weekly basis. This will come with your Thursday direct deposit, and you cannot get paid these bonuses as instant pay.
Your passenger referrals need to download the app and complete at least one ride within 30 days. Your driver referrals need to complete the signup process and a minimum number of rides before you get paid.
These bonuses show up as “Miscellaneous” on your pay statement. It can be a bit confusing if you qualify for multiple bonuses as they aren’t always broken out into separate line items.
Here is an example of an Uber driver pay statement which shows the sign-up incentive:
Surcharges and Tolls
You will need to check with Uber in your area to see specifically which tolls and fees might be reimbursed by Uber. If you look at the help center for your city they should have a list of what roads may be covered by toll reimbursement.
Here are a few important things you need to know about tolls and fees:
- It is up to you to pay your tolls. Uber will not pay your tolls for you. Uber reimburses for tolls. They do not pay them up front.
- Uber reimburses you if you have a passenger with you.
- Uber will not reimburse you when you are on your way to pick up a passenger.
- Some passengers will prefer for you to avoid toll roads as Uber will pass on the extra fee to the passenger. Always check with your passengers before taking a toll road.
You can see in the pay statement image above, that there is a line item for surcharges and tolls. Uber reimburses you each week for tolls. If you do not see a toll reimbursement you can contact Uber support.
Get Paid When You Expect
We hope this training article has helped you understand the essentials of how pay works for Uber drivers. You now know when you can expect your payments to arrive, as well as how to get them early if you need to.
For more questions about Uber driver pay, visit the Uber help center.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.