5 Ways Uber Drivers Can Earn More Money

In the cutthroat world of ridesharing, potential drivers may think that earning at least minimum wage is impossible. With rising expenses, falling ride fares, and other factors out of driver’s control, we see their point. However, we did a bit of research into this and were pleasantly surprised to learn that earning above $50,000 a year with Uber is not only attainable but also sustainable. Don’t believe me? Just recall the story of the Uber driver who made $90,000 in 6 months.

5 Uber Driver Secrets to Make More Money


For Uber drivers looking to increase income, there are a variety of methods at their disposal. Let’s dive right in and take a look at a few of the most popular and lucrative opportunities.

1. Uber Driver Sign-Up Bonus

Uber Driver Sign-Up Bonus | Ways Uber Drivers Can Earn More Money

In the world of Uber, there’s always a demand for more drivers, and even those who are employed by its direct competition, Lyft. As a way to recruit new drivers to the platform, Uber has been offering jaw-dropping incentive amounts, up to $1,000 sign-up bonuses for new drivers in some cases.

In most cases, claiming these bonuses is pretty easy. The new driver needs to simply sign up with a qualifying Uber driver referral code, get approved as a driver, then give a predetermined amount of rides. Once the bonus requirements are qualified, the bonus payout will be reflected within the driver’s pay statement.

Uber drivers looking to increase driver income should also check out Lyft’s new driver bonuses too. These bonuses are on-par with Uber’s, and sometimes even higher. Apply to drive now; these bonuses definitely won’t last forever.

2. Use Your Referral Codes

Once a driver has claimed a sign-on bonus, there’s still plenty of money to be made from referrals. For most drivers, referral codes are the king of their motivation, and are essentially the end-all, be-all tool for increasing income.

Put the pedal to the metal without clocking extra driving hours by working both driver referral and passenger referral codes. Hand them over to anybody and everybody you meet in person or share online (but not on Craigslist, coupon sites, and other similar pages) to boost your network.

Some of our favorite creative ways that drivers have shared referral codes:

  • Fake parking tickets (This one worked incredibly well, and generated huge buzz on social media)
  • From Reddit: “I had the idea to make my code my license plate and just put a little vinyl message on the back bumper pointing at it. Thoughts?”
  • Partnering with bloggers online to promote your code. For some reason, this method works incredibly well for drivers that reach out to mommy bloggers

There’s tons more, and I could go on forever, but these are just a few of my favorites that I’ve come across.

3. Incentives and Promotions

From time to time, Uber offers miscellaneous promotions to incentivize Partners to drive more, or earn more than normal around a special event.

During these promotions, drivers can boost, or even sometimes guarantee, payout amounts by meeting Uber’s milestones for that promotion.

For example, drivers in San Francisco recently took advantage of Hourly Guarantees. If drivers met the requirements of the promotion, and their total ride fares for the promotion time were still below the Guarantee amount, Uber made up the difference.

Other ongoing or seasonal promotions are ripe for the picking as well, so keep a lookout for these promotions in your area.

RELATED: Current Uber Promotions: Rider and Driver Guide

4. Tips

Tips | Ways Uber Drivers Can Earn More Money

Although Uber used to discourage riders from giving tips, the tipping option is now available on the latest version of the mobile app. A majority of riders do hand out cash tips on top of giving 5-star ratings, especially for laudable customer experiences. Drivers should turn on the charm, ensure a pleasant appearance and clean car, and provide tips and recommendations to their riders.

Despite the negative buzz all over the internet that would indicate otherwise, getting tips from Uber passengers is actually pretty easy. I personally rake in a minimum of $10 in tips every time I hit the road, so as long as you’re friendly, helpful, and give the riders a good experience, they’ll likely pass along a tip.

One huge tip for drivers that many don’t understand: pick up on social signals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten in an Uber and the driver doesn’t read my behavior. If I’m quiet and short, that means I probably don’t want to talk, so let me sit in silence. If I get in and want to talk, however, talk back. Many drivers miss the mark on this, and then wonder why the rider didn’t tip. Take note, I warned you.

RELATED: How Do You Tip Uber Drivers Using an App?

5. Drive Efficiently

Drive Efficiently | Ways Uber Drivers Can Earn More Money

Instead of chasing surges, drivers should make an effort to get multiple rides within a small area. Banking on volume is more important than most drivers realize, as it cuts down on drive time, and eliminates unnecessary depreciation and wasted time and gas.

Drivers should also look at driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time. Doing so will cut down on wait times, effectively leading to more income. Driving for more than one TNC also diversifies income streams and lessens the risks drivers face when TNCs drop rates. Check out this in-depth tutorial for driving for two companies at once by Harry Campbell, aka at The Rideshare Guy.

There’s nothing sweeter than earning more than you originally set out to. With these tips, you’re guaranteed to increase your take home from driving with Uber on each pay out. Check out these tips through this video:

Finally, you’re set to become a success on the road as an Uber driver. Weigh all your options and make clever, fact-based decisions to gain the most out of your new business. It may take more effort to get the rewards mechanism going, and you’re bound to make expensive mistakes along the way, but with perseverance and an open mind, you can emerge successfully.

Do you have more tips on how to earn more as an Uber driver? Share it with us in the comments section below!