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Uber Fees: How Much Does Uber Pay, Actually? (With Case Studies)

By: // Updated: December 3, 2020

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Is Uber ripping off drivers? Claims that the company only takes 25% of driver earnings are highly disputed. Here’s the real truth: How much does Uber pay?


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With Uber, you can set your own hours and drive on your own time — sounds great, right?

It can be, but there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind before you start driving for Uber so that you can set your expectations and know exactly what you’re getting into. These are:

    • How much you can earn with Uber
    • How much commission Uber actually takes from each ride

We’ll give you a look at both of these points in this article to help you decide if being an Uber driver is a good fit for you.

Note: To provide context to this post, we highly suggest you check out our posts on…

  1. How Uber prices are calculated
  2. How Uber pays drivers
  3. The commission Lyft takes from drivers

Additionally, this post goes into detail about how much rideshare companies take from each ride. If you’re looking for hard data on how much drivers earn, then check out our 2020 Earnings and Satisfaction Survey. We found that drivers in 2020 are making 31% more than they were in our 2018 survey.

That aside, let’s jump right in.

Uber Fees: An Introduction

The Uber model is simple: Passengers a pay a booking fee and per minute and mile during their ride. Then, the driver is paid the majority of the fare and Uber takes a cut called a “Service Fee.”

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:

The Problem: Lower Prices and Booking Fees

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.

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:

Uber Fees: How Much Does Uber Pay? (With Case Studies)
Graphic from The Rideshare Guy (https://therideshareguy.com/)

How Much Does Uber Take From Drivers?

Uber Fees: How Much Does Uber Pay, Actually? (With Case Studies)

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.

In other words: 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.

Lyft Fees vs. Uber Fees

Both Lyft and Uber claim that they never take more than 25 percent commission from their drivers. But as you can see above, this is almost never true.

Uber claims that their drivers take home $25 per hour and Lyft claims that drivers can earn as much as $35 per hour. However, Lyft takes 20 percent of each fare — plus the entire booking fee — while Uber takes 25 percent from each fare.

In a 2015 study into how much Uber drivers make, researchers found that after expenses were factored in, drivers in Detroit only earned around $8.77 per hour, barely above the city’s minimum wage.

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.

Further, a majority of the Uber drivers that participated in the study earned less than $10 on a majority of their rides. After you factor in additional automobile and other independent contractor expenses, you’ll quickly see your effective hourly wage decrease — especially on shorter rides.

There are a number of driving-related expenses to keep in mind when driving for Uber too. For example, Uber and Lyft will pay for some of your liability and collision insurance to protect you from professional claims, but you still need to pay for your basic vehicle insurance for the times when you’re not driving for Uber.

Other expenses to keep in mind include:

  • Gas prices
  • Car maintenance
  • Tolls
  • Self-employment taxes
  • Regular maintenance
  • Car washes and interior detailing
  • Getting to the pick-up point

In some areas, it’s also very difficult for drivers to collect passengers safely without infringing on rules surrounding road traffic. Arranging a meeting spot with a customer can sometimes lead to fines for entering bus lanes, or waiting in prohibited areas.

Pro tip: If you get one such fine, reach out to Uber customer service and they’ll help you figure out next steps.

How Much Uber Pays: the Bottom Line

As we outlined above, this Uber booking fee directly results in a higher Uber commission, so drivers will have to work much harder to keep the level of earnings they’ve grown accustomed to in years past.

With this in mind, it’s hard to earn a full-time wage by driving for Uber. Since a five-mile ride earns less than $7 in many cities, drivers will often find themselves making far less than $15 an hour.

However, that’s not to say that it isn’t worth driving for Uber at all. Part-time drivers can still use the platform to supplement the income from their full-time jobs, and those that can commit to longer hours may experience more ride demand now since Uber has decreased fares.

Either drivers are going to have to figure out how to make a ton of extra tips, a change will need to happen within Uber, or drivers will need to find new jobs. Only time will tell.

Did you know that the actual commission Uber is taking is much higher than 25 percent? How do you make up for this cut? Let us know in the comments below!

116 thoughts on “Uber Fees: How Much Does Uber Pay, Actually? (With Case Studies)”

  1. I have always suspected that uber and lyft require drivers to work for next to nothing, after accounting for fuel, insurance and repairs.
    This may have been OK in 2008, when there was massive unemployment across all demographics, and there were lots of people with under-utilized cars that were bought during the 2004-2006 boom times. It was the Perfect environment for ride-sharing companies to hire “independent contractors.” The gig-economy was taking over!
    But as the economy has improved, and employment is now at record levels, more and more people can QUIT their current “jobs” for something better. Ride-share Driver turnover is now ~50% per year.
    Meanwhile, demand is rising for ride-shares due to all the economic activity.
    Uber and lyft have no choice but to charge passengers more and to offer lucrative hiring incentives, which will both cut into demand and hurt their margins. This is not sustainable, in terms of earnings.
    The profitability of the rideshare industry is counter-cyclical to the strength of the economy. They best hope for a nasty recession.

    Reply
  2. 2 trips i took today chicago area:
    Rider paid $50.36…i received: 30.12… that’s 40%!!!!
    Rider paid $7.82…i received 4.02….that’s 49%

    Something ain’t right here…because here’s another example:
    Rider paid $9.11…..i received $10.44. -14% Not a typo, Uber paid me more than the rider paid. this was a pool with only 1 passenger

    Reply
  3. Heres an Idea for all of you… Get a job at McDonald’s , or Burger King. You will probably make just as much or more after UBR /LIFT Commissions ,Taxes , and Vehicle Maintenance = Below minimum wage. Quit pulling your hair out figuring that you are getting shafted. Accept it. You are getting shafted! There is no valid reason whatsoever that the TOTAL commission against your fare should ever be more than 10%. Do not continue to participate in this share cropper scenario…

    Reply
  4. Im in Phoenix, and Uber is taking well over 50% cut. Most rides are short rides. I’m talking like 10 minutes or so. Here in PHX we get paid around .74 / Mile…. They need to either make the MINIMUM higher for us, or thhey need to straight up pay us more per mile…. This is rediculous when Uber is taking OVER 50%!!!

    Reply
  5. Just got paid $5.95 for a $12.90 fee. Yes, they hide behind the tax they pass along, but that’s only $0.65 in this case. So they paid $5.95 on their $12.25 gross. “Gross” is the right word here.

    Reply
  6. This is almost accurate, except Lyft no longer claims to pay new drivers 20%; it’s 25%.

    The amount Uber and Lyft are now taking in Chicago is criminal. Even newcomer Via is not as good as it used to be, with their commission up to 15% and their fares generally not very high.

    Nobody seems to want to help from Uber. They just keep restating their policy.

    “Thanks for reaching back.

    Service fee amounts vary per trip; they are not a set percentage. I would like to assure you that you are being charged the correct service fee for your trips.

    You can always see what the rider paid and what Uber received under “Fare Details” on the “Trip Details” page for any given trip.

    If you have a question about a specific trip, please send us the trip time and date and briefly explain what you’d like us to look into so we can help.

    For more information, visit our resources on service fees and partner earnings.

    Thank you for your patience.”

    Reply
  7. I work the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex. Uber’s share on my rides is almost always over 30%. Also, my rate per mile is .6825, way too low for this area. What do other areas make??

    Reply
  8. They make you sign something that says that you can’t ever sue them and that you’ll use arbitration instead. If you don’t sign it, they won’t let you drive.

    If you think this is unfair then call your congressman to complain. All the big companies are using this arbitration ripoff scheme these days and no one seems to care.

    Reply
  9. WOW!! That’s awful that you bust your behind for that awful CEO Travis Kalanick can go out and get drunk with your money and treat people like garbage.GREAT FOR UBER AND LYFT AND AS USUAL RIP OFF THE HARD WORKING PERSON!! THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE THAT YOU’VE BEEN RIPPED OFF! Why don’t you start a lawsuit against these ripoff companies like Uber, Lyft, Ebay and get some of the money you deserve? Good Luck To You!

    Reply
  10. WOW!! That’s awful that you bust your behind for that awful CEO Travis Kalanick can go out and get drunk with your money and treat people like garbage.GREAT FOR UBER AND LYFT AND AS USUAL RIP OFF THE HARD WORKING PERSON!! THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE THAT YOU’VE BEEN RIPPED OFF! Why don’t you start a lawsuit against these ripoff companies like Uber, Lyft, Ebay and get some of the money you deserve? Good Luck To You!

    Reply
  11. If I was an idiot or trying to get to know the city I would be a sub-contractor. I will not work for a crooked thief.

    Reply
    • Do you know what a Parasite or Leech does that prey on new immigrants and laid off people that are unemployed and wants to make a living?

      Reply
  12. The world is full of vulnerable horses depending on their economic condition. Everyone that turns up at Uber stables gets ridden. Enjoy your ride or stay away from Uber.

    Reply
  13. I am is SF so cannot figure out their service fee. Cust paid 7.75 and I got 3.75 which included .06 as min fare supplement. This resulted in me receiving 3.75 and Uber received 4.00, Uber receiving more that I did on one fare seems super unfair. Can anyone shed light on this? Thanks

    You Receive
    Base Fare$1.50
    Distance (1.09 mi × $0.9075/mi)$0.98
    Time (7.32 min × $0.1650/min)$1.21
    Min Fare Supplement$0.06
    Total
    $3.75
    Your earnings are always calculated the same way. On every trip you provide, you earn your base fare, plus time and/or distance rates for the length of the trip, plus applicable tolls, fees, surge/Boost, and promotions. To see your rates anytime, see Fares in the menu.
    Rider Pays
    Rider Price$7.75
    Rider Payment
    $7.75
    Includes any booking fees, pass-through fees, contributions, and reimbursable costs such as tolls paid by the rider.
    Uber Receives
    Service Fee$2.00
    Booking Fee$2.00
    Total
    $4.00
    Negative numbers represent an amount paid for by Uber and related entities. Does not include weekly promotions.

    Reply
  14. I found out the hard way Uber chooses to deduct 40-50% from my trips. Yes, I know they collect booking fees on top of commission fees. Those fees should be a product of formulas that extract 20-25% from the drivers. I understand it’s expensive to live in San Francisco. Robbing the rank and file at every turn is not the answer. Yes, the “independent contractor” driver is the rank and file of Uber’s business model. Not the programmer in silicone valley.

    Reply
  15. I found out the hard way Uber chooses to deduct 40-50% from my trips. Yes, I know they collect booking fees on top of commission fees. Those fees should be a product of formulas that extract 20-25% from the drivers. I understand it’s expensive to live in San Francisco. Robbing the rank and file at every turn is not the answer. Yes, the “independent contractor” driver is the rank and file of Uber’s business model. Not the programmer in silicone valley.

    Reply
  16. Stephanie, because Uber is a terrible, greedy company. I have been driving for more than 1 year and have an excellent 4.96 rating. I have not received one bonus payment and Uber charges booking fees which we see nothing of. Its not worth it Stephanie, we’re better off with another job.

    Reply
  17. They take more than 50% on some rides but it varies between 35-75%, never less than 35% though. But yes they will take 75% of an uber pool.

    Reply
  18. They take more than 50% on some rides but it varies between 35-75%, never less than 35% though. But yes they will take 75% of an uber pool.

    Reply
  19. Hmm. One of my Uber passengers told me they were being charged $11.23 for the ride we were on, when I looked at my cut after drop off I got $3.66. Uber got their $2.25 booking fee and a $4.89 service fee, taxes were $.43. So minus the booking fee Uber got approximately 55%. So I asked when Uber started taking 55% and this was their response.

    Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry for the confusion about Uber service fee and happy to explain how it works.

    Service fee amounts vary per trip; they are not a set percentage. You can always see what the rider paid and what Uber received under “Fare Details” on the “Trip Details” page for any given trip.

    Uber estimates the length of each trip and generates an upfront fare for the rider before the trip starts. If the trip price is more than the base time distance ( surge), Uber collects the difference. And when the price of the trip is less than the base time distance, Uber covers the cost. The driver will always make the same rates, independent of the price estimate.

    There are times when what a rider pays may be higher or lower than what you earn for a trip. However, your earnings will always be calculated using base fare time distance. Our goal is to keep driver rates consistent while allowing us to offer new options for riders like flat fares and subscriptions. For more information, visit our resources on service fees and partner earnings.

    Reply
  20. Hmm. One of my Uber passengers told me they were being charged $11.23 for the ride we were on, when I looked at my cut after drop off I got $3.66. Uber got their $2.25 booking fee and a $4.89 service fee, taxes were $.43. So minus the booking fee Uber got approximately 55%. So I asked when Uber started taking 55% and this was their response.

    Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry for the confusion about Uber service fee and happy to explain how it works.

    Service fee amounts vary per trip; they are not a set percentage. You can always see what the rider paid and what Uber received under “Fare Details” on the “Trip Details” page for any given trip.

    Uber estimates the length of each trip and generates an upfront fare for the rider before the trip starts. If the trip price is more than the base time distance ( surge), Uber collects the difference. And when the price of the trip is less than the base time distance, Uber covers the cost. The driver will always make the same rates, independent of the price estimate.

    There are times when what a rider pays may be higher or lower than what you earn for a trip. However, your earnings will always be calculated using base fare time distance. Our goal is to keep driver rates consistent while allowing us to offer new options for riders like flat fares and subscriptions. For more information, visit our resources on service fees and partner earnings.

    Reply
  21. So true and is much more now about 50% tried it out for the first time! Fare was 7.42 and all i earned was 3.66 while uber took 3.76… Was looking forward to working with them but idk now this is insane!

    Reply
  22. So true and is much more now about 50% tried it out for the first time! Fare was 7.42 and all i earned was 3.66 while uber took 3.76… Was looking forward to working with them but idk now this is insane!

    Reply
  23. I don’t know what city you are in but I’m in Cleveland. I have noticed the same thing today I took an airport run they charged the passenger 34.45 I got paid 17.00

    Reply
  24. I don’t know what city you are in but I’m in Cleveland. I have noticed the same thing today I took an airport run they charged the passenger 34.45 I got paid 17.00

    Reply
  25. I started driving for Uber 3 weeks ago and made only 100 trips. I thought that I could make extra cash driving in the evening, and working during the day.

    So I checked 5 of my trips, entered the pick-up point and the destination from each trip on the Uber for Rider app (not the uber driver), in order to see how much the rider approximately got charged by Uber. Then I calculated it with how much money I made on that trip.

    I was shocked to see that Uber actually took 40% of the trip. I still remember when I was on a certain trip, I felt like this trip is long enough, and it was surprising when I see that I only made $8.26. However, when I calculated it, the rider apparently had to pay $17.60 for that trip.

    This is going to be the last day for me to drive for Uber. Better take another job. Driving for Uber doesn’t make any sense at all.

    Reply
  26. I started driving for Uber 3 weeks ago and made only 100 trips. I thought that I could make extra cash driving in the evening, and working during the day.

    So I checked 5 of my trips, entered the pick-up point and the destination from each trip on the Uber for Rider app (not the uber driver), in order to see how much the rider approximately got charged by Uber. Then I calculated it with how much money I made on that trip.

    I was shocked to see that Uber actually took 40% of the trip. I still remember when I was on a certain trip, I felt like this trip is long enough, and it was surprising when I see that I only made $8.26. However, when I calculated it, the rider apparently had to pay $17.60 for that trip.

    This is going to be the last day for me to drive for Uber. Better take another job. Driving for Uber doesn’t make any sense at all.

    Reply
  27. I started driving for UBER today and boy was I shocked at the earnings. After 2.0 hours of constant driving I made all of $19.00 which equates to gas money. I was shocked at the cut that UBER takes. In my area UBER is guaranteeing at least $1400 for 200 trips. Today I drove a total of 7 in 3.5 hours and made $34. Which averages $4.85 per trip. If the average holds I would make $968 after 200 trips. So I am still perplexed on what type of math UBER is doing. I have committed to during this for a week. If the earnings do not pick up I will chalk it up to an experience and move on to something else.

    Reply
  28. I started driving for UBER today and boy was I shocked at the earnings. After 2.0 hours of constant driving I made all of $19.00 which equates to gas money. I was shocked at the cut that UBER takes. In my area UBER is guaranteeing at least $1400 for 200 trips. Today I drove a total of 7 in 3.5 hours and made $34. Which averages $4.85 per trip. If the average holds I would make $968 after 200 trips. So I am still perplexed on what type of math UBER is doing. I have committed to during this for a week. If the earnings do not pick up I will chalk it up to an experience and move on to something else.

    Reply
  29. Your study is spot on the info about UBER takes more than 25% commissions, which I’m really struggling with my earnings. After spending money on fuels, maintenance, etc and my take-home pays are not helping and support my costs of living and my family! I’m considering that I might take law action against UBER and get my rightful pays which UBER must stick with 25% fees cut instead of hidden fees cut because I felt that UBER is stealing from drivers who made the business for UBER and it’s so wrong!

    Reply
  30. Your study is spot on the info about UBER takes more than 25% commissions, which I’m really struggling with my earnings. After spending money on fuels, maintenance, etc and my take-home pays are not helping and support my costs of living and my family! I’m considering that I might take law action against UBER and get my rightful pays which UBER must stick with 25% fees cut instead of hidden fees cut because I felt that UBER is stealing from drivers who made the business for UBER and it’s so wrong!

    Reply
  31. Uber is not keeping with its contract as per cut they keep. To hide actual what Uber charges rider it now does not show total fare charged. It only shows what driver made. It is not as transparent as it used to be. On asking rider what they paid for certain ride one can find how Uber is conning it’s so called partners. If Uber has nothing to hide let them show actual fare paid by the rider minus commission. They will not do that. This is more prevalent in multiple stops in Uber Eats. Even if second delivery is further away driver gets under $3.00. Only God knows what actual fare is/ was. Some committee has to look into it. And drivers be paid for all money Uber has wrongly pocketed.

    Reply
  32. Uber is not keeping with its contract as per cut they keep. To hide actual what Uber charges rider it now does not show total fare charged. It only shows what driver made. It is not as transparent as it used to be. On asking rider what they paid for certain ride one can find how Uber is conning it’s so called partners. If Uber has nothing to hide let them show actual fare paid by the rider minus commission. They will not do that. This is more prevalent in multiple stops in Uber Eats. Even if second delivery is further away driver gets under $3.00. Only God know what actual fare is/ was. Some committee has to look into it. And drivers be paid for all money Uber has wrongly pocketed.

    Reply
  33. Uber is not keeping with its contract as per cut they keep. To hide actual what Uber charges rider it now does not show total fare charged. It only shows what driver made. It is not as transparent as it used to be. On asking rider what they paid for certain ride one can find how Uber is conning it’s so called partners. If Uber has nothing to hide let them show actual fare paid by the rider minus commission. They will not do that. This is more prevalent in multiple stops in Uber Eats. Even if second delivery is further away driver gets under $3.00. Only God knows what actual fare is/ was. Some committee has to look into it. And drivers be paid for all money Uber has wrongly pocketed.

    Reply
  34. Uber is not keeping with its contract as per cut they keep. To hide actual what Uber charges rider it now does not show total fare charged. It only shows what driver made. It is not as transparent as it used to be. On asking rider what they paid for certain ride one can find how Uber is conning it’s so called partners. If Uber has nothing to hide let them show actual fare paid by the rider minus commission. They will not do that. This is more prevalent in multiple stops in Uber Eats. Even if second delivery is further away driver gets under $3.00. Only God know what actual fare is/ was. Some committee has to look into it. And drivers be paid for all money Uber has wrongly pocketed.

    Reply
  35. Im a 1 year uber veteran and I’ve completed 1706 fares. So I noticed today on a long fare i was only paid $11.70 for a 35 minute fare that was over 14 miles during rush hour. They charged the passenger over $20.00. I went back through all my fares today. They’re taking about 40% now. I have proof. This is upsetting. A year ago it was 20% now its 40%..? I find this unacceptable. I now have to drive 600 miles a week to make $500 and before i maybe drove 450-500. Thats a rough guess
    . Either way we are losing out..about 15% for sure.

    Reply
  36. Im a 1 year uber veteran and I’ve completed 1706 fares. So I noticed today on a long fare i was only paid $11.70 for a 35 minute fare that was over 14 miles during rush hour. They charged the passenger over $20.00. I went back through all my fares today. They’re taking about 40% now. I have proof. This is upsetting. A year ago it was 20% now its 40%..? I find this unacceptable. I now have to drive 600 miles a week to make $500 and before i maybe drove 450-500. Thats a rough guess
    . Either way we are losing out..about 15% for sure.

    Reply
  37. Don’t know if it’s improved any since I started driving, but my so-called mentor never got out of his chair, never went on an orientation ride with me or any of the other prospective drivers, gave the group of about ten people a five minute crash course on using the Lyft app… and basically said you’re approved, good luck. He never told me about the destination mode, so until I found out about it from a former driver who was using me to get home, I had to sign off completely to get back to civilization.

    My first night was a disaster because I didn’t fully understand how to accept a pax, I missed probably a half dozen rides, or how to close out the ride when it was done… Now that I’ve been driving for more than six months, I think I understand most of what I need to know, but I’m still learning from my mistakes.

    Reply
  38. Don’t know if it’s improved any since I started driving, but my so-called mentor never got out of his chair, never went on an orientation ride with me or any of the other prospective drivers, gave the group of about ten people a five minute crash course on using the Lyft app… and basically said you’re approved, good luck. He never told me about the destination mode, so until I found out about it from a former driver who was using me to get home, I had to sign off completely to get back to civilization.

    My first night was a disaster because I didn’t fully understand how to accept a pax, I missed probably a half dozen rides, or how to close out the ride when it was done… Now that I’ve been driving for more than six months, I think I understand most of what I need to know, but I’m still learning from my mistakes.

    Reply
  39. Why would they pass it along? They are billions of dollars in debt and are doing everything they can to get out. Starting with taking more from us 🙁

    Reply
  40. Oh wow, I knew the booking fee was high but I didn’t realize that all of it went to Uber. Why don’t they pass any of this along to drivers?

    Reply
  41. Oh wow, I knew the booking fee was high but I didn’t realize that all of it went to Uber. Why don’t they pass any of this along to drivers?

    Reply

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