Uber 101

A Guide to driving for Uber

Hello new driver!

So you’re thinking about driving for Uber, well we have some feedback for you. Here is a guide we put together written by a number of professional drivers who have been doing this for a number of years and who cumulatively have over 10,000 rides.

We wanted to put down on paper some ideas to help you as you continue to move forward on your decision to drive for Uber and some tips and tricks for how to best maximize your income.

We wanted to make sure you’re aware of these issues that sometimes surprise new drivers.


One important thing to realize right up front is that if you decide to drive, you will be participating in a commercial driving activity. If you have a personal insurance, as many people do, you’ll be violating the contract you signed with your insurance company by driving commercially.

This is important, because in the case of an accident, you will lose your coverage and they will not be able to find you with insurance.

Make sure that you’re very aware of the insurance issue going forward. There are options for you to pay additional money to get rideshare insurance. The additional cost should also be added to your calculations to see if this is worth it for you.

Driver Bonus

One way to make some money right from the start is to respond to a driver bonus. In order to maximize revenue you want to get a driver bonus. In some cities we’ve seen up to $1000 being shared for the referral bonus.

We encourage you to check out this article on how to maximize your new driver bonus.

Driving Times

Uber is not a normal 9-to-5 job. There are certain times in which you should drive that will maximize revenue. One of the things that you may want to do is install a surge app to keep an eye on these times this will provide you with the highest amount of income.

Your Real Income

It’s very important to keep a close eye on your true net income. There is a pretty easy way for drivers to keep track of how much money they’re actually making. For the past number of years the IRS has been producing a deduction chart that gives an estimate of about how much it costs every mile to operate a normal sized vehicle. Currently for 2016 that estimate is $.54 cents per mile.

So if you drive 100 miles it costs about $54. This figure includes, gas, depreciation, insurance, maintenece and other fees.

It is important for you to take the time to run your numbers and see if it’s actually worth it for you to do this type of work. Keep a close eye on your net income and then you can make decisions accordingly.

Many drivers have realized that the money just wasn’t worth it. When you see that your take home pay is like seven dollars an hour or so it just doesn’t add up. It may not be worth your time.

Good luck out there, but just remember, Uber is not on your team. You need to keep a close eye on your true net income and decide if this unstable job is right for you.

Difficult Customers

It’s going to happen. You will be picking up a customer and he or she will be very difficult. It part of the experience. Remember to remain calm and be professional in the situation. At the end of the ride, you can rate the passenger below a three and you will never be matched with them again.

Income Cuts

It is very important to realize that Uber is continually trying to maximize the revenue that it receives. They do not care about your money at all. Uber has cut drivers income over and over. We have seen them do many income cuts.

What this does is it brings in more money for them and increases the total market revenue and less money for you. It grows the total market share in a market and it results in individual drivers making less money. This is also part of the fact that Uber oversaturates almost every market that it works in. This is not good for drivers. It is good for Uber managers and investors who are trying to make as much money as possible.


Because you’ll be spending a good amount of time behind the wheel, I think it is important for you to always remember to drive safely. We would recommend that you drive slightly slower than your normal commute. Be sure to be very aware of your surroundings at all times. The large amount of hours that you’ll be in the car will increase your risk of accidents, so it is important to be safe at all times.


One of the good things about the internet is that there is a large driving community online. You may go on Facebook and look for your local group for your city. You can often find that by simply typing in the name your city and Uber in the search box. Example “Uber San Diego”

There are also great websites like UberPeople.net, and TheRideshareGuy.com. We believe it is very important to build community since all of the drivers are isolated and don’t get a chance to meet up in person very often.

Bad Management

One very important part of working for Uber is that you must realize that it is not a nice company. It simply is not a company that is working in your best interest. Uber is run by a number of individuals Travis, and Ryan, and a number of investors who are simply looking to maximize their revenue. They don’t care about their workers. Nothing that they have done in the past 7 years shows that they give any consideration to the people that are actually power their company.

It is important keep this in mind. Uber is not your friend. They do not care about you. And they will possibly fire you without even blinking an eye.

To be completely honest, some of us do no even support and use uber anymore. They have crossed so many lines that they are not a company that some of us can ethically support at this time.

Buying and Leasing Cars to Drive for Uber

Uber has tried to encourage drivers to purchase new cars and takeout large loans to be able to drive for them. We do not think is a good idea. Due to the fact that Uber has had numerous income cuts every year for the past three years it is not a smart idea to take out a loan if your income is going to cut in January 2017. Be very careful as you look into their programs about this and please talk to us the forums if you have any additional questions.


Good luck out there. Be very aware of what Uber is and what isn’t. Try to make as much money as you can and keep a close eye on your true net income. Connect with us in the communities for more information. Be safe and we wish you the best of luck.

Written by Dave and the numerous driver volunteers who help manage the 30,000+ drivers in the online communities