How Much do Uber Drivers Make?

By Kay FleuryUpdated on March 10, 2022

If you’re thinking about becoming an Uber driver, knowing how much money you can make is difficult – especially with all of the conflicting studies about how much Uber drivers make. Some claim averages are less than minimum wage, while others show consistent wages averaging more than minimum wage.

It’s difficult to determine a specific amount that factors in expenses and perks, but we’ve done our best here. In this article, we’ll explain the following:

Read on to learn more about how much Uber drivers make.

On average, how much do Uber drivers get paid?

On average, Uber drivers earn around $20 per hour. Uber drivers do not get salary pay; they are paid a percentage of each Uber ride that they fulfill. They keep 80% of the fare from each ride, while the other 20% goes back to Uber. In the US, the average full-time Uber driver makes about $40,000 per year.

How Uber driver pay is calculated

Uber fares are set with a base amount, and that amount increases with time and distance. All three factors (base, time, and distance) depend on which city the driver is in. Once the fare is complete, the rider has the option to add a tip to the fare as well. The driver keeps 80% of the total fare.

These amounts vary by city, so check out this list of available Uber cities to get more information about the city you want to drive in. There are also a few other factors that affect how much money Uber drivers bring in.

What affects how much money Uber drivers make?

Wages for Uber drivers depend on 5 main things:

1. How many Uber rides they complete

The more rides you accept, the more money you will make – it’s as simple as that. In general, accepting fares continuously in a row will increase your hourly average rate, so it’s always good to accept fares while you’re still willing to drive.

2. The total distance each ride covers, and how much time each ride takes

Farther trips that take longer amounts of time will net you more money per trip, making the amount of money you make in any given hour larger if your trips are longer. Trips that take less than 5 minutes won’t help bring in a lot of money if that’s the majority of fares you’re accepting while working.

3. What tier of Uber service drivers typically work in

Uber offers different tiers of its service, all which cost various amounts for riders as they offer additional perks or services. Uber offers six tiers of service that you can drive for depending on what kind of car you have:

  • UberX – affordable, everyday rides
  • UberBLACK – high-end rides with professional drivers
  • UberSUV – luxury SUVs for groups up to 6
  • UberPOOL – shared rides with discounted cost for riders
  • UberXL – for groups up to 6
  • UberTAXI – local taxicabs
An illustration of Uber's different service types

4. How often Surge Pricing is in effect in a driver’s area while they’re working

Uber Surge Pricing is a period that goes into effect that increases the cost of the fare for riders, while increasing the compensation for drivers. Surge pricing typically goes into effect during the following situations:

  • Weather is bad so demand for rides is higher
  • Few Uber drivers are out on the road so demand becomes higher
  • Weekend nights or holidays when more people need ride services
  • Large local events and festivals that attract big crowds

5. How much drivers are paid as tips, and how often they get tipped

Uber allows riders to give tips to their drivers, which they can add simply in the app after their ride is complete. Good customer service = good tips, so work on your conversation skills, stock your car with useful items like bottles of water, and help your riders by carrying their groceries or dropping them exactly where they need to be.

5 tips to make more driving for Uber (or similar apps)

If you want to make more money as a driver, here are 5 simple things you can do to save you money, or earn more while driving:

1. Use a gas price app to save while driving.

There are apps out there that will tell you what the price of gas is in your local area at various stations, track prices over time, and even tell you the best time to make a purchase. Apps like GasBuddy or Waze can save you a lot of money on gas, which is a large (but necessary) expense for Uber drivers.

Sample gas price tracker application

To see a complete list, check out the best apps for comparing gas prices.

2. Drive during Surge Pricing periods and turn on Surge notifications.

Uber’s Surge Pricing means, quite simply, drivers make more money just for being out on the road. If the demand for drivers is high, Uber is willing to compensate you with more money per ride. You can make 2x, 3x, or even 4x+ your regular rate on rides, so make sure you get out there when the Surge Pricing is on.

Settings to notify Uber drivers of surge pricing

If you don’t already, make sure to turn on Surge Pricing notifications in your Uber app by tapping the menu button, and then tapping Settings. Tap Surge Pricing and then tap the grey toggle to make sure it is on (turns green). You can even custom set the minimum surge amount to alert you, so if you’d rather only go out for a minimum 2x surge, you can do that as well!

3. Improve your customer service and go the extra mile.

This one is simple – be a better driver! Improve your conversation and talk to your customers more. Help them carry their groceries. Ask them exactly where they want to be dropped off a few seconds before you get to their destination. Little things like this can help you get more tips, and helps improve your overall driver rating.

4. Stock your car with goodies and make it more comfortable.

Fill up your car with bottles of water, and small snacks like candy or gum. These little things are really appreciated by customers, and more often than not lead to tips. You can also make the car ride a more comfortable experience for your customers by adding things like seat cushions!

5. Make use of Uber’s exclusive offers and discounts for drivers.

Uber offers its drivers discounts on useful things such as cell phone plans, car inspections, tax software and more. Check out some of the offers below to start saving money while driving!

Discounts and benefits for Uber drivers

Being an Uber driver comes with additional perks as well including local discounts that help you with aspects of the job. Here’s a list of some of the added benefits of being an Uber driver.

  • Vehicle inspections – because your vehicle needs to be inspected to drive for Uber, you can get discounts on inspections in your local area
  • Daily pay – you can sign up to get paid anytime – up to 5 times per day
  • TurboTax tax software – get discounts (20% off) on this service to help you with claiming your Uber income come tax time
  • H&R Block in-person tax support – Get 15% off support from the tax pros at H&R Block
  • Rogers Mobile – Get 30% off Share Everything mobile plans since you need your phone to drive for Uber

Click here to see the full list of rewards available in your local area. It’s also important to remember that working for Uber comes with several car-related expenses that Uber doesn’t cover, such as fuel, car maintenance, and taxes. However, Uber may compensate some of your insurance costs, as well as costs that result from passenger activity (such as requiring you to park somewhere, or damaging or defacing your car).

That’s what you need to know about how much money Uber drivers make. If you’re looking for some more information, these articles can help you on the road to becoming an Uber driver.

Articles to help with becoming an Uber driver

  • Is Uber safe? – This article goes over the safety issues associated with using Uber, and has 4 tips for staying safe while using it.
  • Uber Surge Pricing – Learn how Surge Pricing works with Uber so you can make even more money as a driver.
  • UberX vs. UberSelect vs. UberTaxi vs. UberBlack – This article can teach you about the 4 different types of Uber services available, so you can learn if you’re eligible to make a little extra money driving for a specialized Uber service.
  • What is Uber Eats? – Learn about Uber Eats and how it works. This app might be another great way for you to make money while driving for Uber.
  • Best 6 Apps Like Uber – If you are going through the process of driving for Uber but it doesn’t seem right for you, check out these other 6 apps similar to Uber that might be a better match.