How much can you really make as an Uber driver?
Find out if signing up as an UberX driver is worth it.
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How much you can make as an Uber driver is a contentious issue. Try to find an answer and you'll get a few estimated average incomes. You'll also find some debate over how much drivers actually earn. This is largely due to all the other costs that need to be factored in when you become an Uber partner driver.
The guide below can help you find out how much you can expect to make as an Uber driver in Australia before expenses, what expenses you need to deduct and what your take-home pay will be each month. You can also use the calculator on this page to estimate your UberX yearly income.
Average Uber driver earnings in Australia
Based on working 38 hours per week
|City||Average hourly||Average per week||Average annual||Sources|
The above prices are averages based on a number of sources, including a Victorian government report into on-demand workers as well as Uber drivers on various forums. These are gross figures, not net, so no expenses or deductions have been included. They are calculated by adding together the hourly figures, multiplying those by 38 hours and then dividing that figure by the number of sources. Annual averages represent the weekly average, multiplied by 52 (weeks). Additionally, they are not representative of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How much can I make as an Uber driver?
Take home earnings from Uber fluctuate massively, depending on the time of day you work and where you're driving.
In Australia and the US, Uber drivers keep just less than 75% of their weekly fare total. According to our figures, drivers in Australia have an average income of $33.15 per hour, before Uber takes its 27.5% cut. Keep in mind this is before you take into account any additional expenses you incur as a driver. If you want to start earning money by driving for Uber, click below to find out how you can get started today.
If you drive for Uber in Australia, we'd be interested in learning how much you earn per hour. Extra data points will help make our table above more accurate.
Want to get started?
UberX income calculator
Use the calculator below to work out how much you can earn as an UberX driver. Simply enter in all your expenses as well as the hours you're willing to work and the calculator will do the rest.
What factors affect how much you can make as an Uber driver?
Wondering how much you could earn from Uber driving? Take these factors into account.
Generally speaking, the busier the area you're driving in, the more money you'll make. However, it's also more profitable if you do longer journeys. If your rides are mostly short, you'll spend more time waiting on trips and less time making money.
Top tip – airports are where Uber drivers can boost their profits and make most of their money. If you Uber near a busy airport and are looking to get your day off to a good start, head there first. There are lots of flight tracker apps that let you track incoming passengers, so you know exactly when passenger demand is high.
Your Uber vehicle
To maximise profits, you want a car that's cheap to run. Look for a vehicle with good mileage to keep fuel costs down. Hybrids are really popular with Uber drivers because they're cheap on fuel, plus they often have automatic transmissions installed, making for a more comfortable ride.
You also want a car that's cheap to repair if something goes wrong. Vehicles from manufacturers such as Toyota, Skoda and Kia are good on mileage and are affordable in Australia. Because you're clocking up so many kilometres as an Uber driver, your car will depreciate in value quickly, so don't invest a lot in a new or high-end vehicle.
Before you start Ubering, have some goals in mind. Will it be a full-time thing or something you do on the side of your regular job?
If you're a freelancer or are starting a business, for example, the flexible working hours mean that you can make consistent money while working on your start-up.
It's also good if you want to earn some extra cash at night or during the weekend on top of your main income.
If you live in a busy city, own a car that's cheap to run and are willing to put in the hours, Uber can also be a successful full-time job.
Lots of drivers only work during rush hour, bank holidays and at night on the weekends to make Uber driving as profitable as possible. For many, working at off-peak times might not be worth it. This is because you risk spending most of your time waiting around, earning nothing.
To make the most of Uber driving, it pays to know the area you work in. Popular areas of the city for nights out, airports and the CBD are all prime spots for ridesharing services.
One of the biggest things experienced Uber drivers mention is to look out for surge pricing. These are multipliers that increase your earnings at busy times. Uber also runs promos that could boost your earnings. Uber mentions there's an algorithm for surge pricing, so once you figure that out, you could make way more money per trip. Once an area starts surging, heaps of other Uber drivers are probably going to make a beeline for that area, so staying ahead of the curve is important.
Higher-end services like UberXL and UberSUV can make a lot of money as well. Once again, it pays to know the area you're working in and whether there's a demand for a more expensive and luxurious service.
Other Uber drivers blend ride-sharing with UberEats food deliveries to maximise their income and to stay busy, even during lulls in passenger requests. One Uber driver even said sometimes the food orders are within walking distance from the restaurant, so you can park the car and make your way on foot.
Expenses, deductions and taxes
Uber drivers are essentially running a business, so you should hold onto all work-related receipts and invoices as well as keep a logbook. If you have a logbook, you can claim tax back based on the business-use percentage of the expenses, including running costs and a proportionate decline in the car's value.
If you don't keep a logbook, you won't be able to claim work-related expenses like your phone bill (if you use it for Uber), car insurance, servicing costs, cleaning costs, lease payments and more. You would have to use the cents per kilometre method, which only allows you to claim 68 cents per kilometre, up to a maximum of 5,000 business kilometres per car.
Staying on top of your expenses is also the best way to work out how profitable Uber is for you.
What expenses do I need to take into account?
Becoming an Uber driver has its fair share of expenses that can eat into your weekly pay:
Is your car under finance? You'll need to take your car loan repayments into account.
Uber requires you to have compulsory third party (CTP) and third-party property damage cover. However, you might want a higher level of cover. You need to make sure your insurer covers rideshare use. Get quotes from Uber and rideshare car insurers. You'll need to factor in the cost of this cover.
This will be relative to how many hours you work, your car's fuel economy and how much you use your car outside of Uber. You can only claim for what you use while working.
As these won't be made by UBER Driver, you have to make the decision whether you want to make these voluntarily.
While you can claim this on tax as a work expense, you still need to have a plan that gives you a fair amount of data, calls and GPS use each month. That's because Uber uses the "Uber Driver" app to manage rides.
This includes car repairs, tyre replacement and servicing, like oil and filter changes. This will differ depending on how old your car is, what type of car it is, how often you drive it, where you drive it and how hard you drive it.
Will you have to pay for parking during your daily Uber driving? Factor this into your expenses.
If a trip takes you through a toll, Uber will automatically reimburse you, but you'll need to make the payment first. Make sure you have a toll account and don't forget to pay before the deadline!
If you've ever ridden in an Uber, you'll note that they're generally quite clean. You might even notice a few extras such as gum, water or even magazines. If you want to keep your Uber partner rating up (drivers with a rating of less than 4.5 can't work), you might want to consider offering your passengers a few extras. Cleaning regularly is a must, especially if you're working the early hours when passengers are a bit merry and spillages happen.
Taking all of your expenses into account can help you manage your budget and even reduce what you're spending. Remember, any of the above is tax-deductible.
Other benefits to driving with Uber
Aside from how much you can make as an Uber driver, there are a number of other benefits to driving with Uber. These include the following:
Safety for drivers
Safety is a key advantage to driving with Uber as opposed to other forms of taxi driving. Because transactions are cashless, drivers don't risk unpaid fares and don't need to carry large amounts of cash. That should deter potential robbers. Drivers also rate their passengers, meaning that aggressive or disruptive passengers can be blocked from using the platform.
Safety for society
There's evidence to suggest that the accessibility and affordability of the Uber platform may go towards helping keep drunk drivers off the road.
As mentioned previously, Uber drivers pick their own hours and are not subject to shift work. This means that drivers can work with Uber alongside another part-time or even a full-time job. This can be useful for people saving for a substantial life purchase such as a house, holiday or wedding. That flexibility will also be popular with those starting their own business.
Compare your options for renting an Uber-ready vehicle
Even if you don't own your own car, you can rent one to be an Uber driver.
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