Could/Should I drive for Uber/Lyft full time?

There are a large number of full time drivers in Orlando, but they will tell you – it’s tough.

The two big problems with Uber are that (1) it’s inconsistent and (2) the rates are unpredictable.

Uber was never designed to be anyone’s full time gig – the purpose of Uber is “ride share”, you share your vehicle with others when you have some free time, not you drive people around for a living.

As far as being inconsistent, you will struggle to make money most days from about 11am to 3pm as most people are at school or at work. Most Monday/Tuesday evenings are dead (though uber Eats is filling up a lot of the downtime). Weekends are becoming more hit and miss than they used to be, and surge is becoming more and more rare.

And if your car has to go into the shop for two weeks because some idiot slammed into you? No income for two weeks.

The first drivers in Orlando were making great money, but as the rates have dropped and the market has been flooded with drivers, there’s less money to be made.

That brings me to my second point – the rates are unpredictable. You don’t know if Uber are going to drop the rates again, and suddenly your income will drop – but you’re still paying for gas, and tires, and oil changes while trying to make some take home money.

In January 2016 the rates (for UberX) dropped from 75c to 65c – drivers lost nearly 16% of their income. In Detrot, they dropped to 30c a mile, which is less than a lot of cars cost to operate.

On top of all that uncertainty, full time UberX drivers will tell you they make around $13 an hour on average as long as they work the late weekends on top of their weekdays, and that’s often including days when they make $20 for their whole shift. A lot set a $100 a day target, but where they used to do that in 6 hours, some now spend up to 12 hours making that $100, and from that they have to pay gas, tolls, save for tires, oil changes etc.

After six or eight months of driving your car all day every day, it’s going to be worth a hell of a lot less than it was when you started, and you’ll probably find you didn’t make all that much putting it there.

Overall, Uber is a great flexible part time job or side hustle, but as a full time gig, until they raise the rates, it’s hard to recommend.

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