Hey everyone! Today's post is by Glenn over at The Casual Capitalist! It's a really unique take on treating your car as a business. I think a lot of this also translates really well to paying your car off faster if you DO have a car payment! Check it out and give Glenn some love in the comments. ~ M$M
If I had a dime for every time someone told me “I can’t drive for Uber or Lyft, I don’t own a car”, then…well, I’d have a $***load of dimes.
So many times we dismiss ride-sharing options such as Uber and Lyft because we think owning a vehicle is a prerequisite. Well, it is. But, today we are going to show you exactly how to get started driving for Uber or Lyft even if you don’t own a car.
Today we will focus on Uber. But keep in mind that there are other ride-sharing platforms out there, such as Lyft, BlaBlaCar, and Shuddle.
First, let’s talk briefly about how much you could earn with ride-sharing. Uber drivers earn on average the following:
- $17/hour in Los Angeles
- $19/hour in Boston
- $23/hour in San Fransisco
- $19/hour on average in the U.S.
Lyft is somewhere in the middle, estimating that its drivers earn $20 an hour. To keep it simple, let’s say on average you could earn $19 an hour.
Now imagine you drove two hours a day, five days a week. That’s a possibility of $190 a week, or $760 a month. Not too shabby, and you still have your weekends to keep up with the Kardashians.
Or, what if you drove one hour a day on weekdays, and four hours a day on weekends? That is a possible income of $247 a week, or $988 a month.
Clearly ride-sharing allows for both income production and flexibility. But, what if your car does not meet Uber’s requirements, or you don’t have a car?
Let’s chat about the first question. There are many different Uber categories – UberX, UberXL, UberPLUS, UberBLACK – that you may qualify for. The only way to find out if your current car meets the requirements is to register with Uber. When you do this, Uber will guide you to a specific category.
Uber has certain requirements to consider before getting started:
- Your car must be 2006 or newer (this will change yearly, and varies by city)
- It must be a 4-door
- Manual or automatic transmission are both OK
- No major damage to your car
- Must pass an inspection
- Must have insurance under your name
- Driver needs to pass a background check
- Mileage requirements vary, you need to check with Uber
Don’t fit these requirements? That’s no excuse. You can still drive.
According to Edmunds.com, the average new car payment is $479 a month. VeluePenguin.com notes that the average U.S. insurance premium is $75 a month. So, on average, it will cost you $556 a month for a brand new car. This is excluding gas and maintenance of course. But we always suggest going used, it’s way cheaper.
Going back to the income projections, ten hours of driving a week will gross you $760 a month. Or, 13 hours a week is a possible income of $988 a month.
This is an excellent part-time flexible job option. You could be covering the costs of a brand new car, and pocketing some serious side income. The numbers only get better the more you choose to Uber, and if you choose to buy used.
People who don’t own a car but want to drive with Uber have become such a popular market that services such as Breeze (www.joinbreeze.com) have emerged. Breeze will lease you a vehicle, specifically for you to use it on Uber or Lyft.
How much will Breeze cost you? Check their website now for specific prices, as they vary by ZIP code. Breeze is currently available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Uber is also jumping into the mix. They will actually help you finance an Uber-ready vehicle. Check their website (https://get.uber.com/cl/financing/) for more details. Uber will deduct your car payments from your earnings. Could it get any easier?
Two quick points for consideration before you start along this road. First, before buying or leasing a vehicle make sure it fits the ride-sharing platform’s requirements. Secondly, test your market before you decide to drive it.
By this, we mean become an Uber and Lyft passenger in your area for a few weeks. Take several trips and talk with current drivers. We have found that this is the best way to find out if driving is right for you.
“I don’t have a car” or “I don’t have the right car” is no longer an excuse. The math makes sense.
Glenn Carter is the author of the Secrets of the Sharing Economy series and owner of The Casual Capitalist. Glenn teaches others how to earn money, first by taking their slice of the sharing economy pie.