Is Driving with Uber the Right Side Hustle?

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Do you want to make some extra money by simply turning on your phone and hopping in your car? Being a rideshare driver is a great side hustle opportunity as you have complete flexibility with your schedule.

However, before you accept your first passenger, there are a few tricks of the trade you may want know before you get started driving with Uber.

The Most Flexible Gig in the World

Some will argue rideshare driving is the most flexible gig in the world. You get to choose when you want to drive because you are not an Uber employee, but rather an independent contractor, partnering with Uber on your schedule.

Whether you are college student needing a way to make money around your school schedule or a retiree looking to simply make money for your next game of golf, becoming a driver-partner with Uber may be the perfect side hustle. I’ve heard that many working professionals have also started driving with Uber because of the flexibility to earn extra cash “after work”.

Related Post: The Top 84 Side Hustles Right Now!

How Much Can You Really Make?

Uber doesn’t tell you exactly what driver-partners make because there are so many factors involved such as where you drive, time of day, time of year, and whether or not you drive during a surge (peak times).

Again, Money Peach can’t give a set dollar per hour amount, but we can tell you drivers are signing up to drive for a reason – they’re making money!

Maximizing Your Earning Potential

The below ideas may help you maximize your earning potential:

  • Taking back roads to arrive at the destination sooner
  • Trying driving at different times of the week to find the best
    level of demand and pricing
  • Recording trip mileage to deduct on income taxes
  • Maximizing efforts for an increased tip

Uber Now Allows Tips

Tipping through the app is be available everywhere you can ride with Uber in the US.

As soon as you arrive at the set destination, the rider’s phone will show an option for a pre-set tip amount or a custom amount. This could boost your earnings quite a bit with simply going above and beyond.

Some things we recommend are:

  • Providing a charger for the rider’s phone
  • Asking rider their preferred radio station
  • Making sure car is clean and smells good
  • Opening the door for rider(s)
  • Offering bottled water to your rider

Minimum Driver Requirements

Is Driving with Uber the Right Side HustleFirst off, you need to meet the minimum driving age in your city. You must have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the US; three years is you are under 23 years old. You will also need to complete a background check.

Vehicle Requirements

All drivers are independent contractors. Before you can accept your first ride, your vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have four doors and be able to transport a minimum of
    4 passengers
  • Vehicle is currently insured and registered

***Some cities also have their own additional requirements for vehicle year
models. In New York City, you will also need a Taxi and Limousine
Commission (TLC) license.

A Few Helpful Vehicle Tips

The type of vehicle you drive may also factor into your earning potential with Uber. You get paid the same if you drive a gas guzzler or a fuel sipper, but having a low-cost vehicle may equal more money in your wallet.

In addition to meeting Uber’s minimum vehicle requirements, to help with your expenses, we recommend:

  • Drive something with great fuel mileage (i.e. Toyota Prius)
  • Avoid vehicles with expensive ongoing maintenance costs
  • Do regular preventative maintenance to avoid costly repairs later
  • Having a more luxurious vehicle can mean you earn more per trip

Other Tips to Become a Successful driver

In addition to having flexibility with your driving schedule and driving a reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle, these other handy tips can help you become a successful driver.

Learning to Use the Uber Map

The Uber app has a heat map that color codes the demand for rides on a hot and cold basis. Move to the red area (hot) of the map to receive nearby ride requests.

Remember, you only earn money when you are driving a passenger and sometimes it’s better to be the big fish in the little pond.

They Rate You and You Rate Them

Even when you are driving an irksome passenger, be professional and courteous at all times. Of course, being friendly may increase your chances of earning a 5-star rating and maybe even make a tip! Plus, you can always leave the appropriate feedback for your friendly and unruly passengers alike.

Consider Driving for Lyft Too

Since you are an independent contractor, you can also become a Lyft driver. By monitoring both apps simultaneously, you can pick the best ride requests at anytime. This is another perk about being an independent contractor – you can partner with both rideshare companies at the same time!

Partner with Uber


The ridesharing economy may be one of the most popular side hustle opportunities in the 21st century. By becoming a driver, you can get in on the action too. If you have  a reliable vehicle and a flexible schedule, you may be eligible to earn money by driving with Uber.

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