How are Uber fares calculated?
When someone takes a ride with you, they are charged a fare plus a “Rider Fee”. The fare for UberX in Los Angeles is currently $0.18 a minute + $1 a mile. If there is “Surge Pricing” then the entire fare is multiplied by that number. Surge Pricing means Uber increases the fare prices during certain times of higher demand, making these hours more attractive for drivers.
Let’s say for example someone takes a ride from West Hollywood to Downtown L.A. (which is approx. 8 miles and 30 minutes). Furthermore, let’s add a 1.3 surge. The calculation for the ride looks like this:
(8 mi. x $1 + 30 min. x $0.18) x 1.3 surge + $1 Rider Fee = $18.42
This is the total amount charged to the passenger.
What percentage do Uber drivers make?
Uber takes a commission out of the $18.42.
After a deduction of the $1 Rider Fee, Drivers keep 80% of the total fare price for a given ride. Uber takes 20% of the fare.
So here is the math for our example after Uber’s commission:
$18.42 – $1 Rider Fee – ($17.42 x 0.20) = $13.93
This is how much the driver is paid before any expenses. My rule of thumb (this may not be an accurate number for you) is that I spend about 10% on gas and other vehicle expenses and 10% on taxes on average (after all the deductions). Which in this case is calculated as follows:
$13.93 x 0.80 = $11.14
This is the approximate net income from the 30 minute-ride.
How much do Uber drivers make an hour?
Uber does not pay their drivers hourly. There is also no such thing as an Uber driver salary. As described above, drivers are paid a portion of the fare for every ride that is given.
As promised, here is an example of my pay for one 10 ½ hour day:
$256.30 / 10.5 hours = $24.41 an hour.
Which — if I save 10% for taxes and spend 10% on gas and vehicle costs– is about $19.53 an hour. This is very close to the $19 an hour the average Uber driver makes around the country.
I’ve found that the more hours I drive, the more I make per hour. If I drive 30 hours a week or more I usually make closer to $25 an hour. This is because there is a better chance of getting really high fares due to long distance or high surge pricing. I’ve been paid $150 for driving someone from Santa Monica to Orange County. It only took an hour.
It doesn’t happen every day, but you can get lucky if you drive a lot.