The Benefits of Working Part-time for Uber: Real Drivers Interviewed

The world over, and I mean every continent, has probably heard about the company UBER and may or may not have used the company’s services before. But in an exaggerated statement, I would say, 99% of its users have to commend the company on how convenient it has made movement in these times.

My last trip to a new city made me remember the times before this company started rendering services and how much of a difference they have brought to the modern-day man/woman. 

Immediately we landed, before even de-boarding the aircraft, I had 2 available rides waiting for passengers. I decided to hold off until I had collected my luggage and was on my way out to the waiting lounge. My first concern was the amount of time I would have to wait to request another driver when I was finally ready, because, I do not like to keep people waiting and vice versa( This is just a personal miff of mine).

I took the risk, anyway, and got my luggage first before clicking on the app again. To my surprise, in less than a minute, I had my driver booked on the app! Seconds later, a call from the said driver came in.

He asked where I was, my destination and where I would like to be picked up. Details exchanged less than 3 minutes later, My suitcase and I were packed into the vehicle and on our way. Wow!

The time frame in which all this was done and dusted caused my curiosity to peak up. If my experience as a passenger was this good and has been consistent over the years, what do I know about this company? What do the drivers/Partners, as they are called, have to say? Their experiences, day-to-day working relationships and more? I decided to engage the Car owner and ask him some questions about the topic.

After the usual pleasantries and questions about comfort and riding style, I started by asking him how he became an Uber driver.

*Note that I’ve also ridden via Lyft countless times and always ask my Lyft driver the same questions that I ask my Uber drivers and the responses are about the same, so if you’re considering working part-time as a Lyft driver most of what is shared in this interview will also apply to that job as well. 

Official Uber Driver Pre-Requisites

The man, Middle-aged, well-dressed and well-spoken individual was keen to answer all my questions ( Thankfully! I can be a super chatter-box, well, all the time!). He calmly explained that as of December 2019, Cars produced in the years earlier than the year 2000 were not eligible for use on the app.

  1. The vehicles had to be 4-door vehicles with functional Air-Conditioning Units, Aesthetics, radios and so on.
  2. Able to carry 4 passengers comfortably. 

As for the drivers themselves, They had to possess:

  1. Valid Driver’s license for the country in which they are applying to work.
  2. Must be the legal age for an Adult as is recognized in the country, (Most Countries, I found use the legal age of 21).

A registration Process for both driver and vehicle is done by the company to ascertain their compatibility with Uber’s Values. Once all the documents for driver and car have been submitted or uploaded online and accepted by Uber, a background Criminal record check is done on the individual. I have heard cases of private CIs been hired, sometimes for delicate cases or to avoid corrupt law enforcement officials. 

For the complete list of official Uber requirements it’s worth checking out Uber’s website directly as they update their policies frequently:

Pretty easy for someone with no criminal record and an excellent driver’s record, right? All the more when you consider the highs and lows of the economy, with regular cyclical depressions and recessions, like the 2008 financial collapse or the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

Even when the stock market tumbles people still need transportation. 

He went on to tell me that he had been driving for over 3 years with the company. Started doing it part-time and has quit his job, bought 2 more vehicles, registered them and put them to work on the platform! This, of course, made me ask;

“How much do you earn on this platform?” His reply:

“Not less than $200 in a slow week, actually” and that’s just me, excluding the 2 drivers I have on my payroll. A slow week is one where I work half-day shifts so I can attend my kid’s activities or help out the wife’. I was intrigued!

He went further to explain that when he started, he wasn’t married at the time, and so, worked 18-20 hour shifts per day, especially weekends. With time, he got to understand terms like “Surge Periods” when demand for vehicles would be more than supply and so prices could go as high as 4x the normal price and this helped him earn more. Sometimes earning up to $1,150 dollars in a week! 

“I pay my rent, school fees for 1 kid, buy provisions and occasional gifts for the wife by being an Uber driver”, He said Smiling.

Does this make you interested in registering as an Uber driver? Me too! Uber has provided a very convenient, Full-time and part-time job that is lucrative and well worth it, too.

I found out that some partners with Uber prefer not to drive themselves. For different reasons known to them, could be work-related, school-related or even just convenience, decide they would rather register their vehicles and have someone else drive for them. 

So, for example, if I had a car that wasn’t being used too often or say more than 1 vehicle, I could go to the company’s office, check for all that is required for registration and submit documents that are needed. If the car meets all requirements, registration is done, I would be given the partners app and educated on how to use it. Once that is done, Drivers who have been vetted but do not have their own vehicles would be picked according to your specifications and an interview is done. Once you have found a driver to work with and discussed terms and conditions for maintaining the vehicle, work can begin immediately.

Pretty easy, Right!

As a car owner though, because you have to share a percentage with your driver, you will earn less than if you drove your car yourself, but then again, since it is supposed to be a way to earn extra income, that’s just as good as getting a side job. You just sit at home and get to see how many jobs are done, and how much was earned the week before will be paid into your account every Monday. 

In summary,

  1. Can you earn decent money on Uber? Oh yes, you can. Factors determine the amount you earn daily or weekly.
  2. Can you work full-time with the company? Definitely! A lot of people have been working and earning all over the world. 
  3. How much can you earn per week? From as much as $100, depending on the number of hours of work you or your driver put in.

Interested in making some side-hustle money with Uber? Start your application process here: https://www.uber.com/us/en/drive/

My Curiosity satisfied, I slid back in my seat and watched the sights and sounds of the city I was visiting for the first time. My driver pointed out popular places to visit, tourist spots and even gave me a few names of gardens to visit before it was time to leave. 

When I arrived home I opened my garage and looked at my Honda Civic just sitting there. Images of driving people and making an extra few thousand dollars a month danced in my mind..

About Rudeth S

I'm a retired Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist for a leading Fortune 500 company, current volunteer Director at Copy My Resume, a mother of 3 and herbal tea lover!

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