I met a very friendly and open Uber driver recently who shared with me his financial situation working with the company.
He bought a Toyota Prius for $30K, specifically to work with Uber
In one year he put 48,000 miles on it
He makes about $1 a mile after Uber’s fee and works 10 hours a day
He spends $60 a week on gas
He has to change the oil every two months
It costs about $4000 to replace the hybrid battery, and this needs to be done about once a year at the rate he is driving
He expects the car to last 4 years.
Assuming he is right about the car lasting 4 years (which I doubt) it would work out as
— Over 4 years —
$1,200 oil change at $50 each time
$12,000 for three batteries (first one comes with the car)
$30,000 the car itself
$2,000 in tires, $500 for 4 tires once a year
Total: $57,680 assuming no other major costs
Pre-tax income per year, after expenses: $33,580. At 50 hours a week, AT BEST this works out to be $12.91 an hour. More likely the car will break down sooner past where it is worthwhile to repair. It also assumes no vacations over 4 years, and does not include health care.
The driver was complaining about his old job only paying $35,000 a year. But actually he was making more before AND that included vacations and health care.
In Uber’s defense, the driver loves being his own boss, and that is certainly a great thing.