How Much Do Uber Drivers Actually Earn? $13.25 An Hour Before 2016 Fare Cuts

Image courtesy of photographybynatalia

Minimum wage laws don’t apply to drivers for ride-hailing apps. Since they’re independent contractors and must cover all of their vehicle expenses themselves, it’s difficult to figure out how much a driver makes at a glance without knowing what their expenses are. However, it turns out that Uber ran these numbers before a recent price cut, and provided raw data to Buzzfeed after the company’s calculations were leaked.

Data from drivers in Detroit, Denver, and Houston based on actual trip data and some assumptions about their expenses shows, according to Buzzfeed’s calculations, that drivers don’t earn the $17/hour that had previously been cited based on old fare rates. The average pay that a driver in any of the three cities took home was around $13.25 per hour, in markets that are major cities but don’t have exceptionally high cost of living.

In Detroit, drivers netted $8.77 per hour, less than the local minimum wage. They took in an estimated $12.70 an hour before expenses, but costs like gasoline, insurance, and depreciation on their cars gobbled up 30% of their pay.

In Houston, drivers took in $14.75 per hour, and took home $10.75 per hour of that. One experienced driver in that city recounted his missteps while learning how to work the system, then explained that he took in about $100 for almost twelve hours of work.

In Denver, raw earnings were $16.89 per hour, and drivers actually took home $13.17 per hour. Having the highest pay doesn’t mean that drivers are able to make a full-time, middle-class living, though: one Denver driver told Buzzfeed that if gas prices go back up, he won’t be able to make the job work anymore.

Uber Data And Leaked Docs Provide A Look At How Much Uber Drivers Make [Buzzfeed]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.