Unit 3 – Uber Driver Pay

On the topic of Uber driver pay there are two important questions to cover:

  1. How much can Uber Drivers make?
  2. How does Uber driver pay work?

In this unit we’ll explain how to get paid by Uber and how the fees, bonuses, and toll reimbursements work.

How much can Uber Drivers make?

This is one of the most common questions prospective drivers ask us.  How much can they make driving for Uber?

The amount an Uber driver makes depends on the driver, where they live, when they drive, how often they drive, and even what kind of vehicle they drive.  All of these factors will affect how much money you can earn as an Uber driver.

According to Uber’s marketing site which they promote through advertisements in social media and even on television… The average driver earns $19.34 an hour.  Please keep in mind that this is Uber’s marketing department telling you this.  Some drivers make more than $19.34 an hour.  Many actually make less.  Also keep in mind that it depends on your city.  In Detroit, MI an average driver will make significantly less than a driver in New York or Los Angeles where the rates are a lot higher.

uber driver pay

Your earnings will be up to you.

Do you want to drive during the busiest hours where surge pricing takes effect and you get paid more per ride?  Do you want to drive full time or just pick up a passenger now and then?  Do you have a premium ride like an SUV that can fit extra passengers and qualify for XL?  Or do you have a luxury vehicle that might qualify for Uber Select/Black/Lux?

I drive Select/Lux. On weekends my goal is $40 an hour (or more.) If I make $19.34 an hour on a weekend I’m going to go home and watch a movie or go out with my friends. Of course weekends you are going to make more. That will make up for the time during the week when you’re struggling to catch rides.

Even if you are a driver in a small city the amount you earn is up to you. Some people will hustle more. Some people will find where the rides are. Some people will travel extra distance to get closer to where the passengers are. Some people will work nights and weekends or even early morning hours.  Some will drive in inclement weather.

THIS is a huge tip for you.  When people don’t want to drive is when the most money can be made! Is it raining or snowing? That is probably a good time to drive. Most people don’t want to drive (or walk short distances) so they request an Uber!

How does Uber driver pay work?

A week for Uber runs from Monday at 4:00 AM to the following Monday at 3:59 AM.   All rides during that time period will count towards that week’s pay cycle.  You will receive an earnings summary every week on Monday or Tuesday which shows your earnings for the previous week. You can also check your earnings from within the app by clicking on the “Earnings” icon on the bottom of the app.  You can even see your earnings including current and previous weeks in the Uber Partner web site.

When you are approved to drive for Uber the app or web site will ask you for your banking details. You provide your bank details for direct deposit. This is the information that is usually found at the bottom of your checks from your personal checking account. For most banks your direct deposit will show up on Thursday for the previous week’s pay.  For some people the direct deposit shows up on Friday. It really depends on your bank.  Even though my direct deposit usually shows on Thursday’s I’ve also seen instances where the pay didn’t show up in my account until Friday.

Uber Instant Pay

The Uber Instant Pay program is a new program Uber is testing in some markets. Drivers sign up for a debit card with GoBank.  Essentially this is a mobile checking account from GoBank which is connected to an Uber branded Debit Card.  You can request instant pay deposit to your GoBank debit card. You can use it just like a regular debit card to make purchases.  You can even add funds to your GoBank debit card by going to participating stores like RiteAid, CVS, Walgreens, and 7-11.

The Instant Pay option with GoBank is a debit card though. They do not put funds directly into your bank account. You could use the debit card at an ATM to make a withdrawal but keep in mind your withdrawal limits at ATMs. You can also use the debit card to make purchases or you can request a transfer of funds from GoBank to your personal bank account. This takes additional time. Usually another 24 hours for the funds to hit your personal bank account, maybe more.

The good news is that even if you transfer funds from GoBank to your personal bank account it may be faster than waiting until Thursday to get paid.  The bad news is it isn’t really “instant pay” and you may have to pay fees to GoBank for using the GoBank debit card. Lyft’s program called Express Pay is actually much better. You get your funds into your personal banking account usually within hours of submitting a payout through the Lyft app.

Uber Driver Pay for Referrals and Bonuses

Uber driver pay for referrals and bonuses (like new driver signup bonuses) is paid on a weekly basis. This will come with your Thursday direct deposit.  You cannot get paid these bonuses as instant pay. Your passenger referrals need to download the app AND complete at least one ride within 30 days.  Your driver referrals need to complete the signup process AND a minimum number of rides before you get paid.

These bonuses show up as “Miscellaneous” on your pay statement.  It can be a bit confusing if you qualify for multiple bonuses as they aren’t always broken out into separate line items.

Here is an example of an Uber driver pay statement which shows the sign up incentive.


Surcharges and Tolls

You will need to check with Uber in your area to see specifically which tolls and fees might be reimbursed by Uber.  If you look at the help center for your city they should have a list of what roads may be covered by toll reimbursement.  Here are a few important things you need to know about tolls and fees:

  • It is up to YOU to pay your tolls. Uber will not pay your tolls for you. Uber reimburses for tolls. They do not pay them up front.
  • Uber reimburses you if you have a passenger with you.
  • Uber will not reimburse you when you are on your way to pick up a passenger.
  • Some passengers will prefer for you to avoid toll roads as Uber will pass on the extra fee to the passenger. Always check with your passengers before taking a toll-road.

You can see in the pay statement image above, that there is a line item for surcharges and tolls.  Uber reimburses you each week for tolls.  Uber does NOT automatically pay them for you. You have to pay the toll yourself. If you do not see a toll reimbursement you can contact Uber support.

For more questions about Uber driver pay visit the Uber help center.

Looking for more?

Return to Module 2 – How Uber Works.
View more Uber Driver Training Modules.