Uber Driver Review (Overview)
- Driver App
- Driver Portal
- Customer Support
- Time Consumed
- Passenger Demand
Since it's founding in 2009, popular ridesharing app Uber has taken off and become a household name. With thousands upon thousands of riders requesting rides every day, it is no wonder the app has done so well. While most people only experience the rider side, this review will go into my personal experience as an Uber driver.
In-Depth Uber Driver Review
I wrote a review about my experience driving for Lyft, which motivated me to turn around and write a review about my experiences driving for Uber too. While I have driven for Lyft for almost a year now, I am still fairly new to Uber. However, I have been on the platform long enough to write a solid review based on my experiences. While Lyft and Uber are very similar in concept, the actual riders and driving experience differ greatly. Read on to learn more.
When you first download and open the Uber Partner app, you feel very empowered. The design is incredible, and immediately grabs your eye. While the Lyft driver and rider app are both incorporated into one, Uber decided to keep them separate. It is easy to go online; all you do is press the “Go Online” button and it will log you in and immediately begin accepting requests.
When you receive a request, you have 15 seconds to accept the request otherwise it will go to the next closest driver. To ensure you never miss a request, simply turn the sound up all the way. I turn the sound up and plug my phone into the aux port in my car. When the request comes in, I definitely hear it.
Uber gives you the option of either using your own phone or renting one of theirs. Constantly having the Uber app open uses a ton of data, so it is wise to rent one of their phones so you don’t get killed with data charges. They will rent you an Uber phone for $10 a week, which isn’t actually that bad of a deal considering most cell providers charge $10 for each gigabyte that you exceed your data plan. Lucky for me I have somehow managed to keep my unlimited data, but for those who aren’t as lucky I recommend renting a phone.
The one complaint I do have is that every time I log in or out of the app, my Spotify shuts off and stops playing. I have to go back into Spotify and hit play to make it work again. This sounds like a trivial issue, but it is really annoying when it happens consistently throughout the night.
Partners.uber.com, the Uber driver portal, is well-designed and pretty easy to use. This area has access to all of your documents including financial and vehicle-related ones. Here you can view all of your trip invoices, which include time, distance, fare, etc.. I like the driver portal because I can log in and quickly figure out my total for the night or week.
The one thing I wish that Uber would add to the driver portal is the ability to see how many referral bonuses were awarded to you in a given week. In Lyft’s driver portal, I can see how much I have made on bonuses and see which one of my referral codes is doing well and how many people are using them. This is nice because if you embark on a marketing campaign you can track how well it is doing.
While getting a reply from firstname.lastname@example.org is pretty much impossible, Uber does a great job of organizing regional support groups. Each city has one, and focuses directly on requests from drivers within their city. I usually get replies from them within the same day of sending the email, which has proven to be incredibly helpful on multiple occasions.
The passengers that you pick are are mostly young professionals. They are driven, intelligent, and fairly well-off. I have had some awesome conversations with these people and almost always pull in at night having learned a thing or two that I didn’t know before. One thing to note is the professional level that the riders will uphold. While Lyft is friendlier and more laid back, with riders riding in the front seat, Uber riders almost always hop in the back. They are nice and fun, but take a more professional approach to the ride.
As of yet, I have never had any crazy experiences with Uber. Most of the people I have picked up have been business people or people that hadn’t really been drinking. I will add them as they come, as I am sure that it is only a matter of time before I have stories to tell. I have had some crazy stories from my experience driving for Lyft, however. Read about those in my Lyft driver review.
To be blunt, Uber pays better than Lyft. While their fare prices are pretty similar, Uber pays out more on Surge Pricing (equivalent to Lyft’s “Prime Time”) and their referral bonuses are a lot more than Lyft’s. I typically make around $150 a night on Uber, most of which comes from Surge Pricing.
Surge Pricing is the increase that riders are charged when passenger demand far outweighs driver supply. For example, if a normal ride costs $10 and Surge Pricing is at 3X, then the ride would cost three times more, or $30. There is no limit on this, and I have seen it go as high as 15X the normal rate. Yes, this sucks for riders, but it is absolutely amazing for drivers.
Uber riders tip very well. Since there is no way for them to tip through the app, they usually tip at least $5 in cash. I make an average of $30 a night cash in tips. This extra $30 is awesome because it often times pays for my gas for the night, leaving me with even more money in my pocket at the end of the night.
The nice thing about Uber is that you can literally drive whenever you want. All you have to do is press a button and you can start making money. I don’t know of a single job out there that allows you this same freedom. You can drive for up to 10 hours at a time, then the app will kick you off till you have taken an 8 hour break. This allows Uber to limit the number of tired drivers on the road, simply for liability sake.
Personally, I like to drive for at least 3 hours at a time. I usually get off work on Friday evening at 5 and immediately flip into driver mode. I drive for a few hours, make some extra cash (usually about $50) then I head out with friends. In the case that my friends aren’t doing anything, I simply keep driving till I get tired and usually end up with a couple hundred dollars in my pocket by the end of the night.
Passenger demand is usually pretty volatile. It all depends on when you drive and what is going on during the week. If there is a concert or sports event in town, demand spikes before and after. But during the week usually demand is not very high. That is why I tend to drive only on the weekends or the night before a major holiday. This ensures that I am not wasting my time waiting around for requests. I drove for Lyft and Uber the night before Christmas Eve and demand was insane. I was on Surge Pricing most of the night, which made for a huge paycheck in the morning. Again, it all just depends on where you live and when you drive. For the most part though, you can make good money no matter what.
In conclusion, I highly recommend driving for Uber. The app is easy to use and you can drive whenever you want, making Uber one of the best employers you could ask for. It has been a great experience for me, and a fun way to meet new people and make some extra money.
If you are interested in driving for Uber, apply here to get started. Uber is currently offering bonuses of up to $200 for new riders (varies by city) so sign up now to take advantage and start turning your car into a cash machine! Update: If you are an existing Lyft driver and you sign up for Uber, you will receive a $500 bonus after your first ride. All you have to do is give ONE ride and you will get $500. Sign up now!