How Much Do Uber Drivers Really Make in 2021?

How Do Uber Driver Payments Work?

When Does Uber Pay? By default, Uber pays drivers once per week using an ACH bank transfer directly into their account. A week for Uber runs from Monday at 4:00 a.m. to the following Monday at 3:59 a.m. All rides during that time period will count towards that week’s pay period, which will be reflected in a driver’s Uber pay stub.

You will receive a weekly statement of earnings on Monday or Tuesday which shows your earnings for the previous week.

You can also check your driver earnings from within the app by clicking on the “Earnings” icon on the bottom of the driver app.

You can even see your earnings including current and previous weeks in the Uber Partner dashboard.

For most banks, direct deposit will show up on Thursday for the previous week’s pay.

or some people, the direct deposit shows up on Friday, but it really depends on your bank.

Even though my direct deposit usually shows on the following Thursday, I’ve also seen instances where the pay didn’t show up in my account until Friday.

While an ACH bank transfer is the standard method for payments, drivers can also elect to be paid by two other ways.

1. Instant Pay

Drivers have the option of getting paid via Instant Pay.

Once they hit a certain minimum payout limit, they can request their earnings to be paid out instantly without having to wait the entire rest of the week till the next payment cycle.

Your earnings are available quickly, and you can cash out up to five times per day.

2. Uber Debit Card

Another option for drivers is to get paid using Instant Pay, but paid directly to a special Uber debit card instead of a bank account.

Drivers opting to receive payment on their own debit card incur a fifty-cent charge on each payout.

Those who use the Uber Visa Debit Card from GoBank are not charged a transaction fee for cashouts.

Uber Earnings Date: When Does Uber Pay Drivers?

Uber has a weekly driver pay period.

But, you can check your earnings in the app, and anything you are entitled to can be transferred to you using Instant Pay at any time.

Earned fares are usually available very quickly.

But metrics that are calculated once per pay period are limited to the availability of those payments.

Uber Payment Types Summarized

Just to review, let’s look at all the options Uber drivers have for receiving payments.

There are three main options:

  1. Bank Transfer: Uber drivers may elect to receive a direct deposit to their personal bank account. You will receive your funds at the end of each pay period.
  2. Instant Pay: Instant Pay services allow a driver to collect their earnings more quickly than via a traditional bank transfer. If they elect to use a personal debit card, they incur a fifty-cent charge per transaction.
  3. Uber Debit Card: Uber Instant Pay users can avoid the transaction fee by opening an account and using the Uber Visa Debit card from GoBank to receive their payments.

Does Uber Reimburse Surcharges and Tolls? Uber does not reimburse drivers for most local surcharges. But, drivers are supposed to receive automatic reimbursement for tolls they must pay during a given ride. However, many drivers have complained that they don’t always receive their toll reimbursements automatically and that they have to take action to receive compensation from Uber.

How to Make More Money on Uber

Now that you know how to start working on the Uber platform, you can make additional income and increase your median income by having a good driving strategy. Here are some tips on making more money on Uber.

Take Advantage of Every Surge Period 

When there is an increase in demand for drivers, the fare price and booking fee rise significantly above standard trip fees. The Uber app notifies you when there is surge pricing in specific areas, which you can use to boost your total earnings. While surge prices or amounts can be unpredictable, you can predict busy times to some extent and plan your schedule around these surge periods.

Save on Personal Expenses with Uber Partners 

Uber has several partnership programs that help drivers save money on driver expenses. One of such programs is Uber Pro. Uber Pro is a loyalty reward program that helps you earn more money by saving up to 25 percent on vehicle maintenance.

Some drivers in this program may also enjoy 100 percent tuition payment at Arizona State University ASU online. If you qualify but do not want to attend school, a family member may use the benefit. To enjoy Uber Pro benefits, you must drive frequently and provide excellent services to your riders in order to accumulate points over time.

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Earn Tips from Happy Customers

If you are an Uber Eats driver, you can make extra income from tipping. Uber doesn’t deduct any service fee from your tips. It is important to note that these tips are not mandatory, so you should not pressure your clients to tip you. All delivery drivers need to do is provide exceptional service. When the client is asked to leave a review, they will have the option to tip the driver.

Stay in the City Center 

Driving without passengers will only cost you money in the long run. The same can be said about working in the suburbs. Even if you live in the suburbs, you should go to the city center in the morning and work there until you are ready to return home. You will find the most riders in city centers. 

Download the Passenger App 

To optimize the experience and earn more money, you should download the Uber passenger app. The app has features that aren’t available on the driver app. One powerful feature is the location of drivers. Passengers can see the locations with the highest number of drivers. You can use this and other trip details to your advantage.  


How Uber Commission and Fees Work

It’s not that difficult to understand the way Uber fees and commissions work.

For instance, when it comes to fees, the passengers are the ones who have to pay a booking fee, as well as per minute and mile fee for their ride. After the ride, you as a driver would be paid the majority of the fare you made. And you only get “the majority” and not all of it because Uber is going to get their cut, respectively the “Service Fee”.

More than 25%

The amount that Uber says it charges their drivers is 25%, but it actually takes a little more than that from their earnings. This is all due to the fact that some additional fees are taken by rideshare companies, resulting in a higher percentage for the cut.

In the past, Uber drivers had to drive around 2.36 miles to make $10 before fees, but nowadays, the prices were lowered by Uber. As a result, a driver will have to drive 4.71 miles to make the same amount of cash.


Also, there is the booking fee and a safe rides fee for every Uber ride, which is between $1 and $3. These fees vary by city, but the driver cannot actually see these in their bank account, as this goes directly to Uber.

So, the commission taken by Uber is higher if the ride fare is lower, meaning the rideshare drivers would make less. So, in the end, even if Uber claims to take 25% of its drivers, it will actually take up to 42.75%. If you are doing short rides, then it won’t be too profitable for you.

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Uber’s Pay Structure

Uber’s pay structure is dynamic and flexible. It is calculated according to location, time of day and frequency of work. Pay may vary on a day-to-day basis.

Uber provides “earnings estimates” instead of a set wage to help drivers identify their likely profits. These should be viewed strictly as projections. They are based on what other drivers working the same hours in the same location earned over the previous month.

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Qualifying Earnings

Uber drivers earn from a combination of factors including customer tips and trip fares. Occasionally things like Quest promotions may lead to additional earnings.

What Is a Base Fare?

The base fare is the flat rate that a pick-up pays. Time and distance increase the trip fare.

Does Surge Pricing Affect Drivers?

Uber uses surge pricing when demand is high, increasing the costs of rides. Uber drivers can use a local map to find surge prices and time their availability. This can increase earnings.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Cancellation Fees

Drivers are protected if a ride is canceled while they are en route to pick-up. They will receive a cancellation fee.

The Pros and Cons of Working on Uber

Like every other business model, working as an Uber driver has benefits and drawbacks. Weighing these pros and cons will help you decide whether a full-time job as an Uber driver is the best option for you.

Pros of Working on Uber 

  • Flexibility to work when you want. Uber is one of the most flexible rideshare companies you will find today. All you have to do is change your status on the app to “Available”, and you can begin accepting rides. When you want to rest or do something else, simply change your status to “Unavailable”, and you will not receive rides. You can work flexible hours as long as you own the vehicle.
  • Get paid each time you drive.You do not need to wait till the end of the month or week to get paid for the rides you complete. Uber drivers are paid instantly, allowing you to drive people whenever you need money. Furthermore, the charges per ride rise significantly during peak hours, allowing you to earn even more.
  • Earn bonuses for putting in the work.Uber offers bonuses to drivers at intervals. These bonuses serve as incentives for drivers to work hard and reward those who put in a lot of hours. 
  • You don’t need to own a car. While most Uber drivers use cars, you don’t always need a car to make money on Uber. For example, people can use motorcycles, bicycles, and even scooters to make money on Uber delivery services like the Uber Eats platform. You can also work for someone who owns a car and pay a set amount each week.
  • You can work anywhere. You can work as a driver as long as the Uber app is available in the city you are in. So, if you want to relocate, you don’t have to worry about finding a new job. You’re able to drive as long as your app is operational and you’re driving the same registered vehicle.

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Cons of Working on Uber 

  • You have to pay double insurance. Uber is not responsible for providing drivers with rideshare insurance premiums. However, they make it mandatory and deduct it automatically from your hourly income. This means you’ll have to pay your regular car insurance as well as rideshare insurance every month, regardless of how much you make.
  • The cost of doing business is on you. Whether you are the car owner or you are leasing the vehicle, you will have to pay for maintenance costs, repair costs, income tax, sales tax, and the cost of gas. Individual drivers cover the entire operational cost that comes from working with Uber. This may significantly affect the total amount you make monthly and make it difficult to work with a budget. 
  • Driving for Uber doesn’t mean you are an Uber employee. Using the Uber app to make money doesn’t mean you are an Uber employee. You will be an independent contractor. As a result, you should not expect to receive the traditional benefits that come with working for Uber as a part-time or full-time employee. If you want to enjoy these privileges, you will need to learn how to become a software engineer or an Uber data scientist or
  • There are no clear-cut terms. Uber has different terms and conditions in different countries, and they are not always favorable. For example, the terms in the United States are completely different and more favorable than the terms for drivers in developing countries like Nigeria. A typical example is the difference in hourly income and subsequently annual earnings. 
  • It is not as flexible as you would expect. While you have a high degree of flexibility when you’re working as an Uber driver, you are obligated to accept almost every ride you get. It makes no difference if you are uncomfortable with the rider or if you are unsure about getting to the destination. Uber will ban you from driving if you reject rides you aren’t comfortable taking. 

Degrees of separation

Half of all Uber drivers have another job at the same time, while 11% are studying and 18% are looking for a job. Often the Uber driver is more highly qualified than their passengers, the study reveals:

“Almost 50% of Uber drivers have a bachelor’s degree or above as their highest education attainment, compared to just over 30% for all employed persons and 25% for automobile drivers.”

Ways Uber Drivers Make Money

Now, let’s take a look at the different ways Uber drivers make money.


Uber drivers receive a base fare plus compensation for how long and far they’re driving. According to the Uber website, how much you make per mile or per hour varies by city. Fares can change over time, too. For example, in 2019, Uber dropped rates in Southern California from $0.80 per mile to $0.60 per mile. This led to protests and strikes in California.


Riders can tip their driver during or after their ride. Tips vary greatly, and most riders don’t tip. A 2019 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that only 1 percent of customers always tip and around 60 percent never tip. The average tip (of those who do tip) is $3. Female drivers are more likely to get tips than male drivers.

Ridester’s 2020 driver survey also found that tips added just $1.31 per hour to a driver’s earnings in 2020.

Bonuses & Promotions

Uber offers different bonuses throughout the year that enable drivers to earn extra money. An example bonus on the Uber website states, “earn $30 extra for completing 20 trips this week.”

Sometimes Uber runs driver sign-up promotions that give new drivers a $500 to $1000 bonus for signing up and completing 50 to 100 rides in their first month. Sign-up bonus availability depends on the time of year and where you plan to drive.

Cancellation Fees

Uber drivers must wait a certain amount of time for the rider to show up. If the time limit passes, an Uber driver can mark the rider as a no-show. In most cases, the driver gets a cancellation fee of around $5.

How Often Does Uber Pay You?

As an Uber driver, you may have irregular hours but don’t let that keep you from viewing the job as a stable income. Uber will provide you with a regular paycheck. As an Uber driver, you’re paid weekly on a regular schedule.

Fares are deposited directly into your bank account. Uber’s pay periods begin on Monday at 4 a.m. and end the following Monday at 3:59 a.m. Emails will be sent to you that link to your pay statement. Pay statements are also visible in your “partner dashboard,’” which you can google to find. Every Thursday, Uber will direct deposit your pay into your bank account. However, be sure to enter your bank information at

If this doesn’t sound fast enough to you, there’s another option. Uber offers instant pay to their drivers. This lets you transfer your pay whenever you need to. Instant pay can be used up to five times per day. However, you will need a debit card in order to access it. You can use your personal debit card for $.50 per cash out. Or you can also use an Uber debit card from GoBank for $0 per cash out. Each time you transfer money your weekly pay statement will say “instant payouts.”

However, when considering instant pay, you will need to look into your bank’s procedures. Certain banks will take a few business days to transfer your money. Some of these banks include:

  • H&R Block
  • First Citizens Bank
  • Amegy Bank of Texas
  • California Bank and Trust
  • First National Bank of Omaha
  • Webster Bank
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • Northern Trust
  • Bank of New York Mellon

What affects how much money Uber drivers make?

Wages for Uber drivers depend on 5 main things:

1. How many Uber rides they complete

The more rides you accept, the more money you will make – it’s as simple as that. In general, accepting fares continuously in a row will increase your hourly average rate, so it’s always good to accept fares while you’re still willing to drive.

2. The total distance each ride covers, and how much time each ride takes

Farther trips that take longer amounts of time will net you more money per trip, making the amount of money you make in any given hour larger if your trips are longer. Trips that take less than 5 minutes won’t help bring in a lot of money if that’s the majority of fares you’re accepting while working.

3. What tier of Uber service drivers typically work in

Uber offers different tiers of its service, all which cost various amounts for riders as they offer additional perks or services. Uber offers six tiers of service that you can drive for depending on what kind of car you have:

  • UberX – affordable, everyday ridesUberBLACK – high-end rides with professional drive
  • UberBLACK – high-end rides with professional drivers
  • UberSUV – luxury SUVs for groups up to 6
  • UberPOOL – shared rides with discounted cost for riders
  • UberXL – for groups up to 6
  • UberTAXI – local taxicabs

4. How often Surge Pricing is in effect in a driver’s area while they’re working

Uber Surge Pricing is a period that goes into effect that increases the cost of the fare for riders, while increasing the compensation for drivers. Surge pricing typically goes into effect during the following situations:

  • Weather is bad so demand for rides is higher
  • Few Uber drivers are out on the road so demand becomes higher
  • Weekend nights or holidays when more people need ride services
  • Large local events and festivals that attract big crowds

5. How much drivers are paid as tips, and how often they get tipped

Uber allows riders to give tips to their drivers, which they can add simply in the app after their ride is complete. Good customer service = good tips, so work on your conversation skills, stock your car with useful items like bottles of water, and help your riders by carrying their groceries or dropping them exactly where they need to be.

Articles to help with becoming an Uber driver

  • Is Uber safe? – This article goes over the safety issues associated with using Uber, and has 4 tips for staying safe while using it.
  • Uber Surge Pricing – Learn how Surge Pricing works with Uber so you can make even more money as a driver.
  • UberX vs. UberSelect vs. UberTaxi vs. UberBlack – This article can teach you about the 4 different types of Uber services available, so you can learn if you’re eligible to make a little extra money driving for a specialized Uber service.
  • What is Uber Eats? – Learn about Uber Eats and how it works. This app might be another great way for you to make money while driving for Uber.
  • Best 6 Apps Like Uber – If you are going through the process of driving for Uber but it doesn’t seem right for you, check out these other 6 apps similar to Uber that might be a better match.