Uber 101 - How to maximize profits

The ability to make money according to your own schedule is obviously the biggest benefit of driving with Uber. Of course, some people manage to make a lot more than others. Uber and other services like it are a great way to maximize the car you already own or are paying for. What better way to help pay off your car loan (if you have one) or just make extra money than using an asset you already have? That’s what makes Uber such a success story these days.  If you want to boost your earning potential, consider following these four tips. 

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Use Smartphone Apps to Find Cheap Gas

Gas prices go up and down all the time. This makes it difficult for drivers to know when they’re getting good deals at the pump. You can lower your expenses while driving with Uber by using your smartphone to find the cheapest gas prices near you.

Some of the most popular gas price apps include:

By using these apps, you won’t fill up at one station only to pass a cheaper option a few miles down the road.

You can save even more money on gas by signing up for the Partner Fuel Card. The card saves you 1.5 percent on fuel purchase. You can also save on additional items bought at gas stations.

Drive with Uber During High Demand Times

Uber prices are based on demand (known as surge pricing), so prices go up when a lot of people need rides. When the price goes up, you get paid more. This is how Uber encourages more drivers to get out on the road during periods of high demand.

Most people who drive with Uber already earn more money than those who drive for other companies. Driving during high demand times will put even more cash in your pocket.

Some city teams send emails to keep drivers updated about special events like concerts and sports games. Demand often increases during special events, so you can make more money driving during those hours.

Compare Quotes to Get Affordable Insurance

Saving money on your auto insurance policy will help you improve your net earnings. This makes it important for drivers to find affordable insurance options.

Auto insurance prices differ significantly depending on where you live. If you live in Michigan or Washington, D.C., you can expect to pay some of the highest premiums in the country. If you live in Maine or Ohio, you will probably pay considerably less than the national average.

No matter where you live, you should get price quotes from several companies. Each one takes a slightly different approach to reviewing your driver profile. Comparing quotes from several companies should help you choose a low-cost option without sacrificing the coverage you need.

Take Advantage of Tax Deductions

Everyone who drives with Uber is an independent contractor. You essentially own your own business. That means you can deduct your expenses when doing your taxes. Depending on how much you drive, you could lower your tax burden by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Some of the deductions drivers often miss include:

  • Monthly car payments
  • Interest on your auto loan
  • Standard mileage
  • Cell phone bill
  • Insurance
  • Vehicle property taxes (title, registration, etc.)

Check out this list to make sure you aren’t giving the government more money than necessary*.

*One reader kindly commented about the deductions and they are correct. You can’t and shouldn’t deduct 100% of your car, cell phone bill, insurance, and property taxes when driving for Uber. Since you use your car for personal use, you could be audited with overzealous deductions. Keep it to 50%!

Saving money is often just as important as making it. If you follow these tips, you should see an increase in profits when you are driving with Uber.

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3 Comments

  1. Great tips! As far as deductions go, be careful on deducting everything. While yes, you can deduct a portion of your car payment, registration, insurance, etc. on your Uber income, you can not deduct 100% of it, because you also use the car for personal use. So say you drive 10 hours a week for Uber of the 20 hours a week you were driving. You would only want to deduct up to half of your car payment since the remainder was not driving as an independent contractor.

    People get audited by the IRS not because they deduct, but because they get greedy with their deductions. You might be able to over-estimate somewhat on your expenses, but don’t take a 100% deduction on things you can’t prove were 100% for a 1099 job.

    You also didn’t mention the cell phone bill. Since you do use the cell phone for Uber, you can definitely deduct a portion of that on your expenses as well.

    1. Good point about the deductions. I added that in the post along with the cell phone bill. I completely forget about the cell phone bill!

  2. Good tips Grayson! I’ve never tried Uber, I live in too small of a town to make it worth it, but it’s an interesting side hustle for sure.