Before I started driving, this was the biggest question on my mind. I set off to search the internet for any shred of information on the topic. I couldn’t find a thing about Australia, let alone Melbourne specifically, I only knew what I would make if I were driving in America, which wasn’t much. Nonetheless, I decided I’d give it a crack. You can read about my first driving experience here.
Week 1 - Learning Curve
My first week saw earnings of $528.70 for about 20 hours driving. I had no idea if it was good or bad, but was happy regardless. I thought that if I could sustain that, I would get ahead pretty quickly. What I didn’t know, was when to drive, and where to drive. I worked hard that first week, and not very smart, because I had no way of working out what smart was. I could only work that out in time, through trial and error. I drove some very quiet times trying to work out how I could turn it into smarter, not harder, and eventually worked out the best times to drive for Uber.
Two Years On - Smarter, not Harder
After spending many months trying to better understand demand patterns, and working out when and where to be to maximise my earnings, I now spend around 25-30 hours a week on the road. My average earnings last tax year for that amount of time was a little over $800 a week. When you factor in income tax, GST, and expenses, this is obviously less, but still not bad for the amount of time on the road. The average take home pay will vary here depending on what expenses you have and the income tax bracket you fall into, but you should, at worst case, for this amount of time, be somewhere north of $500. Again, this will vary between individuals.
Holidays and Special Events
I always drive the night before a public holiday. A day off work is obviously a signal to anyone in their teens and twenties to go out in the city. The biggest ones are usually Australia Day Eve, Melbourne Cup Eve, and the night before our newly created Grand Final public holiday. The demand on these nights often outweighs the demand on the actual public holiday itself. I still usually drive on the public holiday as well. Australia Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day have been the biggest ones for me with earnings on these days usually in the $40-$50/hr range. I definitely suggest driving holidays and the night before!
The great thing about Melbourne is the amount of events we have on throughout the year. Whether it’s Moomba, Melbourne Cup Carnival, White Night, you name it, there’s always something on. Demand is always high during these events. My personal best on a holiday was a $142 ride from Bond Bar in the CBD out to Kilsyth on Grand Final Eve 2015. This was also my most profitable day ever, making $899 in total. You can bet I’ll be driving these holidays every chance I get!