1. It's Very Expensive
I found this out when a number of things happened at once.
First, I had a major repair expense, enough to wipe out all my Uber income for the past 5 months!
The major component that failed caused my car to stop as it came off the motorway while delivering two passengers to the airport.
Fortunately, I was able to flag down another Uber driver on his way to the airport and he was able to add my passengers to his. So at least my passengers caught their flight.
Was Uber driving the cause of the failure?
Well, yes in a way it was. I've never before kept a car past 100,000 km, but this component failed at just over 150,000 km. So if it weren't for Uber driving, I would have well and truly passed the vehicle on to a new owner.
Which brings me to depreciation. While it's not an out of pocket expense like fuel, I'm now very aware of how much less my car is worth because of the Uber driving. And that's a few thousand dollars by itself.
Next, all the annual government charges fell due at the same time.
- Driver Authorisation. This is required to license you to be a rideshare driver
- Booked Hire/Taxi Service. This is required to license your car to be used as a rideshare vehicle
- Annual government motor vehicle inspection.
But then on top of these are the additional charges if you're a rideshare driver:
- A different (and, of course more expensive) class of CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance
- A huge increase in the registration cost, which in my case was going to add some $500 to my yearly registration bill
- And a major increase to my comprehensive insurance premium.
I may have even left some out.
But the bottom line was I looked at how much this was all going to cost and said "nope, that's it."
2. Passengers Don't Always Treat Your Car with Respect
Some areas are worse than others and some times, such as late at night are worse than others, but most Uber drivers have experience of the passenger who throws up in their car.
While it's been close to happening to me a couple of times, it's never actually happened.
But I know Uber drivers who drive at night in the capital cities who have to suffer it on a frequent basis. To the extent that they carry sick bags and cleaning equipment in their car. So their car might be off the road while they have to clean it up and try to get rid of the smell in the small hours of the morning. And take photos of everything to send to Uber.
Yuk. I just decided that wasn't for me.
3. There Are Better Alternatives
Some time ago, I joined a group called Wealthy Affiliate. They are an incredible community of people all on the same journey to making a substantial income from internet marketing. Some members are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and some are just starting out.
Wealthy Affiliate offers step by step training on how to build a lucrative online business. And if you get stuck at any time, you can just post a question and someone from the world-wide community of half a million active members will answer it, often within seconds.
I'll devote my next article on this site to telling you all about it, but if you'd like to find out more right now, check out my website https://superaffiliatechallenge.com/online-income-for-seniors/ Please read the article and follow the links.
What About Rideshare Guy?
I will be maintaining a keen interest in the whole ridesharing business as it evolves and develops.
As Uber and Lyft go public in the US and continue their drive (pun intended) towards autonomous vehicles and as drivers strike over poor returns and conditions, there will be plenty of opportunity to bring you news and advice. And answer questions, of course. So please stay tuned.