I delivered hundreds of meals for UberEATS – here’s my experience

UberEATS Menu

UberEATS Came to Australia in April, 2016. Melbourne was first, a pilot city we were told, and one of only three outside the US trialing it. The promise of more trips had me a little excited, but I probably really signed up to do it more out of curiosity. One thing which had me torn though was if I would enjoy it as much as UberX with nobody in the car to chat with. Some drivers I met were looking forward to this, especially since, if you preferred, you could go online and only receive delivery requests and no passengers. It didn’t work both ways though, if you wanted to just drive UberX, you were out of luck, because going online with UberX allowed both types of requests to come through.

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The 20 Most Dangerous Places to Drive

Uber Drivers Here Have It Pretty Good

Rideshare with Cheetah

The next time a rider isn’t at the pickup point or complains that you’re not stocking their favourite brand of mint, remember how lucky you are not to be driving in a country where you take your life in your hands every day.

The following list of the 20 most dangerous places in the world to drive is in no particular order and is based on several studies and analyses by the World Health Organization and research by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, which did its own study. Both calculate the rate of traffic fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants.

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I Love Riding With Other Drivers – Here’s Why

Uber driver and riders

Most of us, at one point or another, have been a rider in an Uber. Once you’ve started driving, and take a ride as a passenger, the dynamic is very different. A driver’s mindset when riding, mine at least, turns to a critique of the car quality, friendliness of the driver, checking for water and mints, and anything else I can compare with how I do things. As much as this driver is my colleague in a sense, they are also the competition because the more drivers there are, the less rides there are to go around.

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How to Handle “No Shows”

It happens to everyone. Sooner or later, you’ll show up to pick up your rider, but they won’t be there. Don't Stress.

That’s my first piece of advice - don’t stress about it. The worst thing that’s going to happen is that you’ll get paid a cancellation fee and move on to your next ride.

Note that you need to wait for the rider for 5 minutes before you can get the cancellation fee.

But before you do that, there are several things you should check.

Because in my experience, most no-shows aren’t.

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Do Uber Drivers Have to Pay GST?

Important Update

From 1/12/2017, Uber started invoicing as an Australian entity, paying GST to the ATO.

Although this has no effect on your net income for the quarter, it does reduce your weekly income by the GST amount and then give it back to you by a reduced amount owed on your quarterly BAS.

See the post Uber and GST Revisited for full details.

Uber drivers and GST

Unfortunately, Uber drivers are liable for GST as was decided in a ruling the ATO published in August 2015. The ruling was challenged in court, with the court upholding the ATO ruling, that Uber was considered “taxi travel” and was subject to the same GST rules as actual taxis. So what does that mean for you as a driver?

Not only do Uber drivers have to pay GST, they have to pay it on the total amount that the passenger pays, not just the amount that Uber transfers to their bank account. In a sense, you are paying Uber's share of the GST as well, because they are not registered as an Australian company.​

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How Often do I Get Paid and What is Flex-Pay?

Ever have a job that you only got paid once a fortnight, or even worse, every month? It’s both good and bad. The longer your pay cycle, the better you become at managing your money, knowing it needs to last. In a perfect world, we’d all have plenty of savings, and not need to be stressed about how long it is until our next payday. Unfortunately, for most of us, that’s not the case, and that’s one of the reasons so many of us take up a second job, like rideshare driving.

Drivers driving for Uber get paid on a weekly basis. In Australia, it’s on a Wednesday that the payment normally hits drivers’ accounts. Recently, Uber has introduced a new service called Flex-Pay. Flex-Pay allows drivers to be paid at any stage during the week that they choose, even daily. Drivers can request, through the app, a payout of all earnings accrued since the start of the pay week (Monday at 4am). The earnings are then transferred immediately, hitting your account in 1-2 business days.

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How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?

How Much Does Uber Pay?

Make Money with Uber

If you’re looking to get rich from driving for Uber, you’re probably going to be a little disappointed. But if you’re looking to make a few hundred bucks part-time, work for a few months while you job hunt or even replace a crappy full-time job, this could be the perfect gig for you.

Sam and I are part-time drivers, Sam in Melbourne and me on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. I’m retired and have no intention of making Uber a full-time job, so my approach is very casual. Typically, if I’m going out to the supermarket or library, I’ll flick the app on and pick up a few rides. My only exception to this is Sunday morning, where I typically go out before 8.00am and pick up a ride to the Sunshine Coast airport (a nice motorway run of around 40km) and then usually get one back to Noosa.

To me, this is one of the great things about this job. No shifts, no fixed hours. Just turn the app on when I feel like it, and off again when I feel like it.

With this approach, I typically make $500 - $800 a week.

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What Expenses Can I Write Off If I’m Driving for Uber?

Uber Expenses

Every time I speak with other drivers, I get asked about this. Often the drivers are new, but experienced drivers are struggling with the answers on this topic as well since Uber tend to shy away from providing any assistance with this. I’m not a tax expert, but with a bit of research, and some advice from people in the know, I’ll cover here what I’ve discovered.

You should also read our articles on GST Obligations for Drivers and on Keeping a Logbook.

Mobile Phone and Service

Your mobile phone and the cost of mobile service are both expenses you should claim. It’s important to only claim the percentage of use that you attribute to being necessary to produce income. For many drivers, that may be 100%, and others much less. Look at your phone usage for a period and work out what you should be claiming. Also, any repairs to your phone such as a screen replacement can also be claimed. Bought a handsfree cradle? Claim it!

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Uber Driving: My First Experience

Uber Online

Going Online with the Uber Driver App. I was nervous the first time I selected the Uber Driver App on my iPhone and swiped it from Offline to Online.

I’m the sort of person who’s not comfortable going into the unknown. Especially when there’s other people involved. Especially if they are strangers. I like to be thoroughly familiar with what’s going to happen next and to have planned for contingencies in advance.

Unfortunately, none of this was possible with Uber. I’d watched the instructional video for Uber drivers on the Uber website, but it was almost totally devoted to the back end. How to find out what your earnings were, how to check your ratings and so on.

This wasn’t what I needed. I could explore the back end at my leisure, when I wasn’t experiencing the stress of picking up my first rider.

But I had to admit that the few seconds the video devoted to the Uber Driver App’s front end made it look pretty straight forward. The navigation would guide you to the pickup point, you’d see a button to Start Ride and at the end of the trip, another button to Complete Trip.

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My First Day Driving for Uber


Signing up for Uber

I signed up for Uber without telling my wife, thinking I’d give it a try “sometime.” Sometime ended up being the same day my account got activated! Turns out that I was in the bad books with my wife that night, so I decided it was a prime opportunity to give driving for Uber a go.

Learning What to Do as an Uber Driver


I didn’t know anybody who drove for Uber, so in preparation for the big event, I watched a ton of videos on what has since become our sister site, therideshareguy.com (Thanks Harry!), and read as much as I could before hitting the road.

My First Uber Driving Experience

Driving for Uber in Melbourne, Australia

I went online at 7:25pm and within minutes, I got my first ping. It was a pickup in St Kilda Road, Melbourne. I navigated to them, and tapped out a text to let them know I had arrived. I nervously waited as I watched my passengers approaching. A couple, they hopped in the back and gave me their destination, which was a few kilometres away in Prahran. As we started the drive, they asked how long I’d been driving. I couldn’t lie, I told them they were my first trip and they chuckled, and went on to tell me how much they loved using it and that they’d been using it since its launch in Melbourne. They then proceeded to chat amongst themselves, until we got to their destination. I had made $8.00 exactly, but back then, you had to do the maths yourself since the app showed the total fare instead of earnings. I was stoked! I had driven some random strangers less than 4 kilometres and been paid $8.00! I rang my wife to tell her (after I explained what Uber was and why I had signed up to it). She wasn’t as excited, and thought it was a bad idea, but agreed to indulge me.

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