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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