In Short, a resounding no, but first let me explain:
About 5 months ago, I wrote an article on apps that allow you to work from your phone; http://zoomdune.com/article/5-applications-that-provide-app-based-jobs. These apps included Uber, Lyft and Postmates to name a few. Originally, I was impressed at the proposition of working from an application on my phone and decided to try out Uber and report back to see if it was legitimate/worthwhile.
I started with Uber at the end of September and was hooked immediately. It was a fun & easy way to make a little extra cash and even considered driving for them full time since the demand was there, the hours were as flexible as could be and the pay was good as long as you worked in in-demand times and areas. I worked mostly in the middle of the night as this was the time that seemed to be most beneficial. I learned that Surge pricing was a regular occurrence around 2am (mostly on weekends) that would hike fares up to 1, 2 and even 3x the normal amount. At the beginning, getting a single ride during surge pricing after a game or concert would make my entire night. Being an Uber driver was awesome for the first couple of months, but then the excitement died down and Uber started to show it’s true colors.
I first noticed a huge decrease in demand at the beginning of December 2014, I can only imagine that there was a huge influx of new drivers, I later discovered that Uber was hiring extra drivers in preparation for New Years Eve. The entire month of December was brutal, I can only imagine that full time drivers were having a panic attack trying to pay the bills – then New Years Eve hit. New Years eve was insanely busy, everything was awesome for 1 night but after that night, it was worse than before. It gradually got better for the next few months getting back up to regular demand and, according to Uber, I was grossing anywhere between $60 – $150 on weeknights and $80 – $200 on busy weekends driving 8 hours per night. Not bad right? …Wrong.
What I learned is that Uber displays only gross sales but your net earnings as a driver are about 23% less than gross earnings after Uber takes their cut. This number is also before wear and tear on your personal vehicle, depreciation, gas prices, oil changes, bottled waters (that Uber recommends you have) cleaning/car wash fees and any messes that customers make including throw up in the car that Uber supposedly will cover (luckily that never happened to me) and don’t forget, you still have to pay taxes on all of this at the end of the year since you are a personal contractor.
I weathered another drought before the Super Bowl when demand was low and the city of Phoenix was saturated with drivers all so that I could work the highly anticipated Super Bowl weekend. That weekend was the best of my Uber career and luckily gave me some money to start looking for something else. As soon as the weekend was over, Uber announced a drop in fares. I had to sign a new agreement stating that minimum rides would now be $4.00 (Gross) and $0.90 per mile. Read all about the drop in fares from the people who do it for a living here; http://uberpeople.net/threads/looks-like-rates-are-dropping.13293/page-2.
When everything is taken into account including ALL expenses paid driving for Uber (data plan, gas, wear and tear, tires, vehicle depreciation, taxes, oil changes, car washes, vacuum, waters) drivers in Phoenix, on average, make less than $0.30 per mile, not to mention the questionable legality of driving for Uber and the lawsuits that continue to pile up, Uber seems to be a train wreck already happening.
So unless driving drunk people around for free on late nights and early mornings while driving your car into the ground sounds like a fun hobby to you, take it from a driver who has done it and do yourself a favor; stay far away from Uber. You may get a weekend or two a year that, after fees, leaves you with a similar paycheck to a data entry position but leaves you with a car that smells like booze and cigarettes. Take the data entry position or even the job at McDonalds, at least they’re consistent.