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I can't screenshot the 1,300 total miles driven because that's my odometer miles... Uber only shows you paid miles, which isn't useful for these sorts of calculations.
Then your dead miles will be with dead time, so you should have 650 miles at 20 hours, correct? Watch your dead miles. #1 rule, you only make money with spinning tires when someone is in your vehicle.
 

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That's actually an excellent point... people on Social Security can only have a certain amount of income per month before their benefits get reduced. The tax shielding from the standard mileage deduction is great for them. The fact that they can keep it so they barely make money, on a tax basis, is worth several dollars/hour to them on top of what Uber is paying them.
Your Social Security benefits are affected by earned income until you turn 70; then you can earn as much as you want without any reduction in benefits.
 

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I appreciate your granularity but whoa...that's a LOT of detail for a part-time gig like Uber. I never presumed that I would get rich or even pay my mortgage with Uber income. It's a decent, flexible, rather passive way to make extra money. It is what it is. Folks need to accept it for that. Nothing more...nothing less.
So you are toodling along with no clue what your costs are? We may agree or disagree with the OP but at least we're all thinking about it.

Uber loves you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
Your Social Security benefits are affected by earned income until you turn 70; then you can earn as much as you want without any reduction in benefits.
Good point.

I would imagine that there are more drivers in the 62 to 70 range than there are in the 70+ range... So it might not matter a lot, though it is accurate.
 

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I think you misunderstand.

Enterprise's rental model provides a ceiling to your expenses. They are making money at renting you cars that you can drive 1k to 2k / week. If you can't manage your expenses to be lower, then rent from Enterprise... you can't both have higher expenses than renting from Enterprise and not own the fact that those higher expenses are just poor business management.
It's entirely possible that Enterprise has not been in this long enough to realise it's not a good deal for them. Or it's simply that right now so many people are renting these cars and not driving very much and returning them quickly that they're making money on the average driver, not the ones driving more miles. The more miles you drive, the less each one will cost. If you're driving 80 hours a week and racking up miles it may work as far as costing less money per mile. But you're likely not making much per HOUR. If you drive less miles each mile is more expensive but you may do better per hour because you only work busy times/surges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
How do you not pay for washing the car?
On a side note, I actually covered in the post below that I stopped washing my car and saw my ratings go up. Went 3 weeks without a wash and 2 of the 3 weeks were solid 5.0s, I think. Did a half-assed job washing it at a self-wash place for $6 and haven't gotten a non-5.0 rating since then... don't put too much into washing your car.

https://uberpeople.net/threads/anyone-else-accidentally-getting-better-ratings-lately.78597/
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
It's entirely possible that Enterprise has not been in this long enough to realise it's not a good deal for them. Or it's simply that right now so many people are renting these cars and not driving very much and returning them quickly that they're making money on the average driver, not the ones driving more miles. The more miles you drive, the less each one will cost. If you're driving 80 hours a week and racking up miles it may work as far as making a little money per mile. But you're likely not making much per HOUR. If you drive less miles each mile is more expensive but you may do better per hour because you only work busy times/surges.
Yes. The intersection between cost / hours / profit is not something that I covered.

All I covered is that, assuming you drive enough miles already to make the Enterprise car cheaper than your own car, then you should switch to the Enterprise car if it's less than your car per mile, after offsetting the tax benefit that you get from your own car.

It's just one variable at a time over here... that's all I, or the scientific method, can handle :)
 

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I don't drive in Jersey City, Hoboken, Paramus, Edison, or even Morristown for that very reason: too many stoplights, too much traffic, and the speed limits are too low.

I am very fortunate in that I live right between the turnpike and GSP where they meet. As a result, I do get a lot of rides up the GSP, down the GSP, and up the NJTP (though never down the NJTP, for some reason...). When I drive on the shore people are either going a very short distance home on 40-50 MPH roads with no traffic at night or they are going 30+ miles on the GSP or Rt 18.

Went 10 minutes for a pickup, drove them for 18 minutes, got $3.20. No thanks.

But if you have options to drive in a high traffic, low speed limit, mega stop light area or a low traffic, high speed limit, few stop light area, you have to pick the one that makes you the most money as long as it has rides to support the drivers (which my area does).
You ain't gonna' average no thirty two MPH in those places, unless it is o-dark-hundred.

Where are you? Woodbridge, Menlo Park, Fords? You need not answer if you do not want to plaster it all over these boards, but, still, I would believe that you could do an average thirty two MPH as long as you stayed around there. If you got anyone who wanted to go to Staten Island, Edison or further into Somerset County, you could get stuck in some nasty traffic. I do not know where people go up there in an Uber, so I must go on what you or other Jersey drivers tell me. If you do get into the Amboys , Red Bank or Asbury Park, I would hope that it would be at night. It can get rough there, especially now that late spring is here and summer will soon be upon us. When I hung up there as a young man, we had a Designated Driver of the Day. If I were a young man still, I would use Uber. We would not need any Designated Driver of the Day.

"No thanks", -eh? You must be a nicer guy than I am. It would take every bit of Mama's Raising Me Right not to run my car into the nearest Burger King over that one,

I would believe that the demand in the part of Jersey under discussion could support the drivers. I know more about the Shore, Somerset County, Hoboken, Weehawken, Tenafly, Passaic, Jersey City and Hackensack than I do about the part under discussion, but I do know something about it. The public transportation, black car and cab service is inconsistent, at best--at least as I remember it. I could see a demand for Uber there, simply because there is nothing else that is consistent. The cost of UberX is low enough that people do not need to get friends to drive them here and there. If you can stay in an area where there is high demand and few hazards, that is the best money maker. Here, if I am driving TNC that day, I like a particular Virginia suburb called Arlington. I know the streets and roads there, from my time hacking there in the late 1970s for a summer job. I know how to get around traffic there. I will work Downtown Washington only because I know how to do it from my hacking. Lately, I have had to avoid it and parts of Arlington at certain times because of too many Uber Pool requests.

This Uber Pool business has thrown a monkey wrench into the whole thing. I have to learn new tricks.

With a rental? It's weekly. You turn it in at the end of the week and get another one. Let them wash it.
Once again, timing is everything in comedy. ROTFLMAOWIPMP.
 

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Hi All,

I've finally woken up from how tired I was from the endless "your car costs 54 cents/mile to operate because the IRS deduction is 54 cents/mile" arguments and I wanted to share with all the truthers an example to show them that expenses are most certainly not 54 cents/mile for drivers managing their costs.

I don't need to show that expenses are 10 cents/mile (they are for me), I only need to show that they are not 54 cents/mile.

Let's use Enterprise's Uber program as our example, for New Jersey.

This is the easiest example to use because you pay your rental fee for the week, you pay for your gasoline, and you walk away. There is no endless misunderstanding of depreciation, repair costs, etc. to be had. You pay for the week, that's what it costs. No arguments!

Cost Inputs
Note: If anyone has better information, please add it in a comment that is free of rants. If you can prove that the cost you have is accurate and that it was mandatory I'll gladly update the inputs and the resulting outputs.
  • Base Rental Price
    • $210 / week
  • Rental / Mile Price
    • None - Unlimited Miles
  • Taxes
    • Let's assume at least sales tax, so $15
  • Insurance
    • Let's give them $90 / week for this, though it may be included
  • Total Rental Cost
    • $315 / week
  • Gasoline
    • Corolla's and other similar cars they may give you average about 30 MPG
    • NJ Gas costs $2 / gallon
    • That's 6.7 cents/mile for gasoline
Range of Total Costs / Mile - Including Enterprise Markup
  • 1,000 miles / week
    • Rental: 31.5 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 38.2 cents / mile
    • 29.2% lower than 54 cents / mile!
  • 1,300 miles / week
    • Rental: 24.2 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 30.9 cents / mile
    • 42.8% lower than 54 cents / mile!!
  • 1,600 miles / week
    • Rental: 19.7 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 26.4 cents / mile
    • 48.8% lower than 54 cents / mile!
Enterprise Makes Money
Enterprise is a business. They are in this to make money, so you can be assured that they will make money on this in the long term. They are not charging you, all drivers collectively, less than their costs. With unlimited miles they know that they will make money when they average out the miles driven per week per driver. Drivers who drive a lot will make them a little less money, drivers who drive very little will make them a killing, but on average, the costs will work out to what it costs them plus a markup.

The standard retail markup, after costs of goods (not including capital costs, wages, etc.), is 30%.

Let's assume that anyone driving less than 1,000 miles a week is smart enough to figure out that renting a car for $315 / week is not going to be worth it. So the range of mileage is probably between 1,000 miles / week and maybe 1,600 miles / week (there are probably some outliers that drive more than that but let's ignore them as they make this appear too inexpensive).

Enterprise Makes Money - Assumptions
  • Average Rental Driver's Miles / Week
    • 1,300 miles
  • Standard Retail Markup After Cost of Goods
    • Cost of Goods Includes: tires, shocks, oil, basic repairs, and depreciation
    • Cost of Goods Does Not Include: rent for stores, electricity, advertising, cost of capital for financing the cars, employee wages, etc
    • In other words: This % is the % that Enterprise raises their costs to cover the rent for stores, electricity, advertising, cost of capital, employee wages, etc. (all except cost of capital being a cost we don't have)
    • 30%
Enterprise Makes Money - Let's Remove Their Costs
  • Total Rental Cost to You: $315 / week
  • Remove Tax: -$15 / week
  • Removing Enterprises Markup: -$90 / week
  • Cost to Enterprise of the Car: $210 / week
Range of Total Costs / Mile - Enterprise Markup Removed
  • 1,000 miles / week
    • Rental: 21 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 27.7 cents / mile
    • 48.7% lower than 54 cents / mile!
  • 1,300 miles / week
    • Rental: 16.1 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 22.8 cents / mile
    • 57.7% lower than 54 cents / mile!!
  • 1,600 miles / week
    • Rental: 13.1 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 19.8 cents / mile
    • 63.3% lower than 54 cents / mile!
Applying this to My Driving
I drove 1,300 miles last week and took home $932 after tolls, with 40 hours of activity outside of my home.

If I'd used an Enterprise car, with their markup included, I would've had $529 left after the rental and gasoline.
  • Rental Car - Enterprise Markup Included
    • Take Home After Rental: $932 - $315 = $617
    • Take Home After Gasoline: $617 - 1300 * $0.067 = $529
    • Per Mile Earnings: 40.6 cents / mile
    • Per Hour Earnings: $13.22 / hour
      • Note: Unfortunately, ALL of that would be taxable earnings as you can no longer claim 54 cents / mile expenses for your own car. But this number can be compared to a wage that any other job offered to pay you, less an extra 7% for the self employment tax that you'd pay.
  • Rental Car - Enterprise Markup Removed
    • Take Home After Rental: $932 - $210 = $722
    • Take Home After Gasoline: $722 - 1300 * $0.067 = $634.9
    • Per Mile Earnings: 48.7 cents / mile
    • Per Hour Earnings: $15.87 / hour
  • Driving My Car
    • My car is a 2008, not a 2015, depreciation is non-existent compared to a new car
    • My maintenance + gasoline costs: 10 cents / mile
    • Take Home After My Costs: $932 - 1300 * $0.10 = $802
    • Per Mile Earnings: 61.6 cents / mile
    • Per Hour Earnings: $20.05 / hour
      • Note: $702 of the $932 are shielded from taxes due to the 54 cents / mile standard IRS deduction. This means I own taxes on only $230, so I owe about $60 in taxes, meaning I get to keep about $18 / hour of these earnings
Conclusions
No, I don't love Uber and I'm not Travis' brother, etc. etc.

What you can see above is that even driving a car provided by Enterprise (aka "another evil company trying to steal all your money"), you can still make $13 / hour & 40 cents / mile driving for Uber.

That $13 / hour & 40 cents / mile rate is under the absolute worst conditions: allowing another company to profit from your driving their 2015 or newer car.

When you control your costs (2008 Prius) you can push your earnings up to $20 / hour & 61.6 cents / mile and you can shield almost all of it from income taxes due to the overly generous standard IRS mileage deduction.

If your car costs you 54 cents / mile, you are doing something wrong.
Only 2 mild components missing in your reasoning:

1. Real life doesn't always follow mathematical models AKA dead miles dead miles dead miles = 0 cents / mile
2. Lack of consistency and no guarantee you will make tomorrow what you made today - Your math would make more sense if you were a truck driver with a guaranteed number of paid miles every week

As far as Enterprise goes, they are very creative on how they make money.... They don't just depend on their rate / mile because if they did, they would be losing money.... just like the majority of Uber Drivers ... keyword = majority of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
Only 2 mild components missing in your reasoning:

1. Real life doesn't always follow mathematical models AKA dead miles dead miles dead miles = 0 cents / mile
2. Lack of consistency and no guarantee you will make tomorrow what you made today - Your math would make more sense if you were a truck driver with a guaranteed number of paid miles every week

As far as Enterprise goes, they are very creative on how they make money.... They don't just depend on their rate / mile because if they did, they would be losing money.... just like the majority of Uber Drivers ... keyword = majority of course.
Not sure what you mean about dead miles. I count all miles driven as miles with expenses. Computing expenses doesn't require knowing what your revenue is.

I drive about 1k miles per week. Week after week. It's pretty predictable at this point.
 

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Nerd.

You are correct in your assertion that driving an old Prius will cost way less than the IRS standard mileage deduction.

You're still a nerd with all those numbers and whatnot up there.

;)
hehe - you say that like it's a bad thing! ;)
 
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Hi All,

I've finally woken up from how tired I was from the endless "your car costs 54 cents/mile to operate because the IRS deduction is 54 cents/mile" arguments and I wanted to share with all the truthers an example to show them that expenses are most certainly not 54 cents/mile for drivers managing their costs.

I don't need to show that expenses are 10 cents/mile (they are for me), I only need to show that they are not 54 cents/mile.

Let's use Enterprise's Uber program as our example, for New Jersey.

This is the easiest example to use because you pay your rental fee for the week, you pay for your gasoline, and you walk away. There is no endless misunderstanding of depreciation, repair costs, etc. to be had. You pay for the week, that's what it costs. No arguments!

Cost Inputs
Note: If anyone has better information, please add it in a comment that is free of rants. If you can prove that the cost you have is accurate and that it was mandatory I'll gladly update the inputs and the resulting outputs.
  • Base Rental Price
    • $210 / week
  • Rental / Mile Price
    • None - Unlimited Miles
  • Taxes
    • Let's assume at least sales tax, so $15
  • Insurance
    • Let's give them $90 / week for this, though it may be included
  • Total Rental Cost
    • $315 / week
  • Gasoline
    • Corolla's and other similar cars they may give you average about 30 MPG
    • NJ Gas costs $2 / gallon
    • That's 6.7 cents/mile for gasoline
Range of Total Costs / Mile - Including Enterprise Markup
  • 1,000 miles / week
    • Rental: 31.5 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 38.2 cents / mile
    • 29.2% lower than 54 cents / mile!
  • 1,300 miles / week
    • Rental: 24.2 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 30.9 cents / mile
    • 42.8% lower than 54 cents / mile!!
  • 1,600 miles / week
    • Rental: 19.7 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 26.4 cents / mile
    • 48.8% lower than 54 cents / mile!
Enterprise Makes Money
Enterprise is a business. They are in this to make money, so you can be assured that they will make money on this in the long term. They are not charging you, all drivers collectively, less than their costs. With unlimited miles they know that they will make money when they average out the miles driven per week per driver. Drivers who drive a lot will make them a little less money, drivers who drive very little will make them a killing, but on average, the costs will work out to what it costs them plus a markup.

The standard retail markup, after costs of goods (not including capital costs, wages, etc.), is 30%.

Let's assume that anyone driving less than 1,000 miles a week is smart enough to figure out that renting a car for $315 / week is not going to be worth it. So the range of mileage is probably between 1,000 miles / week and maybe 1,600 miles / week (there are probably some outliers that drive more than that but let's ignore them as they make this appear too inexpensive).

Enterprise Makes Money - Assumptions
  • Average Rental Driver's Miles / Week
    • 1,300 miles
  • Standard Retail Markup After Cost of Goods
    • Cost of Goods Includes: tires, shocks, oil, basic repairs, and depreciation
    • Cost of Goods Does Not Include: rent for stores, electricity, advertising, cost of capital for financing the cars, employee wages, etc
    • In other words: This % is the % that Enterprise raises their costs to cover the rent for stores, electricity, advertising, cost of capital, employee wages, etc. (all except cost of capital being a cost we don't have)
    • 30%
Enterprise Makes Money - Let's Remove Their Costs
  • Total Rental Cost to You: $315 / week
  • Remove Tax: -$15 / week
  • Removing Enterprises Markup: -$90 / week
  • Cost to Enterprise of the Car: $210 / week
Range of Total Costs / Mile - Enterprise Markup Removed
  • 1,000 miles / week
    • Rental: 21 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 27.7 cents / mile
    • 48.7% lower than 54 cents / mile!
  • 1,300 miles / week
    • Rental: 16.1 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 22.8 cents / mile
    • 57.7% lower than 54 cents / mile!!
  • 1,600 miles / week
    • Rental: 13.1 cents / mile
    • Gas: 6.7 cents / mile
    • Total: 19.8 cents / mile
    • 63.3% lower than 54 cents / mile!
Applying this to My Driving
I drove 1,300 miles last week and took home $932 after tolls, with 40 hours of activity outside of my home.

If I'd used an Enterprise car, with their markup included, I would've had $529 left after the rental and gasoline.
  • Rental Car - Enterprise Markup Included
    • Take Home After Rental: $932 - $315 = $617
    • Take Home After Gasoline: $617 - 1300 * $0.067 = $529
    • Per Mile Earnings: 40.6 cents / mile
    • Per Hour Earnings: $13.22 / hour
      • Note: Unfortunately, ALL of that would be taxable earnings as you can no longer claim 54 cents / mile expenses for your own car. But this number can be compared to a wage that any other job offered to pay you, less an extra 7% for the self employment tax that you'd pay.
  • Rental Car - Enterprise Markup Removed
    • Take Home After Rental: $932 - $210 = $722
    • Take Home After Gasoline: $722 - 1300 * $0.067 = $634.9
    • Per Mile Earnings: 48.7 cents / mile
    • Per Hour Earnings: $15.87 / hour
  • Driving My Car
    • My car is a 2008, not a 2015, depreciation is non-existent compared to a new car
    • My maintenance + gasoline costs: 10 cents / mile
    • Take Home After My Costs: $932 - 1300 * $0.10 = $802
    • Per Mile Earnings: 61.6 cents / mile
    • Per Hour Earnings: $20.05 / hour
      • Note: $702 of the $932 are shielded from taxes due to the 54 cents / mile standard IRS deduction. This means I own taxes on only $230, so I owe about $60 in taxes, meaning I get to keep about $18 / hour of these earnings
Conclusions
No, I don't love Uber and I'm not Travis' brother, etc. etc.

What you can see above is that even driving a car provided by Enterprise (aka "another evil company trying to steal all your money"), you can still make $13 / hour & 40 cents / mile driving for Uber.

That $13 / hour & 40 cents / mile rate is under the absolute worst conditions: allowing another company to profit from your driving their 2015 or newer car.

When you control your costs (2008 Prius) you can push your earnings up to $20 / hour & 61.6 cents / mile and you can shield almost all of it from income taxes due to the overly generous standard IRS mileage deduction.

If your car costs you 54 cents / mile, you are doing something wrong.
Have you been sniffing that asbestos
 

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All depends on WHAT you drive, and HOW you drive it. I've spent close to 6k alone in the last year on maintenance on my Benz.
$8,550 a year is not that far off for a LUXURY vehicle.......
 

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Not sure what you mean about dead miles. I count all miles driven as miles with expenses. Computing expenses doesn't require knowing what your revenue is.

I drive about 1k miles per week. Week after week. It's pretty predictable at this point.
Translation : Low rates don't exist if you don't think of them.
Focus that mental power on how thin you can slice a pickle slice.
When you master slicing that slice in to 6 you'll achieve all the satisfaction you need
While making other people rich.
 

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Seriously is my translation close ?
Unfortunately yes. I think that for all business' that seem to operate a bit like pyramid. In my brief two months of amway, (thank goodness I gaveup early on it).. some of the my upline(way up there at diamond level) really pushed selling the motivation tapes, and seminars and such. I remember listening to a couple of tapes. It was all hype lol. I learned later on that some of the uppertier mgt folks were raking in hefty profits. (I kind of figured something that the way try to force it on you).

Anyways it only cost them like .50 cents for each tape, and sell each one for $4/5... and so on lolol
 
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