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· Premium Member
2,427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sorry, kind of a long post. Sort of verbal diarrhea :sick: It might provide some insight for some of you since it has to do with money :wink:

I think one of the biggest mistakes that us ants make is not considering the overhead of being an Uber/Lyft driver. In fact, I think that Uber and Lyft DON'T WANT us figuring this out since it would likely discourage some drivers. Some folks at least keep track of their gas. But how many of us really keep track of all our expenses and attempt to calculate our overhead? Every other business does this - It's called cost accounting and it's a critical part of any business.

Either way, I had a rough idea of my overhead - estimating 20% - 25%. I knew my fuel was approximately 15% and figured the other stuff (repairs, parts, insurance) made up an additional 5% - 10%. I was pretty close to the mark. Here's the spreadsheet I drew up. I made my starting point the beginning of the year. Pretty basic (screenshot):


I was slightly higher than expected but in the ballpark.

There's a few items not present that some will point out.

Taxes - Some may want to include that. I have a lot of write offs (the standard mileage + kids, mortgage, etc.) and have never had to pay taxes on Uber fares in 2017 or 2018. We'll see about 2019.

Social Security - That comes standard with any job. If you make $20 an hour, you still consider yourself as making $20/hour even though 12.4% of that is going toward social security. So this is moot IMO.

Amenities - I don't personally offer amenities to customers except in the rare case someone really needs a bottle of water because they're sloppy drunk or asks for gum. I keep those in the car but the cost is negligible especially when the water I carry is from 24 packs @ $3.99 from Walmart.

Food on the road - I don't typically eat on the road. If I do, it's a little package of nuts or a candy bar. Again, super negligible.

Repair/Maintenance labor - This would need to be put under "Parts" but maybe titled as "maintenance/repairs" to be more accurate. I'm a gearhead. I haven't taken my car into the shop in nearly 10 years. Not everyone is of course but doing even basic repairs yourself can save a lot of $$$.

There are a few other little expenses like cleaners, air fresheners, the occasional energy drink for late at night and little car expenses like windshield washer cleaner. That stuff is difficult to keep track of since it's tied in with general shopping at Walmart or Kroger or something. And really, it's pretty insignificant. Also, this spreadsheet doesn't take into account cash tips, I figure it balances out some slight expenses not included as well. I'd guess I average around $25 in cash tips a week. Also, I don't keep track of the personal use of my vehicle vs. Uber driving. That's another huge one. If you don't sort out the two, you can consider your overhead to probably be several percentage points lower since much of your travel may be for personal use not associated with driving.

Anyways, I'm open to comments or suggestions which might make this more accurate. I'm happy to post the spreadsheet as well if anyone is interested in using it. It's basic but it's helped me to reduce some costs by seeing exactly where the money is going. :thumbup:


· Premium Member
3,666 Posts
My feeling is that its better to put that effort and energy into finding a better job opportunity. Rideshare is lemonade stand/paper route money unless doing it full time, then its minimum wage unless in one of the favorable markets.

· Registered
14 Posts
Its much easier to upload receipts and manage income, expenses, GST online free on gstdriver.com and you can see graphs of your income and expenses to see how ur uber income/expenses are going over the time.
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