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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seem to be lot of posts about not grinding out trips. I don't prefer it, but when surge isn't there to stealth into that's all there is...it doesn't make sense to do nothing IMO. You have fixed costs per week (insurance, vehicle payment, etc.) and these detract more from your earnings the less you make in the absolute. Whether Poo or X, having a pax in the car at 1x is about $60/hr if you're moving at freeway speeds. Obviously nay into fantasy land for that to happen consistently but time with pax driving, at average trip speeds without traffic, is still about $35-40/hr. You want pax in your car.

Gross:

For example. Let's analyze my last week (Uber/Lyft Totals combined - all less commissions):

Monday $87 - $*&% that day!
Tuesday $0
Wednesday $151
Thursday $181
Friday $284 (opening day at Del Mar)
Saturday $209
Sunday $144

In addition, I got these ride indirect related cash flows:

$100 - pax bonus to return cell phone (made a thread on this)
$50 - in other cash tips from pax (not including Lyft on app tips)
$60 - Cleaning fees. Some drunk pax spilled their bag of fast food in my car ($40) and someone left a french fry grease stain in my seat ($20)
Uber Ride incentive bonus - $142 (Probably the most significant)

$1408 in 45 hrs. Only $224 of this was Uber surge (too lazy to go back and figure out Prime Time related payouts to separate them) and almost all of it was from Friday/Saturday. I rarely do Lyft when surge is around, as inevitably I get the Lyft pax that find the PT-free pockets.

Costs:

$140 - xchange lease - I put 1300 miles on the car in that time frame *Gasp* - I have an xchange lease though. That means my realized vehicle cost was 11 cents/mi (140/wk)
$80 in fuel.
$35 in weekly insurance cost (with TNC endorsement).
$15 - Cell phone costs (I have a dedicated TNC phone, this is the cost I assign to the additional line + additional data required for TNC each week - The phone itself was free due to a Verizon Bogo offer).

Taxes:

For my 1300 miles I get to write off $702 in gross income, for an effective government subsidy of $140 at an assumed 20% tax bracket. - My xchange lease was virtually free.

Thoughts:

So, as a 'grinder' I made 28.4/hr over 45 hrs (actual hours, not app hours) after expenses (but before taxes) . Granted, the $100 cell phone return and $60 cleaning fees were rare events (24/hr 45 hrs if these are removed), as is Opening day of the Del Mar races. I hit the premium days hard, but the garbage days surrounding them increased the overall profitability of the premium days.

I think of it this way. The ride volume incentive (aka surge killer) covered almost all of my non lease expenses (gas, cell phone etc.) and the tax subsidy covered the lease... leaving everything else pure, pre-tax, profit.

Obviously last week was not a typical week. Your general strategy should change day-day (sometimes more frequently). However, the week before I had $1300 gross as well without any super crazy days.

Uber's basically paid for my non-lease expenses ever incentives have come out and the the tax payers have paid for the lease. When these incentives go away, my strategy will necessarily change.

Point being, consider everything outside of direct ride earnings/rates when making your strategy. For example, I get not everyone does this full time like I do, but all that means you need to adjust your strategy to weight the ride incentives significantly less as well as the standard mileage rate. You might also not as aggressively pursue fares like I do (whose dead miles are REAL cheap), etc.

I'm happy to say that I have NOT come anywhere near close to figuring the TNC game out. I think the moment you think you've got it is exactly when your profits will plummet. =D
 

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Taking regular rate rides makes sense for those that need more than just the 10 to 15 hours of bar close driving on weekends. As DriverX said in another thread. The more hours you work during the week. The less you make per hour. A smart driver could make money at this regardless of surge or not.

As long as u I are not driving a new car than it could work. Those numbers are nice. Good job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Taking regular rate rides makes sense for those that need more than just the 10 to 15 hours of bar close driving on weekends. As DriverX said in another thread. The more hours you work during the week. The less you make per hour. A smart driver could make money at this regardless of surge or not.

As long as u I are not driving a new car than it could work. Those numbers are nice. Good job.
I have an xchange lease, so yeah it's new. $140/wk. I'm doing enough miles that my tax deduction under standard mileage rate pays for the car.

Naturally, the more you drive the less your rate will be. There are only so many premium hours in a week where high earnings are possible. Driving garbage hours makes your premium hours worth more, increases your deductions, etc.
 

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Nice job and great numbers!

I have a question regarding taxes: Can you write off your mileage on a leased vehicle? I thought you couldn't do this and that you need to itemize your expenses instead, such as lease, cell phone and other expenses related to your business.

PS: I like how you covered your $140 lease with the Uber incentive of $142.
 

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Nice job and great numbers!

I have a question regarding taxes: Can you write off your mileage on a leased vehicle? I thought you couldn't do this and that you need to itemize your expenses instead, such as lease, cell phone and other expenses related to your business.
I'm a CPA and can tell you the lease payment is deductible....NOT mileage when you are "renting" a vehicle you dont own.

The numbers are good from the OP but we all know the incentives that drip from the mother's tit doesn't last forever. Take the cash when you can get it. 45 hours a week is totally manageable even though you worked 6 days last week.

Overall nice job Null
 

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Get paid while you can!
I was at the pyramid yesterday to get front and back toilet seat covers, and the room was PACKED!
 

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Seem to be lot of posts about not grinding out trips. I don't prefer it, but when surge isn't there to stealth into that's all there is...it doesn't make sense to do nothing IMO. You have fixed costs per week (insurance, vehicle payment, etc.) and these detract more from your earnings the less you make in the absolute. Whether Poo or X, having a pax in the car at 1x is about $60/hr if you're moving at freeway speeds. Obviously nay into fantasy land for that to happen consistently but time with pax driving, at average trip speeds without traffic, is still about $35-40/hr. You want pax in your car.

Gross:

For example. Let's analyze my last week (Uber/Lyft Totals combined - all less commissions):

Monday $87 - $*&% that day!
Tuesday $0
Wednesday $151
Thursday $181
Friday $284 (opening day at Del Mar)
Saturday $209
Sunday $144

In addition, I got these ride indirect related cash flows:

$100 - pax bonus to return cell phone (made a thread on this)
$50 - in other cash tips from pax (not including Lyft on app tips)
$60 - Cleaning fees. Some drunk pax spilled their bag of fast food in my car ($40) and someone left a french fry grease stain in my seat ($20)
Uber Ride incentive bonus - $142 (Probably the most significant)

$1408 in 45 hrs. Only $224 of this was Uber surge (too lazy to go back and figure out Prime Time related payouts to separate them) and almost all of it was from Friday/Saturday. I rarely do Lyft when surge is around, as inevitably I get the Lyft pax that find the PT-free pockets.

Costs:

$140 - xchange lease - I put 1300 miles on the car in that time frame *Gasp* - I have an xchange lease though. That means my realized vehicle cost was 11 cents/mi (140/wk)
$80 in fuel.
$35 in weekly insurance cost (with TNC endorsement).
$15 - Cell phone costs (I have a dedicated TNC phone, this is the cost I assign to the additional line + additional data required for TNC each week - The phone itself was free due to a Verizon Bogo offer).

Taxes:

For my 1300 miles I get to write off $702 in gross income, for an effective government subsidy of $140 at an assumed 20% tax bracket. - My xchange lease was virtually free.

Thoughts:

So, as a 'grinder' I made 28.4/hr over 45 hrs (actual hours, not app hours) after expenses (but before taxes) . Granted, the $100 cell phone return and $60 cleaning fees were rare events (24/hr 45 hrs if these are removed), as is Opening day of the Del Mar races. I hit the premium days hard, but the garbage days surrounding them increased the overall profitability of the premium days.

I think of it this way. The ride volume incentive (aka surge killer) covered almost all of my non lease expenses (gas, cell phone etc.) and the tax subsidy covered the lease... leaving everything else pure, pre-tax, profit.

Obviously last week was not a typical week. Your general strategy should change day-day (sometimes more frequently). However, the week before I had $1300 gross as well without any super crazy days.

Uber's basically paid for my non-lease expenses ever incentives have come out and the the tax payers have paid for the lease. When these incentives go away, my strategy will necessarily change.

Point being, consider everything outside of direct ride earnings/rates when making your strategy. For example, I get not everyone does this full time like I do, but all that means you need to adjust your strategy to weight the ride incentives significantly less as well as the standard mileage rate. You might also not as aggressively pursue fares like I do (whose dead miles are REAL cheap), etc.

I'm happy to say that I have NOT come anywhere near close to figuring the TNC game out. I think the moment you think you've got it is exactly when your profits will plummet. =D
That's not making a living, that's making a killing (for uber).
 

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I've been writing off mileage on leased cars for years with Cpa doing my taxes.
Nice job and great numbers!

I have a question regarding taxes: Can you write off your mileage on a leased vehicle? I thought you couldn't do this and that you need to itemize your expenses instead, such as lease, cell phone and other expenses related to your business.

PS: I like how you covered your $140 lease with the Uber incentive of $142.
f
 

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Just an FYI, even if you DONT lease a vehicle you can still write off all of your Uber Miles!! And if your Operational costs are higher than that write-off amount you can write those off instead.
 

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I'm a CPA and can tell you the lease payment is deductible....NOT mileage when you are "renting" a vehicle you dont own.

The numbers are good from the OP but we all know the incentives that drip from the mother's tit doesn't last forever. Take the cash when you can get it. 45 hours a week is totally manageable even though you worked 6 days last week.

Overall nice job Null
Your able to write off mileage on a lease, you need to get updated with the irs code.
 

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Seem to be lot of posts about not grinding out trips. I don't prefer it, but when surge isn't there to stealth into that's all there is...it doesn't make sense to do nothing IMO. You have fixed costs per week (insurance, vehicle payment, etc.) and these detract more from your earnings the less you make in the absolute. Whether Poo or X, having a pax in the car at 1x is about $60/hr if you're moving at freeway speeds. Obviously nay into fantasy land for that to happen consistently but time with pax driving, at average trip speeds without traffic, is still about $35-40/hr. You want pax in your car.

Gross:

For example. Let's analyze my last week (Uber/Lyft Totals combined - all less commissions):

Monday $87 - $*&% that day!
Tuesday $0
Wednesday $151
Thursday $181
Friday $284 (opening day at Del Mar)
Saturday $209
Sunday $144

In addition, I got these ride indirect related cash flows:

$100 - pax bonus to return cell phone (made a thread on this)
$50 - in other cash tips from pax (not including Lyft on app tips)
$60 - Cleaning fees. Some drunk pax spilled their bag of fast food in my car ($40) and someone left a french fry grease stain in my seat ($20)
Uber Ride incentive bonus - $142 (Probably the most significant)

$1408 in 45 hrs. Only $224 of this was Uber surge (too lazy to go back and figure out Prime Time related payouts to separate them) and almost all of it was from Friday/Saturday. I rarely do Lyft when surge is around, as inevitably I get the Lyft pax that find the PT-free pockets.

Costs:

$140 - xchange lease - I put 1300 miles on the car in that time frame *Gasp* - I have an xchange lease though. That means my realized vehicle cost was 11 cents/mi (140/wk)
$80 in fuel.
$35 in weekly insurance cost (with TNC endorsement).
$15 - Cell phone costs (I have a dedicated TNC phone, this is the cost I assign to the additional line + additional data required for TNC each week - The phone itself was free due to a Verizon Bogo offer).

Taxes:

For my 1300 miles I get to write off $702 in gross income, for an effective government subsidy of $140 at an assumed 20% tax bracket. - My xchange lease was virtually free.

Thoughts:

So, as a 'grinder' I made 28.4/hr over 45 hrs (actual hours, not app hours) after expenses (but before taxes) . Granted, the $100 cell phone return and $60 cleaning fees were rare events (24/hr 45 hrs if these are removed), as is Opening day of the Del Mar races. I hit the premium days hard, but the garbage days surrounding them increased the overall profitability of the premium days.

I think of it this way. The ride volume incentive (aka surge killer) covered almost all of my non lease expenses (gas, cell phone etc.) and the tax subsidy covered the lease... leaving everything else pure, pre-tax, profit.

Obviously last week was not a typical week. Your general strategy should change day-day (sometimes more frequently). However, the week before I had $1300 gross as well without any super crazy days.

Uber's basically paid for my non-lease expenses ever incentives have come out and the the tax payers have paid for the lease. When these incentives go away, my strategy will necessarily change.

Point being, consider everything outside of direct ride earnings/rates when making your strategy. For example, I get not everyone does this full time like I do, but all that means you need to adjust your strategy to weight the ride incentives significantly less as well as the standard mileage rate. You might also not as aggressively pursue fares like I do (whose dead miles are REAL cheap), etc.

I'm happy to say that I have NOT come anywhere near close to figuring the TNC game out. I think the moment you think you've got it is exactly when your profits will plummet. =D
You can't count on those bonus fees. tips etc. so subtract $200 right there. What were your hours online? You drove 6 out of 7 days I doubt your door to door hours were really 45. That looks more like a 50+ hour week. Anyway, you spent a lot of time and miles in your car for something that averaged closer to $20 an hour. Not the way I want to live my life. I'd rather just stack as much as possible when its busy.

There are lots of weeks where we don't have large events lining up like last week so for all that time you put in I don't think you did all that well. WHich is why people with a heavy financial load that need regular consistent money are going to find doing this tough year round. The business is already highly volatile because of stuff like gas price and its seasonal plus the TNCs are constantly changing the rules on us as soon as we find a profitable strategy. They want you to drone thats why they leased you a vehicle, what are you going to do when it slows down again and your down to making $600 for the same amount of time driving? can you drive more? or do you have another job and or a life? YOur gonna flame out unless you need that car really really bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
You can't count on those bonus fees. tips etc. so subtract $200 right there. What were your hours online? You drove 6 out of 7 days I doubt your door to door hours were really 45. That looks more like a 50+ hour week. Anyway, you spent a lot of time and miles in your car for something that averaged closer to $20 an hour. Not the way I want to live my life. I'd rather just stack as much as possible when its busy.

There are lots of weeks where we don't have large events lining up like last week so for all that time you put in I don't think you did all that well. WHich is why people with a heavy financial load that need regular consistent money are going to find doing this tough year round. The business is already highly volatile because of stuff like gas price and its seasonal plus the TNCs are constantly changing the rules on us as soon as we find a profitable strategy. They want you to drone thats why they leased you a vehicle, what are you going to do when it slows down again and your down to making $600 for the same amount of time driving? can you drive more? or do you have another job and or a life? YOur gonna flame out unless you need that car really really bad.
I have been consistently profitable doing TNC for the last 10 months. I'm expecting a slow down and expecting that the incentives will go away. However, when the incentives go away will also be when drivers start dropping offline (school starts back up) and surge will be more consistent. That's my prediction anyway.

The only bad weeks I've ever had are where I didn't put in the time.

I called it early on Monday and I've been starting late. The time periods I give you are from my mileage tracking app from car on to car off. Believe whatever you want.

My background is in IT, and I can go back to a normal job at just about any time. I just went back to school to finish my bachelors so this is my experiment in the interim.

Edit: also, I already accounted for the one time events in my post, as well as expenses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
All the tax talk is kinda moot. You're not going to make enough doing this to be in a high enough bracket to have to pay more than a few hundred bucks after the mileage and uber commissions anyway.
This tax talk is highly relevant. In fact one of the few things that makes driving worth doing. At the rate I'm going I'll get to write off 32000/yr in income. I will NOT incur anywhere near that amount in actual expenses. So the deduction takes me out of the 20% bracket. That works out to government subsidy of 6400/yr. Actually more when you consider it reduces the taxes on the remaining income due to lower bracket.
 
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