The plan called for buying a beater for $2k with another $2k for the liability insurance. With the relatively negligible car cost I would keep my fingers crossed to avoid accidents and breakdowns. I viewed this as a lottery with a fixed downside of $2k but a sizable upside.

With the thoughts about the actual upside I started researching into the Uber world. Shortly after I came across this discussion board. The comparison to the minimum wage and feedback about saturated market turned me cautious. I no longer itched to hunt for a beater; instead I sat down to get a clear idea about what the best case scenario would be.

This board has a number of great cost-per-mile models. These work great for the newer cars where ignoring the depreciation will make your operation unsustainable. The cost-per-mile captures the repairs, the deductibles, and the maintenance very well.

I tried these models and felt they do not work for my setup. A $2k beater arguably does not depreciate whether its miles go from 120k to 150k or if left parked five out of seven days. But the insurance expenses for the unused days add up and have to be paid for during the part-time raids. Roughly insurance expense a day goes up 5-6 times for the part-time driver.

Thus I struggled applying the cost-per-mile model to the weekend driving. Instead I needed a time-based model to account for my part-time engagement which I modeled using a day-by-day approach. The model immediately deducts the tax, the car and the insurance expenses from the daily earnings. I do this to crystallize the upside of the original bet.

You will find the link to the model worksheet below. It is a Google-spreadsheets document.

I made a number of assumptions which I kindly ask the community to challenge. These assumptions are expressed as ratios: Paid to Empty miles, Paid Miles to Paid Minutes, Number of Trips per Hour, and so on. These ratios are annual averages. When reviewing these please account for the slower days, the so-so days, as well as for those days worth bragging about.

If the assumptions would hold up I will stay away from my original bet.

Without further ado:

Version November 19, 2017

[The board requires me to have 3 posts before I can upload a link. Please can somebody PM me so I would give you the link and you would post it below my post? Grrrr...]