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Earn Extra Christmas Cash With Uber


Guest post Austin of Love Hope Adventure:

The holidays are almost here and many of us are considering a side-job to get some extra Christmas cash together.

It can be difficult to take on a part-time or seasonal job, especially when there are other family member’s schedules to consider. Thankfully, Uber can help you meet your goals while allowing the flexibility you need.

I’ve been driving for Uber for a little over two months now, and the benefits of diversifying our income has positively impacted my family.

Benefits of Driving For Uber

One of the key reasons I decided to go with Uber is because of the flexible scheduling. Instead of a manager assigning you certain shifts on particular days, you set your own schedule.

Want to drive two days a week? Go for it! Got a couple hours with nothing to do? Hit the road and earn some quick income. You can add, drop, or switch days based on your family’s needs.

Another benefit is quick pay out. Uber pays weekly, so you get a quick return on your work. There’s no delay like you might see in a typical job.

I’ve also discovered a couple of interesting side benefits to driving for Uber. I’ve started using it to offset gas costs on errands. I had a doctor’s appointment one day, so I decided to cut on my app and picked up a ride on the way. This allowed me to make enough money to cover the cost of going to the office!

How Uber Works

Uber is playing a huge role in the new sharing economy. It’s built upon a simple concept: they need a ride, you have a car, Uber puts you together.

There are two companion apps that make these transactions possible. The Uber app, and the Uber Driver app. A rider uses the Uber app to call for a ride. Uber then selects the closest Uber driver and dispatches them to pick the rider up.

You make money on the trip, and Uber makes money by facilitating the transaction.

How You Are Paid

In most areas, the rider pays a base rider fee + a per minute charge + a per mile charge. The base rider fee goes straight to Uber, and then they collect 20% of the rest of the fare.

This all happens automatically in the background.

The rider has a credit card attached to their account which is used to pay their fare. The partner connects their bank account and Uber deposits the payout directly each week.

Get Started Now

First, you’ll need to get the app. For Android, you can find it on the Google Play Store. For iPhone, you’ll need to use your Safari browser and go to the app page on their website. You’ll be prompted to set up an account.

Requirements for car and driver vary by region and city. As a reference point, the requirements in my area include having space for four passengers (not including the driver), and the car must be less than ten years old. You will also have to provide some documentation.

This documentation includes, at the very least:

  • a copy of your driver’s license
  • vehicle registration
  • proof of insurance
  • relevant information to run a background check

Thankfully, you can just snap a picture of them within the Uber Partner app. You’ll also provide banking information so that your money can be directly deposited.

It can take a week or two to get final approval to start driving. If you’re considering driving you should get started with the process immediately.

Quick Tips

Each city has a dedicated page on Uber Movement that gives lots of helpful info. It will show you hot spots in your area, the best times and locations to drive, and information on airports and military installations. This information is invaluable. Consult them before you start driving. The city pages cover the basics.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up fairly quickly.

  • Accepting tips — the Uber app does not have a tipping feature. You can accept tips through cash and even credit cards. I carry a PayPal Here card reader for this reason.
  • Increase your chances of getting fairs — you can use the regular Uber app to increase your chances of getting rides. If you’re staking out a busy area like a mall, you want to be the closest driver to potential rides. Turn on the Uber app and you’ll see where other nearby cars are. Put some distance between you and them. Move to the other side of the mall, for example.
  • Learn to double dip — redeem your downtime between drives by bringing other work with you. Bring a laptop and get some writing done. Bring a book to read. Carry your knitting/crocheting materials. Have something handy and productive that you can do when you’re not busy with rides.

Even if you don’t plan to make a career out of it, I highly recommend signing up with Uber. It’s a quick, flexible way to make some side money… and as we approach the holidays, we can all use a little extra cash!

Austin married his high school sweetheart in 2003, and is the father of three rambunctious boys. He’s a preacher, writer, and designer. Austin’s strong desire to see marriages and families thrive led him and his wife to start Love Hope Adventure where they write about communication and intimacy in marriage. 

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  • Keelie says:

    This money making avenue has been a true blessing to us. Thanks for letting Austin share about it Crystal. 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    My husband looked into this a few weeks ago and the additional car insurance premium of nearly $3,000 per year made it not a viable option for us. Wishing you much success!

    • Keelie says:

      We didn’t run into car insurance issues. I’m sure it is a state thing. Our current coverage was fine and we didn’t have to do anything extra. I agree, $3,000 extra a year could definitely make Uber not worth it to you, unless you were going to do it like a full time job.

  • UPDATE: There have been a lot of changes with Uber since I originally wrote this post. The biggest and most beneficial one is that there IS now a tipping feature in the app.

    Some people have mentioned that driving for Uber requires an increase in your insurance coverage. If this is the case, it could easily knock Uber off your list of reasonable income sources. However, here in Texas, the state-required minimum coverage happens to be the same as the required Uber coverage.

    When we got to Texas, there was a required ride-for-hire permit you had to get for $50. A few months later, this law was repealed. All the regulations vary by state, so check your state regulations and decide if driving for Uber is right for you!

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