Is Driving for Uber Worth It in 2023 ?


The unfortunate reality is that there have been serious attacks on Uber drivers in the past, but that’s a reality for many kinds of workers.

Uber is committed to safety, and they offer drivers safety features, like:

  • 2-way ratings so you can check on passengers before accepting a fare
  • Phone anonymization so no one ever has your phone number
  • Emergency assistance button

Uber drivers also aren’t paid in cash, meaning the threat of robbery is minimal. 

Seasoned Uber drivers recommend installing a dashcam if you’re concerned about safety. Uber does not mind if its drivers have them, and it’s a good way to keep people on their best behavior. Here’s a good security dash camera if you’re interested.

Uber’s driver policy also states that drivers may carry non-lethal stun guns and pepper spray, as long as they are legal in your state.


Is Uber driving worth it from a safety standpoint? That’s up to you. Like we’ve said, Uber has safety features and encourages drivers to protect themselves with dashcams. There are plenty of other great side jobs for anyone who has serious safety concerns when it comes to driving for Uber..

5. How to Make the Most of Your Time

There are a few rules you’ll hear from veteran Uber drivers about the best ways to use your time. They are:


Rule 1: Let the Rides Come To You

You will burn through fuel driving around looking for rides, so it’s better to position yourself where people will come to you (or, at least close to you). You’ll learn where the most fares are coming from the longer you’re working for Uber. 

But think about what major events are happening in your area, where the restaurants and bars are, and so on.

Rule 2: The Airport Queue Isn’t Usually Worth It

While the airport is typically a great place to find rides, it’s not always worth it to wait around for passengers. Fares from the airport are generally higher overall, but you can spend a lot of time waiting. Plus, some airports have specific and confusing rules about where Uber drivers can wait.

Rule 3: Make the Most of Your Drive Home

One of the best tips we’ve heard from Uber drivers is to use your drive home to pick up a fare. You can use “Destination Mode” in the Uber driver app to see which passengers are headed in the same direction you are. 

If you have a long drive home, you can use the last few miles off the highway on the main road to find rides. They might not always lead on your exact path home, but they can get close.

You can use the same strategy throughout the week when you’re on your way home from your day job, if you find yourself with extra time between appointments, and so on.

Rule 4: Avoid Traffic

Uber’s dynamic pricing model charges riders based on a number of variables, including time and distance. However, it doesn’t do a great job of accounting for traffic. Sitting in traffic also leads to higher driver expenses, like fuel costs and vehicle maintenance.

Traffic isn’t 100% avoidable, but if you drive just before or after rush hour, you can catch some fares while avoiding gridlock. Also, make a mental note of whenever you see signs about upcoming roadwork. If you know your normal route is going to see 3 weeks of construction, try another route.

For more ways to make money, check out Best Gig Economy Jobs for 2023.

6. The Secret to Happy Customers

Here’s the secret: a clean car, a safe driver, and a phone charger.

Listen, getting in a messy car is gross. So is getting in a smoker’s car if you’re not a smoker. 

Getting in a car that looks like it recently took a group of preschoolers home from McDonald’s would be a huge turnoff even if you like kids. 

Uber drivers are expected to act like professionals, and that starts with a professional work environment. There should be no visible dirt or stains, no stray pet hairs, and no foul smells. You don’t have to clean your car daily, but keep it tidy. Keeping your car will be an important time investment to getting better tips and maintaining a 5-star rating.

Now, safe driving. It’s obvious but worth stating. Uber drivers are responsible for safely delivering their passengers from point A to point B, and people don’t feel safe with fast stops, running red lights, or cutting people off. 

Finally, get yourself an extra-long charging cable and all three major phone adapters. This is a nice touch when someone gets in and realizes their battery is almost dead. 

We can’t promise you that these things will lead to good tips 100% of the time, but they will certainly help.

7. It’s a Rewarding Way to Make Extra Money

Whenever I take an Uber, I ask the Uber driver why they’ve gotten into it, and I typically hear something like “I wanted to make some extra money for [fill in the blank].” 

I once talked to a guy who was an immigrant here in the states driving for Uber to help his son pay for med school. The guy was already doing well financially and just wanted to help his son get through school without taking on too much student loan debt. He figured he had the time to drive for Uber, so why not give it a try.

This driver told me that he enjoyed driving and helping his son gave him a tremendous amount of pride. 

Another time I talked to a driver who picked up my friends and me after a late night out. She said she started driving for Uber because she liked the idea of helping people get home safely and making extra money at the same time. She also told us some pretty hilarious stories about dealing with late-night riders.

All of that stuff — driving for noble causes, being able to make extra money, and meeting new people — are the kinds of things that make Uber driving worth it for many people.

It’s all about finding a job that fulfills you, and some people find that with Uber.

8. How Uber Compares to Similar Apps

Uber might not be right for everyone, and here is how Uber compares to similar side hustles:

Is Driving for Uber Worth It in 2023?

DoorDash Disclaimer: Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.

9. Pros and Cons of Working for Uber

One of the best ways to decide answer the question “Should I drive for Uber?” is to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages, so let’s get into them:


  • You can set your own schedule: Uber drivers can pick their hours and drive whenever they want, and there are no minimum hours or miles required.
  • Easily switch to delivery: If you decide that driving people around isn’t for you, Uber will easily let you switch to their delivery services Uber Eats or Postmates. DoorDash has virtually the same driver requirements, so food delivery service makes a lot of sense too.
  • Get paid weekly (or instantly): Uber pays drivers every week, but you also have the option to cash out instantly using Instant Pay. Remember, there is a $0.50 fee, but you can avoid that by signing up for the free Uber debit card from GoBank.
  • Ways to make more money: Between surge pricing and bonuses, there are opportunities for drivers to make more than average.


  • Driver expenses add up: Your car will see more wear and tear, you’re responsible for self-employment taxes, and fuel costs can eat into your take-home pay. Uber is currently easing rising fuel costs by charging passengers a surcharge, and Uber passes 100% of it to drivers.
  • Registration can take up to 2 weeks: It takes anywhere from one to two weeks to complete your registration as an Uber driver. This is because Uber requires that all drivers undergo a criminal background check, and the third-party company Uber uses needs time to hear back from all of the proper government agencies.

How to Start Driving for Uber

If you’ve read through everything and have decided Uber is worth it for you, here’s how to get started:

1. Meet All of the Uber Driver Requirements

Uber has a few minimum requirements for drivers, which include:

  • Meet the minimum age to drive in your city
  • Have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (3 years if you are under 25)
  • Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
  • Use an eligible 4-door vehicle

There is a tool on Uber’s site to see if your vehicle is eligible, but the general rule is that it needs to be 15 years old or newer (10 years old or newer in some cities). 

If you don’t have an eligible car and still want to start driving for Uber, no problem. Uber has partnered with rental companies to help you find affordable rental vehicles, including Tesla rentals through Hertz. Rental fees will cut into your driver pay, but it’s worth knowing about all of your options.

You can also find a rental through the peer-to-peer rental marketplace HyreCar. These are rentals from private car owners, and you can find options for around $30-$40/day.

2. Sign Up to Drive for Uber

You can sign up for Uber here, and it takes just a few minutes to get started. Uber will ask you a few questions about yourself and your vehicle. 

3. Share Required Documents

Uber needs you to provide the following documentation to process your application, and I recommend having it ready to save time. You’ll need:

  • Proof of residency in your city, state, or province
  • Proof of vehicle insurance if you plan to drive your own car
  • A driver profile photo

4. Consent to a Driver Screening

All Uber drivers must complete a driver screening that reviews their driving record and criminal record. We have an in-depth guide about the Uber and Uber Eats background check if you want to learn more.

That’s it! Uber will review your documents, and you’ll hear back via email once your screening is complete. It can take up to two weeks, especially during busy periods. 

The Final Word: Is Uber Driving Worth It?

Overall, driving for Uber is still a worthwhile side hustle for many people. You’re not going to get rich driving people around in your spare time, but it’s a flexible way to make extra money

You’ll want to pay attention to driver expenses, and Uber is now charging passengers a fuel surcharge to help drivers with rising fuel costs. It’s an extra $0.45 or $0.55 on each trip, and 100% of it goes to drivers.

If working as an Uber driver doesn’t sound like it’s worth it for you, we also recommend delivering for DoorDash. The driver requirements are the same, except there aren’t strict vehicle requirements. 

And for other high-paying side hustle ideas, check out Best Side Hustles for 2023.


Where is Uber available?


Uber is now available in more than 10,000 cities across the world.

Is being an Uber driver hard?


Working as an Uber driver is a relatively easy way to make extra money as long as you can keep your car clean and don’t mind talking with strangers.

What are the disadvantages of being an Uber driver?


Drivers are responsible for many driver expenses, which cut into your pay. These are expenses like fuel, frequent maintenance, and rideshare insurance. Fortunately, you can write off all of these expenses.

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