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Uber is a ride-sharing service, which—through their apps—connects drivers with riders. Riders can request a pick-up, track their driver’s progress, and pay their driver after their ride has finished all through the Uber apps. Drivers can accept rides, get paid, and make money on the side within days of getting approved as an Uber driver.

Uber has provided an excellent means of making extra cash for those with extra time (on the weekend or otherwise) and who own a reliable car. All you need is a clean background check and a car. Working as an independent contractor, you can set your own schedule and choose jobs only when you are available. You can drive as much (or as little) as you want, accept the drives that appeal to you, and enjoy the cash-less payment system as an Uber driver.

Getting Started

Head over to the Uber website to get started with the registration process. You must be at least 21 years old, carry a valid driver’s license, have personal auto insurance, and have a 4-door car in good condition.

To become an Uber driver, you must pass a rigorous background check. This requires you provide the company with your address, driver’s license number and social security number. There is three-step screening process for the U.S, which is applied to all Uber products and services. The background check includes county, federal and multi-state checks, going back 7 years. All drivers are checked against county and federal courthouse records, multi-state criminal database, the National Sex Offender registry, social security trace, and Motor Vehicle Records.

Drivers must have no DUI or drug related violations, hit & run, or fatal accidents. Additionally, one’s driving history must be clear of reckless driving violations. A driver must not have any history of violent crimes or gun related violations. There must be no driving without insurance or suspended license charges in the last three years.

After passing the background test, Uber will require you take an online training course that takes you through the best practices for being an Uber driver. Once you pass, you will receive a phone from Uber with the app.

The entire process can take up to two weeks.

Earning Money

Uber has a rating system that allows riders to leave ratings for their drivers. They consistently remove drivers who fall below their city and class average rating. The rating you must achieve to remain an Uber driver is, therefore, dependant on the other drivers in your city.

To get a good rating from your riders, above all, make sure you are polite. While you may just be driving them from point A to point B, greet them, ask them how they’re doing and wish them well at the end. A little politeness can go a long way in getting you a high-rating.

The best Uber drivers go out of their way. They will help riders with luggage or shopping bags, offer suggestions if they are visiting the city and want to know where to go and what to see, or just be a good listener.

Getting Paid

Uber takes 20% of each fare and with the remaining 80% disbursed to the driver. Uber pays its drivers every week by transferring their earnings to their bank account. No cash exchanges hands with the riders, who pay the company via the app (fares are charged to their credit cards).  Also, as the driver, you are additionally responsible for taxes, gas, insurance, and any other associated out-of-pocket costs. So, be sure to factor in these expenses you’ll incur as an Uber driver.

There are different types of Uber services, all of which have different fares, based on vehicle type. Options available to non-taxi drivers include the following:

  • Black Car: their original mid-priced service. Base fare is $7, plus $0.65 per minute and $3.75 per mile. The minimum fare is $15 and there is a $10 cancellation fee.
  • SUV and LUX: SUVs or luxury sedans and the most expensive option. Base fare is $14, plus $0.80 per minute and $4.50 per mile. The minimum fare is $25 and there is a $10 cancellation fee.
  • UberX: Non-luxury sedans and the most budget friendly option. Base fare is $3, plus $0.40 per minute and $2.15 per mile. The minimum fare is $8 and there is a $10 cancellation fee.

Uber rates are different for each city it operates in, and they vary based on season and holidays. An Uber driver can make a lot more from each ride during the holiday season. There are drivers making an extra $400 a week by driving just on the weekends!

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