sunrise while driving early in the morning

I wanted to save up an emergency fund.  I figured I’d try an experiment, that almost ANYBODY could do before work and save up a bunch of cash. Driving Uber BEFORE work.  This should make a nice case study and give you an idea if driving Uber before work is something that would work for you.

I cleaned out my Toyota Corola, vacuumed, washed and cleaned the windows.  I Armor All’d the dash and most importantly took out the car seat and toys in the back that my son rides in.  It’s easy enough to take out and put back in so this isn’t a problem. With a clean car I was ready to head out and drive.

Day 1 | Driving Uber Early Friday Morning

I went out at 4 AM on a Friday morning.  I live about 20 miles outside of the closest major city, Salt Lake City.  So I didn’t know if I should expect to get any rides, I turned on the Uber Driver app and started heading south to SLC.  I got a ping right away for a quick $3 fair.  Immediately after dropping my passenger I got hit with another ping, this was a $14 fair heading North, the opposite direction of SLC.

I was shocked, there were a bunch of rides to be had,  all before 9 AM when most people would head to work.

I ended up driving until 8 AM like I had planned and made $59.26 in 4 hours.

I essentially made $14.82 per hour driving Uber on a Friday morning before work.

Day 2 | Saturday Morning

I got wind that there was a huge convention in Salt Lake over the weekend so I thought it would be a great time to drive.  I planned on only driving 4 hours but ended up driving from 6 AM to 1 PM. Being Saturday I had to sleep till at least 6 AM right?

I headed towards SLC and started getting pings as I got closer to the city.  I met some pretty fun people on for a Saturday morning of Uber driving.  There were a lot of short rides but the Surges were hitting too.  most of the morning was about a 1.2 to 1.5 surge.  I met a nice girl who gave me a banana after her morning grocery shopping, another woman was heading to the convention but needed to stop and weigh in for weight watchers, she asked if I’d wait for her and take her to the convention too.  I agreed.  She ended up giving me a $10 tip on top of some pretty interesting conversation.

I came to the conclusion that Saturday Mornings are great for driving Uber. People want to head out and do things, people are checking in and out of hotels.

I ended up making $111.86

So in 2 days I drove 9 hours and 21 minutes and made $18.57 per hour driving Uber.  Not bad! I’ll update this next week when I drive some more.

Day 3 | Tuesday Morning Uber Driving Review

I skipped Monday even though I feel like it would have been a good day to go out.  Something about driving Uber close the the weekends seems to be better.

Tuesday morning I went out at 4 AM.  Rather than heading strait to SLC I figured there would be plenty of rides in my local area just like on Friday. I was wrong.  I waited about an hour for my first ride.  Waited almost another hour for my second ride of the morning.  I ended up going home at 7 AM because it was so slow.  I made a total of $25 thanks to a couple generous tippers.

I think I’ll either wait till 6 AM to go out tomorrow or head strait to the city to get more frequent rides.

Tuesday morning Uber earnings: 2 hours and 37 minutes drive time and $25.23 earned making my hourly $10.65.

Day 4 | Wednesday Morning

I woke up at 4:30 AM Wednesday morning to drive Uber.  I figured after yesterday, 4 AM was too early to get more rides.

Instead of staying in my area I decided to use Uber’s trip planning feature to filter rides toward SLC.  I got to Salt Lake City and got two airport runs right away.  Then a little down time followed by a ping that was right by me.  I figured it would be a quick $3 fair somewhere in the city.  I wish Uber would let you know where the trip was headed before accepting because this ride took me 20 miles south of the city. This wouldn’t have been a big deal but that is the direction almost ALL rush hour traffic comes from.  I would be stuck in stop and go traffic the whole way back.

Luckily I got another fair heading back into the city and my passenger had to deal with traffic with me.  He was pretty pleasant and we had a nice chat.

I stopped driving a little after 8 AM making an almost 4 hour Uber outing.

I made a total of $57.04 which included one $5 tip making my early morning Uber driving pay a descent $15.21 per hour.

note: I’d say it’s definitely worth it to head straight to the nearest major city to make the most money.

Thursday Morning

I slept in till about 8 AM.  I had to!  Driving Uber every morning would be sustainable if you go to bed early and stay consistent with waking up.  I really needed the sleep today.

I’ll get back to driving on Friday.  I guess this doesn’t have to be an every day thing, ya know?

Day 5 on the Road | Friday Morning

Before going out I figured Friday would be a busy day for Uber.  With people heading in and out of town for the weekend, I knew the airport would be busiest.

I left my house at 4:30 AM and headed straight into the city before turning on the app.  Once I went online with Uber I ended up going to the airport 3 times in a row.  Each airport trip earns me about $8.  I also never wait for airport pickups because there are so many cars in the queue. Overall people were pretty pleasant and there wasn’t much downtime.  I drove until 7:50 AM.

For how busy it felt driving, I thought my earnings would be higher.  I ended up earning $33.96 + a $5 cash tip. Not bad for a little under 3 hours of driving.

Interesting observation this morning: Every time I finished a trip there was a surge going on right next to where I was.  But I never got a surge trip.  It was pretty annoying really.  Kinda felt like Uber was just trying to steer me to different areas.  I’ve learned to never chase a surge, it’s always gone before you get there.  And really if the demand is so high it’s not like Uber hasn’t called you for a ride that was much further away

Monday Morning

Based on my experience so far, I was thinking that Monday morning was going to be busy with riders.  Just like I expected, it was a good morning for catching airport riders.

My first ride of the day was a very chatty guy who had obviously smoked a little weed right before getting in, but he was pleasant, made good conversation and tipped me $2 so I won’t complain. I had a couple more airport runs followed by my first no-show rider.  I didn’t know how long I should stay.  Uber starts to charge for wait times after 2 minutes.  I waited another 4 minutes and Uber told me to cancel the ride if the rider was not there.  I did and made an extra $3.20 for doing nothing!  I’ll take no shows for that!

All in all, I think Friday and Monday mornings are the best days to go out and drive Uber if you’re wanting to go out and get a steady flow of early riders.

It’s more straining work than you’d think if you haven’t driven for Uber or Lyft before but in a short amount of time you can add some cash to your bank account to speed up your retirement savings, save for a big purchase or whatever you want. Whenever you want.

I’m pretty grateful Uber is around to help make a little extra cash here and there, especially with the instant payouts you can take it is totally worth becoming an Uber driver.

What has your experience been? Leave a comment!