Do you own a car? Do you own a cell phone? If you answered yes to both those questions, you’re almost all geared up to hit the road and make money driving. But like any business, the goal is to make as much income possible with the least amount of financial resources. As an Uber driver, a cellphone and a car let you do your business. A mobile phone is hard to pimp out for more Uber productivity. Unless you have a 10-year-old BlackBerry, you should be fine in that department. But what about your car? The ride you own can make or break the bank and here’s why.
Turning your liabilities into income-generating assets is an amazing business principle from one of my favorite books: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. You own a car and it’s currently taking money OUT of your pockets. Your car loan, lease, maintenance, parts, gas, driver’s license, etc. You have the opportunity with Uber to turn this around and have your car put money IN your pockets.
Let’s assume you already need a car for your daily activities. I don’t think too many people without a car sign up to become Uber drivers, and then consequently buy a car (although I might have you upgrade your car if you read this blog for long enough). The extra income you will earn with Uber is this: (fares+mileage expensed) – (fuel+extra depreciation & maintenance). In today’s article, let’s look at fares, fuel, depreciation. We’ll leave mileage expensing for another article but just know that the IRS lets you expense 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use in 2020. The same applies to Canada with a different rate per km. That is extra income or less taxes, depending on how you want to see it. It’s a huge fiscal benefit that you should be taking advantage of. I’ve spoken with some Uber drivers that had no idea this law existed and they were leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table.
Factors that impact your Uber driver earnings
I love the decision-making process by eliminating the variables that don’t make sense. In this case, remember the type of Uber rides that pay drivers the most from my previous article about how much Uber drivers make? The answer is Premier rides. In order to be eligible to give those rides, you’ll need a car from this list + to have a good driver rating. You can eliminate all the other cars that are not on this list because they hinder your earning opportunity. If you currently have a car that’s not on this list, you should consider upgrading it if you enjoy driving for Uber and want to earn a lot more money doing so.
Again, if your car is not a Premier eligible vehicle model, you’re falling short on the amount of cash you can make driving Uber. You’ll be stuck with the cheaper ride options and they will pay you less.
You can still make good earnings with UberX, Comfort, and Select, but what I’m saying is you should try to optimize your business to its fullest so you can earn the equivalent of 6 figures with it. Leaving money on the table is not a good business decision. This is low-hanging fruit and you should capitalize on it.
Some of these cars are more affordable than others, it’s kind of funny actually… you’ll make the same driving with Premier if you own a 4-year-old used Lexus ES worth $25k or a brand new Bentley Mulsanne worth $315k!! Darn, I’m feeling a bit bummed because I can’t use my Lambo, it’s not on the list….joking.
It’s obvious that you’d much rather drive a cheaper car for Uber Premier (cheaper car payment and insurance). Half of the cars on the list are just too damn expensive to consider unless you already own one. If you buy a car on this list you’ll make top dollar on each ride with Premier.
From the list above, a lot of them are gas guzzlers. Some are 4 cylinder rides, and some are….hold on to your horses… ELECTRIC! In terms of energy consumption and costs, you can’t beat electric and here’s why. Let’s assume you own the cheapest model on the list, the Lexus. The fuel tank is 16 gallons (60 liters). Its EPA rating for city driving is 22mpg , which gives you 352 miles of range (566km). The cost of regular unleaded gasoline in 2019 was on average $2.60/gallon in the U.S. So $2.60/gallon x 16 gallons = $41.60 USD. With a gas-powered car that has a fuel tank capacity of 16 gallons (60 liters), you can drive 352 miles (566km) of city driving in the U.S for $41.60. If you live in Canada where gas prices are higher, $1.14 per liter on average in 2019, it would cost you 60 liters x $1.14 = $68.40 CAD for that same range of 566km (352 miles). That’s half of your daily hard-earned dollars if you’re an Uber driver. There is a way to save A LOT and here’s how.
Go electric and earn thousands more!
My Tesla Model 3 long-range has a range of 518km (322 miles). The battery holds 75kW of energy. My residential electricity rate is $0.0894/kWh. This means that in order to fill up my car
tank battery, it costs me 75kW x $0.0894 = $6.71!!!! This represents THOUSANDS of dollars in savings per year. When driving 40 000km annually (25 000 miles), I save $4315.77 in energy costs per year ($4833.92 to drive 40 000 kms in a gas-powered car vs $518.15 in an electric car). That is money you put directly back in your wallet. Knowing this information now, you’d be crazy not to consider going electric for your next vehicle. If you’re considering a Tesla as your next car, you can get 1000 miles/1500km of FREE supercharging by clicking here.
So from the list of Premier eligible cars, which ones are electric? Hmm…none except for the Tesla models. The cheapest of the Teslas is the Model 3. A Model S starts at $74k USD, a Model X at $80k USD, the Model 3 Long Range at $43k USD.
The Tesla Model 3 enables you to give Premier rides while costing you the least in terms of energy costs. Even at $42k USD, this car will have the lowest TCO over the years.
All cars lose some of their value every year. Also, the more you drive them, the less they’re worth. One thing to note is that some makes and models retain their value much more than others. This seems too good to be true, but the Tesla Model 3 is the car that retains its value the most.
Also with a Tesla, you don’t have the same maintenance requirements as you do with a gas-powered car, such as oil changes, rust proofing, brake replacements*, etc. This helps you save even more money.
*Note: I NEVER use the brakes with my Tesla unless I need them for an emergency braking situation. If you’ve never driven one, this concept is hard to grasp. Tesla uses regenerative braking that is done through the engine. It feels like you’re compressing down on 3rd gear with a manual shift car. The car uses its own inertia to recharge the battery while slowing down and that resistance is what brings the car to a dead halt in a short distance. Brake pads and discs on Teslas are spared because of this revolutionary engineering design.
…my first and only brake job was at 130,000 miles for $700. Most cars need brakes every 60,000 miles or so, but since Teslas use regenerative braking which charges the battery, your brakes last much longer. Just one of the many hidden benefits of electric cars.The cost of owning a Tesla after 200 000 miles
You can feel confident behind the wheel of a Tesla. You’re driving a no emission car that costs nearly nothing to operate. The more you drive, the more money you make.
What other perks should the best car for driving Uber have?
- Top of the line navigation system. The Uber app is extremely clunky, lags, and your nav screen is obviously your phone screen. Even if you choose to operate through Waze on your phone, the experience is never as good as the integrated nav system from your car. In a Tesla, customers enjoy seeing the huge 15-inch HD screen because it shows them the quickest route to the destination, estimated time of arrival, and real-time traffic information. There are no debates about how to get to their destination quickest. This has prevented many arguments, especially in traffic-heavy or accident areas. Using bad routes is your fastest ticket to obtaining 1-star ratings. I attribute a great deal of my success driving Uber to the quality of my navigation system in my Tesla.
- Integrated music streaming. All of your passengers have a favorite artist, song, or playlist. In 2019, 24% of Americans reported using Spotify monthly. Having a car which directly integrates this service is a huge advantage, such as Teslas. Spotify is directly integrated and accessible from the touch screen. When passengers enter my car, they are greeted with a relaxing playlist, but I give them the opportunity to listen to whatever they wish during the trip. You don’t want to be managing this from your phone because you’re putting yourself and your passenger at risk of an accident since you’re not focusing on the road. You can use Tesla’s voice commands to turn on any music you wish from Spotify.
- Zero-emission/green. Passengers appreciate the ride in an eco-friendly car. They feel like taxis and ride-sharing vehicles should all be electric by law. In fact, many of my customers have told me that if they had the option to order only electric rides from Uber, they would. This is an option available with Lyft that I’m sure is coming over to the Uber platform at some point.
- Top safety rating. When passengers feel safe, they are more relaxed and enjoy the ride more. Of course, the way you drive has a huge impact on safety (no pun intended), but knowing in the back of your head the car ranks high on the safety ratings is a benefit. The Tesla Model 3 has the highest safety rating in its category, you should be proud to share this with your passengers when chatting with them.
- Novelty. Something new is something fun. A Tesla certainly earns the top position in that category. I would say that 3 out of 4 people in my car are experiencing the inside of a Tesla for the first time. Half of my conversations with my riders are about the car. It impresses the customers and makes for a great conversation, fun and conversations being things that are important in order to get better tips and ratings.
It’s easy to see how, from that original list of cars who qualify for Uber Premier vehicles, the Tesla Model 3 is hands down the winner. It costs pennies in energy to drive, retains its value most, and offers added bonuses that will earn you bigger tips and higher ratings. When I figured this out, that’s when I decided it was time to become an Uber driver in my city.
Please let me know below if you have a different opinion about what is the best car for Uber. Also, there are a few key elements that I covered very quickly which I will address in future posts, but please let me know if there are any Uber or Tesla related topics you would like me to address. Also, be safe during this period of COVID-19. I’ve paused my driving to prevent any potential contamination to my passengers. Luckily I was able to get money from Uber’s COVID-19 financial assistance program for drivers. I’m back from Mexico and am quarantined for 14 days. This gives me more time to help you out with the blog.
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