In my quest to find out if I can make any kind of living driving for Uber, I completed my first whole week of driving for the ride share company. When I refer to a week, I’m referring to a traditional work week, Monday through Friday. Here’s a snapshot of my week:
I was logged into the Uber app available to accept rides for almost 21 hours. I accepted 16 ride requests and earned close to $262 for my effort. That works out to be around $12.47 an hour, more than I could earn stocking shelves at Walmart. One huge difference between driving for Uber and getting a low-paying conventional job is I will end up paying very little in taxes on the money I earned this week. The reason? The amount I can deduct for mileage this week.
From the moment you leave your driveway to begin driving for Uber to the moment you drop off your last passenger and return home, your mileage is tax-deductible. The IRS allows you to deduct $0.535 per business mile driven. Not only can you deduct the mileage someone is in your car, but you can deduct the mileage you drive in between rides when you are looking for a place to park were there are no other Uber drivers around. When waiting for a new ride request, I often fire up the Uber passenger app and try to find areas around Hagerstown where none of my fellow Uber drivers are waiting. When I see such a spot, I drive there and park.
I can deduct those miles too.
This past week with Uber, I drove a total of 527 miles. That means I can deduct $259 from the $262 Uber will be paying me. That results in a total of $3 in taxable income for the week.
That doesn’t include the gas I spent this week. I burned gas not only driving, but sitting in park waiting for a ride. There were days it was in the 90’s and I had to run the air conditioning while parked. It also don’t doesn’t factor in the so-called wear and tear I put on my vehicle. It is what it is. Most of the conventional jobs I’ve had required me to commute. I burned a lot of gas commuting to those jobs. I put a lot of wear and tear on my vehicles commuting to those jobs.
Again, it is what it is. I had fun driving for Uber this week. I got to meet people I’ve never met before and I had some great conversations with most of them. For me, there’s real value in that.
My goal for next week is to do better than this week. I should be able to log in with Uber for more than 21 hours next week.