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Old 09-18-2016, 05:29 PM   #21 (permalink)
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They have incentives.
I didn't think I needed to qualify my statement by saying there are no consumer incentives. I doubt Oregon would consider Uber drivers to be a business since they don't register the business.

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It also looks like the Portland city council hadn't approved new cab permits for a decade until 2012 when it was a bunch of proposals from "green" car type cabs that they finally added big number to the fleet. So the city basically picked the winners and loser of what cab companies even were allowed to drive in Portland, and they picked the companies running Prius.
I did extensive research in 2004 to start a cab company with a Prius fleet, but found out there is a council comprised of existing cab companies that you have to convince your company would provide a substantial benefit to the community and have a minimum of 24 cars. That should have spurred me to create an Uber service, but I wasn't up on the increasing use of internet on cell phones at the time. I'm happy to see Uber tearing into the mafia controlled industry.

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After looking at some Uber drivers break down their cost, I would say the only way to make worthwhile money is in tips. For this I would say the driver personality would be #1 and the comfort and condition of the car would be #2.
I've basically come to the same conclusion. My friend estimates he makes $1 per total mile driven including on the way to pick up the fare, but that doesn't include expenses, which on his 2015 TLX luxury vehicle, probably has substantial depreciation. Not too many of his fares select the luxury car option, so I'm not sure it makes much sense for him to drive that vehicle. If I were him, I would leave the luxury car in an easily accessible location that I could swap to when a fare pays extra for the service, and drive an economy car the rest of the time.

He's the perfect Uber driver since he has good social skill and is well presented, but as a former Boeing engineer, he isn't being compensated nearly what he's worth.

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Old 09-18-2016, 06:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My point was why you see the professional cab companies using Prius. They do get incentives. Then that doesn't even count some private grants that are available for such projects.

Most Uber profit breakdowns don't even include the cost of depreciation and maintenance, only gas if that. Then what about insurance, inspections, and tags? They just assume you already are paying these costs, and Uber is a hobby, not a job. The Post Office estimates the total cost to have a rural letter carrier, supply, run, maintain, insure, and fuel their own car for use delivering mail to be about $.70/mile or $27 a day whichever is more. Some rural carriers make money on that (they get lucky and their 20 year old Ford van just keeps on chugging), some lose, on average it's a wash.

As an Uber driver you better be keeping track of all your real expenses so maybe you can at least shelter what you do make form the majority of income taxes.

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Old 09-18-2016, 09:16 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Something to keep in mind too is that certain vehicles (like dedicated cng vehicles)
Can be significantly cheaper to purchase up front due to the lack of interest in your area and CNG can be up to half the cost per gge (gallon) meaning even a 15 passenger van might be cost compatible to a full size car and a full size car cost competitive with a Prius.

This assumes your area has accessible and low cost cng stations.

In Wisconsin, cng is common but no longer priced competitively , this is not true in all areas.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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As an Uber driver you better be keeping track of all your real expenses so maybe you can at least shelter what you do make form the majority of income taxes.
My guess is the lack of reporting taxable Uber income is nearly equal to the write off people would get if they did report their income, but deduct their business related expenses. Heck, they would probably get all of the money back earned from driving due to the considerable expenses. I call it a wash.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I didn't even think of CNG. There are lots of CNG stations in Atlanta because the transit system, MARTA, uses only CNG buses. There's some terminals kinda near the airport.

When I drove for Uber in Canada I did get tips sometimes, and overall I did find it to be profitable, but I guess I didn't do it long enough for the car to break down from the job. I really try to avoid taking cars to the shop, I generally fix problems on my own. RockAuto is the best site. I guess I need something with a reliable engine and transmission, and then I can fix almost anything else on my own.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:08 PM   #26 (permalink)
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My guess is the lack of reporting taxable Uber income is nearly equal to the write off people would get if they did report their income, but deduct their business related expenses. Heck, they would probably get all of the money back earned from driving due to the considerable expenses. I call it a wash.
I figured Uber would report on your behalf. Then remember you are self employed so you have to pay double social security and Medicare taxes, as well as whatever income bracket to reach working multiple jobs. My wife babysat her nephews for a few bucks so her sister could go back to work and the state and feds came after us for over 1/3 of the money plus the headache of an audit. My wife told her sister, keep your money, I'll watch them for free after that. Stupid to be honest and have the government suck money money from a poor single mom and a stay at home mom trying to help out a little.

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