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Old 03-06-2019, 10:31 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I bought and then ecomodded a 2010 Honda Insight in late 2016 in order to drive for Uber and Lyft. I spent, taxes and stuff included, about $6700 on the car, it had 86k miles on it at the time, now it's got 135k miles. For a while it was my only vehicle. I still have it, but I stopped rideshare driving a little over a year ago.

The Insight is pretty good for Uber//Lyft but maybe a little on the small side. However, saving on gas is where it helps you. I don't think you can be profitable with ride sharing if you aren't getting at least 40 MPG. You need one of these or a Prius. EVs won't work if they're low range. (<100 miles) The only exception would be a minivan because with that you can get higher fees for large groups of passengers, but I've never done that so I don't know how common that is.

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Old 03-07-2019, 12:33 PM   #22 (permalink)
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As to profitability, right now on weekends I’ve made close to $20 an hour driving on just one platform, call it $300 for two days at an average 8 hours a day (usually 6 first day and 10-12 the second), and after fuel and car washes I normally profit $220-240... my car gets around 20mpg while driving in town (really steep, 1st gear hills and lots of stop and go)... that’s less than I *could* make working OT at my day job but the time is difficult to get and it’s usually offered on a few mins notice (get call at 9:45 asking if I can be there by 10), so I appreciate the flexibility

The issue with buying a car is mostly my credit. While I’ll likely have 20-30% to put down on a $5-6k car, that doesn’t buy much and I’m not even sure if I could get financing
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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90 day: 28.39 mpg (US)

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90 day: 47.32 mpg (US)

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90 day: 21.82 mpg (US)

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As you've just said, you might make $220 in 16hrs of driving, which works out to $13.75/hr. I don't know if that money is also taxed, but if it is I'm sure it all comes back by itemizing your expenses. Factor in the extra time you spend cleaning the car, refueling it, etc too. Just because you aren't driving doesn't mean you aren't working. Then there's depreciation from wear and tear and miles. I wouldn't be surprised if when everything is factored in, it's more like $12/hr.

People's time are worth differing amounts, but even $15/hr isn't worth my time. That's a very slow way to become a millionaire. You have to think of the opportunity cost. Instead of 16 hrs of driving, if you devoted even 2 of those hours to studying a trade, that would probably be more profitable.

Besides all that, most people are better served by paying attention to their spending rather than their income.

It sounds like you're tracking the income from Uber pretty well. I'd certainly track all time spent, plus my income and expense in a spreadsheet to see how well things are working out. I'd do that for all sources of income and expenses too. Really shows where you can save and what's the most beneficial use of your time.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I’m hoping that driving for both platforms would boost the income to closer to $25-30/hr gross and keep me busier during the slower times of day... don’t get me wrong, if OT were available at my day job whenever I wanted/needed it, the ~ $19.52x12 hours would be better than driving and it doesn’t have an 80mi commute, but my day job sucks and the time isn’t readily available, and I like driving more than being nailed down to a second job...

I’m torn between an efficient/moddable midsize car (still considering the 5) or trying to get something big to try and boost earnings... bigger would likely mean older though and not only harder to finance but harder to justify the loan at all...
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Old 03-07-2019, 04:03 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Get your credit back on track because you'll need it someday, if only to get a home mortgage.

I almost drove for Uber myself in my Acura, but it failed inspection due to tire tread depth, and I didn't pursue it again because the pay isn't great. Driving and meeting people are enjoyable to me though, so it definitely appeals to me.

It's hard to imagine a van paying off. I'd do some research to see what percentage of rides to expect. Lugging the extra size around for all the 1 and 2 passenger trips doesn't make sense. Not only that, but minivans are notorious for needing more repairs, and those repairs cost more. A brake caliper for a van is going to cost more than for a Prius, for instance. Heck, the Prius will probably never need brakes in the first place.
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Also:
MileIQ to count all miles while active as an Uber (Uber's mile counter is horrid).
And: you just claim all the mileage on your taxes and you can get it back as business expense. Its like 54.5c.mi? or maybe 52.5c/mi
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:30 PM   #27 (permalink)
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So far, I’ve yet to have been inspected by either platform, period. They both do a self inspection and WV has an annual safety inspection, I assume that’s why they haven’t looked over my car...

I’m currently looking mostly at the GM Epsilon platform (Chevy Malibu or Saturn Aura), and late G2/early G3 Prii, for some reason still considering a Mazda5/6MT (built on same platform as 3 so should be similar to maintain), and recently reconsidering another Nissan Altima (just would have to be manual and not CVT)...

I’m a little nervous of the traction battery in a Prius, as it turns the car into an expensive yard ornament if/when it fails... would it be better to seek a lower mileage car or higher mileage? Thought is that high miles=more frequent use and better battery health...
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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90 day: 21.82 mpg (US)

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I mean the initial inspection to begin driving. Maybe it's different requirements in different states. In Oregon/Washington, you have to pass an initial vehicle inspection.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:03 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
The problem with a minivan is fuel economy. If we use the EPA combined mpg and a fuel cost of $3 a gallon the difference between a Caravan and Prius is $9230 every 100K miles.

A guy at my work drove Uber for two years full time before landing his current job. He was driving his Ford C-Max 75,000 miles per year. At those kind of miles the extra fuel cost is $575 per month. That is the car payment!
Except I bet real world and $2.50/gal gas doesn't work out to be that big of a difference. Heck I doubt I end up spending $10,000 in gas total for my first 100,000 miles in the minivan so unless the Prius is free. How much more does an XL make? How many more fairs will you get not trying to cram 5 passengers into something that just barely will do it? I know if I was in say Seattle without a car and looked for an Uber to give the family a ride, I wouldn't accept anything smaller than a minivan.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:05 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hayden55 View Post
Also:
MileIQ to count all miles while active as an Uber (Uber's mile counter is horrid).
And: you just claim all the mileage on your taxes and you can get it back as business expense. Its like 54.5c.mi? or maybe 52.5c/mi
What about social security and Medicare as self employed? Do those have the same deduction?

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