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Reporter turned undercover UberX driver reveals what it’s really like to drive for Uber

Uber Driving Salary, Costs, Insurance

To make $90,000 a year, an UberX driver would have to work “27 hours a day, 365 a year.” That’s what one reporter learned after going undercover as an UberX driver to see whether the company’s income claims could be verified in real life. After 100 rides, she concluded that she would need to work 10 hours per day for six days each week, and take just one week off each year, to make about $30,000 annually before taxes.

That’s a third of what Uber claimed is the median income for UberX drivers in New York City.

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City Paper’s Emily Guendelsberger worked undercover as an UberX driver in Philadelphia and quickly learned what it’s like to drive for these alternative taxi companies, which are revolutionizing transportation. They’re also irking regular taxi companies and regulators, as Uber and Lyft propose much better deals for passengers than regular cab companies.

However, driving around; waiting to pick up well-paying rides; dealing with problems related to the Uber app or unhappy customers; and worrying about accidents, safety and potential insurance problems, are just some of the issues drivers must contend with.

The report goes into great detail about what it means to be an Uber driver, ultimately revealing that Uber’s claims about driver salaries seems grossly exaggerated, especially for UberX, which is the cheapest Uber service for users.

After taking into account the money she owed to Uber and her costs for every paid Uber mile, Guendelsberger concluded that she averaged a $9.34 an hour in profit.

In short, if you are considering UberX as a main source of income, or even as a second job, you should certainly read Guendelsberger’s extremely detailed report, available at this link, and check the following infographic for a comparison between what the reporter made and what Uber says about UberX salaries.

Uber numbers | Create infographics

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.