The best thing about driving Uber is you can choose when and how much you want to work. This has a direct impact on how much money an Uber driver makes.
People choose to become an Uber driver for different reasons:
The answer to the question “How much do Uber drivers make in London?” is based on several variables. First of all, earnings are impacted by how much time you dedicate to driving. For example, a traffic jam means an extra hour or two, but a sudden weather change or rush hour surge pricing will almost certainly boost your earnings.
Secondly, it depends on the car you drive, and, if you don’t own it, how much you might pay for a car subscription plan.
Another thing to consider is that since March 2021, all Uber drivers are considered workers, with perks such as sickness and holiday pay, which also adds up to how much Uber drivers make.
The Uber driver hourly wage in London is around £13 (after paying the Uber service fee), which is higher than the minimum wage. The National Living Wage was £8.91 per hour in April 2021 – this amounts to £400.95 in a 45-hour workweek, so it’s fair to say that a full-time Uber driver could earn more than that (before expenses).
Below is an estimation of the earnings for an Uber driver in 2021 who subscribes to a brand new car from Splend.
Across the UK, Uber pays its drivers 12.07% of their earnings every two weeks, to reflect their right to paid holiday.
Even as an Uber employee, you’re still running a small business as an on-demand driver. You’re responsible for all costs related to the car, maintenance, insurance and any other taxes. So, in order to remain sustainable, here’s what to consider:
Uber takes 25% of your earnings, which is important when it comes to managing your expectations. If you want to how that compares to other rideshare apps, check out a side by side comparison for the most popular rideshare apps in London, to get a better idea of the commission rates, pricing, and fares.
The most obvious and frequent expense is your fuel cost. This depends on what car you drive, where and what part of the day you drive most of the time, as well as your driving style.
The most important factor is your car’s drivetrain – traditional cars with a single internal combustion engine cost about £13 to £16 per 100 miles to run, according to lovemoney.com. Petrol-hybrids, on the other hand, consume about 20% to 35% less fuel than even the most efficient petrol or diesel cars. Electric models can run 100 miles at a cost of only £2 – £10 depending on where you charge them, according to the Energy Savings Trust.
Until something actually happens, you might forget about this. We recommend putting some money on the side every week for at least consumables, normal wear and tear, seasonal tyre changes, and annual revisions.
If you’re wondering how much, we made an estimate, based on our fleet of petrol-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric cars, with an average of 32,000 miles driven per year. Material and labour costs differ depending on manufacturer and drivetrain technology, but our fleet averaged out at around £24-£25 per week.
If you get your PCO car from Splend, most of your routine maintenance is covered.
As an Uber driver who owns their own car, you have to manage your own private hire vehicle insurance, which is the only one that covers accidents in this case, compared to normal car insurance.
A PHV insurance policy is expensive – it costs anywhere between £2,000 and a whopping £4,000 per year, depending on the age of the car, distance driven per year, as well as your driving history. For an average £3,000 policy, this means £55-£60 per week that you need to pay on insurance only.
TIP: Consider going for a car subscription with insurance included.
Even though currently rideshare drivers in the UK are considered Uber workers (Uber Eats drivers are still considered self-employed), HMRC can’t deduct your Income Tax and National Insurance directly from your salary, and you need to file a Self Assessment every year. You can read more about this in our Self Assessment Guide.
Because Central London is very crowded and the air quality is poor, the local government is taking drastic measures to keep traffic and pollution at a minimum.
There are two charges that directly affect how much Uber drivers make in London: the ULEZ and the Congestion Charge. The primary purpose of the Congestion Charge is to reduce traffic during daytime hours, while ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) is aimed exclusively at improving air quality.
If you drive an older petrol car the ULEZ charge is a daily £12.50 expense, valid every day of the year, except on Christmas day. If you have a hybrid car with a petrol engine, it must comply with Euro 4 regulations, and diesel hybrids must comply with Euro 5 standards. Fully electric cars are exempt from the ULEZ charge.
The Congestion Charge, however, is much stricter. It’s a £15 daily charge enforced between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm, and you only enjoy an exemption if you drive an electric car or a plug-in hybrid that has at least a 20-kilometre (~12.5-mile) zero-emission range.
With Uber, you’re your own boss, whether things are going well or on the contrary, demand is low or something else affects your earnings. But you always have the most valuable tools at hand to think outside the box – your car, your smartphone, and your skills.
Although the most popular, Uber is not the only rideshare platform you can try. Once you already have everything you need to get started with Uber, which is the most demanding, signing up to the other rideshare platforms is as simple as creating an account and uploading your documents.
Being on multiple rideshare apps means that you can maximise your efficiency: if there aren’t enough new ride requests at your drop-off point, or there’s too much competition from other drivers, you can always check out another platform so you don’t have to drive on an empty car.
The rivalry between these platforms means they’re not only competing with each other for the passengers, but for drivers too, and each has its own perks that you can take advantage of. Some offer lower commission rates, others have special income plans, benefit packs, or attractive temporary campaigns.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, ridesharing took a hit, as travel and commute diminished, but the drivers were much-needed elsewhere.
With people being forced to work from home, they started relying more on parcel deliveries than ever before, and as even running errands became a challenge, a multitude of new apps appeared for simple tasks like grocery shopping, picking up the dry cleaning, etc. Many restaurants that had only relied on table service before, started to upload their menus to food delivery apps.
This has opened up a world of new opportunities that you can rely on between two rides, when demand drops for a longer time, or when you simply feel like doing something else. Many people are just beginning to discover these innovative services, that provide an additional revenue stream for companies too, so these opportunities aren’t likely to disappear even after the pandemic ends.
If you enjoy the freedom of being your own boss, you’ll certainly want to tell your friends and family about on-demand driving.
At Splend, we reward you with £200 for every friend you refer to us, and they also get a £29 discount upon signing up. The more people you share your story with, the more you boost your income, as we don’t have a cap on these referral bonuses – how much you earn this way is only up to you and your networking skills. Learn more about the Splend referral program and check out some tips from a long-time member who took networking to the next level.
We provide every member with a dedicated Member Success Representative, a professional ridesharing coach whose job is to ensure you’re the most profitable Uber driver you can be.
They not only guide you through the process of becoming an Uber driver, but also take care of your car, and check your performance regularly to help you optimise your strategy. Their goal is the same as yours: to help you earn the most money you can with the least effort.
Splend is more than a set of wheels. We’ll help steer your career.
In addition to providing you with the most important tool in your career as a rideshare driver, we also offer ongoing training, support, and data-driven feedback via your personal Member Success Representative. You also enjoy a growing array of member benefits including discounts from our partners.