Increase your earnings in 2023! How to make $1000 per week with Uber


Drivers are still asking how to make $1000 per week with Uber. Well, the latest numbers are out. The good news is that it’s a very doable goal. 

The path to that kind of Uber pay rate is within the grasp of full-time or near full-time drivers working in the right markets. It hinges on your ability to strategize driving, identify the right markets, and provide the best service. It also means using the right tools, including the Gridwise companion app for gig drivers. 

What’s inside this blog post:

How much does Uber pay?

To help you get a good picture of Uber driver earnings in 2023, Gridwise developed the chart below. It incorporates input from more than 500,000 drivers who have downloaded the Gridwise app. The aggregated and anonymized results provide one of the best pictures available to answer, How much does Uber pay? 

Uber driver earnings, 2023 

PeriodGross earnings per work hour Total trips Work hours Work miles Hours required to achieve $1,000/wkEarnings for drivers performing in the 90th percentileHours required to achieve $1,000/wk at the 90th percentile

All numbers are based on mean averages. 

Source: Gridwise Analytics

These numbers represent both part-time and full-time drivers. So for example, a full-time driver earning the average Uber driver pay per hour ($19.62) would have to drive more than 50 hours to earn $1,000 a week in September 2023. 

What about the Uber driver salary of high-performing drivers?

You could, however, be a high-performing Uber driver. Column 7 represents what drivers earned who were in the 90th percentile, meaning their income was higher than 90% of drivers. These top earners are likely working in a major metropolitan market and employing a winning driving strategy. Such a driver (earning $31 per hour in September 2023) would have had to drive only slightly more than 32 hours to earn $1,000 a week.

For a closer look at Uber pay rate in 2023, check out this Gridwise blog post, How Much do Uber Drivers Make in 2023? How to Make More

Would you like to contribute to these numbers? It’s easy. Download the Gridwise app today.  

What factors go into an Uber driver salary?

When you look at Uber driver salary, remember that you’re not seeing a single number but rather a set of numbers that, when added up, produce what we refer to as gross earnings. Let’s look at the different factors comprising these gross earnings and how they determine your Uber pay rate. 

Base earnings

Base earnings are where it begins when computing how much do Uber drivers make. This is the root of your earnings, minus all incentives, bonuses, and tips. 

Base earnings are a combination of a per-mile rate and a per-minute rate. In some cities, you will also earn a base fee. You should know that these rates vary from one region to another. This is important to know because it can help dictate where you drive. 

Did you know the Gridwise app includes a feature called Where to Drive? It’s an important part of how you can maximize your earnings and worth checking out. 

Bonus earnings

If you want to know how to make 1000 in a week driving for Uber, you need to take advantage of bonus earnings. Uber gives you two different ways to earn bonuses.  

Uber Quests. Quests are typically announced on the Uber app in advance, so you can plan for them, and are often individualized to the driver. This means that not all drivers get the same Quest offering. A typical Uber Quest is that you take three consecutive rides between 7:00 am and 8:00 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week. Make sure you read the details of each offer because they can vary, and you must meet all the requirements. 

The bonus appears on your earnings when you complete the required rides. 

Uber Boost+. Uber uses Uber Boost+ to attract drivers to a specific area in anticipation of increased ride demand within a few hours. If there is a sporting event, for instance, Uber wants drivers in the area when that event lets out. A Boost+ offer is what gets those drivers there. 

A Boost+ zone is designated on your app by a distinct blue shading with a blue boundary. A typical Boost+ surcharge is $1 or $2. 

Incentive earnings

Incentive earnings lure drivers into a specific area. 

Surges. When ride demand exceeds the supply of drivers in a particular area, Uber will surge prices. A transparent orange heat overlay on the map of your Uber app designates a surge. The darker the orange, the higher the premium. 

These premiums are in the form of “multipliers.” An area with moderate demand might offer a multiplier of 1.25 or 1.50of your base fare. A multiplier of 1.25 means you earn base fare plus 25%. A multiplier of 1.50 means you earn base fare plus 50%. If demand is high enough, it’s possible to see surges that increase rates by a factor of 3 or 4. We’ll discuss using surges to increase your earnings later in this blog post.  

Bonuses. Although bonuses have always been around for rideshare drivers, they became very popular as an incentive to get drivers back onto the road during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Drivers who quit over concerns about the pandemic found their email inboxes flooded with offers. They were tricky, though. What sounded like a $1,000 bonus if you completed 100 rides in a month was actually a guarantee of $1,000 in earnings. In other words, give 100 rides in January, and if you don’t earn $1,000, Uber would make up the difference. 

Uber makes other offers that guarantee actual bonuses paid beyond earnings. Always read the details and understand how the bonuses work. As with many special offers Uber makes, they are often individualized to specific drivers, so don’t be surprised if you find other drivers are presented with different offers. 

Tip earnings

Tips averaged between 11.6% and 13.1% of driver base pay in 2023. Uber passes 100% of tip earnings to drivers. Drivers can make a difference in their tips by offering top-drawer service. Want to know how to increase tips? Your first stop should be a recent Gridwise blog post, Lyft and Uber Driver Skills: 5 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

Other offerings to boost your Uber driver salary

Uber has launched additional programs to boost the Uber pay rate. 

Uber Reserve. Passengers can reserve an Uber for pick-up at a specific time. According to reports, these rides pay as much as double the regular rate and are available by checking your app. You can also set your app up so that Reserve rides will flash across your screen when you’re online. Drivers have a window of a few seconds in which they can accept these rides, which can appear as much as seven days in advance. 

If you read all the details about Uber Reserve rides, they may not sound like such a good deal, but Gridwise has heard anecdotal stories that lead us to think otherwise. It’s worth experimenting to see if they work for you. Learn more about Uber Reserve rides on the Uber driver website

Uber Pro. Uber Pro is part of Uber’s driver loyalty efforts. The program has various levels, including Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond (the highest). To qualify for the Uber Pro program, drivers must meet these basic requirements:

  • star rating of 4.85 or above
  • acceptance rate of 85% or above
  • cancellation rate of 4% or lower

Drivers receive points for each ride they give, with additional points awarded for rides with areas and times that are predesignated. Various levels offer discounts on gas and EV charging, translating into more money left in your pocket. There is also a one-time cash award if you achieve Diamond status, but that offer expired this past October 31, 2023. There’s no word on whether Uber will renew the offer. 

You can learn more about the Uber Pro program on the Uber website or from a recent Gridwise blog post, Uber Pro 2023: What Should Uber Drivers Know?

Does loyalty to Uber increase your Uber driver salary?

Although the exact details of the algorithm remain secret, Uber has long hinted that it favors drivers with high acceptance rates on the platform. The same is rumored to be true for drivers who take Uber Reserve rides or participate in the Uber Pro program. 

Other drivers feel that multi-apping is a key part of maximizing their earnings. Indeed, 31% of drivers multi-app on Uber and Lyft, according to a Gridwise blog post, Want to Improve Gig Driver Loyalty? Use Data to Stay Competitive. 

Remember that Uber has a commanding lead in the rideshare world. In September 2023 Bloomberg Second Measure reported that Uber had a 74% slice of the rideshare market. Their 2023 Q3 report to shareholders boasted a 31% increase in income from gross bookings over 2022. If you drive for Uber, chances are you will get more rides than Lyft. Drivers that multi-app often go with whatever platform they feel offers them the most profitable rides.  

If you are considering multi-apping, be sure to check out the Gridwise blog post The Art of Multi-apping: How-Tos and Strategies for Gig Drivers. More information can also be found in another post, Does Your Uber Acceptance Rate Matter?

How to make more money on Uber

Those who fall into the category of high-performing Uber drivers, at the 90th percentile of earnings, have learned strategies and tactics that allow them to earn a higher Uber driver pay per hour. What are these tactics? Let’s briefly review the most popular and effective ones.

Know your regions and their boundaries

The numbers we reviewed at the beginning of this article represent national averages. Uber driver salary in the larger metropolitan areas is higher, especially for strategic drivers. Population density and the prevalence of professional sports, concerts, and special events play into these Uber pay rate increases.

The compensation difference in markets can also vary dramatically between adjoining regions. While the per-mile rate in Los Angeles for Uber might be 80 cents a mile, the rate in the outer suburbs is often less, as much as 20 cents a mile less. The rate card is in the Uber driver app. Make sure you’re familiar with it. It pays to venture into a higher-earning region if you’re close to the border. 

Research drive times

Driving during peak drive times maximizes your Uber driver pay per hour, so know when things get busy in your region. The nightlife scene on Friday and Saturday nights is always good. Large towns and those with universities and colleges are also familiar with Thirsty Thursdays, the phenomenon of people starting their weekend early. Bars and restaurants are often full.  

Familiarize yourself with the shift changes of large employers. People are always looking for rides to and from work. Hospitals can be good places for rides, too, even in the middle of the night. The When to Drive feature on the Gridwise app is an excellent source of information on peak driving hours. 

Watch for surges

Surge pricing is a significant factor for increasing your Uber pay rate. In 2023, Uber drivers added 12% to over 22% to their base earnings by taking advantage of surges. Look for those orange heat overlays on your Uber driver app. 

The best tactic is to make note of where and when surges occur, allowing you to position yourself properly. Surges are often transitory, and chasing them can be counterproductive. If you have to drive a mile or two to get to a surge, it might be gone by the time you get there. You’re better off positioning yourself in the middle of an area you know will likely surge. 

Surge pricing can also mean sitting in traffic, such as at concerts or sporting events. You need to weigh the wait time of bumper-to-bumper congestion versus spending your time in another area and picking up rides. Sometimes, the math doesn’t justify the surge. 

Increase your Uber pay rate with great tips

Tips account for an increase of 11% to 13% over your base pay. You should monitor your tips to ensure they fall within this range (something you can do when you download the Gridwise app). You can learn how to enhance your tip income to make even more by reading this Griwise blog post, 12 Ways Rideshare Drivers Can Earn More Tips. 

Experiment, experiment, experiment

Every market is unique, and so is every driver. Occasionally, try driving at different hours, on different days, or in a different neighborhood. Sometimes, you’ll see patterns that no app would detect. Mix things up. Try something new. You’ll be amazed at what you discover. 

Use Gridwise to help record all expenses

In addition to valuable services such as where and when to drive, reports on special events, and airport arrivals, Gridwise also has the best mileage tracker for Uber drivers and an expense tracker

The standard mileage deduction for 2023 is 65.5 cents per mile. That means that for every 10,000 miles you drive and record through the Gridwise tracker, you can lower your taxable income by $6,550. For more information, check out a recent Gridwise blog post, 8 Strategies for Maximizing Rideshare and Delivery Tax Deductions. 

And have fun out there. 

Looking for more resources? Be sure to check out:

Does Your Uber Acceptance Rate Matter?


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