Rideshare’s reboot is well underway, and the numbers for the first quarter of 2022 are in. We’ll get granular with data in this post and cover issues that have helped to paint the Uber pay picture over the past few months. Then, we’ll explore how you can keep your earnings high, even in the face of any rough weather that might lie ahead. Here’s how we’ll do it:
- Uber driver pay: the numbers
- the gas price factor
- the impact of changing customer patterns
- maximizing your Uber driver pay
Uber driver pay: the numbers
Gross rideshare driver pay has been decent in 2022. Companies are still using incentives to coax drivers back to their rightful place behind the wheel, and passengers are showing up in greater numbers. This has led to steadily climbing gross earnings for drivers over the first few months of 2022.
How much does Uber pay an hour? The average hourly rate for the first quarter went up steadily. Hourly earnings started at $19.47 in January, rose through $22.10 in February, and wound up at $24.57 at the end of March. We see Uber vs. Lyft 2022 driver pay, thus far, being in a nose-to-nose tie. Uber pay came in at $22.04 per hour, while Lyft drivers made an average of $21.97. Literally, the average hourly gross rates are just pennies apart.
We see the same Uber vs. Lyft picture when we look at earnings per trip. Uber drivers earned an average of $13.76 per trip in the first quarter, while Lyft drivers brought in $13.03 per trip. Once again, gross earnings steadily went up over the first three months of 2022. Uber drivers earned $12.53 per trip in January, and $13.32 in February. A little jump up to $15.42 made the quarter end on a sweet spot.
Tips, as well, were up for Uber drivers as they drove their way through the first few months of the year. The average tip per trip for the first quarter amounted to $4.90. The tips per trip figure started off at $3.83 in January, then went up a little to $4.00 in February, and $4.10 in March. This isn’t a huge leap, but it does follow the general upward earnings trend.
The last number we’ll look at closely is the one that matters most, because it’s the best way to answer the question: How much does Uber pay? The monthly earnings figure is always a good indicator of the bottom line for drivers. Gridwise figures show that Uber drivers brought in an average of $449.74 per month in the first quarter of 2022. Median rates went up from $348.00 in January to $463.71 in February. Then, they rose again in March to $537.29. This looks pretty good for Uber drivers, as it represents a 54% increase from January to the end of March.
Is this what drivers are really seeing though? Now let’s look at what’s behind these numbers to see if they’re as promising as they seem.
The gas price factor
Before getting too excited over the way earnings rose so far this year, we’ll need to take a look at the way gas prices have affected driver earnings. This time last year, the national average for a gallon of gas was $2.87. While prices peaked in mid March, gas was still priced at $4.12 just as the first quarter was ending. That means that gas prices increased by 43% year over year. A rise in gas prices like this one certainly takes a big bite out of Uber driver pay.
Drivers’ reluctance to tolerate the high gas prices shows up in the number of trips drivers took once gas prices peaked in March. Trip volume fell by 4.88% for the week ending March 21 and dipped another 5.29%, week over week, for the period ending March 28. With more countries releasing oil reserves, prices seem to be stabilizing, and in some cases are coming down a bit. Prices like these make lots of drivers question whether driving for Uber is worth it right now.
Uber is acutely aware of how gas prices affect drivers, so they did hit passengers with a gas surcharge on Uber trips. The surcharge was first applied on March 18 and will run for 60 days. The extra charge ranges from 45 to 55 cents per ride, depending on regional gas prices. Uber will also offer incentives to drivers who use EVs, in hopes of encouraging less dependence on gas-powered vehicles.
If the gas surcharge is making up for the extra expense drivers have at the pump, could it be that the decrease in trip volume is due to something else, such as passengers not wanting to pay so much? It’s hard to say, but it’s likely that both factors have played a part in the declining number of rides.
It’s evident that drivers don’t believe the surcharge is enough to cover the 43% rise in the price of gas. A survey of Gridwise drivers indicates that 70% of drivers believe that the few extra pennies per ride is not very helpful in covering their extra costs.
Uber may have noticed a need to sweeten the pot even more for drivers by adding bonuses. Uber drivers in Pittsburgh started smiling when they got a ping telling them there was a $100 bonus for completing eight trips between March 16 and March 28. Still, there’s no doubt that the high price of gas is going to continue to be a major issue for Uber drivers and passengers.
The impact of changing customer patterns
The recent resurgence of business and social activity has brought rideshare back to life, but the playing field is different than it was back in 2019. Drivers need to study the market for rideshare and use smart strategies to make as much money as possible—and hold on to it.
Being aware of passenger patterns is a must in this environment. Let’s look at some of the activities passengers partake in, how well they’re recovering as the world regroups after the pandemic shutdowns, and the ways it affects Uber drivers.
Airport passengers are coming back! By early April 8, the TSA reported 2,318,977 people passed through checkpoints. On that same date in 2021, only 1,549,181 went through the gates. While that’s not quite up to 2019’s number of 2,590,499, airport traffic is definitely showing promising signs of recovery. There is a change, though: in 2022, more travel is oriented toward pleasure than business.
Companies have learned that online meetings can be highly effective and far less expensive than those cushy business trips. In fact, many believe business travel may never return to pre-pandemic levels. This means you have to adjust your mindset about airport driving and cater to the pleasure crowd rather than banking on the business traveler.
Business events are coming back, but not as strongly as rideshare drivers might like. There are conferences and conventions, but many of them are either retaining an online presentation format, or creating a hybrid option, which combines live gatherings and virtual experiences. Much like business travel, corporate events may be taking on new forms that were inconceivable before the events of 2020 changed the ways people gather.
Fortunately, the picture is brighter for entertainment. According to morningconsult.com, crowds are coming back to public events, from the movies to consumer showcases and hockey games. Concerts are back in business in a big way. Live Nation stated that 2022 is on track to be a record year. This is great news for rideshare drivers. While there will still be many virtual entertainment events, trends show that there will be crowds again—and that they will be in need of rideshare services.
Higher rideshare prices
While it’s clear that passengers are coming back, they may not be as easy to find as they have been in times past. Higher prices for rideshare will keep some of them away. If you live in a bigger city, this creates more competition among a large population of drivers for what’s bound to become fewer rides. You’ll need to be more aware than ever about where passengers might be and at what times.
With Gridwise, you’ll be able to track airport traffic volume and get up to the minute information about all the events in your town. What’s more, Where to Drive gives you data from real drivers, showing you the locations where more money can be made. Gridwise gives you all the insight you need to keep your earnings up where you need them to be. Download Gridwise to get all these features and more.
Maximizing your Uber driver pay
Sound driving strategies include all the above tips about earning more, but there’s another side to the equation. You not only want to make as much money as possible; you also need to hold on to what you earn. The key to this is limiting your expenses. Most gig driving expenses are hard to eliminate, but they can be minimized. Here’s a short list of the major costs of driving and suggestions for how to keep them down.
The cost of gas is something you can’t control, but you can surely take advantage of effective ways to save at the pump. Gridwise Gas is an excellent way to slash your gas expenses. Sign up for free and get easy access to discounts at service stations near you. Your Gridwise Gas Card card will be accepted at 95% of the places you stop to fuel up.
You depend on your car to make a living, so giving it good maintenance is not an option. The problem is, upkeep isn’t cheap. You probably have found this out, especially if you drive an older car. Breakdowns and repairs become more common the longer your car is on the road, especially when you’re piling up the mles with your driving gig.
Gridwise has two ways to keep your maintenance costs down:
Gridwise + CarAdvise: Wouldn’t it be great to check out different auto shops, talk to different experts, compare prices, and schedule your car’s service appointment online? With Gridwise + CarAdvise, you get that—plus discounts of up to 40% on maintenance and repair services.
Gridwise Auto-Buying Program: Okay. You’ve had about enough of nurturing your car into its older age, and it’s time to buy a new one. You’re in luck! With the Gridwise Auto-Buying Program powered by TrueCar, you’ll search for the vehicle you want, compare prices, and save big. You could wipe off as much as $3,500 from the MSRP and find great deals on used vehicles, too.
This is one of these expenses you don’t necessarily notice—until you do. Depreciation slashes the value of your vehicle, just because you’re driving it. When you use your car for Uber driving, this cost can skyrocket. AAA estimates that depreciation contributes to 40% of all the costs of owning a vehicle. How can you make this hurt a little less?
Use Gridwise to treat your Uber driving gig for what it is: your business! Gridwise is a great Uber mileage tracking app, but it does so much more. With Gridwise, you can
- track all your expenses
- keep tabs on your earnings
- make note of your profits and losses
- see which routes make you the most money
See? You might have thought Gridwise was just another mileage tracker for Uber drivers, but with these and other features such as airport and event info, weather and traffic alerts, plus When to Drive and Where to Drive, you can see why Gridwise is the world’s best rideshare and delivery assistant.
Now that you know the different things that it involves, is driving for Uber worth it in 2022? You can make sure it’s worth it when you use Gridwise.