One thing that many of us fail to realize is the expense of driving for Uber. You just do not start driving for Uber, you have to have cash available. Expenses can overwhelm you very easily if you are not prepared with an adequate cash flow, or really good credit.
- Auto Loan Payment
- Car Wash
- Cell Phone
You would have your Auto Loan payment monthly regardless if working for Uber or not, so that may be considered a wash on that debt.
Fuel is an ongoing expense that you have got to be able to pay if you want to work. I easily spend at least $20.00 per day on gas for my car.
Insurance is a hefty expense that you may not realize if you have always carried full coverage on your car, my cost including Road Service, about $210.00 per month.
Maintenance is escalated by the amount of miles you drive. Everybody should get their oil changed about every 5000 miles, right? What if you drive 5000 miles per month? Oil changes range in price from $18.95 to close to $50.00 per change. This can easily mean a annual expense of at least $227.00. Tires, Brakes, tune ups, all of these add to the maintenance expense.
Tolls if paid while transporting a rider are reimbursable expense, but you still have to pony up the cash to cross the road or bridge charging the toll. We use FasTrak where I live and out of the blue I got a whopping $190.00 debited from my account for the next month. I live in the East Bay and less than 50% of this expense is reimbursable..
Keeping your car clean in and out is very important. I spend about $25.00 per week at the local car wash for a minor detail in and out at one of the “Hands Car Wash” locations. I then spend about $10.00 per week on rinsing off and vacuuming out my car. I carry a variety of spray washes, waxes and window cleaners on board at all times for touch up cleaning. I easily spend about $35.00 per week.
Other expenses are pretty much up to what you want to spend for your riders. Bottled Water, Candy, Gum, or whatever all adds up to be an added expense. My next such investment for my car will include “vomit bags” and “towelettes” in case of need by a rider. I am also considering carrying small toy sets for children’s entertainment to keep them happily occupied while traveling. Again, these things are at the expense of the driver. No we cannot offer these items for sale.
Cell Phone expense is pretty much mandatory when driving for anybody. I pay $10.00 per week for my Uber iPhone and about $50.00 per month for my Android Smart Phone service. There goes another $90.00 per month added to expenses.
The good news to all of this is “Tax Write-Offs.” Most, if not all of the preceding expense is usable as a write-off when preparing your taxes, reducing the amount of tax the Driver is required to pay. Consult your local Tax Professional/Legal Professional for additional information. S&S Accounting in Castro Valley does my tax and payroll preparation and I would recommend them to anyone. You can reach them at (510) 583-8035 if you are interested.