This Is How Much You Need To Drive For Uber Or Lyft To Make $50,000 A Year

There’s been a disparity between how much ridesharing companies like Uber say their drivers can make, and how much drivers say they’re making

NerdWallet, a startup focused on financial education and empowerment, crunched some numbers to figure out how many rides drivers would have to give to earn $US50,000, $US75,000, and $US100,000.

After looking at the numbers, NerdWallet had a few big takeaways:

  • Based on their data, drivers can, on average, make more working for Uber than for Lyft and Sidecar in most places. Uber drivers make an average of $US15.97 per ride with Uber, as opposed to Lyft ($US11.48) and Sidecar ($US13.35). 
  • In order to make $US50,000 a year, an Uber driver must provide 60.21 rides every week. A Lyft driver would have to provide 83.76 rides, and a Sidecar driver would have to provide 72.03 rides.
  • To make $US100,000 a year, drivers have to give 120.42, 167.52, and 144.05 rides every week on Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, respectively. 

 Here’s a summary of NerdWallet’s findings:

How many rides does it take to pay for insurance?


NerdWallet used data from SherpaShare, which lets drivers track their expenses and income, to figure out how many rides drivers have to accept in order to make $US50,000, $US75,000, and $US100,000 in pre-tax income.

The study looked at 14 of the biggest US markets for the three ridesharing services: Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

This is what NerdWallet has to say about how drivers can make $US50,000. It all has to do with where and when you’re driving:

“Driver utilization” for New York City’s yellow cabs is about 50%, which means that for each hour drivers work, they are ferrying passengers 50% of the time. SherpaShare’s per trip fare data for Uber shows that the average driver would have to drive 20.47 hours each week to make $US50,000 a year. However, from anecdotal evidence and investigative reports, it is likely that the average driver utilization for ridesharing is much less than 50%.

Of course, the study has some caveats. NerdWallet chose to focus only on UberX and ignore UberBLACK or Uber SUV. And the information from SherpaShare —  trip fare, distance and time data — comes from just a fraction of all Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar drivers on the road.

Nonetheless, it’s an interesting glimpse into what drivers need to do in order to in order to make a livable wage.

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