Cancelling rides, surge prices, and more, this 70-year-old Uber driver has strategies to earn ₹23 lakh a year
A 70-year-old Uber driver from North Carolina USA has a trick up his sleeve to earn big dollars -- cancelling over 30 percent of his rides each year, Business Insider reported. Identified as Bill, the Uber driver earned around $28,000 or over ₹23 lakh from 1,500 trips in 2022, as per the report.
Bill, a retiree who drives for Uber "to get out", maximised his profits by taking steps to eliminate extra spend and avoiding "long and unprofitable" trips, it added.
"I only take rides that are worthwhile and profitable. I drive to get out and don't need the money. I love it," Bill explained.
Average hourly earnings are down to $15-20 post-Covid, whereas during the pandemic he pulled in $50/hour due to the low availability of Uber drivers, according to Bill. He however shared other methods to pump in the dollars.
One among these is parking near high-traffic areas such as airports, bars, and restaurants between 10 pm and 2.30 am peak hours on Fridays and Saturdays to grab surge pricing fares.
"When a plane lands and people request Ubers the price jumps drastically. A 20-minute ride goes from $10 to $20 to $40 and sometimes $50. The driver gets just short of 50 percent so a 35-minute ride can get you $30 to $60," he explained.
Bill has used the US IRS rate of $0.65 per mile standard mileage to calculate what rides will offer his base pay and above and only takes those. "I don't work unless we have a surge. The surges are much more infrequent, and I'm not going anywhere for $0.61 a mile. There is no profit on many rides that only offer the base pay," he explained.
Another trick? Avoiding one-way trips. He shared an experience driving a passenger to a rural place for $27, but having to return "free" without a ride.
Bill also cancels rides liberally -- notching a cancel rate of 34 percent -- much higher than Uber's 10 percent recommended levels. While not imposed, drivers with a higher than 10 percent cancel rate miss out on perks such as petrol discounts and other rewards, besides the possibility of losing account access.
However, Bill is unfazed by the consequences. "I don't really care about the ratings. I just want to enjoy myself and make a little money on the side," he added.