Do you need a job with a flexible schedule? Driving an Uber allows you to set your own hours while making some extra cash.
But just how much do Uber drivers make in Canada? The federal minimum wage is $16.65 per hour, so can you earn more than that?
Let’s check out the average pay for an Uber driver, along with a breakdown of expenses and the many circumstances that determine your pay rate.
How Much Does Uber Pay In Canada?
For Uber hourly earnings, the Canadian average is $20.59 per hour, according to Talent.com. That translates into an annual average Uber driver salary of $40,151 if you work full-time and are experienced. This average will vary by quite a large margin depending on the province you are in.
|Annual Salary||Monthly Salary||Bi-Monthly Salary|
Note that this is user-submitted data, which I am a bit weary of, but there seem to be enough contributors (over 500) to make this a legit number:
What Factors Determine How Much You Make as an Uber Driver?
There are many factors to consider when taking an Uber driver job. Here are some of the more crucial ones:
- Location: If you’re driving in densely populated areas like downtown Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal, you’re likely to have a consistent flow of riders, which means more fares. On the other hand, if you’re in a more rural area like Prince Edward Island, ride requests may be less frequent. According to Uber Newsroom, an average driver in Vancouver typically has net earnings of $24.38 per hour. That’s a decent increase from the national average.
- Demand: Imagine it’s just finished raining heavily in Vancouver and public transport is delayed – the demand for Uber rides would likely increase, allowing for surge pricing where you earn more per ride. Similarly, if there’s a large event like a concert at Rogers Arena, the demand would spike before and after the event. Working on weekends and evenings, especially during prime rush hours, can add a good chunk of change to your pocket.
- Time on the Road: If you’re only driving for a couple of hours each day, your earnings would be relatively lower compared to if you’re driving full-time. However, driving excessively could lead to fatigue, which can impact your safety and the quality of your service.
- Tips: Let’s say you provide extras like bottled water, phone chargers, or simply great conversation. A passenger appreciating this service might tip you an extra $5. If you receive a few such tips every day, it adds up over time.
- Vehicle Type: If you’re driving a luxury car like a Mercedes or a large vehicle like a Ford Expedition, you could qualify for UberBlack or UberXL, respectively. These service types charge higher rates than a typical UberX ride, which can significantly boost your earnings.
- Expenses: If your vehicle has poor gas mileage or requires frequent maintenance due to its age or condition, these costs could eat into your earnings. For example, if you spend $200 on gas and $100 on maintenance in a week, and make $1000, you’re effectively making $700.
- Rating: If you maintain a high rating of, say, 4.9 stars, some riders who value service quality might specifically choose you, leading to more consistent ride requests.
- Driver Promotions: Uber sometimes runs promotions where you might earn a $100 bonus for completing 50 trips in a week. If you manage your time well and meet these targets, these bonuses can substantially increase your earnings.
- Tolls and Fees: If you’re driving a passenger from downtown Toronto to Mississauga and need to take a toll highway like the 407, the toll cost would be added to the passenger’s fare, meaning it doesn’t come out of your pocket.
Driving an Uber involves its fair share of expenses too. You can’t drive around an old beater and expect to get on the payroll. Uber has its own rules about the type of car its drivers need, which varies from city to city.
An example of car requirements in Vancouver include:
In addition, vehicles must have an up-to-date insurance policy. However, most places require policies that include ride-sharing services in addition to your personal policy.
Uber requires that most cars are newer. Using the example above, the car shouldn’t be more than nine years old.
That requirement is in place both for passenger safety and to aid in drivers’ earnings. Older vehicles typically require more maintenance costs that will come out of the driver’s pocket.
It’s important to monitor and keep track of your expenses. Those costs could eat into the money you’re making from driving and lower your profits.
One of the biggest costs to eat into your profits is fuel. This expense will depend on several factors, including the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, current fuel prices, and the amount of distance you cover each day.
And with prices frequently increasing, fuel expenses can easily drive your earnings into the ground.
One of the ways some Canadian Uber drivers combat this is by investing in electronic vehicles. Driving around on a full charge is a practical option, especially in the cities. With little or no fuel needed, drivers can make more money.
In addition, Uber offers various incentives to its drivers looking to go green. Their programs include:
- Zero Emissions Incentive – Drivers of EVs are eligible for this reward which include earning an extra $1 on every trip, up to $4,000.
- Uber Green – This program hooks riders up with drivers using hybrid and electronic vehicles. Drivers are paid an extra fifty cents for each trip. These earnings are in addition to the Zero Emissions Incentive.
- Deals on a Chevrolet Bolt EV – GM offers eligible Uber drivers a discount on the purchase of a 2021 or 2022 Chevy Bolt EV. Drivers can get up to $2,869 off the vehicle purchase price.
Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, which means you’re responsible for paying your own income taxes.
Because of a ruling obtained in 2017, rideshare drivers need to collect HST/GST taxes and remit them to the proper agencies.
If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, you’ll need to hire a bookkeeper or accountant, adding another expense into the mix.
Vehicle Financing or Lease Payments
This could be a major expense depending on whether you’ve financed or leased your vehicle. Monthly payments can vary significantly based on the type of vehicle and the terms of your financing or lease agreement.
Uber does provide a commercial insurance policy for its drivers, but you’re still required to maintain personal auto insurance. Also, some insurance providers may require you to have a commercial auto insurance policy or a rideshare rider on your personal policy.
Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs
Regular maintenance such as oil changes, brake pad replacements, tire rotations, and other services are necessary to keep your vehicle in good working condition. Additionally, unforeseen repairs could add to your expenses.
The more you drive, the more wear and tear your vehicle experiences, which can lead to it losing its value more quickly. This is an indirect cost, but it’s still important to consider, especially if you plan on selling your vehicle in the future.
Cell Phone and Data Plan
As an Uber driver, you’ll need a smartphone with a data plan to accept ride requests and navigate to your destinations. Depending on your existing plan, you may need to upgrade to accommodate the extra data usage.
Tolls and Parking Fees
Depending on where you’re driving, you might incur tolls or parking fees. While these costs are typically added to the passenger’s fare, there may be instances where you’re responsible for them.
Is It Profitable To Be an Uber Driver?
Many people sign up to be Uber drivers because of the job’s flexibility. Make your own schedule, work when you want – it seems like a good deal.
However, some drivers have found that Uber inflates its per-hour rates, and making decent money is much harder than expected.
The CBC interviewed one Ottawa driver that claims his take-home pay is more like $8/hr, much lower than the average hourly pay touted by Uber.
The driver, Raph Assaf, signed up as an Uber driver because of the flexible schedule. However, he was hesitant because he wasn’t sure how he’d make a profit.
He told CBC, “Something didn’t sit right with me. They are promoting paying $20, $30s an hour versus fares being so low.”
Maybe the situation with Assaf is just a one-time thing. Uber reports that the average per-hour rate in Vancouver is $24.38, but that doesn’t include car maintenance costs, or many of the expenses listed above.
They also note that most drivers aren’t full time and almost three-quarters of them work less than 25 hours per week.
With hours like that, it only puts a few hundred dollars in drivers’ pockets every week, and that’s assuming the generous hourly rate.
The bottom line remains that the more money you wish to make, the more hours you will need to put in during peak times (nights and weekends).
Uber is a solid gig if you want to make some additional cash, but it probably isn’t your best option for a full-time job.
How Much Do Canadian Uber Eats Drivers Make?
Uber offers more than just ride-sharing. You can sign up to become a driver for Uber Eats. Download the driver app and start accepting food delivery requests near you.
Then you’ll just need to pick up the order from local restaurants and fast food joints and deliver them.
You get paid per pickup and dropoff completed, along with a per-mile rate. You’re able to track your earnings in the app and can see how much an order will pay before you accept it. Customers can also add tips, and those tips are yours to keep.
After accounting for regular vehicle expenses, Uber Eats drivers typically make anywhere from $15 to $20 per hour after expenses. Just like the ride-sharing version of the Uber app, pay depends on how much you work, prompt delivery, and if you’re working during peak hours.
Uber Eats is a solid way to make extra cash and is appealing because of its flexibility. However, the pay changes from week to week, so if you’re looking for a steady stream of income, you might want to reconsider.
How to Become An Uber Driver – Requirements
- Age: You must be at least 21 years old.
- Proof of residency in your city or province: This can be established through a utility bill or other official document. This could include your birth certificate, citizenship card, passport, work permit, or Social Insurance Number card.
- Driver’s License: You must have a valid Canadian driver’s license. Some cities require a full Class 1-5 license and not a Class 7 or Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) license.
- Vehicle: Your vehicle must meet Uber’s standards. This typically includes being a 4-door car, minivan, or truck, being in good condition, and being a recent model.
- Vehicle Registration: Your vehicle must be properly registered, and the registration must be up to date.
- Insurance: You must have proof of insurance in your name. Uber also provides additional coverage when you’re driving for them.
- Criminal Background Check: Uber requires a criminal background check. This means you must not have a criminal record.
- Driving Record Check: Uber requires a check of your driving history to ensure you have a good driving record.
Recently, Toronto and some other cities have required drivers to obtain a Private Transportation Company (PTC) license. To do this, drivers must enroll in a driver training program.
Uber drivers in Canada earn more than minimum wage, and it can be a pretty fun job to do. Working at peak times and being familiar with the city increase the odds of solid take-home pay.
While there are ways to increase your hourly rate, you still need to maintain your vehicle. Those expenses (gas, vehicle maintenance, insurance) could be costly and, if you don’t work much, might overshadow any income you make.
The bottom line is that you need to track your income and expenses to see if this job is worth it.
Its flexibility and independence are attractive options for many people, so if you can make it work, Uber is a great way to make some extra cash.
If you’re looking for other ways to side hustle, check out my ultimate guide on making money online here.