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Revving Up Your Side Hustle: Making Money as an Uber Driver

Moneymagpie Team 31st May 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Inflation is finally starting to fall. The Consumer Price Index dropped in April after reaching a high in January. However, food prices seem to be increasing still, and the cost of living is hitting everyone hard.

Now, more than 6 in 10 people have a side hustle in the UK. Over 80% of people polled regarding their side hustle, admitted to having more than one. It is common for people to take on extra work, but never on such a widespread scale.

Many choose side gigs that allow them to work from home. The income from home working varies by job, but convenience is preferable for many people. Others have taken to the roads. Private hire taxi firms and Uber have allowed anyone with a car to make some extra money.

What is there to know about driving for Uber?

You must hold a full driving licence. But, a major barrier for some people is the vehicle. You must own a car that meets Uber’s requirements. Or have the use of a vehicle with your name on the insurance policy.

Indeed, the right insurance is vital when working for Uber. When you drive as a side hustle (or full-time) you will be working in the hire and reward sector. So, the insurance you require will often be called hire & reward insurance. Or commercial private hire insurance.

You may even see Uber taxi insurance being offered. This will be the same as private hire insurance but perhaps tailored slightly more toward Uber in general. Using your standard private car insurance will not cover you when you are driving to generate an income.

Is driving for Uber a good side hustle in the UK?

How much money can be generated by a side gig depends very much on the role. Filling out questionnaires online will generate peanuts for instance. But, proofreading often pays very well to those who possess the correct skills.

One benefit to working for Uber in the UK is that all drivers are treated as employees. Unlike the gig culture that has engulfed millions of people and seen zero-hour contracts and minimal benefits, Uber drivers have employee rights.

In February 2021, the Supreme Court affirmed the rights of Uber drivers. Although the rights are limited, Uber drivers in the UK are entitled to pensions and holiday pay, and a minimum wage.

This has helped to make driving for Uber a good side hustle option, at least in this country.

Balancing a side hustle with other commitments

If you take on one of the many working from home roles, then you will have a certain amount of convenience. Remote working requires no travel. Remote working also helps with balancing work and home life.

Working for Uber means devoting a number of hours to driving and being away from home.

Consider the following before starting for Uber:

  • How many hours do you have free?
  • Will a side hustle impact your family life or health?
  • What hours do you want to work?
  • How much money do you need to make each week?
  • Why do you want a side hustle?

Ask why you need a side gig, and what are your goals. Your main job must always be a priority. You will need to balance driving for Uber and having a home life.

Your health is another vital consideration. If you only need to earn a certain amount extra a week, then stick to a set amount of hours. Make a schedule for all your other commitments, and only work the hours you can comfortably do without driving yourself to exhaustion.

How to begin driving for Uber

Driving for Uber is fairly simple, but there are rightly some important requirements. It would be wise to read a guide to UK taxi insurance to get a clear understanding of what policy you need. Plus you should get public liability cover too.

But, before that point is reached, there are the following steps to take:

  • Sign up for Uber online
  • Apply for a private hire licence
  • Upload necessary documents
  • Ensure your car meets Uber’s requirements
  • Complete an onboarding course
  • Activate your account and start driving

Requirements to be an Uber driver are:

  • Smartphone and email address
  • Be available to drive in one of the cities that Uber covers
  • Have a private hire driver’s license from an eligible licensing authority
  • Hold a full driving license
  • Have a bank account
  • Have a National Insurance number
  • Have valid private hire taxi insurance
  • Be 21 or over

Your vehicle must be able to carry a minimum of four passengers and be in good condition with no visible damage. The car must also have four doors, and be in line with local licensing authority requirements. And it must be insured accordingly for private hire.

When you have met the necessary requirements, you will be able to activate your Uber account and start working.

How much will you make for Uber potentially?

Uber drivers in the UK earn an hourly rate. This is on average about £15 per hour. There are other considerations as well.

Expenses including insurance, fuel costs, and service fees will affect your earnings. Repairs and breakdowns will have an impact too. Also, bear in mind, the hours you are available will also come into play.

The time of day you work, and how many other Uber drivers are active in your area could also affect your potential earnings. One report indicated that the average driver makes £565 a week. But this is before any expenses are deducted.

Don’t forget you are required to pay taxes on your Uber earnings too. Anyone with a second job should understand side hustle taxes to avoid problems later.

How to maximise your potential earnings

One way you may make extra money as an Uber driver is through tips. Therefore, being a considerate and safe driver will lead to 5-star reviews and happy customers. Passengers who are happy are more likely to tip.

There is no set rule as to how much a passenger should tip a taxi driver, but on average Uber workers see an additional 10% to 20% of the fare price as a tip. And Uber drivers keep all of their tips.

Another way to increase Uber earnings is to find out when the busiest periods are. Saturday night is especially busy for private hire drivers, so you will have more journeys. Driving during busy periods means you can take advantage of surge pricing too. This is where demand forces fare prices to rise.

You could also work for Uber Eats during quiet periods and even other cab firms. There are 23 million trips per day globally so you should be in demand.


Driving for Uber is a valid side hustle and one that has flexibility. You pick when you want to work and the hours. And you can even branch out with Uber Eats.

A valid driving licence and a private hire licence are a necessity. And private taxi insurance is a must. But as long as you meet Uber’s requirements, you could make a side gig out of being a private hire driver.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence. 

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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