Small Business Advice

How much can Uber drivers make in NYC in 2022?

In this guide we break down how much Uber drivers can expect to make in NYC, how pay-outs work, and Uber driver requirements.

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A New York Uber driver can make a gross income in excess of $80,839 in 2022. This translates to over $45,545 in net income after cost deductions. And with Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, “confident” that the company will hit record highs in 2022, Uber driver salaries in NYC are likely to also hit record highs.

So if you’re thinking of becoming an Uber driver, 2022 may well be the ideal year to take the leap. In this guide, we break down how much Uber drivers make in NYC as well as Uber driver requirements for the Big Apple. 

How much do Uber drivers make in NYC?

As of December, 2021, the average net income for Uber drivers in NYC was $45,545. The salary range is fairly wide, falling between $36,802 and $54,102, according to salary.com. Due to the fact that Uber drivers are part of the gig economy however, their pay depends heavily on many factors including how many rides they take, how long, and where to. Global factors such as more lockdowns due to the renewing pandemic can also greatly affect how much an Uber driver makes.

Uber pay structure

According to the Intellectual Democratic Workers Union (IDWU), on average:

  • A NYC Uber driver makes $25.91 per ride
  • The driver will make two rides within the hour, bringing their hourly wage to $51.82
  • They work 30 hours per week, which amounts to $1,554.6
  • Over a 52-week year, the average NYC Uber driver makes $80,839 in gross income (before tax).
  • Net annual income for New York Uber drivers is $45,545 (before tax)

The above pay structure is based on average earnings. To know exactly how much Uber drivers make in NYC, it’s important to first understand how the cost of an Uber ride is calculated.

In addition to a minimum fare, Uber charges New York riders a journey fare that’s based on time and distance. The rider may also be required to pay a base fee, depending on the type of ride they’ve requested for.

The most basic and popular ride in NYC is UberX, which doesn’t have a base fee. Riders simply pay a minimum fare of $8, journey fare of $0.74 per minute and $1.62 per mile, and a cancellation fee of $5.

Based on these rates, the average NYC Uber driver makes $25.91 per ride, according to the IDWU. Since most drivers manage two rides per hour, the hourly wage of a NYC Uber driver comes to $51.82. This totals to $1,554.6 per week for drivers who work 30 hours a week and a gross pay of $80,839 per year considering a 52-week year.

In New York, Uber takes 20% in commissions and fees. Vehicle expenses – particularly gas and maintenance costs – carve out around 10% and 5% of the earnings respectively. Combine these costs (along with Uber’s cut) and the gross annual income drops to $52,545.

That value, however, doesn’t account for licensing and insurance, which often fall in the $2,000 and $5,000 mark respectively. Subtracting these from the driver’s earnings brings the final annual salary to $45,545. This is $29 per hour, which is above and beyond the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission's (TLC) minimum wage requirement of $17.22 per hour after deducting expenses.

As a matter of fact, the annual income of $45,545 means that Uber drivers in NYC make more than the national average salary for Uber drivers, which stands at $39,989. This boils down to a few things that favor NYC Uber drivers. The city’s population is high, ridesharing is legal, and ride-hailing is a norm. For these reasons, New York City boasts the highest salaries for Uber drivers in the U.S.

It’s worth mentioning that the type of car you use for Uber will determine maintenance, insurance and fuel costs – all of which influence your salary. Furthermore, your history as a driver will also play a part in determining your insurance premiums. With an efficient car and great track record on the road, your hourly and annual wage can rise to well over the NYC average.

How much can Uber Eats delivery drivers make in NYC in 2022?

Uber Eats drivers make an average of $40,059 per year in New York City, according to ZipRecruiter. The salary range is extremely wide, with some making as much as $88,297 and others as low as $15,905. Among other reasons, this variation comes about because of skill level, years of experience and location of operation.

Interestingly, NYC Uber Eats drivers make less than the national average, which stands at $40,176. This means that as a regular Uber driver, you stand to make more than other drivers if you operate in NYC. However, the same can’t be said for Uber Eats drivers.

How do Uber drivers get paid?

Uber pays drivers on a weekly basis either on Wednesdays or Thursdays. The payment process starts on Monday, which is when the previous week’s earning cycle ends and the current week’s cycle begins.

You will receive a weekly pay statement for the previous week on Tuesday, but it may delay until Wednesday. The statement is automatically added to your Uber dashboard and may also be emailed. It won’t come at the same exact time each week, so don’t worry when it’s a few hours late.

On Wednesday, you’ll receive a direct deposit of your funds via ACH payment. While the deposit happens on Wednesday, the funds may not clear until Thursday. If you still don’t receive the payment by Thursday, then contact Uber directly and they’ll sort the problem.

In case you prefer to get your Uber payments more frequently, you can sign up for daily pay. This will allow you to withdraw funds up to five times per day. The only condition is that you must have at least $1 in your Uber account.

If that doesn’t work for you either, you can sign up for Uber Instant Pay. In which case, payments from customers will go directly to your debit account. You can then use a debit card to withdraw the cash. But keep in mind that some banks take up to two days to process these payments. Therefore, while Uber may deposit the money in your account instantly, you might still not be able to access it until the bank has cleared the transaction.

What does your Uber pay statement show?

The Uber pay statement essentially shows your amount receivable and completed orders for the previous week. These are rides that were requested and paid for by customers between 12 AM on Monday and 11:59 PM on Sunday of the previous week. There are three ways of accessing your Uber pay statement:

  • Via the Uber app: this statement contains your total pay for the week, with each payment itemized.
  • Via email: this is a more detailed statement which shows your pay on a day-to-day basis. It also contains the “Other” section. More on this shortly.
  • Via partners.uber.com: this is the most detailed statement. It shows you pay on a fare-by-fare basis and includes a more detailed section for other payments. These are bonuses and reimbursements that you earned over the week. You can access this statement by visiting partners.uber.com.

Contents of an Uber driver pay statement

It’s undoubtedly critical to figure out how much Uber drivers make in NYC before you venture into the business. Just as important, you also want to know where that money comes from and the amount that each item brings in. Here’s a closer look as itemized in a typical Uber driver’s pay stub:

  • Fare: the amount you received from passengers who hailed your Uber. It doesn’t deduct Rider Fee nor Uber’s cut.
  • Uber fee: the percentage that Uber retains from your earnings.
  • Rider fee: this is an additional service fee levied on the customer per ride. However, you are the one to collect it from your passengers then Uber collects it from you.
  • Surge: shows how much you earned from Surge rides. These are drives that you made to areas with higher-than-usual request volumes.
  • Wait time: the amount you earn for waiting for a customer for more than two minutes.
  • Long pickup fee: the money you earn when you drive 10 minutes or more to pick up a rider.
  • Tolls: reimbursements for tolls that you paid when driving for Uber. They are charged to riders and then Uber collects and reimburses you.
  • Cancellation fee: the amount paid to you when a rider cancels a ride request two minutes after making it. It’s usually a $5 payout per cancellation.
  • Other: this section covers miscellaneous reimbursements, cleaning fee and fare corrections.
  • Other payments: these are amounts that you earned from referral bonuses, promotions, guarantees and other incentives.
  • Total: the total amount you will receive on your next direct deposit from Uber.

How to become an Uber driver in NYC

Unlike in other U.S. cities, you need a Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) license to drive an Uber in New York City. That’s the biggest difference between driving with Uber in NYC and doing the same in any other city. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to become an Uber driver in NYC:

Step 1: Apply for a driver’s license

You need a valid driver’s license before driving with Uber in NYC. The license can either be a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or a Class E Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) license. Additionally, Uber requires that drivers be at least 21 years of age. You must also have at least one year of driving experience with a license under your belt. Uber will run a background screening when deciding whether or not to approve your application.

Step 2: Obtain a TLC For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) license

A Taxi and Limousine Commission license is a New York State license that allows you to drive taxis. In addition to rideshare cars like Uber and Lyft, you can use this license to drive other types of taxis. These include yellow and green taxis, black cars, liveries and limousines.

Obtaining a TLC license requires that you take a 24-hour TLC education course. You can also enroll for an online course to give yourself an edge before taking the actual course. You’ll ultimately be tested on your defensive driving skills. You will only be eligible for the license if you pass the course.

Step 3: Book an appointment with the TLC

This is essentially an application to get your TLC license approved. Submit a formal request to the TLC, after which they will send you an email to make an appointment. That appointment is where the TLC will determine if you’re eligible to hold the license. Make sure to gather all the relevant documentation as you prepare for the appointment with the TLC. These include your Social Security Number (and a copy), CDL or DMV license, your online TLC application, certificate showing that you passed your defensive driving course, and $100 application fee.

If the TLC approves your license application, you can start driving with Uber immediately, assuming your car meets Uber’s vehicle requirements for NYC. The main requirements to keep in mind are:

  • The vehicle must be registered with the TLC and have a TLC license plate
  • It must either be a minivan or a 4-door car
  • For regular Uber, the vehicle should be a 2006 model or newer. For UberBlack and UberBlack SUV, your car must be 6 years old or newer.
  • Your car must not have any commercial branding on it.
  • It must be in good condition and have no cosmetic damage.
  • The vehicle should have an emissions inspection done by a NYS DMV facility

In case your vehicle is not eligible, or if you don’t have a vehicle at all, Uber can help you get one. They will charge you a weekly payment in exchange for using the vehicle to earn.

Frequently asked questions about being an Uber driver in NYC

Does Uber pay for gas?

No, Uber does not pay for gas. That’s part of vehicle maintenance cost – along with insurance, license, and repairs – all of which are the driver’s responsibility. However, Uber will reimburse you for tolls. And to lower your cost of operations even further, you can deduct costs when tax time comes around.

What is the best time to do Uber?

Demand for Uber rides always peaks on weekends, which makes Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays the best days to do Uber. More specifically, the busiest times are Friday and Saturday nights between 5 PM and 5 AM, as well as all day on Sundays.

How much do Uber Eats drivers make in NYC?

NYC Uber Eats drivers make approximately $40,059 per year. While this is lower than the national average salary of Uber Eats drivers ($40,176), it’s still considerably higher than the average individual income in NYC ($33,562).

Lyft vs Uber in NYC

According to salary.com, the average Uber driver in NYC makes an annual income of $45,545 while a Lyft driver earns $44,303. Thus, Uber drivers make slightly more than their Lyft counterparts.


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