Does Uber Eats Pay For Gas in 2024

Are you curious about driving for Uber Eats and wondering about the costs involved? One crucial question often comes up for those considering this popular food delivery gig: “Does Uber Eats pay for gas?” Understanding this is key, as it can significantly impact your earnings and overall experience as a driver.

In this article, we dive into the nitty-gritty of what it means to be an Uber Eats driver, with a specific focus on the gas expenses.

We’ll explore whether Uber Eats offers any support for these costs, and how this affects drivers who use their vehicles to deliver food. Our aim is to provide clear and comprehensive insights that will help you decide whether driving for Uber Eats is the right side hustle for you.

Let’s get started on uncovering whether this gig can fuel your financial goals or if it might run your budget tank dry.

Does Uber Eats Pay For Gas

As an Uber Eats driver, you’re your own boss. You choose your working hours and where you want to work. But, you also have to handle more responsibilities. For example, you have to pay for your own gas and car maintenance.

You also don’t get the usual benefits that come with regular jobs, like health insurance or paid vacation.

Your pay depends on the number and type of deliveries you make. And yes, you’re responsible for your taxes too.

Even though you have to pay for your own gas (Uber Eats doesn’t reimburse for gas), there are some benefits. As an independent business, you can deduct some of your business costs from your taxes. This includes the miles you drive for deliveries. For 2023, the IRS lets you deduct 65 cents for every mile you drive for work. This helps cover your gas and other car costs.

In March 2022, Uber Eats started paying drivers a gas surcharge from $0.35 to $0.45 per order to combat the rising gas costs. However, this was stopped just two months later. Maybe as this amount was directly borne by the customers, Uber fears losing customers to competitors.

To claim these deductions, keep a log of the miles you drive for Uber Eats. Remember to separate personal travel from work travel in your records. You can also deduct other business expenses, like your phone plan or equipment you need for deliveries, but make sure to keep your receipts.

So, Is Driving for Uber Eats Worth It After Gas?

Driving for Uber Eats means you’re in charge of your schedule and earnings. You can save on taxes by deducting business expenses. But, you’ll need to cover your own gas and vehicle costs, and there are no job benefits. Gas, car costs, and taxes can take anywhere from 30 to 50% of your gross earnings. So, if you are earning $20 per hour, you will be netting only $10 to $14. Consider this as your earnings and not the gross amount you make, then net it against minimum wage or other jobs you can do in that time. So, think about the costs and benefits before deciding if Uber Eats is the right side hustle for you.

How to Increase Your Uber Eats Earnings Keeping

When you’re driving for Uber Eats, you don’t get paid for gas so it’s really important to keep an eye on your money. This means you need to keep track of how much you earn and what you spend, especially on gas and driving distances. Here are some tips and tricks to increase your Uber Eats earnings.

Keep Track of Gas and Miles

Gas is a big expense. How much you spend on it can change how much money you make from each delivery. Uber says that gas usually costs less than 10% of what drivers earn, but it can be different for everyone.

Most drivers report this number to be around ~15%, but it really depends on your car, how you drive, and where you live. Plus, gas prices can go up and down a lot.

It’s smart to write down your gas expenses and the miles you drive so you can use them to pay less in taxes.

The IRS lets you choose between two ways to do this. You can either use a standard rate for each mile you drive (65 cents per mile in 2023), which covers gas and other car costs, or you can write down every single car expense and use that.

Whichever way you pick, make sure you have good records. This will help you save money on taxes and keep you out of trouble with the IRS.

Apps to Help You Track Expenses

Luckily, there are some cool apps that can make it easier to keep track of your driving expenses. Here are a few:

  • Hurdlr: This app is great for gig workers. It automatically keeps track of your miles and money, and even figures out your taxes for you. It’s free, but there’s also a paid version for more features.
  • Stride: This free app helps you track miles, money, and even gives tax tips. It also helps you find affordable health insurance.
  • Shoeboxed: This app lets you scan and organize your receipts and track your miles. It’s free to try, and then you pay a monthly fee to keep using it.

Extra Reading: Does DoorDash track mileage?

Be Smart While Working

You’ll want to make as much money as you can. Here’s how:

  • Work When It’s Busy: Usually, lunchtime during the week and evenings on weekends are best. Uber will show you when and where it’s busy in the app.
  • Look for Special Pay Offers: Uber Eats sometimes has boosts, surges, and quests that can mean extra money. Boosts increase your pay for deliveries in certain areas, surges add extra money when there’s a lot of demand, and quests give you bonuses for completing a set number of deliveries.
  • Pick Your Orders Smartly: Not all orders are worth the same. Think about things like how far you have to drive, what the restaurant and customer are like, and how much the tip might be. Choosing the right orders can save you time and gas, and increase your earnings.

Save Money on Gas

Since Uber Eats drivers have to pay for their own gas, gas costs can really impact how much you earn.

But, there are ways to cut down on gas costs and earn more for each mile you drive. Here are some easy tips:

  1. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated: If your tires aren’t inflated right, you can use more gas. Check them every month and pump them up to the level your car manual suggests. Doing this can improve your gas mileage by up to 3%.
  2. Use Cruise Control: Using cruise control on flat roads helps keep your speed steady, which can save gas. But don’t use it on hilly roads, as it can actually use more fuel.
  3. Don’t Idle Too Much: Leaving your engine running while parked can waste gas. If you’re going to be stopped for more than a few seconds, like waiting for an order, turn off your engine.
  4. Drive at a Steady Speed: Driving too fast or too slow can both lower your gas mileage. Try to stick to a moderate speed, around 40-60 mph, for the best fuel efficiency.
  5. Choose When You Drive: Driving during busy times like lunch or dinner can get you more orders and tips. But, you might also get stuck in traffic, which can use more gas. Try different times and see what works best for you.
  6. Think About Your Vehicle: If you’re thinking of getting a new car, consider a fuel-efficient one like a hybrid or electric car. They can save you a lot of money on gas.
  7. Use Gas Apps or Credit Cards: Apps like GasBuddy or credit cards with gas rewards can help you find cheaper gas or earn money back when you fill up.

Listening to other Uber Eats drivers can give you great tips. Here’s what some say on Reddit:

  • “I made $310 on Sunday and $224 on Monday, choosing short trips during rush hours with quick restaurant service. But I doubt anyone can really deliver for 18 hours straight on Uber Eats.”
  • “I make about $1600 a week. I work two shifts a day, from 11 AM to 3 PM and then 5 PM to 9 or 10 PM, five days a week.”

Extra Reading: Does Instacart reimburse the gas costs?

Using Bikes or E-Bikes

Bikes and e-bikes don’t need gas and don’t pollute the air. They’re a cheaper and eco-friendlier choice. Riding a bike or e-bike saves on fuel costs, helps the environment, and is great for your health.

Studies show that if you swap your car for a bike even once a day, you can cut down a lot on pollution. Cycling also has lots of health perks like better heart health and stronger muscles. Plus, it’s good for your mind.

Some Uber Eats drivers share their experiences:

  • A Reddit user says: “I love delivering on my e-bike. It’s fun, fast, and good exercise. I don’t have to worry about parking, traffic, or gas. I can make around $20-$25 an hour on a good day.”
  • Another person on Quora writes: “Switching to an e-bike was the best decision. I save money and feel healthier. Customers like it too because it’s eco-friendly.”

But delivering with bikes has challenges like weather and safety. Make sure you have the right gear like a helmet and a raincoat.

Extra Reading: Does DoorDash pay for gas?

Considering Gas and Car Costs is Driving for Uber Eats Worth It In the Long Run

When considering the long-term prospects of driving for Uber Eats, taking into account the costs of gas and vehicle maintenance, it becomes clear that this role can be a valuable side hustle for many, boosting their regular earnings.

The flexibility and potential for good earnings during peak hours and in high-demand areas make it a suitable option for those looking to supplement their income.

However, it’s important to remember that as independent contractors, Uber Eats drivers bear the cost of their own gas and vehicle upkeep, which can impact overall profitability.

Earnings among Uber Eats drivers can vary. Most drivers report making %15 to $18 per hour, while others earn over $25 per hour. Yet, these figures often don’t include the out-of-pocket gas expenses.

Utilizing the IRS’s standard mileage rate, which is 65 cents per mile for 2023, can help in estimating these costs, encompassing gas, car maintenance, and insurance.

Regular vehicle maintenance is essential to reducing wear and tear, especially when driving frequently. Smooth driving, avoiding rough terrain, and keeping the car in good condition are crucial practices.

For those seeking to maximize earnings, strategic planning is key.

Focusing on busy hours and areas with high demand can lead to increased earnings without excessive driving. Additionally, multi-apping, where drivers utilize several gig apps concurrently, allows for the selection of the most profitable deliveries, enhancing earning potential and efficiency.

It’s not just about working more hours; it’s about working smarter.

Uber Eats can be a lucrative side hustle for most people, offering the flexibility to earn extra income on their own schedule.

With the right strategies, such as taking advantage of peak hours, being selective with orders, and multi-apping, drivers can enhance their earnings while managing the costs associated with gas and vehicle maintenance. For a few, with effective planning and execution, this can even evolve into a long-term, sustainable career path.

Extra Reading: How to make $1000 a week with Uber Eats?

Final Words

Driving for Uber Eats can definitely be a worthwhile job, but it’s all about being smart with how you manage your work and expenses. While Uber Eats won’t pay for your gas or car costs, you can still turn this gig into something profitable.

The trick is to be clever about how you do your deliveries. If you pick the right orders, use a car that doesn’t guzzle gas, and plan your routes well, you can make good money without spending too much.

Also, keeping your car in great shape, choosing your working hours carefully, and connecting with other drivers for tips and support can really help boost what you earn and make the job more enjoyable.

In the end, being successful with Uber Eats is all about planning wisely, keeping an eye on your costs, and being adaptable, as the world of gig work can always change.

Whether you’re looking at this as your main job or just as a way to make some extra cash, understanding these points is key to making it work for you in the long run.

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