Millennials Love Using Uber, But Seniors are the Ones Driving
According to one survey, over half of Uber drivers are ages 61 and above. Turns out that driving for a rideshare app can be a great way for retirees to earn some extra income—and fill their spare time!
When Uber started in 2009, you could be forgiven for thinking they would burn bright and then flame out. Going up against the taxicab industry was not a fight that any sensible person would want to pick. Of course, as we now know, Uber founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick was not a “sensible” guy—for better and for worse.
Nine years later, Uber is still a highly controversial endeavor—pick almost any corporate sin out of a hat and they’ve probably committed it—but the company’s record of success has been undeniable.
That success has been built on two groups of people: their dedicated customer base and their fleet of drivers. What you might not know is that those two groups sit at fairly opposite ends of the age spectrum. Because while using rideshare apps has become second nature to many millennials, especially those who live in large urban areas, the folks who are driving those millennials around skew much, much older.
And it’s not just about economics either. While we live in a country where over 60 percent of the population doesn’t have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency, and lots of folks can’t look forward to a smooth post-retirement life, many people drive for Uber because, well, they enjoy doing it!
Earning extra money after you’ve retired is a great way to stretch your budget even further, but finding something to fill the hours can be just as important.
Survey Says: The majority of Uber drivers are seniors.
The fact that many Uber drivers are older makes a lot of sense when you think about it. One of the benefits of driving for a ridesharing company is that you can set your own schedule. When you’re already working a full-time 9-5 job, you are limited in the times that you can drive—not to mention the fact that your normal gig has likely left you pretty bushed. People who are retired or semi-retired, on the other hand, have much more free time, which makes ridesharing a good fit.
Still, it is somewhat astounding just how many older folks drive for Uber. According to a 2017 survey from industry expert Harry Campbell—better known as The Rideshare Guy—54 percent of Uber drivers are 61 or older. And if you count drivers who are 41 or older, that number rises to a whopping 77.5 percent.
That same survey found that older drivers typically earn less than their younger counterparts, but other indicators suggest that probably isn’t cause for alarm. This article from CNBC points out that lower earnings are likely due to less worry amongst older drivers about maximizing profits. When you are doing something for fun and for a bit of supplemental income, there aren’t the same pressures to squeeze out every possible dollar.
And how much do drivers earn through Uber? Well, figuring out the actual numbers can be quite complicated. Campbell found that drivers aged 61 or older earned an average of $14.57/hr, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Since Uber drivers are contractors who provide their own vehicles and pay for their own gas and insurance, those are dollar figures that one might want to factor in as well—especially gas. According to one estimate, the average Uber driver earns around $364 per month.
If you want to drive for Uber, here’s what you need.
We don’t know if we can recommend driving for Uber as a full-time job, but for seniors looking to earn some extra cash and burn some free time, driving for a rideshare app could be just the ticket.
Of course, not everyone is going to be eligible to drive for Uber. Here are the requirements listed on their website:
Anybody can drive with Uber, although there are a few minimum requirements:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (3 years if you are under 23 years old)
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Use an eligible 4-door vehicle
Before hitting the road, share the following documentation:
- A valid U.S. driver’s license
- Proof of vehicle insurance
- A driver profile photo
- Must be a forward-facing, centered photo including the driver’s full face and top of shoulders, with no sunglasses
- Must be a photo only of the driver with no other subject in the frame, well-lit, and in focus. It cannot be a driver’s license photo or other printed photograph
After signing up, take a few minutes to start a screening online. It’ll review your driving record and criminal history.
Earning extra money as a senior can be tough, as can finding a way to fill the extra hours. If you aren’t careful with your finances, you could end up relying on sketchy no credit check loans like payday loans, title loans, and cash advances just to get by.
And while Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare apps don’t offer perfect solutions to this dilemma, they can still be a much better gig than having to stand for eight hours a day as a Walmart greeter. Who knows, you might end up loving it!
To learn more about earning extra income, check out these related posts and articles from OppLoans:
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