Uber is always trying to make their service better for the consumer. In order to do this they need to attract more drivers to be on the road.
There are times where demand for rides will be extremely high.
For example, When there’s a large event going on like the Superbowl that will be hosted in Santa Clara, California in 2 weeks or during holidays like New Years or July 4th.
As well as other times where Uber will lower prices to attract more customers.
In order to attract more drivers to be on the road Uber will send out emails about guaranteed hours to get you online during certain times.
There seems to be in question about how this all works and if it’s truly beneficial for the driver.
Today, I’m going to briefly explain to you about what the Uber driver guaranteed hours are and how it works.
What Does Guaranteed Hours Mean?
It means exactly what it sounds like it means. To attract more drivers during large events and price cuts Uber offers a guaranteed hourly pay rate.
A few months ago there was an event that Uber wanted a vast amount of drivers for and was offering $40/ hour in gross fares to make sure riders could get reliable transportation.
Below is the email Uber sent me for the event.
As you can see by the email above during certain hours, if I chose to drive, I would’ve been getting paid minimum $40 an hour.
But, there’s a catch. And not everyone realizes this right away.
The $40 an hour isn’t what you’ll actually be getting. Gross fares means what the passenger is paying.
So in reality, if say Uber is taking 25% of the fares, you’ll actually being guaranteed $30 an hour after Uber takes their share of the fare.
That’s still good money, but a lot of people will read it wrong and expect more than Uber actually gives them.
So, for example, if you only took $30 in gross fares for the hour Uber would pay the difference which would’ve been $10 extra in this scenario.
Hourly Guarantee Requirements
Uber can’t just throw out guarantees without having some guidelines to how you can achieve those guarantees. Every time Uber does these promotions for the drivers the requirements can change a little bit.
In the above example you can see in order to qualify for this event you would have had to:
- Opt-in by telling Uber you plan on driving.
- Been online for at least 5 out of the 13 hours listed above.
- Average 1.5 rides an hour
- Accept 90% of the ride requests
- Start at least 85% of the trips in San Francisco
- Actually received the email directly from Uber
It’s not too difficult to qualify for the hourly guarantee as long as you follow the guidelines Uber gives you.
I know not everyone likes this because nobody signed up for Uber to work for an hourly pay, but sometimes you have to play their game or you’ll not make as much money.
How To Meet The Requirements
Sticking with the same example above the requirements are pretty straightforward. However, Uber averages everything out.
For example, If you worked 6 hours during the peak times Uber named, you would have to take a total of 9 trips to average the 1.5 rides per hour.
So, if you took only 1 ride every hour the first 5 hours and then 4 rides the last hour you would still qualify for the bonus because you averaged out the 1.5 rides.
Same thing with the 90% acceptance rate. As long as you average the 90% over the 6 hours you will qualify for all the hours you worked.
So, if you take 20 trips and don’t accept 2 in a row during one hour that’s fine because you still average out higher than the 90% overall.
Make sure if a friend tells you about a guarantee that you double check your email before you assume you’re going to get it too.
Uber doesn’t always send the email to everyone and if you aren’t on the list you would have worked for nothing.
While the requirements vary each time, this should give you a basic idea on how to meet the requirements.
The Bad About Uber’s Hourly Guarantee
While it can sound nice to get paid even if there isn’t a driver in the car you need to think about a few things before you decide to jump on board with this.
1.) During times of hourly guarantees, the areas that you have to be in typically become over saturated with drivers. You’re not the only one trying to claim these hours.
2.) While we all love Surge pricing as a driver, It’s not like an added bonus during hourly guarantees. It will count as part of the gross fares during the promotion.
3.) Not everyone likes accepting rides that are a 15 minute drive from you because this could be somebody that you pick up only to drive around the block, but if you don’t accept these rides you’ll probably end up not qualifying for the guarantee.
4.) Over saturation means less rides to pick up. 1.5 rides isn’t hard even when it’s over saturated, but just keep this in mind.
How People Increase Their Pay For The Guarantee
Not everyone likes these guarantees because it makes you feel like you gotta hustle more. Because of this feeling, a lot of Uber drivers have come up with ways to “gaming” the system.
Your goal during these hourly guarantees is usually to just meet the requirements and not do much more.
The less you drive during these times the more you make because then you aren’t putting more money in the tank or adding dollars to the wear and tear, but you’re still getting paid the guarantee.
One way people do this is by starting in a busy area so they can pick up lot of rides to knockout the required rides per hour. After doing this people will move to a little to no demand area so they aren’t getting so much requests.
Since the rides are averaged out over all the hours you work. If you take 10 rides in the first 2 hours and then no rides the next 3 hours you’re still averaging 2 rides an hour to Uber.
This means you’ll qualify for the guarantee during the 5 hours you worked even though you didn’t take any rides the last 3 hours.
No gas spent during those hours.
No wear and tear.
Just straight cash while you hide in your favorite diner.
This means more money in your pocket while everyone else is hustling around town trying to meet their requirements.
Some people hate Uber’s guaranteed hours because they feel like an employee when this happens while other people seem to like them because they know they’re getting paid.
Honestly, it all depends on the market you are driving in. A place like San Francisco sometimes I’m already making more than the guarantee without it and then the market becomes saturated because of the added drivers.
But other times if you’re in the suburbs you could be making more money with the guarantee. Every experience is different. You just need to test it out for yourself to really know if it works well for you.
Just one extra tip to add. I have heard the drivers that come out right after the guaranteed hours are over sometimes are the ones that hit the gold mine because all the other drivers went home after logging in their hours. just a thought…
Have you tested out the guaranteed hours yourself? What are your strategies? Is the pay worth it to you?