Prius for UBER

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Spooled, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Spooled

    Spooled Member

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    Im using my 2011 Four for uber, been going pretty good making decent cash
    plan on doing oil changes at 5000 intervals
    anything else I should consider?
    who else drives for UBER?
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    How much does a driver make?
     
  3. afob3

    afob3 Member

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    They've just started in Knoxville. I have a friend at work that tried it for a few weeks. Seemed fairly lucrative with the sign on bonuses & hourly guarantees they offered to get things off the ground. He realized it wasn't for him fairly quickly. It seems that you would have to do a lot of evenings and deal with carting drunk folks around to make any real cash.
     
  4. hkmb

    hkmb Senior Member

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    How legal is Uber in America? There've been various government moves against it here. I think the government is horrified by the prospect of people paying a reasonable price to get home, and being driven by someone who knows their way around town and can speak English. This would be a terrible thing for the taxi industry.
     
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  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    And bad for government without the taxis licensing fees.:)

    The flipside argument is that an actual taxis will be safer because of something or other. Better maintenance maybe....
     
  6. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    I would look hard at who is held liable if you have an accident, whether smallish or large. It looks like you personally will be shouldering a lot of the liability, and will almost certainly be dropped from your insurance company if you have an accident.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    The only issue I could see with an insurer would be if you're not candid with them regarding your usage, before starting with UBER. They have rates for chauffeurs, cabs, etc.

    If the only way to make decent money with UBER is by misrepresenting your situation to your insurer, then there's a problem with UBER's business.
     
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  8. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    Very few people here in the US are purchasing commercial insurance for Uber/Lyft. Given the slim margins reported by drivers who have actually tracked the costs closely, I doubt you could do so and make any money unless you had that insurance already for a primary business and used it to drive for these services on the side. I would not even bring it up with your personal insurer.

    The fact that you can't make money on these services and adequately protect yourself appears to be exactly true, however it's very much in the vein of the technology industry from which these services came from - these businesses are all used to losing money for years while they get their footing. Usually that's on the backs of their initial investors who hope to make it big if the company takes off. In this case it's also on the backs of the individuals who are driving for them. It's up to those drivers to do their due diligence however.
     
  9. gliderman

    gliderman Active Member

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    Drivers and riders are insured by Uber. Uber drivers have a $1mm Rider with James River Ins. when they are driving, which covers any accidental damage or injury while the vehicle is in use with a rider. When a Uber driver is not carrying a rider, they are not engaged in the activity of driver for hire. So State minimum insurance, or greater, will cover the vehicle owner. When not engaged in driver for hire, the driver is only going to and from work and it is not necessary to have commercial coverage. However, the miles driven during the year might raise your personal insurance rates.
     
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  10. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    I would read the actual driver's forum at Reddit a bit more carefully. There are plenty of accounts from drivers who have actually had accidents being denied coverage.

    This is a recent response there direct from Uber (emphasis my own):

    To translate, this means that if your primary policy is not available (say because they denied coverage and dropped you when you had a claim) Uber will cover your liability up to $1million. Great. Not only are you out of insurance, but you are on your own for collision and personal injury - again, out of pocket because your insurance has dropped you.

    You need to read and understand the insurance terms very carefully. Their million dollar policy is liability only. That's a HUGE gap where you are not covered for collision and personal injury.

    To put it in simpler terms, let's consider a less outrageous case. Your passenger opens up their door into traffic and it's hit by another driver. Nobody is hurt but your door is torn off and the other driver needs a new bumper and headlamp. This could easily be $5k+ in repairs. Who pays for that? You do. Out of pocket. Or you get dropped by your insurance when you report it.
     
  11. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    lol

    It depends on the area. Uber in the UK is just like any private hire company, except they're app based rather than phone/app . They can only operate in the local area they're registered in etc etc. The UK has had this weird anomaly since the 1960's and it works fine. Taxis can pick up via app, phone, hailed in the street or on the rank. Private Hire and Uber can only pick up via local app or phone. They can't be hailed or use a rank. No change in the UK; they're just another company to join the thousands out there. An Uber car MUST be registered as a private hire car and can't just be a normal car. If they don't register then they're operating illegally and subject to criminal action.

    I think the problem arises in areas or countries that don't have that difference. So long as they meet compliance, the police checks, have the correct licences and insurance I don't see what the problem is.

    Reading the comments above it appears the US taxi market is set in the 1930's and needs a boot up it's arse. It's their system that's the problem, not Uber.
     
  12. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    I looked into Lyft when they began operating here as a way to make some extra cash. However, with my background in Risk Management I carefully examined the insurance situation and came to the same conclusion as above. Too much risk for a small potential bump in income.
     
  13. Spooled

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    well im making like 800 a week driving my prius in the city, on saturday I made like $495 after a few tips, for me its a good way to easily convert my time into money and pay for my prius

    I am concerned w wear and tear im doing oil changes at 5000k

    on friday i had a car full of people get in, and had to accelerate uphill, a steep SF hill, I dont think the transaxle liked that very much so from no on im loading w the car horizontal and then going downhill
     
  14. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    That wouldn't be viable here. $800 is £500. I had to make £500 a week to even attempt to break even. There is much more to taxi work than just petrol costs. You have noted the extra wear and tear and service costs and you have got to factor in the replacement cost of a car. Work out your mileage in a year and then work out how many years it takes to get to 200k miles. Divide the cost of the car over those years and you have your replacement cost per year. Now add 50% to that figure for service items, tyres and general wear and tear. Add a little extra for break downs. Make sure you have correct insurance cover as customers are more than happy to try and sue you for the smallest thing and I'm sure that's as expensive in CA as it is here. After all of this you have a living to make for all those hours in a car.

    Good luck.

    ps, Make sure you have a little place to hide your main cash and keep a little float immediately to hand just in case you get mugged and if asked always say you've only just started your shift.
     
  15. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    If you use the Toyota synthetic or other top of the line name brand oil, and do a used oil analysis, I would guess that the analysis would show that your motor oil is good for 10k miles.

    Do a simple transaxle oil change (not flush) every 60k miles.

    Keep the windows up, the AC set to a comfortably cool temperature, and one or two of the AC vents pointed up over your head and towards the HV battery cooling air intake.

    When not in "ready", everything is powered by the undersized 12V battery. Avoid using electricity when not in "ready", and regularly test your 12V battery under load.
     
  16. AussieOwner

    AussieOwner Active Member

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    Grumpy, you have to remember that people like Spooled are only doing this part time, so the extra cash that they make is on top of their normal pay.
    Another minor misunderstanding here. All Uber trips are paid for via electronic payment - no cash involved. What it means is that this makes it very easy for Uber to ensure that they get their cut. What is least said about Uber is how much they are actually making. A recent article was published in one of the NSW Taxi magazines where they did a little comparison between Uber and the taxi industry in Sydney. Basically, the article pointed out that, on an average taxi income, the cost of the network radio fees charged is approximately some 8%. Given all expenses, apart from the radio fees, would be the same for an Uber driver (assuming that they do get the correct insurance that us cabbies have to pay), then the real comparison is how much Uber get. And that is some 20% of the fare. So Spooled's $800 earned means that Uber has also earned $200. Now if you then extrapolate that $200 by the 50,000+ drivers they have all over the US, let alone elsewhere in the world, and Uber is pulling in at least $10 million a week. Just for linking drivers to passengers. And, as said above, it is the driver who is at risk when someone starts to sue.
     
  17. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    And they can 'afford' to do it part time because it's questionable whether they have the correct insurance for a start.

    It obviously highlights the weakness in a particular countries taxi management. I don't think Australia or the UK has much to worry about as there is high regulation. The US seems more 'anything goes' and it appears it does.

    One point in the UK is that ANY vehicle that carries passengers for hire or reward has to be registered and regulated. That includes a hotel offering to collect customers from the airport or a pub offering customers a lift home after a heavy night - even if they make no charge for the actual 'lift'. The fact that the customer has already spent money with them (hotel room or beer) means that there is an element of hire and reward. Sometimes that may seem unfair or punitive but the shenanigans with Uber in the US shows why it's there. Otherwise any old Tom the rapist, Dick the axe murderer or Harry the knife can just set up and have their choice of 'fare'. At least it's an opening for regulated business "we have insurance, all our drivers are police checked" etc.
     
  18. AussieOwner

    AussieOwner Active Member

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    Actually, Uber is pushing very hard here in Australia. Basically they are thumbing their nose at the regulators and pushing the line that they are a social service - which is a load of rubbish as they are only in it for the money. Too bad if they put a lot of lowly paid cabbies out of work. At the moment, they are saying to drivers here in Australia, if the regulators fine you, Uber will pay the fine. Don't know whether that will really happen if the NSW regulators catch some "ride-share" drivers, as the fine is $110,000 for driving a vehicle for hire without being authorised by the government (we do have, like the UK, a high number of hire cars, but like us cabbies, the hire car drivers must still go through police checks, and they do have to be authorised drivers driving specifically registered hire cars, so the insurance is covered, but Uber is pushing for any old Tom, Dick or Harry to be a driver).

    What we are finding, however, is that the regulators do not appear to be very active trying to stop un-authorised drivers and thus Uber can keep pushing their "money for everyone" story, which really means, more money for Uber, while drivers take all the risks.
     
  19. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Just wait until the press get hold of the first rape or sexual assault case from an Uber driver. If they're unregulated it will happen. The opporunity of having lots of drunk women getting into an unregistered car is going to attract the perverts and peados like flies to ****. It only takes a small percenIt's also for you guys to push your Police checks to the public. As drivers we take it for granted but customers don't know about it. There's an insurance company here that advertises elements of their cover in such a way as to make out they thought of idea and the only company offering it, when the reality is that most insurers have been offering it for decades already. Clever marketing. Could your company use "All drivers Police checked" on their website and business cards? If you have to carry higher liability insurance because of a council contract then use that as a selling point too.

    Generally just show these Uber cars as cowboys. Put doubt in your customers minds about the lack of Police checks or correct insurance. If Uber are sailing that close to the wind that they don't care about their customers safety, then that says all you need to know about them as a company. They won't last long with that sort of attitude.

    Women urged to use only clearly licensed cabs after bogus driver rapes 43-year-old in Salford - Manchester Evening News

    Woman raped by illegal minicab driver after late night pick up in Shoreditch says 'horror' will haunt her forever as he is jailed - Crime - News - London Evening Standard

    All our Taxi and Private Hire vehicles must display their licence plate on the sides and rear of the vehicle and display your badge inside the vehicle. Generally to make it obvious it's an official cab. With unmarked Uber cars anyone could pretend to be one of their cars with predictable results.

    NOTE: I'm not saying all Ubre drivers are dodgy. I'm saying that lack of legislation will attract dodgy drivers in addition to enterprising drivers trying to make a living. I just hope they know what they're getting into long term.
     
    #19 GrumpyCabbie, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Mr. Google found a number of incidents alread. I don't know that we'll ever find a fail-safe way to screen the abusers. But I see the UBER drivers being victims too. In some USA cities, there is a physical barrier between the driver and passenger area.

    Bob Wilson
     
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