One of the most common topics of conversation in my Uber has got to be….money! I really didn’t expect this when I was starting out but people in Sydney are definitely not backwards about coming forwards – an expression my father is famous for!

To me, asking someone I don’t know about their financial details is rude but, maybe that’s just me! I was born and raised in the Republic of Ireland which has a very definite geographical and historical connection with the United Kingdom. Growing up in Ireland we had 3 main sources of information/entertainment coming through our television sets;

  • One source was home-made and, more often than not, shite! Enough said.
  • Another source was from our friends on the other side of the Atlantic, the good old U.S. of A! This was generally of a better quality and made me dream of life in a leafy American suburb where everyone’s mom stayed at home while dad went to his office in the city. People were friendly and enjoyed frequent trips to diners and drive-in movie theaters, milkshakes and hamburgers. Just think ‘Happy Days’ or ‘The Wonder Years’ (if you’re old enough) and you’ll know what I mean!
  • The third source was from our neighbours in the United Kingdom. Now this, I believe, is where I got the notion of discussing money as being rude. Our friends in the UK are a big influence not only to their neighbours but also right around the world. As such, our tv was full of British documentaries, comedy, science fiction, and so on. One thing which they always enjoyed poking fun at was the notion of ‘old money’. Stuffy old men and women who spoke in a funny way and pranced around large country homes enjoying a spot of golf or polo and loved nothing more than high tea in the drawing-room! These were people who inherited their homes and fortunes and to them – because they didn’t like to discuss the fact that their wealth had come from Mummy and Daddy – discussing money was rude. And somehow this has stuck with me!

However, as this has become such a frequently asked question in my Uber, I will show you exactly how much it cost me to get set up. I did not own a car as I simply didn’t need one. So when I started considering Uber I thought it wasn’t going to be feasible to finance, register and insure a car. Then I found through the Uber website that there are companies who rent cars specifically for people to drive on Uber. Great! This would combine most of my costs into one weekly payment. I also didn’t need to factor the depreciation of the vehicle into my costs as that cost is being carried by the rental company.

So, my first weeks expenses looked like this:

Registration Fee (Rental Company) 275.00
surcharge 5.77
Application for authority card 45.00
surcharge 0.83
Cradle for phone 18.00
Rental fee 307.43
surcharge 6.41
USB Adaptor Plug 13.99
Petrol 50.00

This table is from my own personal records and shows you that the first week of Uber cost me $722.43. But! And this is a very big and important ‘but’! When you drive for Uber you work as a contractor. As a contractor you are essentially self-employed and you contract yourself to Uber. I cannot think of a cheaper way to get yourself set up and ready to start earning money from the first day.

This brings me to the next question – how much do I earn?

(*fake British accent) Oh my gosh! How could you ask such a thing?!