How much do Uber drivers make in New Zealand (NZ)?
It is quite tricky to work out how much Uber drivers make in NZ as there is variability between cities and different drivers based on the type of cars they are using, time of day they work etc. However, after expenses and GST (if applicable) most drivers earn around $25/hour.
Note: Some drivers have been reporting big income drops (25% decline or more) recently (2023) as the NZ economy falters and interest rates rise etc. We believe this may be a temporary /short term decline.
This is based on average earnings (after the Uber fee) of $30-$40 per hour. During special events and weekend nights, drivers sometimes make 25-50% more than that. Full time drivers can expect to make at least $50k/year after expenses, but they may report less than that to IRD using legal deductions such as mileage rates, garaging etc – this is good for tax saving, but not so good when applying for a mortgage etc.
The biggest expenses that drivers will have to pay are:
1. Commercial insurance – this can be a big cost especially for higher value cars. But it’s a must have – see why in our article here.
2. Depreciation – An Uber driver’s car will quickly lose value as it racks up very high km’s and wear and tear. On an average, you can be driving up to 100km to make every $100.
3. Fuel – this has gone up a lot as we all know. Some drivers are moving to electric vehicles, but hybrid cars are the way to go as EV’s still have a very hefty price tag compared to the trusty Prius.
4. Repairs and maintenance
5. ACC levies - As a small business owner, you will pay an ACC Work levy to cover you in the event of an injury. This is a tax-deductible expense.
We love Uber driving but, in our opinion, the shorter fares are far too low. Yes, the fares often get multiplied up to 3.9 times during big events (surge pricing), but those events come with challenges such as very heavy traffic.
Driving in every city is different. The fares do seem to be higher in the regional cities, but there are less trips and shorter trips than drivers may enjoy in Auckland for example. Queenstown drivers enjoy surge pricing on most days while Dunedin drivers enjoy busy weekends.
There are a lot of full-time drivers, but many people enjoy driving part-time. Driving part-time means you can avoid GST registration (Note: stay tuned for GST changes coming in 2024) and work during busy times and events when earnings can be much better. Driving part-time can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. If you’re driving full time, talk to us about GST registration and then decide whether you should go for it.
If you are a driver or thinking of driving, we would love to know your thoughts. Please contact us or like & comment on our Facebook page. Drive safe and have fun 😊