Typical Uber/Bolt Driver Earnings (South-Africa - 2020)
While South Africa’s economy continues to struggle, there’s increasing more job opportunities that are accessible to more people, and some of the best newer opportunities happen to be food delivery and app-based taxi services.
Below we’ll cover the details on each of the larger cities and a brief touching on the requirements to become a driver and who we think should consider taking such a job or if it isn’t worth the money and hassle.
To summarize though: You can expect to earn (take-home after gas/car expenses) about 10,000 Rand per month in most cities, Johannesburg potentially a bit more. However, if you work over-time (50-60hours/week) you may be able to make up to 35,000 Rand per month if you drive during peak-hours every day including weekends and a bit of regular-paying hours.
What are the Requirements to Drive for Bolt/Taxify or Uber?
Both require relatively newer vehicles, so unless you have a vehicle that’s built within the last 4 or 5 years you’ll have to rent/buy a new vehicle. We assumed you’d have to do this, so if you own a newer vehicle out-right and don’t have payments expect an extra 6000 -> 8000 or so Rand per month in profit to the numbers we mention in this article above and below.
Other than this you’ll just need simple documentation that you can read about on this page of Uber’s website, and be at least 21 years old. Essentially, just have a new car, a clean driving record and criminal history, a smart phone, and be 21 years old or older and you’re good to go. We’d also suggest trying to save up a few thousand Rand to make sure you have enough money to pay for gas until Uber pays you for the riders who paid using credit-cards that week.
Should You Become an Uber or Bolt/Taxify Driver?
This is a nuanced question that obviously depends on the individual, but we’d say it’s not the right job for most type of people. If you want to work as an uber or bolt driver as a “real job” then you aren’t looking at this correctly. There’s much better careers than being a “freelance driver” like uber and bolt offers.
However, if you aren’t looking for a career, but rather just a way to make side-income to help cover your portion of your families living expenses if y’all live together, they’re a great choice.
Alternatively, if you aren’t looking for a little income but to really try to “get ahead” and get yourself some assets/money then working full-time and even over-time on bolt or uber can be a very good idea. If you aren’t willing to work 60 hour weeks and live cheaply then you shouldn’t bother doing this, but for those that are we’d say working like this for a few months to a year with a rental car is a great way to start on a strong-foot as a young man or woman.
How Much Can You Make Being a Driver Around South Africa?
As mentioned before, you can expect to profit around 10,000 in most cities in South Africa, with around 12,000 in Johannesburg if you work a moderate amount of hours (30 -> 40/week) after paying the expenses of gas and a car payment or rental fee.
However, if you work over-time (50-60hours/week) you may be able to make up to 35,000 Rand per month if you drive during peak-hours every day including weekends and a bit of regular-paying hours.
How Can You Increase These Earnings?
There’s not many ways to increase you earnings due to the relatively flat earnings structure of Uber/Taxify/Bolt, you can focus on always driving during peak times/rates but that’s nearly the only way to increase your hourly earnings.
The other main thing we’d recommend is having business cards or similar that you can hand out to high-networth or tourist clients if they want to hire a car for the day or for longer distance trips that they can book with you directly. Usually you won’t get clients, however if you get one you could easily earn 800 -> 1500 Rand in a single day if someone hires you, and without nearly as much stress or labor involved (often simply waiting for the client to finish doing what they wanted at a specific place).
Beyond that there’s nothing more you can really do — you may be offer to offer drinks to buy, however we’d say this isn’t very worth it and if you do it you must not be pushy about it — simply put a sign or pamphlet saying the price of specific drinks you have in the car.