You may have read one of the many reports regarding how common it is for someone to hold 2 jobs at the same time now.

The cost of living has forced many to work more hours, take on extra overtime, or even seek an additional job or two.

In the UK, it has been reported that around 2/3rds of people feel they have no choice but to work a second job.

And about 36% of Americans already had a side hustle in 2022 or at least planned to get one.

In 2021, the number of US workers with two jobs was considerably lower at 24%.

Unless inflation dramatically lowers, 2023 may see even more individuals seeking extra work.

One job that is accessible to millions is to become a hire-for-reward driver.

Can Driving As A Side Hustle Be Profitable?

There are between 1.5 million and 2 million Uber and Lyft drivers in the US now. However, this figure is hard to completely determine as some drivers work for both ride-sharing companies.

How profitable it can be to drive for payment will depend on certain factors. There are expenses and fees to take into account for example.

Uber drivers pay 25% of all fares they collect, but there are additional payments required by the company that reduce the driver’s cut a little more.

You could of course work independently, but then you wouldn’t have the benefit of a mobile app to take bookings or the big brand reputation behind you.

While you won’t get rich from driving, it is a very feasible way to gain a second income.

It has been reported that Uber drivers make on average over $150 for an 8-hour day. Yet, some research has put the hourly earnings higher at anywhere from $15 to $22.

Out of this though you would need to pay fuel and insurance. Fortunately, insurance providers such as Zego offer tailored protection for ride-share drivers.

What Are The Options For Driving For Extra Cash?

There are a limited number of ways that you can drive as a side hustle, but there are still a few choices that you can select from.

Some of these driving roles may pay more than others. Depending on your region, some types of drivers may be more in demand than others.

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Options for drivers include setting up independently in some way, or these below:

  • Taxi driver
  • Courier
  • Food delivery driver
  • Goods delivery driver
  • Limousine driver
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You could set up some form of delivery service on your own, or build a side gig by doing paid school runs.

But, the easiest way to make extra money from driving will be to work for an established company.

This can be achieved as an independent contractor and will bring some perks, and some perils too.

What Are Some Of The Perils Of Driving For Cash?

It is believed that some 5 million people are driving either part-time or full-time as drivers in the US at this current moment.

Many of these will be independent contractors which means they have fewer benefits, and more concerns than proper employees do. Here are some of the perils that hire-for-reward drivers have.

Car Reliability Is Critical

You may need to buy a new car, and getting the right business vehicle is crucial.

Making a side hustle taxi business is going to require a very reliable car, and if you wish to deliver goods you will need a solid van that can handle extra mileage.

Vehicular breakdowns are at best irritating, but worse, they can be highly expensive to put right at times.

And when you drive to increase your income, any hours spent off the road means you will make less money.

Accidents Can Become More Likely

Driving exposure is a way to measure the likelihood of a car accident happening.

The insurance industry uses such metrics to ascertain how much of a risk a driver may pose and whether they are more or less likely to have an accident.

The more miles you drive, the hours you operate your vehicle in, and the longer your working day, all increase the chances of you having a collision. 

Less Time For You And Your Family

Working extra hours may bring in much-needed cash, but you lose out on valuable time too.

It can be a struggle at times, and you will need to know how to balance two jobs if you are going to continue in both roles.

You May Need To Carry Out Extra Maintenance

Unless you are lucky, your car or van is likely to need repairs and maintenance more regularly if you drive for work.

All that extra mileage will mean parts need replacing more often as they wear out. Tires and brakes in particular are likely to be more frequently replaced.

Fuel Costs May Rise

A major concern for any driver is the price of fuel. However, the end of 2022 saw fuel prices become lower than the same time 12 months earlier due to less demand.

It is predicted that fuel costs may drop in 2023, but if they should rise then this will cut into the money earned by any driver.

Higher Insurance Premiums

Car insurance rose 12.9% year-on-year in 2022, and if you drive for reward then you will need extra protection.

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You cannot use your personal car insurance for any type of work, so you will need to factor in additional costs here.

The Perks Of Driving As A Side Hustle

While there are factors that you need to consider when driving for work, there are fortunately benefits too.

The clearest perk is that you will make extra money even after your expenses. Here are a few more perks of driving as a side gig.

You Could Reduce Your Insurance Costs

While it is right that you will need to alter your insurance policy, this might work in your favor after a while.

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One of the best tips for new taxi drivers is to get the proper insurance. For you, this will either be public or private hire insurance.

You can get protection that covers you for domestic and recreational driving as well as for work-related activity.

And as you need to take out new insurance, this might be time to switch to a usage-based program.

This gives you the chance to pay insurance only when you drive, and if you are a safer driver, you will be issued with cheaper fees.

Can Be Your Own Boss – Almost

You could set up a taxi business on your own, or take bookings through a cab firm. Either way, you will be working in a largely independent manner and working when you want to.

Work The Hours You Want

And that leads on to here. Unless you are under some form of contract, you may be able to choose what hours you work, and how many days.

You Will Develop More Local Knowledge

As you drive around your town or city, you will learn more about it and increase your geographical knowledge.

This is a small side-benefit from driving, but one that could become useful later in a different work role.

What Else Do You Need To Know Before Driving For Payment?

You will need to look into certain legalities when working in this way. A taxi driver working part-time will need to declare earnings and pay taxes.

Licensing may be mandatory depending on your location. And insurance is essential for any driving activity.

If you decide to expand and make your driving into a full-time business you will need employee protection, and gain an understanding of marketing and how to get customers.

Being online for bookings will be vital, and even taxi businesses are on Instagram these days.

Summary

Driving as a side hustle is a perfectly viable option in 2023. Billions of journeys are made by Uber drivers throughout the year, and cab firms often need new contractors.

You can choose the hours that suit you, and bring in some extra money in a period when people are generally struggling.

As long as your car is reliable, you are a good driver, and you have insurance, you should be set to go.