What does 2022 hold for Uber drivers in the UK?
Private hire drivers have had to be very resilient over the last couple of years. So what is this year likely to hold, and what do drivers expect 2022 to bring in terms of earnings and business generally?
We spoke to two Uber drivers to find out.
We started by asking them what the pandemic has been like for them, and their thoughts on what they think business will be like this year and beyond.
Rasheed, Uber driver since 2017
Rasheed is from Nigeria and has lived and worked in Glasgow for over 15 years. Four years ago he decided to go back to university to study nursing, and qualified as a nurse last year.
He drives for Uber when he’s not working as a nurse – he says he prefers doing this to earn extra money rather than working overtime shifts.
He says: “Initially the pandemic was very challenging for me. I ended up taking a break from Uber in September 2020, before coming back in November 2021. At the time I wasn’t working full-time and I relied on Uber to meet my financial obligations.
“It was tough – there were days where I’d be sleeping on the steering wheel and just waking up when the job request popped up. You have to make sure your phone is charged, if only to keep entertained through Netflix! I watched a lot of episodes of Friends and The Big Bang Theory, which is my favourite.
“Since I’ve come back to Uber, when I switch on the app it takes a maximum of two minutes to get a job. I tend to work for about four hours, rather than working until I’ve hit a set income like some drivers. I would say it’s back to normal and actually busier than normal, especially in Glasgow.
“I don’t know if there’ll be more or less riders this year. I’m not someone who forecasts the economy, or a scientist or epidemiologist who can predict what’ll happen next. What I can say though is that I’m enjoying that it’s busy.
“If there isn’t another new wave of the pandemic, no new lockdowns and no restriction on movement, then I think it’s going to get busier.
“Even though this is my alternative job, I do see being an Uber driver as a career. It’s a job I’m proud to be doing.”
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Oliver, Uber driver since 2017
Oliver is from Hungary, and started driving in the Guildford area before moving to the south coast of England where he now works in Chichester.
He says: “Until 2020, I just drove passengers with Uber. But that changed with Covid. Obviously everyone stopped ordering Ubers because no-one was going anywhere. The only work I did was for NHS staff – Uber was the only operator in my area offering discounts through the Uber Medics scheme. So that was good, but there weren’t too many requests.
“I’d previously already signed up with UberEats and Deliveroo, so I started to do food delivery. It was easy to make the change, especially because as an INSHUR customer they covered me for food delivery as well.
“Uber driving had started to get busier in September and October last year, but by the end of the year people got scared again with the Omicron variant. I’ve had some good days, but it’s not as busy as it was.
“I have a friend in London who hasn’t needed to sign up for food delivery work, so it seems like in London there’s always a driving job somewhere. This may be because a lot of drivers have left the UK, whether that’s down to Brexit, Covid or something else.
“The same goes for Chichester – there aren’t as many drivers around as there used to be. It’s not a big town so we all know each other, but I don’t see as many out and about as I used to. Maybe they’ve left the UK, or found another job.
“I’m generally quite optimistic about the future. When I got my new car in March last year I took out a six-year contract, so that shows you how optimistic I am!
“I think this year I should earn at least the same as last year. I always have an earnings goal for every week, and I tend to get plus or minus 5-10% of that.
“During the first lockdown I was scared about the future, but I think now I have a bit more confidence. Now I’ve got more ways to earn, so not just Uber but UberEats, Deliveroo, JustEat and Amazon Flex. My only slight worry is that this year I might have to work a bit more for the same money. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% confident about the future, but maybe 85/90%.”
At INSHUR, we’re here to help you keep earning whatever the future holds as our policies cover all rideshare platforms as well as food deliveries and personal use as standard. For a quick online quote, visit INSHUR today.