I was talking to a friend who had recently fallen on hard times, and had come to me for advice. Earlier this year, his wife passed away in childbirth leaving behind 3 young children. He has been struggling financially since then, and although well educated, he hadn’t been able to get a steady stream of income. He told me that he just wanted a venture which could just help him get back on his feet and back into his car business. After some consideration, I suggested to him the option of driving an Uber taxi in Lagos, which he seemed quite welcome to.
What is Uber?
Uber is a technologically-driven taxi company which helps customers hail comfortable taxis from anywhere, using just a smartphone application. The customer downloads the Uber app on his/her phone and when a taxi is required, just pushes a button to request one. Using a special algorithm, the app then matches the customer to the nearest pre-verified taxi and provides a fare estimate. The app also automatically charges the customers registered card and the driver also gets paid directly into his bank account weekly, so no cash ever needs to be exchanged. After the ride, the customer receives a fare breakdown by e-mail.
How people make money through Uber
Uber provides just the software to connect drivers with riders, and so the company doesn’t own any vehicles. This is where partnership comes in. People make money on the Uber platform by driving their cars themselves and picking up Uber customers, or putting a fleet of cars on the Uber network and hiring drivers to drive them. The easiest and most affordable way to do it is to drive for yourself on Uber.
It is a great earning opportunity as you as a driver are self-employed and as such,you have complete control over what hours you work. You can adjust your availability to suit you, and the company only sends you customers during your available hours. There is also no need to haggle prices with customers as fare prices are determined by the app, and are automatically calculated based on the distance and time. Uber takes a 20% commission and credits your bank account at the end of each week or month with your earnings. One driver confirmed guaranteed bookings of a minimum of 7 jobs each day, but an actual outcome of about 14 jobs by the end of the day. Assuming an average fare of ₦1,500 per ride, this translates to ₦100,800 per week (after commissions) for a driver working 6 days a week. While this is a “guesstimate”, the driver I spoke to reported earnings of about ₦110,000 weekly after commissions. He reported a monthly net income of between ₦240,000 and ₦260,000 after paying approximately ₦112,000 monthly for petrol and ₦60,000 monthly for insurance and maintenance expenses. Obviously, non-owner drivers should expect a lower net income after car rental/leasing costs.
[Update August 2016: The earnings reported below were reported around October 2015 with one of the first set of partners. A net profit of ₦100,000 to ₦200,000 is more realistic around now)
You will be able to access full payment statements in your driver area which looks like this:
How do I register as an Uber partner in Lagos?
You can register on the Uber network as:
a.) A driver with no access to a vehicle
b.) A vehicle owner who wants to drive
c.) A vehicle owner planning to employ someone to drive
If you are registering with a vehicle as b or c, you will need a scanned copy of the following documents:
- A 2006 or newer car in very good condition, which Uber will require that you bring in for an inspection.
- Your drivers license (for ID purposes)
- Your third-party vehicle insurance certificate
- Your vehicle inspection clearance papers (Book a test here)
You will then need to register online as a partner using this link, and then select what category you fall into.
You then get access to a profile. In your profile, you will need to set up payment details where Uber can send payment to you weekly. You can do this by going to https://vault.uber.com where you login using the same details you used to register.
Information you will need to have available:
- Your name as it appears on the account
- Your account number
- Swift code of your bank branch. (If you don’t know your swift code, just ask the next time you’re at the branch)
- Tax Identification Number
- Bank code
If you are hiring drivers to drive for you, you will need to go to your Uber dashboard, click on “Add a Driver”
Here are the items you will need:
- Drivers Licence: this can be obtained from the FRSC.
- Lagos state drivers institute ID card: this can be obtained from the Lagos State Drivers Institute.
- Background check: this is carried out after the driver has been accepted and has completed the training. It costs ₦20,000 but can be paid in 5 instalments of ₦4,000 each. It is a check Uber carries out with the police, which demonstrates that you have no criminal convictions or charges against your name, and is for the safety of passengers.
- If the driver is not the vehicle owner, you will also need a contract agreement between the driver and the owner.
Registering your vehicle only
Here are the items you will need
- Vehicle Licence
- Certificate of roadworthiness (You can get this from the FRSC)
- Tint permit if your windows are tinted.
- Proof of ownership
- Comprehensive Insurance. We compared insuring a 2009 Toyota Camry worth N2.9m across 10 Nigerian insurers and we got quotes ranging from N62,500 to N150,000 annually. You can find the full results of our research here.
- Certificate of Incorporation. You are self-employed and not an employee of Uber, so you will need to register a company for this purpose.
- You will need to be comfortable using a smart phone with GPS in addition to your local knowledge of Lagos. You can either bring your own smartphone (iPhone 4s or newer/Samsng S3 or newer) or Uber provides you with a Samsung Galaxy S5 mini for a ₦50,000 deposit (or 5 instalments of ₦10,000). Uber will also deduct ₦1500 per week for data on the Etisalat network.
The entire process takes about 2 weeks, and here are some additional resources to help in your enquiry:
To register with Uber: http://www.ubernigeria.com/get-started
To book a vehicle inspection, visit: http://www.meetme.so/uberlagos
To book a driver training, visit: http://www.meetme.so/lagosonboarding
To lease a vehicle in Lagos: http://fleetpartners.ng, http://www.c-ileasing.com, http://firstchoiceleasingltd.com, https://www.avis.com/car-rental/location/AFR/NG/Lagos
[Insurance Deal] A 2008 Toyota valued at N1.5m for example would cost around N52,500 to insure annually. This would include free excess buyback, meaning that in the event of an accident, the vehicle is repaired by the company and at no cost to you. To get this offer, please contact Ms. Irente: 08080353662