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Here’s how I calculate my hourly wage while driving

how do i calculate my hourly wage

shamanx asked July 28, 2015

Dear Greg,

I am a new Lyft driver and I obtained a lot of information from your website that helped me make the decision to start driving for Lyft, so I thank you for that.

One of the things that has been bugging me is, How do I figure out how much I am actually making from this gig? What is my actual wage? I looked on your site for answers and did find the helpful article “Day 4: How Much Money Are You Actually Making As a Rideshare Driver?” but there was nothing specific there on how to calculate the actual amount earned (not including wear and tear on the vehicle, extras like car washes, gum, bottles of water, etc.).

So I came up with my own formula and I will lay it out for you here.

Luckily Lyft provides most of the information needed to calculate the “actual wage” in the daily summary they send to my email. I created a spreadsheet with the following columns: Date, Description (to help me remember the details of the ride), Distance, Extra Distance, Time, Ride $, Tip, Lyft Fee, Earnings, and Driver Mode.

Extra distance was the trickiest thing to figure out. This would be the number of miles traveling to the pickup spot and/or driving back from the destination. In some instances I just calculated this amount with Google Maps. Another way I could have done this is to keep track of my mileage in the car and just subtract the “Distance” traveled as reported by Lyft. In any case my “Extra Distance” was about 30 miles more than the “Distance” of my rides.


is “Ride $” plus “Tip” minus “Lyft Fee.” This total is also given in the daily summary. One thing I noticed right away was that most of my rides did not tip me at all, and the majority of the ones who did only tipped $1-2. I’ve worked at coffee shops before and have seen that some people are quite generous with their tips, and some are just damn cheap. Since my “rating” is a 4.9, I am assuming my low tips are not due to poor service. This is a sort of flaw in the system.

A. Distance: 160.7 miles

(This is the distance of all the rides I have given so far)

B. Extra distance: 193 miles

(This is the distance I have estimated when I travel to pick someone up, or after I drop them off and travel to the next pick-up spot)

C. Time: 468 minutes

(This is the actual time when I am giving passengers a ride)

D. Earnings: $408.72

(This is my ride payment plus tips, minus the Lyft fee of 20% of the ride payment)

E. Time spent in “Driver” mode: 1722 minutes

(This is the amount of time I am “available” to give rides or actually giving rides)

F. My car gets on average 20 miles/gallon

G. Gas costs about $3.00/gallon


1. A+B = 353.7 miles (total miles driven)

2. 353.7 divide 20 mpg = 17.685 gallons

3. 17.685 x $3.00 (G) = Total Cost of gas = $53.06 (H)

4. Earnings (D) minus cost of gas = $355.66 net earnings

5. Net earnings divide time spent in driver mode

Category: Bank

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