How I’m Going To Earn less by spending more, feel exploited? – How is Uber failing in Sri Lanka

Modern day innovations make life easy and offers new opportunities. There are applications that revolutionized transportation industry. Now there are applications that work on both Desktops and mobiles that makes getting a ride as easy and fast as the snap a finger.

Recently, with the holiday season ending with more leave in hand, I decided to start Uber Driving full time. The application is clean and easy to use and makes driving comfortable. At the start this may seem like an lucrative opportunity to make an extra income but not the ideal for a full time job.

If you are driving part time this can be cost effective because you can get a rider that’s headed towards your destination and cover the fuel cost while having a decent conversation if the rider is willing.

I have been driving for 2 days now packing up 10 hours a day completing 10 to 15 trips a day including long-distance hires.On Day 1 I had driven for 9h 58m completing 15 trips with a distance of 193Km (Including distance driven to Pickup) for LKR 4,814.99 (USD 24.76 – Todays Exchange rate 194.45)

DAY 1: Fuel Consumption analysis

Vehicle Type: Honda Fit Hybrid/Petrol

Fueel Type: 95 Octane

Price per Liter: LKR 161(USD 0.83)

On a Honda Fit 1 Liter does 20Km driven under 40Kmph

On April 19th, 2021 I have done 193Km utilizing 9.65 Liters of Fuel which amounts to (9.65l X 161LKR) LKR 1,553.65

DAY 1: Trip Earning Analysis

Total Earning for the day = LKR 4,814.99
Uber 25% Commission = LKR 1,203.75
Driver Total Earning = LLKR 3,611.24
Fuel Consumption cost = LKR 1,553.65
Driver Earning – Fuel Cost (LKR 3,611.24 – LKR 1,553.65) = LKR 2,057.59


15 Trips with Uber
193KM Driven with Uber

On Day 2 I had driven for 10h 9m completing 9 trips with a distance of 190Km (Including distance driven to Pickup) for LKR 5,064.75 (USD 26.05 – Todays Exchange rate 194.45)

DAY 2: Fuel Consumption analysis

On April 20th, 2021 I have done 190Km utilizing 9.5 Liters of Fuel which amounts to (9.5l X 161LKR) LKR 1,529.50

DAY 2: Trip Earning Analysis

Total Earning for the day = LKR 5,064.75
Uber 25% Commission = LKR 1,266.19
Driver Total Earning = LLKR 3,798.56
Fuel Consumption cost = LKR 1,529.50
Driver Earning – Fuel Cost (LKR 3,798.56 – LKR 1,526.50) = LKR 2,272.06

Well if you followed me so far you know you can earn somewhere around LKR 2500 for a 10hour drive with Uber. If you feel that’s something better than nothing. Guess what this has not considered the wear and tear. The more you drive the sooner you need to do the standard oil changes and service.

So if you put this in perspective the standard employee salary is made for 27 days. SO an Uber driver is earning approximately LKR 67,500

The car service is either done in every 5000Km or 7000Km. If you’re doing approximately 200Km a day, you will hit 5000Km in 25 days well that’s every month if you take it. So you better allocate LKR 10,000 to LKR 20,000 for the monthly service.

I do the oil changes and the basic service for LKR 15,000 (In a place like Hybrid Hub it will be around LKR 30,000)

If I’m to allocate money for the service I’m left with (67,500-15,000) LKR 52,500 (USD 270) as the total earning for the month. That’s approximately LKR 1,945/- a day. You can survive with this but if you have a vehicle lease on top of this you are on your way to the gallows.

You are putting mileage on the meter while you are driving. So if it’s your own vehicle even you wont get the market price for a vehicle with a heavy mileage.

Uber is not for everybody! This is how I’m Going To Earn less by spending more time on Uber with an irrational 25% commission and rewards system it’s a hard deal. If you have no other way you will have to deal with it but if you have a lease this is best done as a part-time job and with the pandemic more and more full time drivers are moving out of it in to other industries.

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