Why Uber in Singapore is Great!

Source: http://theurbantwist.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/uber.jpg

Here is a post from an old friend, Justin on the topic of Uber.

While I drive about once a week to allow me to spend some time on the road and to structure my life. Justin is a more serious driver and he definitely put the money where his mouth is. I truly salute him for his endurance on the road. I have spoken about the shortcomings on Uber before on my earlier post, and I am glad he remains very positive about driving for Uber despite of its shortcomings.

Below is his Referral Link if you are interested to drive for Uber, just click on it and register with Uber accordingly. You will make SGD$100, and he will make some referral fee and that will help to give him a respite from his endurance driving.

Post from Guest Blogger, Justin Teo

Why Uber in Singapore is Great!

[Pre-qualifications – For people who have a good driving licence, who want to earn extra bucks, who have free time on weekends/weekdays/public holidays, who are doing shift work or not so tough/stressed day job, and who can spare about 4-5 hours each time. Expectations – Flexible work that is better than fast food outlet's pay, and not as good as any SME Company boss's pay.]

While writing this article, I am thinking I am a typical salaried employee of a SME, or an MNC, or a public service job, who is thinking of upping his/her take-home salary in the short run but cannot really do it in this timeline as it is almost impossible giving their current conditions – no opening to up-scale, my boss is my superior, my next performance review is going to be over or over already, etc. However, you can find another way after reading this. Even if you do not go down this route, there is also many other ways of making money in this Apps-driven /Gig economy.

Who is your blogger? Hi, I am Justin Teo, 38 years old. I am invited by my good ole' Army friend, Mr Hoo, to blog about this topic as I have been doing this regularly for the past 8 months already. I have also tried the other private-hire service, Grab in the past 8 months, and I would like to share from my short experience and hopefully to help you to bring in some regular income (albeit not spectacular) to your family and your loved ones, or save for your holidays, or that drone you want to buy.

Why is Uber great? Well, as compared to other flexible jobs, it allows you to put in decent number of hours within your control and make changes even if you have other last minute urgent appointments at little or no costs!

On the contrary, let us look at other temporary jobs, for example, working part time at a convenience or a fast-food outlet, you probably must commit at least couple of months as they will be training you. You will also need to be answerable to your superior, report to the location to work. Thus, it is not as flexible as you think. This is also physically tiring, as most of this work requires you to stand for long hours and commit around 5-8 hrs each time.

With Uber Flex-Club, they only require 4 hours each booking and if you have some last-minute appointment, i.e. Your baby son needs to go to see the doctor, or your aged father requires emergency response, you can make changes 1 hour prior to your booking or cancel your trip. Uber Flex-club or Smove is the platform I have been on for the past 8 months. As I am at a cross-road in my career, I decided this role could help me transit into my new career as well as provide for my existing expenses. Therefore, 3 months after deciding on career change, I am ready to start my new career while doing Uber driving as a side-line!

Now coming to the dollars and cents, I find that Uber used to give very good incentives and fares, however, in recent times, the fares and incentive are not as good as before. Having said that, the amount you can get still hovers around $12-$15/hour. So, putting in about 5 hours a day, 4 days a week (2 weekends, 2 weekdays) you could earn about $300/week (based on $15/hr) or $1,200 a month. For someone who is taking about $4,000 for their 8 hours per day day-job, it is a bump-up of 30% of their pay for the month. All for another 5 hours for 4 days a week. This amount does not require you to work overtime for another 3-4 hours a day for no costs, unlike your day job.
This amount could also finance your $6,000 dream holiday to Europe for your family in just 5 months. (Note that $6,000 is calculated based on multiple of 5 months, 4 weeks, 4 days, 5 hours and $15/hour each time). Why is this not great then?

Some of the other benefits, include possibility of networking, knowing people and getting business idea or sharing your problems with them and sometimes even counselling passengers!  Our forefather, the late-Mr Lee Kuan Yew once said, that “to be successful, nothing could be compared to work of making the lives of your fellow men better. This can bring immense satisfaction”. If you are going into this trade, it will help you make additional income and in the meantime, also help fellow Singaporeans or residents have a better life by fetching them safely and comfortably to their destination, this can be very satisfying.

Ok, enough of the fairy-tales of this trade, since I am into it for 8 months already, I would have seen quite a few 'horror' stories that people might ponder about. I do not really term them - horror cos they certainly did not scare me into stopping to drive for Uber. They are just some inconvenience that you need to put up with. Let me just put it into point forms:

  1. You are more exposed to bad road conditions, i.e. More jams, more lousy drivers, rain and flash-flood conditions, and some pot-holes;
  2. The possibility of nasty passengers (very seldom though as a lot of them know there are many phone cameras around nowadays);
  3. There is a higher possibility of fines for traffic violations like illegal stopping, jumping red-light.
  4. The need to check the car and make sure you report damages to the rental car company before you drive off as you may be responsible for the existing damages not caused by you if you did not report them;
  5. You may need to clean up after some passengers, especially babies or toddlers who dirty your seats;
  6. Massive bird-shit landing onto your car (due to birds feeding on our food-waste), and even the windscreen wipers do not work on them;
Sometimes, all the above will come together in the next 4 hours that you drive!

Considering the above, isn't this scary enough for you to not even consider this and forgo the money altogether?

Well, considering the pros and cons (most of the cons are not controllable), you do not really need to bother about them, just manage them when it comes. The Uber/Smove hotline is also responsive and can answer to your booking and car problems. What you can control is to try to book more trips and cancel or rebook if you cannot make it on that day, and let the money start rolling in!

Uber and part-time driving is brilliant, isn’t it?


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