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Your Uber driver might be sleeping in his car at night, report reveals

Why it matters to you

If the prospect of being a full-time rideshare driver so you can be your own boss is appealing, ask yourself if you'd be willing to sleep in your car.

When you follow the money living isn’t always easy. Some Uber drivers who travel to distant cities where fares are better than in their hometowns regularly sleep in their cars, according to Bloomberg.

People who drive for Uber as a side gig account for the majority of drivers. Uber states that more than 60 percent of its drivers work less than 10 hours per week. While there are no public figures of the proportion of drivers classified as full time, defined as those who work more than 35 hours per week, Uber confirmed for Bloomberg that the full-time contractor group provides about half of the Uber rides and brings in about half of the company’s revenue.

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Drivers who work for Uber less than 35 hours a week may be taking full advantage of the company’s flexible policy that allows drivers to work where, when, and the hours they choose. Those part-timers can adjust their work hours around other jobs and their own lifestyle. The reverse is often the case for those seeking to make rideshare driving their full-time occupation and sole source of income, however, and they need to adjust their lifestyles to fit the work.

Drivers for rideshare companies who make it a full-time business and stick with it learn how to maximize their incomes, or they don’t stay. Being a smarter driver involves not just how knowing many hours to work, but which hours of the day and which days of the week are most profitable. The other lesson successful drivers learn quickly is where to drive to get calls for the best fares.

According to Bloomberg, most full-time Uber drivers work close to home. However, those who decide to drive to areas where they can get higher-paying fares sometimes make the decision not to drive back home at the end of their workday. Most often, when drivers travel to wealthier areas to drive, the cost of paying for lodging would negate the greater revenue they traveled to earn. Some do make the long drive home. For other drivers, though, the alternative is to find a place to stay the night that won’t be too costly.

Sometimes drivers stay in hostels where bunks are inexpensive, or share low-cost hotel rooms with other drivers, but the least expensive option is to just sleep in their cars. Bloomberg reports that drivers share information about good places to park where they’ll be safe and won’t be hassled by security guards. Often drivers will find parking lots near supermarkets, convenience stores, or airports where groups of drivers park their cars for the safety and social aspects of numbers.