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Behind the wheel with an Uber driver

“What’s it like to be an Uber driver?”

Finchley resident Dave S. reckons that if he would earn a quid each time he is asked that, he could have retired long ago. “I always tell people it’s turned my Honda Jazz from a money guzzler into a money maker!” he quips.

After being made redundant in 2019 from his steady cashier job, Dave began the journey towards a career in psychotherapy. But whilst studying towards a master’s in psychology, he still needed some income to help support his family. It was his partner who suggested he try driving for a temporary living.

And so, between 5 am to 9 am every day, Dave is on the road crisscrossing London. “I’m not a morning person,” he confesses, “but those are the best times, when I can charge 50% more. When I need extra cash, I’ll do weekends too, when people are spending time at the pub and can’t drive home.”

Of course, Dave is ultimately doing this to help pay the bills whilst he studies for a long-term career in mental health. But if you chat with him enough, he’ll tell you that it’s more than that. A confessed people’s person, Dave loves interacting with different people. And his Honda’s seats have been occupied by every kind of passenger imaginable, many of whom enjoy a good chat as much as their driver.

“I’ve gotten to hear so many perspectives on so many different subjects,” he says, “it’s fascinating to hear what different people have to say about topics of the day.”

Another plus about driving is the flexibility. “I can decide whether or not to take a job. No boss, no one giving me instructions. I can work, or not work, whenever it fits my schedule.”