Is Bolt/Uber a Good Investment for Drivers and Car Owners?

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A detailed guide to the costs of operating Uber or Bolt business in SOuth Africa and whether it's a good or bad investment, your choice!

A rare question a lot of drivers and car owners never really ask before investing in the Uber/Bolt businesses.

The only motivating aspect about the whole industry is that you’ll make R8,000 per week but there’s more to it than what meets the eye.

Today I want to help you figure out if Uber/Bolt is a good or bad investment, based on my personal experience.

Let’s get started.

How Much You’ll Make

First, I want to show the good side of operating and running your Bolt or Uber business.

According to each company, you can make up to R8,000 per week driving for Bolt or Uber.

While that is true, in my experience, the highest earnings I’ve ever made per week was R6,995.00.

Have a look at my earnings for Week 2 of June 2021 with Bolt South Africa.

Bolt Driver Earnings

Unfortunately, that’s not your take-home salary as a driver or vehicle owner as there are other expenses involved.

Let me break it down for you quickly.

From the driver earnings you’ll make, both companies will charge a booking fee and commission (%). Bolt charges 20% while Uber is 25% commission.

So I’ve taken home R5,560 driver earnings after all deductions from Bolt.

Not bad, but let’s look at the operating costs of the e-hailing business in South Africa.

Operating Costs & Expenses

To make such earnings as I indicated above, you would have made a lot of trips.

So my petrol costs for that week as about R1,500, perhaps your vehicle consumes less than mine.

However, deduct that amount from the weekly earnings and I’m left with R4,060. And remember it’s a seasonal type of business where toward the end of the month, people aren’t requesting as much as mid-month.

If your vehicle is on finance, you can already imagine how much you would make by end of the month if you’re good with your money.

Insurance and Tracker

Fortunately, my vehicle doesn’t have insurance because, in South Africa, you would need to take business insurance for your car to operate on Uber or Bolt.

I did a quote when I started and it went higher than R3,200. If I were to continue with the insurance, I would be running my business at a loss right now.

I also have a tracker on my vehicle for R210 per month.

Annual Car Service

Your is always on the road and will reach the 15 000 KM milestone quicker than an average car.

My car has already been to service twice in 6 months and has cost me over R6,500. So from your weekly earnings, you would need to consider saving some money aside if you don’t have a service plan.

Your car will also depreciate value so fast that you can’t sell it after 2 years.

Look I don’t mean to influence your decision for joining Uber or Bolt but want to assist you in making a sound decision after all.

Security

As a Uber or Bolt driver, you’re always at risk of being hijacked and robbed as many cases of such are reported daily.

You’ll never know if the client is a criminal or not, so you’re always at the highest risk.

Conclusion

I’m certain you have noticed the number of cars on the roads of South Africa helping people reach destinations and move between cities.

Whether it’s a good or bad investment, surely depends on your feeling and position to make a decision.

Personally, it’s been a good investment for my passive income, not full-time job income. It’s not something I can simply depend on and make a living with it but do not mean to discourage anyone from joining the platforms.