Best Cars for UberX Drivers

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Reports were previously published showing that UberX drivers in New York City can earn as much as $90,000/year (UberX drivers earn $90,000/year). While an article from Forbes is not entirely convinced (Forbes on UberX drivers pay) about this, we still believe you can make a decent living as an UberX driver as long as you have the right car for the job.

The best cars that could give you the best income short-term and long-term are the ones that have the following characteristics:

1. Low cost vehicles upfront – we don’t want to spend cash on upscale cars that are still tagged UberX like a Range Rover L2 while base pay will be at the lowest end of the ride sharing pay scale. You might get a lot of praise for customers but this doesn’t make sense financially.

2. Low cost maintenance vehicles – the vehicle will accumulate a lot of miles and the cycle for maintenance is going to be faster, we would need a vehicle that can are low maintenance, parts readily available and can be serviced by dealers and independent contractors.

3. High mileage per mpg – this is no brainer, whether there is a surge or not, base pay flactuate and changes, you are going to be secured in the knowledge that your high mileage vehicle will still deliver the highest earnings compared to the rest of the UberX vehicles./

4. High mileage reliability – you would at least need a car that will be reliable for 200,000 miles with minimal problems.

5. Cars accepted in NYC – New York City has the least number of vehicle models accepted in UberX. Lower end models like Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla are not accepted here. Even if your vehicle is accepted in your current city, that might change especially if you plan to drive the vehicle for 7-10 years. While a lot of things can change and 7 years is a long time, you might still want to consider this. Who knows, you might want to move and drive in New York City where pay can be as high as $90,000/year as reported.

6. Vehicle passenger and driver comfort not sacrificed because of low cost characteristics – while we all want low cost vehicles, we still need a car that is comfortable to drive and comfortable for your customer. You will be staying on your car for 40-60 hours a week, comfortable one a must.

Out of the characteristics above we have drilled down five factors and their importance in choosing the right car for UberX, note that all the cars listed are all accepted in NYC:

1. Miles – we factored combined miles (city & highway) as 35% for our decision making. The combined miles of the car has the biggest factor in our decision making as this is the currency of how much we are going to make in every road trip. The more miles per gallon the better for us.

2. Cost of Ownership – we factored cost of ownership for the span of five years (based on Edmunds value rating) as 30% for our decision making. Cost of ownership similar to miles is another currency that will make or break our income earnings as such we have placed this as the second most important factor. The values used were derived from data on Edmunds site where they are using a number of factors to determine the total cost of ownership.

3. Price – we factored price as 25% for our decision making. Price of the car is the third most important thing as this is the upfront cost we are to make alongside the proportionate value in insurance, registration and tax.

4. Passenger Volume – we factored passenger volume as 6% for our decision making. Our passengers and drivers need to fit comfortably and we are giving this is the fourth most important factor. Being fourth most important doesn’t mean we are neglecting our passengers, it is just that volume space for passengers is almost the same across any standard sedan cars, putting more percentage value doesn’t make sense.

5. Cargo Space – we factored trunk space volume as 4% for our decision making. Passengers and drivers alike needs to be able to put luggage or items as necessary, but since cargo transport is not the main requirement this gets the least priority in our importance rating.

Here are the best cars for UberX Drivers:

1. Toyota Prius – starting at $24,200 this is one of the middle priced vehicles in our list, however, this has one of the lowest cost of ownership which also happens to be one of the most reliable vehicles effectively ranking at the top of those that easily reaches 200,000 miles with little issues. This vehicle returns an impressive 51 mpg for city driving and 28 mpg for highway driving. As an uber driving you would be driving unpredictably both in cities and highway and the differences in the mpg it returns is minimal that whatever customer and road you are driving to has little impact to your earnings. The downside on this is that it has the least passenger space, but surprisingly it has enough cargo volume for passenger luggage.

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Shoptipper’s Toyota Prius ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 1

Rank in Miles: 2

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 2

Rank in Price: 7

Rank in Passenger Volume: 13

Rank in Cargo Space: 3

2. Ford C-Max Hybrid – starting at $24,170 this is priced at the middle of our list and is a solid choice against the number one prius. This has the lowest cost of ownership expected from one of the classic American car companies. This vehicle returns a decent 42 mpg for city driving and 37 mpg for highway driving. Like the prius, passenger volume capacity is below average however it makes up for cargo space. Ford is among the more reliable car companies and being expected as a utility vehicle, a lot of these can put on hundreds of thousands of miles with little issue. You wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of C-Max hybrid as taxi cabs because of this.

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Shoptipper’s Ford C-Max Hybrid ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 2

Rank in Miles: 7

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 1

Rank in Price: 6

Rank in Passenger Volume: 8

Rank in Cargo Space: 2

3. Nissan Altima – starting at $22,300 this is one of the lower priced vehicles with also very good cost of ownership ranked at number 3. The combined miles however lags behind as it returns 27 mpg for city driving and 38 mpg for highway driving. Surprisingly the Nissan Altima ranked number 3 overall with a combination of good price, low cost of ownership and average miles. As an uber driver you may be one of the few that would drive a Nissan Altima and as such you may be a able to build a regular customer base servicing in a not so common ride sharing vehicle. I am skeptical however as Nissan is not known to be at the top of reliability that easily clears a couple hundred thousand miles with little issues. One good thing however is that you can easily buy a used Nissan Altima with low mileage in under $16,000 and should be able to perform and bring good money in the next 4-6 years.

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Shoptipper’s Nissan Altima ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 3

Rank in Miles: 9

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 3

Rank in Price: 5

Rank in Passenger Volume: 7

Rank in Cargo Space: 8

4. Honda Accord Hybrid – starting at $29,305 this is one of the most expensive priced vehicles with average true cost of ownership ranked at number 6. The combined miles however is impressive as it returns 50 mpg for city driving and 45 mpg for highway driving. Like the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord is another hidden gem ranking 4th overall. Despite this car being one of the most expensive, it is in the middle for true cost of ownership and is one of the highest in mileage. Combine this with passenger volume, features packed into it and Honda Accord reliability reputation, this is a very good choice for UberX and for as a daily personal commute. You can easily own a Honda for more than 10 years with little issue as such a huge investment upfront is not so bad.

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Shoptipper’s Honda Accord Hybrid ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 4

Rank in Miles: 3

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 6

Rank in Price: 12

Rank in Passenger Volume: 4

Rank in Cargo Space: 11

5. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – starting at $26,000 this is one of the more expensive priced vehicles but with very good true cost of ownership ranked at number 5. The combined miles however is average for a hybrid as it returns 36 mpg for city driving and 40 mpg for highway driving. The Hyundai Sonata’s selling point are the standard features usually found on more expensive sedans like window sunshades, heated rear seats and up to date technology systems. It also boasts of a good interior as Sonata is geared towards a personal family sedan not a utility vehicle.

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Shoptipper’s Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 5

Rank in Miles: 8

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 4

Rank in Price: 8

Rank in Passenger Volume: 3

Rank in Cargo Space: 12

6. VW Jetta Hybrid SE – starting at $27,645 this is one of the most expensive priced vehicles with above average true cost of ownership ranked at number 5. The combined miles however is impressive as it returns 42 mpg for city driving and 48 mpg for highway driving. What is good about the VW is the true cost of ownership and good miles and the fact that the VW is fun to drive. This is a German car which has simple non-distractive interior and controls, handling and breaking are really good. I have driven a lot of the cars on this list and was able to ride in most of them except for the Ford C-Max and Subaru Legacy and I can personally that VW Jetta has exceptional driving experience.

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Shoptipper’s VW Jetta Hybrid SE ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 6

Rank in Miles: 4

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 5

Rank in Price: 11

Rank in Passenger Volume: 12

Rank in Cargo Space: 13

7. Toyota Prius V – starting at $26,675 this is one of the most expensive priced vehicles with average true cost of ownership ranked at number 6. The combined miles however is impressive as it returns 44 mpg for city driving and 40 mpg for highway driving. The difference between this and the Prius is that this is a bigger vehicle having the most cargo space compared to the rest. If you are driving near an airport and have lots of travelers as customers, this is a better option. The passenger volume space is also better than the Prius.

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Shoptipper’s Toyota Prius V ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 7

Rank in Miles: 5

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 9

Rank in Price: 9

Rank in Passenger Volume: 11

Rank in Cargo Space: 1

8. Hyundai Sonata – starting at $21,150 this is the cheapest priced vehicles in the list however it has poor true cost of ownership ranked at number 12. The combined miles is poor as it only returns 25 mpg for city driving and 37 mpg for highway driving. Like the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, this is more of a family sedan which explains it being number 1 in passenger volume and number 5 in cargo space. Together with luxury features like sunshade, heated rear seats, up to date technology features, this is a very good personal and UberX vehicle.

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Shoptipper’s Hyundai Sonata ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 8

Rank in Miles: 10

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 12

Rank in Price: 1

Rank in Passenger Volume: 1

Rank in Cargo Space: 5

9. Mazda 6 – starting at $21,190 this is one of the more cheaper priced vehicles with average true cost of ownership ranked at number 7. The combined miles however is at the lower end of the rankings as it returns 25 mpg for city driving and 37 mpg for highway driving. The good thing about the Mazda 6 is that it has attractive looks, upscale interior and is a favorite personal car. You can use it for both income generating vehicle and your day to day commute.

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Shoptipper’s Mazda 6 ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 9

Rank in Miles: 12

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 7

Rank in Price: 2

Rank in Passenger Volume: 10

Rank in Cargo Space: 10

10. Toyota Camry Hybrid – starting at $26,790 this is one of the more expensive priced vehicles with true cost of ownership ranked at number 10. The combined miles however is impressive as it returns 43 mpg for city driving and 39 mpg for highway driving. I was hoping the Camry ranks higher or close to a Prius but the combination of price, true cost of ownership and average miles has put the Camry at a lower option for being an UberX alternative car.

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Shoptipper’s Toyota Camry ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 10

Rank in Miles: 6

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 10

Rank in Price: 10

Rank in Passenger Volume: 5

Rank in Cargo Space: 6

11. Ford C-Max Energi – starting at $31,770 this is one of the most expensive priced vehicles with average true cost of ownership ranked at number 6. The combined miles however is the most impressive as it returns 95 mpg for city driving and 81 mpg for highway driving. You should be making a lot of money on a Ford C-Max Energi for the first few years before the true cost of ownership kicks in. This is still a very good option especially for those drivers who have the skills to perform their own maintenance and diagnostics of the car as the true cost of ownership can easily be offset by doing self-maintenance on it. However, for the most of the drivers, the ranked #2 Ford C-Max Hybrid is a better option.

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Shoptipper’s Ford C-Max Energi ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 11

Rank in Miles: 1

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 13

Rank in Price: 13

Rank in Passenger Volume: 9

Rank in Cargo Space: 4

12. Kia Optima – starting at $21,690 this is one of the cheaper priced vehicles with average true cost of ownership ranked at number 8. The combined miles however is something to be desired as it returns 23 mpg for city driving and 34 mpg for highway driving. Kia Optima has updated technology features, quiet cabin and good handling. The poor miles and true cost of ownership though is a setback for getting this for UberX. The major good thing going for this is that you can easily buy a used low mileage Kia Optima for under $15,000 which you can use for the next 3 years without worrying too much.

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Shoptipper’s Kia Optima ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 12

Rank in Miles: 13

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 8

Rank in Price: 3

Rank in Passenger Volume: 6

Rank in Cargo Space: 7

13. Subaru Legacy – starting at $21,695 this is one of the cheaper priced vehicles however it has poor true cost of ownership ranked at number 11. The combined miles however is also something to be desired as it only returns 26 mpg for city driving and 36 mpg for highway driving. The good thing is the large passenger volume capacity current ranked number 2 in our list. What is good about the Subaru Legacy is that it is the only all wheel drive (AWD) on the list which makes for easier handling and driving on different climate conditions like snow and heavy rains. On another plus side, this is also a favorite among personal younger groups.

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Shoptipper’s Subaru Legacy ranking scores are as follows:

Overall Rank: 13

Rank in Miles: 11

Rank in Cost of Ownership: 11

Rank in Price: 4

Rank in Passenger Volume: 2

Rank in Cargo Space: 9

Shoptipper’s Conclusion

If you want a utilitarian and are serious about making the most money you cannot go wrong with the Toyota Prius or the Ford C-Max Hybrid. I would choose both of these over the Toyota Prius V and the Ford C-Max Energi versions. For vehicle that you plan to use both for personal family commute and as a money making vehicle I would choose the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Kia Optima in that order. For someone who wants to use the vehicle for money making and at the same time as a personal vehicle with friends night out you can go ahead with the Volkswagen Jetta, Subaru Legacy, or Mazda 6.

Credits: Images from their product pages.

Ronda Rousey My Fight/Your Fight pre-order for 39% savings

Ronda Rousey My Fight Your Fight, Barnes and Noble

 

You can pre-order Ronda Rousey book at Barnes and Noble for a 39% savings. This item will be released on May 12, 2015. Earlier today, limited signed 1st edition copies were sold from Barnes site. You can still get the discount here — Ronda Rousey My Fight / Your Fight.

Chromebit Chromebook portable dangle

Google is releasing a portable dangle that has all goodies of its chromebook initially reported to be under $100. Asus was the designated vendor to build this little marvel. This reminds me of that time when portable apps were so popular that they are saved in a USB thumb drive and can be run without installation. This The chromebit is more of a portable apps thumb drive on steroids as it has two port connectors; an hdmi and a USB. The hdmi port is used to connect on a display and the usb is for connecting a mouse or keyboard.

For someone who wants portability with minimal features and with the ability to display to larger screens, this is a good buy. However, Winbooks or tablets less than $150 seems to be a more practical choice.

Get more information on the Chromebit here

Amazon Launches Amazon Dash for Prime Members

Amazon Dash

Amazon has introduced a new way to boost their product buying and at the same time provide the ease for consumers to order items. While I think the phone is more than sufficient enough to order items, additional gadgets placed around the house can be both efficient but have an additional maintenance burden for consumers. Additional gadgets to think about, additional support if things go wrong, additional setup, etc. Nonetheless, some gadget oriented people might find this welcoming.

What is Amazon Dash? Amazon dash are simple gadgets linked to different products like Tide, Gillette Fusion that you can stick to either the washing machine for the tide, and the bathroom for the gillette fusion.

How does Amazon Dash work? After you placed the gadget in key areas, you would need to have this device connected to your wireless network and Phone; once connected, all you have to do is press the button to re-order. There isn’t enough information on how security is configured or verification confirmations since buttons can easily be accidentally clicked especially by kids.

Amazon Dash Popular Products

Products in the selection for Amazon Dash include Cottonelle, Bounty Paper Towels, Clorox Disinfecting, Izze Sparking Juice, Olay Regenerist, Huggies and many more.