The Californian company Uber, mediating rides using a mobile app, has become a phenomenon. Investors see the future in it and are investing billions of dollars into it. But taxi drivers and clerks still cannot stand it and it is still illegal in the Czech Republic.
Entrance costs for being able to start driving in Prague for the UberPOP service (i.e. the service for “amateur drivers”) are minimal. At the Uber “bureau”, located on the second floor of an apartment building in Karlín, you will be asked for your ID card, driving licence and two documents that you can obtain on CzechPoint – criminal record and central registry statements – for 200 CZK. You will also need a trade licence. At the Trade licensing office, ask for the trading subject “road motor transport up to 9 persons”, which will be issued within a month, but usually within two weeks. Then, if you don’t have a DIČ number, it will be necessary to register with the local Revenue authority as a “person identified for VAT” and you will be issued a VAT identification number (DIČ). It is usually in the form – CZ + birth certificate number. The application can also be submitted online via their pages https://www.uber.com/cs-CZ/drive/requirements/
It is of course necessary to have a vehicle, which is not older than 10 years and has insurance. But a common practice now is to rent a car for driving Uber. Uber in Prague also directly refers you to companies that cooperate with it and will rent their cars to the drivers.
Is it worth it?
For a daily “shift” of 13 rides, you can earn on average 2000 CZK. The money we are talking about is after the deduction of a 25% fee requested by Uber. It is also necessary to sacrifice a lot of time to reach this sum; around 12 hours. From this amount it is necessary to deduct vehicle expenses and expenses on its operation. Also, count in possible taxation.
If the driver has a rented car for 5000 CZK per week, the weekend will cover these expenses and everything the driver will earn over the remaining days will remain his. A disadvantage of this system can be the fact that some car rentals limit the maximum number of kilometers per day and charge for any kilometers above this limit.
If you plan on making some money with Uber and have your own unused car, then it can be a good choice. But if you are planning to work full-time for Uber, you will have to work a lot to earn some good money. According to some statistics, the drivers can earn around 100 – 120 CZK per hour after deducting all expenses.
And the taxes?
All earnings listed here are without tax. These taxes differ according to the conditions of the individual drivers and at the same time, the entire legal existence of the service is controversial. Uber generally transfers this obligation to its drivers-partners. As help, it offers them contact with their tax advisors.
“By continual entrepreneurial activity, the driver can deduct blanket or real expenses from the expenses, such as, for example, vehicle rental. The final price is then subjected to income tax and to social and health insurance,” says the tax advisor. But she also warns that even non-continual earnings can be subjected to taxation.
How UberPOP works
The drivers and customers must have different versions of the application downloaded into their smartphones. The customer can see how far away his potential ride is. He can order it and mark right away where he will wait for his ride to pick him up (the simplest way is to confirm your current position with GPS).
At the same time, the customer may (or after entering the vehicle) input where he wants to go. The driver who is the closest and has the app running, will receive a notification on his phone. He will have 15 seconds to accept the order. He will see where the customer wants to be picked up and how long it will take him to get there. But he will not see where the customer wants to go – so that he could not refuse “uninteresting deals”.
If the driver accepts the offer, the app will offer to guide him to the customer. Since the navigation can rather clearly locate the customer, this tends to be the best solution.
When the driver reaches the destination, the customer will get a notification. Either he will be waiting outside already, or he will be leaving his flat/restaurant/club. Both the customer and the driver can call each other through the app (the numbers are anonymized) and to further specify the time and location.
When they meet, the driver should ask the customer for his first name and check it with the data within the app. After the customer has sat down, the driver will start the ride (and billing). He will usually let the navigation guide him to the given destination. If the customer hasn’t done this, the driver will ask and he will input this into the navigation himself.
If the customer wishes to take another route than the navigation suggests, this depends on agreement with the driver. If the route has more stops (the customers are picking someone up or someone is getting off), you may change the final destination as you go along.
After arriving at the final destination, the driver will terminate the ride and at that moment, the order will be billed to the customer according to the travelled kilometers and time. The funds will be deducted from the customer’s card – its details must be listed in his Uber account. The driver will see how much he has earned shortly in the statistics. But the customer may opt to pay in cash, if he wishes.