How much do Bolt car owners make in South Africa?

If the Bolt car owner drives their own car they can earn an average of R8 000 weekly, or less if they have someone else driving it.


Bolt is one of the more popular e-hailing systems in South Africa. As such, it has become an increasingly common means for full-time employees to make a passive income outside of their nine-to-five jobs. Bolt has stated that, on average, a driver makes R8 000 weekly.

However, according to actual drivers, the amount is contentious. For Bolt drivers who drive their own cars, their takeaway is whatever is left after deductions made by Bolt. But for car owners who do not drive their own cars, the takeaway is based on the agreement made with the driver of the car.

Pros and cons of being a Bolt driver

Bolt has come under fire in recent months as questions have arisen surrounding the safety measures implemented by the e-hailing system to protect their customers.

Despite this, however, the e-hailing system is still one of the most popular of the transportation apps available locally.

While safety has been a key issue for passengers, it has been one for drivers too, who are exposed to potential danger when accepting rides from hijacking hotspots or dangerous locations. But some of the benefits of this job include:

  • The ability to choose your own working hours
  • The autonomy of choosing your working locations
  • Being your own boss, essentially

How much do Bolt car owners make in South Africa?

As indicated before, Bolt has claimed that, on average, a Bolt driver can make R8 000 per week. However, actual drivers have contested this fact.

One driver who works in Johannesburg – one of the more popular cities with a larger demographic of Bolt users – suggested that realistically, on average, they can make anywhere between R6 000 and R6 900 a week. This average is still significant considering that this is a weekly takeaway.

Additionally, there are deductions made to the gross income. These include the 20 percent that Bolt takes from every ride’s payment.

Moreover, for the driver, there are costs like petrol, mobile data, insurance, and car maintenance money that need to be taken into account. This is in the case that the Bolt driver drives their own car.

However, for Bolt car owners who do not drive their own cars, there are two ways that the money is split:

1. A 50/50 split

A 50/50 split is where the Bolt car owner and driver agree to split the earnings equally. The arrangement includes an equal split in the costs of petrol, insurance, and car maintenance costs. It could also include the cost of mobile data, depending on the agreement made.

Therefore, if we take the R6 900, for instance, you would make R5 520 after Bolt’s deductions. Then, after the split, the amount the driver and car owner would get is R2 760 each.

2. The check-in system

The check-in system is similar to the one used by taxi companies between taxi owners and drivers. With this system, the Bolt car owner will set a weekly target that the Bolt driver needs to meet and give to the car owner at the end of the week.

The Bolt driver’s responsibility is to ensure that they meet their target and any additional money they make is theirs to keep.

Matters like splits or the responsibility of petrol costs, mobile data, car insurance, and maintenance costs are decided between the Bolt car owner and driver when they make the initial agreement.

Considerations to increase your earnings

While the aforementioned weekly takeaway is an average, Bolt drivers can make more or less depending on how strategic they are. To increase earnings, consider:

– Peak hours: Drivers that work early in the morning and in the evening are likely to make more money as these are peak hours when most people are commuting to and back from work

Bonus: Drivers who keep an impeccable record get rewarded with bonuses, similarly to the promotions that riders receive

Choosing highly dense areas: Always choose busy metropolitan areas to operate in such as Johannesburg suburbs like Sandton, Johannesburg CBD, and Fourways. These are just some of the popular and profitable areas in Gauteng

Final thoughts

Bolt drivers are paid every Monday, directly into their bank accounts. It is their responsibility to handle any splits they might need to make between the car owner and themselves, if there is one, and to put away money for business costs like petrol, mobile data, and insurance.

While Bolt might suggest an average takeaway earning of R8 000 per week excluding deductions, drivers have suggested that the real average is between R6 000 and R6 900. Either one of the amounts is considerable, compared to the earnings of metre taxi drivers.