Dave Ogilvy is, as he says, not your average 63-year-old. The UberX driver works up to 80 hours per week and has just about finished saving for his retirement, which will be spent snowboarding around the world with the woman he plans to make his third wife.
Ogilvy started driving for ride-sharing company 10 months ago after his sales career hit a wall. He had been operating as a “middle man”, providing goods for large retailers and then found himself without a business when his customers decided to negotiate directly with manufacturers.
“I couldn’t find the right thing to do. I had three years of a pretty bad financial situation,” he says.
A friend introduced him to the idea of driving for Uber, he rented a car through Splend (which hires cars for Uber drivers) and now he loves the freedom, the variety and the income of his new venture.
Ogilvy says he never felt discriminated against in the job market because of his age: “If I tell people I am 49, they believe me.”
Others in his age group are not so fortunate. It takes an average of 116 weeks for over 55s to re-enter the workforce and there are more people over 50 on work-for-the-dole schemes (despite the fact it is not a requirement for them) than there are unemployed people under 22.
The chief executive of Splend, Chris King, says Dave Ogilvy is a good example of the benefits of age and experience. “He has one of the highest Uber ratings across Australia, and his earnings are sensational,” says King.
And King has the metrics to prove it. Splend use telematics to rank its 900 drivers on their safely based on speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering.
“We find a lot of drivers are in their 60s, retired businessmen, and they don’t do it for the money. A lot of the time it is social interaction and just getting out of the house,” he says.
King says drivers in the over-50 age range get higher ratings from customers, are more patient and friendly, less stressed and safer on the roads. “The feedback we get from surveys and our staff, they are awesome,” he adds.