There are many considerations to be taken into place when working as a ride-share driver. These considerations only come from experience, so when experienced drivers share their knowledge, it’s important to note it all down and pass it on. In this article, we present the findings from some drivers with over two years of experience in full-time ride-share driving.While Uber constantly changes its application and policies and since ride-share driving is still evolving with more and more companies trying to take a part of the share, the competition creating and developing the total ride-share experience into a festival of incentives and new applications to improve the experience and income.
Most drivers should take into account that driving is not as easy as advertised, nor is the income as great, the expenses are bigger, and the customers can range from angelic to demonic. The whole process and experience of ride-share driving can be made easier if new drivers and even experiences one constantly learn and adapt.
First of all choosing the right car is important for many reasons;
- The customer sees the car, not the driver,
- The customer’s experience is heightened by the car
- A good car handles well in an experienced drivers hands
- A cheap car is only good for one time buying not for continuous income
When you decide which car to buy, take into account which passengers you are going to drive. If you aim at a general population, then you need to buy something large like a full SUV which offers both comforts, smooth riding and ease of access for kids, families, pets and unfortunately drunks too. If you are going to the business sector, then you need a classy sedan with all the comforts or an expensive SUV, preferably black. If you are going for fun like students, drunks and party goers you need a Minivan. There are much more options to choose from, just remember, cheap is your friend here. If your car is too cheap and shabby, you will not get as many rides, passengers chat, rate and read up reviews.
You can get a good value for money car that is easy on the pocket in the long run too; hybrids tend to be more expensive but cheaper to run. Uber also offers an easy Xchange lease program for drivers seeking a quick lease car, new or used. Check all the financing alternatives for a new or used car and increase your income by investing in a car that truly suits your purposes.
All drivers must record their miles continuously. Use a mile counting application, or even better, use QuickBooks Self_Employed, it is a full accounting app that follows the miles. You can update the description for each mile used so that tax-deductions and work-related miles are up-to-date. Remember, Uber has three periods, one, two and three. They only pay you for period 3mils which is when you pick up the passenger and deliver them to the drop off point. The other miles are not covered, but they are tax deductible miles. Also, when driving to and from work, use the destination filter, this automatically categorizes your driving as work-related and are tax deductible.
Maintain your Ratings but don’t go crazy about them
Every Uber driver and rookie has heard about ratings, sure, you want a higher rating since it means you are a better or more amenable driver. However, unless your ratings go through the floor and dig for oil, you don’t need to go crazy and buy all kinds of extras, sing along with the radio or smile and offer champagne and caviar, especially not to those drunks. Keep your ratings at a good level, above four stars is enough. Passengers are interested in well-rated drivers, but anything above four stars is considered amazing by most passengers. The difference between 4.5 and 4.7 is your ratings don’t change fast, only after every 500 rides. (Lyft is after 100 rides).
Adding extra services over weekends
Sometimes, just driving passengers all the time can be a bit strenuous, and weekends are a great time to do deliveries. If a driver wants to vary their income, and have the car for it, they can add food and restaurant deliveries.This option is very good for when the market is flooded with drivers, especially the part-time ones that come out over weekends, saturating the ride-share scene.
Work for more than one service
Drivers shouldn’t restrict themselves only to Uber; they can also operate for Lyft and other services too. By changing the company, you can sometimes change from a lull to a surge.
Full time or part-time?
It is a good question since ride-share drivers don’t earn as much as people think, the averaging income per mile is around $0.71 it might be prudent to hold down two jobs and make ride-share income the supplementary income. If however, you don’t have a job, then making it a full-time operation might be advisable. The average income for a 4 hour work day is around $1,450 a month, so if you make your day 8 hours, and that’s around 14 hours gross, a driver could make around $3,000 a month.
Just remember that there are many hidden expenses such as ride-share friendly insurance, loan for monthly lease payments, cleaning costs and various expenses for gadgets such as a good Dashcam system (which is a must) and ride comfort items.
Make sure you find a good ride-share friendly insurance policy. You cannot use a standard insurance policy; it won’t cover you. By using a ride-share friendly insurance, you also cover periods 1 and 2 which are not covered by Uber as well as include a deductible waiver since Uber’s insurance has a $1,000 deductible.