How To Increase Your Earnings In Slow Periods Driving For Uber And Lyft

There are three distinct groups of rideshare drivers; the spare time drivers, the work after work drivers and the full-time drivers. Each group seeks to increase their income. However, there are significant differences in their approach to work.

(Source: Sherpashare)

Spare Time Drivers: These drivers are either students, pensioners or unemployed but seeking work drivers and they tend to work to supplement income but not as a full-time job.

The Work after work drivers are all employed and seek to add to their income by driving to work and from work with extra fares, they also work on weekends and holidays.

The full-time drivers (professional drivers) are people that make ridesharing a full-time job and usually work for more than one rideshare company.

We researched this article for the third group, the full-time drivers that need to be continually driving with passengers to maximize their income.

Slow times

It’s easy to be pleased when there is a lot of work, but there are always slow times, dead periods and lulls and surges. Sure, you can turn on the app and wait, or you can scout around for fares. There are many ways to increase your fares, so here are a few tips to help you out of your doldrums zones.


Acceptance Rate:

While long distance fares are not profitable, especially when considering a short distance fare, it doesn’t mean you should refuse them. In fact, by accepting a long distance fare can work to your benefit. Sometimes the client sees how far you are and cancels the request, preferring someone closer. Or, you can call them and suggest they cancel the request since it will take longer to reach them than expected. This strategy will maintain your acceptance rate and strengthen your overall rating.

Surge, Prime Time and Guarantees

With so many drivers are flooding the market, it can be hard to make money without a surge or prime-time occurrence. However, many drivers now don’t log onto the app until they see a surge or until a prime time rate comes up. Lulls are usually a precursor to a surge or PT rate. (Catch-22). As for guarantees, it is sometimes wise to accept any ride just to meet a guarantee, this generates more income, even if some of the fares might be far away. As for Guarantees, you should meter them based on ride-share company, if you work for more than one, such as Lyft in the suburbs and Uber everywhere.

Don’t Limit Yourself

If you only work for Uber, then you are limiting yourself, you should also work for Lyft. The same goes if you work only for Lyft. You might be able to juggle their apps on one mobile device, but it would be prudent to use two devices. In any event, once you work for more than one company you double and triple your chances to receive more rides.


Just like real life fishing, professional drivers understand the concept and need to fish in good waters. The fishing principles on land are in fact identical to those on the water. (If you watched crab fishing in Alaska, you would know what I am talking about).

  • Low Concentration Ratio: try to find areas that are low in rideshare drivers. The possibility you will catch a fare will be higher.
  • Disappearing drivers; when you look at the app map, you can see areas where drivers drop off the map, this would be a good time to go there.
  • Steer clear of hot zones; by the time you get there, all the fares will have been poached, unless you are in the hot zone, in which case you don’t need to drive anywhere, just pick up a fare.

If you apply the first two points, you will, in fact, be in the hot zone before it goes hot, and as such will be perfectly placed to take on passengers.


Just as with any business, you have to market yourself. You can market with referral cards and flyers. Referral codes are a great way to make more money; you can make up to $5 per first time referral. These are the referral/flyer hot spots:

Hotels, motels and B&B’s. These places entertain out of town visitors and tourists, all you need to do is leave some referral cards with the concierge, bell boy or front desk. The best-placed hotels are near corporate parks, business centers, and universities.

Bulletin boards in restaurants, college campuses, bars, restaurants and grocery stores. By posting a flyer you might get lucky, in any event, it will increase your exposure to the public. Bars and restaurants are also great choices, so make sure your flyer is easy to read, really easy to understand, especially for a drunk.

Make your hotspot

Whether you live in a very active area or a low demand area, you still have to maintain your schedule and load. The higher demand areas might seem attractive, but they are also high competition areas too. The low demand areas can be lucrative if you manage your marketing skills properly.

Here are a few tips:

Advertise through flyers and referral cards colleges, school bulletin boards (for parents in need of driving assistance), in shopping malls, in downtown areas with limited parking options and all cultural sites such as museums, art galleries, and artisan workshops. You might also consider advertising in hospitals, offering services to physicians and nurses that work long hours and would prefer a ride home than drive home. Hospitals also discharge patients, so that’s an option too. So check out all the “public meeting places” and make sure you are noticed. Also on local social media and websites.