Ridesharing is not an easy vocational decision to make. It might seem easy, like saying “yes, I’m going to rideshare to work and back” but in reality, it comes with a lot of responsibilities and accountability. Let’s just checklist quickly what they are:
- Safe driving: You need to drive safely, following all road rules and never take chances. You must know how to drive in every weather condition too.
- Safe car: Your car must constantly be maintained and in good working, engine-body-tires, and brakes at all times.
- Life responsibility: You are responsible for other people lives not just your own. You might be the safest driver in the world; it doesn’t mean that the drivers around you are safe too. One mistake by anyone can end lives.
- IRS: You have to adequately record and maintain a complete IRS logbook for tax reporting reasons.
So we decided to help you help yourself, here are a list of essential items you will need to make your ridesharing experience a good one for you and your passengers. We categorize them into three sectors: Safety, Comfort, and Utility.
- Phone Mount: All phone mounts, be they suction, magnetic, glue or mechanically fixed are a must for driving safety. By using a phone mount, you won’t need to look for and hold your phone constantly. Also, by placing it in an easy to view position, you will be able to control any apps and calls quickly.
- Maintenance tools: For the occasion when you have a roadside breakdown, flat battery, punctured tire. You should maintain some tools including a small spare battery pack, or quick charger, a full set of tire replacement tools as well as a quick compressed air bottle or car generator that can compress air. There are so many tools and appliances that are used by professional drivers to assure them of any contingency plan success.
- Chargers and Cables: these items are irreplaceable lifesavers. For you and your passengers. If you are a serious ridesharer, you will want to keep a few cable versions for ios and android as well as multi-point chargers to allow more than one passenger the ability to charge their device. Make sure your phone is always attached, the last thing you need is a dead phone in the middle of a ride.
- Dash Cam: This is one of the best and cheapest methods for car insurance policies. This little device is the perfect witness for any front/end crashes; it can also record bad drivers too. You can also add an internal cam too, to watch over your passenger, you never know when you will get a drunk one.
- Illuminated Uber sign, just like a taxi, you will be able to signal you are a ride-share car, and your passengers will be able to identify your car quicker. It’s also useful when driving into valet parking zones since they will allow you park knowing you are not staying.
- Cleaning appliances: there is nothing worse than getting into a dusty old car, reeking of weird smells (remember Seinfeld’s Car scene?) Well here we suggest you maintain a small brush, vacuum, and some scented options. Making your car’s interior spotless and smelling fresh will make you more attractive to future returning customers.
- Tip generator, since it is now legal to ask for and receive tips, put a small box and sign in your car for passengers to leave tips.
- Vomit bags, yes, this is your friendly flight attendant, please do not barf all over the place, take a bag and be sick in it.
- Business Cards, if you want to extend your rideshare experience, you can offer business cards that will possibly add to your income from returning customers and special requests.
- Surgical gloves, if you have to make some emergency stops to deal with flat tires, car battery issues, etc., keeping your hands clean is a good option.
- Floor Mats; very important to keep floor mats for every seat, and make sure they are clean every day. A lot of filth and rubbish end up on the floor, having a floor mat will make cleaning easier. Rubber floor mats are the best since they don’t retain mud and such during the rainy seasons.
- Towels, not the new easy wipes, but old-fashioned towels. They have many uses including straightforward cleaning of people, clothes, and seats. They are also useful for drying wet passenger on rainy days or act as a seat cover for a dirty passenger.
- Seat Covers, yes, not everyone covers their seats. You want to keep your original upholstery clean, primarily since you will most probably sell your car one day. Buy seat cover, and not plastic or any sweat retarding material, buy soft custom fit materials that absorb moisture.
- DVD/USB receiver: sometimes a trip can be an hour long but most of the time is 5 minutes. Having a playback device with screens on seat heads will make for a calmer drive. Unless your passengers prefer talking, you can bring a selection of movies and music videos to enjoy.
- Toilet paper, yup, for those unfortunate moments when you need to make an emergency stop.
- Bottle of water: do you remember the emergency stop you made? Well, you will need to wash your hands. Keep two bottles, one for washing hands the other for drinking.