Are you applying to become a Uber driver? Or you are a Uber driver seeking to grow? If YES, here are 26 workable tips on how to make the most money driving Uber.
Uber indeed came out and took the world by storm, and all thanks to technology. Uber is an Internet-based company that connects drivers and riders for mutually beneficial ridesharing agreements. Uber is different from the regular taxi service because it allows its drivers to use their own cars and largely determine their own work schedules.
Uber works using a mobile app where customers can request a ride and the ride arrives in their destination at a previously stipulated time. Once clients request a ride, Uber drivers in the area are notified so they can offer to provide the ride and earn some cash. Uber technology is simply a platform that brings these two pieces of the transaction together.
Because of its online nature, no money exchanges hands during an Uber ride, instead the client is required to pay online on a secured payment platform. The result is an unnaturally seamless interaction between the customer and the driver as you only have to request your ride, and once you have gotten to your destination, you just get off with no issues.
These are not the only advantages to this online ridesharing business as Uber rides have been known to be generally much less expensive than the alternative taxi service (except during times of peak demand and when drivers are scarce, such as during a wind or snowstorm).
Again, the Uber driver has a flexible schedule that can extend far beyond the hours you choose to work on any given week. Since you don’t have to make any sort of commitment, and no one to answer to, you can easily take time off for the big moments in your life like vacations, a wedding, the birth of a child, and much more.
With so much opportunity on the table, it is easy to see why so many people are trying to figure out how to get in on the business. Fortunately, the requirements to become an Uber driver are not insanely complicated or difficult to understand.
Requirements to Start as an Uber Driver
The main things you need to get started as an Uber driver are a smartphone and a clean or close to new four-door car. Uber requirements do state that your vehicle needs to be a newer model ( at least 2006 or 2011 in most states), but they have been known to make exceptions for older luxury cars.
Uber may also require a car inspection, but this can be performed easily and cheaply at your local car shop. Other than owning a car and getting it inspected, there are virtually no other start-up costs involved.
Uber has an interest in making sure its drivers are safe and mentally balanced, which is why they also require a thorough criminal background check. They use this to eliminate candidates who have a criminal past or a drunk driving conviction. No one wants to hop into a car with a stranger who may or may not have been convicted of armed robbery or driving to endanger. Any such occurrence can start bringing down their reputation.
Uber would also require that you have personal auto insurance, but once you accept a ride or while you’re on a trip, they provide primary liability insurance up to $1 million dollars and excess collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible. As ridesharing becomes more and more popular, some insurance companies have rolled out new products to meet the growing need, and you can patronize them.
In addition to those requirements, Uber also requires its drivers to be 21 or over, and have no major accidents in the past few years, including DUIs. A clean driving record also helps, although a speeding ticket or two may not necessarily disqualify you from the gig completely.
As have been said before, becoming an Uber driver is quite easy. You only need to visit their website, and fill out the accompanying form. You would then provide evidence of a criminal background check and vehicle inspection. The company sometimes offers signup bonuses which can be up to $100.
26 Workable Tips on How to Make the Most Money Driving Uber
This rideshare platform called Uber has been around for some time now and has a lot of drivers on its platform, but that does not mean that this taxi business is getting saturated. This fact is far from true as there is a lot of room for potential Uber drivers to come in, carve a niche for themselves and go ahead to make a lot of money from their effort.
It is known that a lot of Uber drivers make $100,000 yearly. This figure though sounds mind boggling but it is quite attainable even for a new Uber driver. You only have to make use of some tips and tricks that veteran Uber drives give out from time to time. Here listed, are some of the ways to can earn six figures annually from your Uber driving business.
- Keep refreshments handy
When you are going to be on the road for hours, it is not only important but advisable to make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable. You need to pack a few snacks and a bottle of water to stave off hunger and keep yourself hydrated while working. This would help you to make better use of the time you would have used to go around looking for a takeout. If you tend to leave your house quite early, make sure you pack a light breakfast and some beverage.
- Know the Local Bathrooms
Nature must always call, that is a fact of life. To remain always ahead and not be delayed, you have to find out all the available restroom facilities in the areas where you usually drive. It would be awesome if you can find public bathrooms that offer free parking too, that would solve two problems for you. It is best if you know this information beforehand so you save yourself a lot of driving time and stress.
- Stay away from drivers’ hotspots
Certain areas in your town can be hotspots in particular times of the day. For example, popular morning commute routes, busy Saturday night bars and the stadium when a popular game has just finished. A lot of drivers tend to look out for these hotspots, but it would do you well to stay away from these places and instead focus on other routes.
This is because more money can be made by ignoring the recommended times and locations where demand for rides is likely to be high. When drivers flocked to a recommended area or hotspot, Uber’s surge pricing — premium prices based on a lack of drivers in an area — would decrease, meaning those drivers would earn less for each ride.
- Limit the times you spend driving around
As an Uber driver, there would be times when you do not have a fare. As you wait for Uber to ping you to go and pick up someone around you area, you are advised to look for a suitable spot and wait. Driving around in circles in an attempt to get to an area where Uber will ping you to pick up a fare isn’t going to do much more than add wear and tear to your vehicle.
If you’re driving miles and miles to reach someone, there’s a good chance you’ll drive much further to meet them than you’ll wind up taking them. You can’t tell where a rider wants to go until you pick them up. This usually means drivers end up losing money on a far-away fare. Again, if you are too far out, a fare might cancel out on you if they wait too long for your arrival.
- Make Use the Uber Passenger App
There is the passenger app and there is the driver’s app, but as an Uber driver who wants to get ahead of the herd, you are advised to download the two. The passenger app helps you take advantage of some features not available on the driver app. For one, you can see where other drivers are, which helps you select areas without a lot of competition. This is indeed a great hack for those times when you can’t seem to get a fare.
- Hook unto a music app
A happy customer is a comfortable customer. Most passengers who flag down an Uber ride would prefer to spend the ride listening to their favorite songs. To pull this off, you need to invest in a car radio that has a way to plug in a smartphone, be it by an auxiliary cord or otherwise. Passengers that have the luxury of playing their jam on your car speakers are typically happier. Due to this, they are more likely to give a better tip and driver rating, which will help you to get more rides in the future.
- Think of the rainy day
There are days when things would not just go right with your car. It could be a flat tire, dead battery or other mechanical failures that can leave you with no source of income for days at a time. You may not be able to prevent this, but you can decide not to ruin the whole day because your car would not cooperate.
To reduce the amount of downtime you experience, find a backup vehicle to drive. Try to find a friend or relative that is willing to let you borrow their car. Offer them a flat fee or work out another agreement. Once you find a backup vehicle, be sure to have it approved by Uber and registered to your account before you can use it.
- Get your friends on board
If you have friends that you know would need the extra income, you can invite them to drive for Uber. When you register with Uber, you would be given a unique Uber driver invite code. With this code, you can invite your friends to register on the platform.
You earn a referral bonus each time your driver invite code is used. This means that you can earn money without driving by helping others make some extra cash. Keep in mind that the referral bonus for Uber varies from state-to-state, but don’t let that stop you from raking in some money.
- Stay away from the suburbs
It has been known that opportunities to pick up riders decrease as you get further from the heart of the city. This is one reason why you need to avoid the suburbs as much as possible and spend more time within city limits. Drivers may find this to be a bit challenging to maintain, given how congested cities can be. However, as you become more familiar with your mapped out waiting areas, the increase in riders will make the effort worthwhile.
- Take advantage of tax deductions
As an Uber driver, you tend to have a couple of tax deductions unlike other rideshare drivers. These deductions cover any business expense that drivers have to spend on in order to work. On average, the best option for drivers is the standard mileage deduction. This tax deduction gives drivers a rate per mile that covers most of the driver’s expenses. To use the standard mileage deduction, drivers will need to keep track of the miles driven for the entire year.
Another deduction an Uber driver can take advantage of is the actual expense deduction. Anything vehicle or rideshare related falls under this category. Items that can be deducted in this category include; car payments, vehicle operating expenses, vehicle financing, license, registration and title expenses, gas, insurance, mobile phone, charger and other payments.
Regardless of whether you file under standard or actual, items that are purchased in order to improve the rideshare experience can also be deducted from your taxes. For example, the 24-pack of bottled water you bought to provide customers with complimentary water is considered a work expense, which is tax deductible.
- Make the most of surge periods
Another great way to make more money is by making the most of surge periods. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase Uber earnings, especially in times of high demand. Driving during peak periods enable you to make much more money than you would during normal hours.
This is due to the fact that Uber riders are willing to pay more money when traffic is heavy. Another profitable surge time is at night when people are coming back from clubs.
Whenever you anticipate a surge in fare, you are advised to log out of your app and log in 15 minutes later. Logging out reduces the number of drivers in the area and drives up the fares. It also prevents you from getting a fare, at say, 1:55 a.m., and missing out on surge pricing that started by 2.00am.
- Encourage others to ride with you
In addition to the driver invite code, Uber operators also receive a rider invite code. Drivers can distribute this code on business cards, online forums, or blogs to effortlessly generate money. When a rider uses an invite code, the owner of that code will receive a referral bonus. On top of being a great way to make passive income, inviting new riders also increases the total number of passengers in your area, which will improve your chances to earn more money.
- Register for rideshare courses
If you are quite new to the Uber or rideshare experience, it is quite advisable for you to take an online course to help you start off on the right footing. The lesson aims to provide you with insightful tips and tricks that will help you improve your rideshare service.
Whether you are looking for a way to take the guesswork out of when to drive or want to learn how to fluidly navigate through surge, these courses are your best bet. This course may cost you money, but it would be money well spent.
- Learn to deal with difficult customers
As an Uber driver, you have to come in contact with passengers frequently. Anyone who has ever worked in customer service will tell you some customers cannot be satisfied. Whether they are having a bad day, or are just a bad person, some riders may try to take out their frustrations on you. Be prepared for such events.
Try not to take it personally and do your best to keep a clear, cool head. Remember, the ride is temporary but your actions will permanently reflect who you are. Start by preparing yourself for the various types of difficult passengers that you will inevitably face. Understanding what to expect and how to professionally handle each situation can help you maintain a high rating.
- Drive Efficiently and vary your apps
Instead of chasing surges, it is advised that drivers should try and get multiple rides within a small area. Banking on volume is more important than most drivers realize. It cuts down on drive time, limits wear and tear, and saves on gas. It has been discovered that drivers can gain more money by staying away from surge areas.
You can apply this tip by staying in a central area instead of driving out to the suburbs to pick up fares. You don’t get to choose where your fare goes, but you do get to choose where to pick them up. You should also look at driving for other ridesharing apps such as Lyft at the same time. It cuts down on wait times, ultimately allowing you to make more money. It’ll also diversify your streams of income in case one of the companies drop their rates.
- Work Smart, Not Hard with Uber
Part of the point of driving for Uber is not having to work as hard or long as you would at a normal job. While you have flexible hours and can technically work whenever you want, to earn more money you’ll want to drive during times of high demand. This varies depending on the city, but can mean morning and evening commute times, during big conventions, events, or concerts, and around bar closing time.
Sometimes Uber will even send emails about when it thinks it will be busy and give you bonuses for driving during those times. There is also the high possibility that you can take advantage of surge pricing during busy times as well, which gets you a lot more money per ride. You can decide to only drive during the busiest times.
- Don’t be tempted by Uber’s texts
To make for driver efficiency and to increase communication, Uber sometimes sends notifications to its drivers as to where hot spots are for rides, or where an area with surge pricing is, but they actually do this to get more drivers to that area to drive the pricing down.
So it’s very likely that you’ll drive to the area they suggested only to get a lower fare. In general, it’s better to not drive around too much without passengers in the car because that is time that you are not earning money. If you do decide to head to the region with surge pricing based on a suggestion from Uber, make sure to utilize the hack with the passenger app to avoid wasting your time.
- Consider advertising while driving
One of the easiest ways to earn more money while driving for Uber is to promote products in your car. Don’t know what to promote? There is a free platform that makes it as easy as possible to get started. These platfoms hire Uber drivers to showcase the latest tech and other products in their cars. Drivers select a product package from one of the increasing number of partnering brands and receive training in key skills to maximize their in-car success.
- Keep track of your costs
To figure out if an Uber ride is worth your time as a driver, you must be clear on not just how much money you’ll earn but also how much it’ll cost you. Many drivers will focus on the gas used since it’s the most visible expense, but you have to go much further than that.
Getting an accurate picture of profitability requires you take a closer look at other costs such as financing, insurance, state fees, car washes, new brakes, new tires, and other maintenance expenses.
It’s only when you have a firm grip on what your costs are that you can really determine the amount of money you make every day, week, month and year. And remember, because you are operating a small business, you can deduct your mileage and vehicle costs on your taxes. This will reduce your taxable income, and put more money in your pocket.
- Get Insured
Although Uber has its own insurance protection, make sure you check with your insurance provider before driving. You have to cover yourself in case anything terrible happens. The good news is that many insurance companies are developing ride-sharing specific insurance policies, so this should not be a difficult task for you.
- Keep your vehicle clean
Keeping your car clean is important for the same reasons as having a newer car. It doesn’t matter how inexpensive the trip is, passengers will find a dirty car not just repulsive but also disrespectful. It’s perhaps the surest path to a 1-star rating.
Avoid eating in the car (stale fast food has a particularly obnoxious smell), get rid of any rubbish, and never sleep in the car. First impressions count and few things can leave a more lasting negative impression than a dirty cab. The passenger will certainly never forget it and they’ll make sure your ratings don’t either.
- Be courteous
At its most basic, the job of an Uber driver is to move passengers from point A to point B. Accomplishing this goal is therefore not much of an achievement considering that’s what every taxi driver is expected to do. If you are going to be a rockstar Uber driver, grabbing those seemingly small opportunities to demonstrate exceptional service is the way to go. Think about opening doors for passengers, helping them with their luggage or meeting them with an umbrella if it’s raining. It’s these little gestures that show passengers you care.
- Be a good tour guide
Is there a major concert over the weekend? Perhaps an event in the Formula One circuit is happening in a nearby city. Whether you deliberately set out to be one or not, an Uber driver is a de facto tour guide for a visitor. You might as well be good at it. Always be on the lookout for major events taking place in your city.
That includes both entertainment and professional events. If in the course of your conversation your passenger mentions they are a visiting banker, you could alert them of a major financial industry conference currently underway. You’ll develop a strong bond with clients especially tourists which can only be good for your bottom line.
- Make your ride lively
Driving can get boring at times, but there are ways you can make the ride fun for your passengers without having to keep up a running commentary. One way is to take advantage of the holiday seasons to dress your vehicle accordingly.
The occasion could be anything from cultural celebrations to sporting events, and from Christmas to Valentine. Your decorations can be subtle and tasteful but at the same time classy. Even when your passengers want to just sit quietly as you drive them to their destination, the themed decoration and dressing can lift their mood.
- Endeavor to get tipped
Happy Uber passengers have been known to tip their drivers as a way of showing appreciation. Now, Uber has taken it a step further by allowing passengers to tip their drivers directly on the app after a ride is completed. To increase your chances of getting tipped and increasing your overall daily revenue, you have to offer extra services to your passengers as have been suggested before; and above all, learn to be courteous. Getting tips would also mean you are getting good ratings on the app, and it would also increase the rate your passengers recommend your services to their friends.
26. Maximize Uber Sign-Up Bonus
Uber is known to offer drivers a sign-up bonus, which varies depending on the time of year and city in which you sign up. This sign up bonus can be more than $100 depending on certain factors, so you need to anticipate your bonus after you sign up.
There is also no obligation to continue driving after you receive the sign-up bonus; so even if you decide Uber isn’t for you, you can take your reward and run with it. This is another way to earn money from Uber without actually driving