With the financial uncertainty going around at the moment, many people are looking for ways to cut their living costs and increase savings or better afford day-to-day expenses. One way to go about this is to increase your income.
If you’re thinking about doing this by driving a car service, it helps to know some tips for success. Read on for ways to enjoy better results if you become a driver for Uber, Lyft, or related services.
Use a Decent Car and Look After It Well
For starters, you need a suitable car in which to drive people. Not only do you need a car that looks decent so that people don’t mind getting picked up in it, but your vehicle should be reliable and not something that’s going to break down on you all the time when you have people to pick up or drop off.
It’s also wise to consider which car you use as a rideshare driver that you won’t mind racking up the miles on. For instance, if you have an older vehicle with a fair few miles on it and you plan to have it until it wears out, this would likely be a better option than a brand-new car that you want to keep the miles down low on so you can sell it again in a couple of years and upgrade to a new vehicle. Plus, it’s often nicer having an automatic car to drive around for hours each day in a lot of traffic rather than a manual one, so keep this in mind.
Of course, it’s also vital to maintain your car effectively so that it runs better, is more fuel-efficient, and is less likely to have downtime due to issues. While regular car washes and frequent internal tidy-ups of trash and spills will help your vehicle look sharp and impress riders, you need to pay attention to annual service needs and other maintenance jobs, too.
With a little bit of learning, practice, and the proper mechanics tools, you can handle numerous tasks yourself, such as replacing windscreen wiper blades, oil, light bulbs, and the like, and putting on and aligning new tires, swapping out old filters, and patching up paint chips, etc. Doing these things will help keep your car in the best possible condition long-term.
Be Professional and Pleasant at All Times
To enjoy better results as an Uber, Lyft, or other driver, you must also concentrate on being professional and pleasant at all times. Give those you’re picking up a friendly smile and ask how their day was to show you care and are easy to deal with. Don’t ask inappropriate questions, though, and learn to “read the room” (or the car space) to tell if people don’t feel like chatting.
If some of your passengers aren’t the most pleasant, hold your tongue and don’t get into sparring matches with them or threaten them in any way or otherwise be unprofessional unless there are significant issues such as them being sick in your car or threatening violence, etc.
Take Advantage of Busy Times
To maximize your time and earnings, it’s wise to look at ways you can take advantage of busy times throughout the week to get as many passengers moved as possible. There are prime times when the demand for pickups rises substantially and the supply of drivers drops, which can mean more rides and higher rates charged.
Uber, Lyft, and the like can help you learn when the busy times are and when to charge more, but you also often need to test things out for a while to get a feel for the most effective periods for you to be driving. Make notes of your average runs and rates each week and pick up on patterns you can focus on for best results as the weeks proceed.
Be Savvy About the Areas You Patrol
Similarly, be smart about the places you patrol for riders. There’s no point wasting time and gas by driving around areas where you don’t get many pick-up orders or where you find too much competition from other drivers. It’s also best to steer clear of streets or suburbs where you know there is always a lot of slow-moving or stopped traffic, which can put a considerable dent in the dollars-per-hour ratio you earn. Over time you’ll get a feel for how to be savvy about the best places to position yourself to get the most passengers during a period.
Other tips to improve your driving results are to ensure you have appropriate vehicle insurance (there’s now specific rideshare driver insurance available from some companies) and learn how bonus systems work with companies like Uber and Lyft. In addition, be thorough with your record keeping over the year for more straightforward tax returns and other financial reporting.
Follow these steps, and you should soon find that you not only get better results from your driving time but find it less stressful, too.