Over the past decade, the popularity of ridesharing has exploded worldwide from South Carolina to South Africa. For those that are looking for reasonably priced and convenient transportation, and others that want to make extra cash, services like Uber and Lyft are the perfect solution.
If you are just getting started as a driver, or have been working for a while but are not happy with your profits, it’s a good time to learn some new tricks of the trade. Uber driving is about more than just picking up your passengers and dropping them at their destination. In essence, it is a service business that relies heavily on positive feedback.
For new Uber drivers, it may take some time to discover the best ways to make the most profit. To keep your passengers safe and happy, and not searching for the best South Carolina Rideshare accident lawyers, you need to know the rules, laws, and ways to maximize your profits. Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can make more money as an Uber driver.
Reconsider Your Insurance
To help protect your own interests and your passengers, it’s essential that you invest in Rideshare Insurance before you pick up your first fare. While it might save you a bunch of money to ditch the rideshare insurance, it’s not the wisest move. Instead, you can reconsider your own personal insurance to see where you can make cuts. Your personal policy may have more room to negotiate, which will save you money without having to ditch the rideshare policy. Instead of paying premium rates with a national company, try getting quotes from local providers that have lower rates.
Add a Cargo Box
One of the most risk-free ways to make extra money as an Uber driver is to embrace the concept of adding a Cargo Box. The Uber company provides these unique selling tools and simply go into your car. Each box contains a variety of popular snack items, water, and retail items like phone chargers, sunglasses, and toiletries that your riders may need for their trip.
Each item that is sold will earn you a commission. You can earn extra money on every item that is sold without losing any money out of your pocket. The company pays for the cost of all the items in the Cargo Box.
Drive During Surge Periods
Knowing when and where to pick up fares is the key to making the most money with Uber. Driving during surge periods will give you the benefit of collecting increased fares. Your Uber management system will let you know when and where the Surge periods are happening. It will take some planning and educated route navigation to make the most out of the Surge periods.
When Uber began taking passengers, tipping drivers was not encouraged. However, they have since changed their policy and allow drivers to encourage tipping. In any service business, the quality of care that you provide should be reflected in your tip. Some high-earning drivers go the extra mile to ensure that their customers are comfortable, have an enjoyable ride, and ensure that they are aware that tipping is welcome. Some easy ways to ensure that your passengers are comfortable include:
- Drive a clean car
- Comfortable environmental controls
- Nice light smell
- Music option
- Hot Spot availability
- Open doors
- Carry and load luggage
- Be on time
- Be polite
- Limit the chit chat unless encouraged
- Have a Cargo Box
Be Ready for Emergencies
You never know what can happen on the road, whether or not you are driving with a passenger. You could get a flat, or your radiator could overheat and take you out of commission if you are not prepared. To prevent a loss of time and income, it’s best always to be prepared for an emergency.
You should always have a reliable spare tire with an iron and jack in your trunk. This will allow you to quickly swap out a flat tire and get back to work. You should also always carry extra water, a blanket, emergency flares, and a fully stocked first aid kit in your Uber car.
Improve Your Stats
Good customer service is one of the best ways to improve your demand as an Uber driver. After each ride, your passengers can leave a comment, review, and rating. The better service you provide, the higher your driver stats will climb. As a result of good driver stats, you will be matched with more riders and can increase your overall income.
Unfortunately, just one bad experience can result in a dip in your driving state when a poor review is handed in. To help offset those types of reviews, you can have your friends ride with you and provide excellent feedback until your ratings start to go back up.
Prepare for Taxes
It’s important to remember that you will be responsible for paying your own taxes when you drive for Uber or Lyft. The ridesharing company does not pay any taxes on your behalf. While tax filings can be complex, many deductions can be advantageous. You can file a standard mileage deduction as long as you track all of your miles driven for the full year.
Or, you can use an actual expense deduction that will require you to track all of your driving expenses. Any costs you have endured on behalf of your driving can be written off with the right documentation. Some of the deductions for this type of filing include:
- Car payments
- Car detailing and upholstery cleaning
- Lease payments
- Insurance premiums
Know Where to Find Riders
If you live in the suburbs, you are not likely to find many riders to help bring in more income. The key to making a profit as an Uber driver is to know where and when to find riders. An important factor is to be physically in the area where multiple riders are in search of service. For example, if you patrol the local airport, you will be in the area where the Uber algorithm tries to match drivers with riders. Other places that tend to be prime places and times to find more riders include:
- Train or bus stations
- Movie theaters
- Metro/Downtown areas on weekends
- College campus
If you are considering becoming an Uber driver to make some extra money, it’s important to go in with realistic expectations and the information you need to maximize your profits.