Uber is one of the most viral, controversial, amazing, innovative, and terrible companies of our generation. Well, it depends on who you speak to.
If you ask us, and a lot of people do, we believe Uber is at the sharp end of the spear of a tectonic shift that is happening in modern day economics. We discuss this issue at length here.
At the Casual Capitalist, we have always argued that the sharing economy is here to stay. Those who oppose it are on the wrong side of history. They are like the candlestick makers protesting Edison’s lightbulb.
Uber is one of the many lightbulb ideas emerging from the ashes of traditional capitalism. Why do we say this?
Uber has over 1 million drivers in 400 cities worldwide. Exactly half of these drivers work less than 10 hours a week and earn side income for “extra spending money.”
“87 percent of Uber drivers said a major reason they drive on the Uber platform is to be their own boss and set their own schedule.” – Larry Kim, Founder and CTO, WordStream
Why do we like Uber so much? Well, beyond its foundational contribution to the sharing economy, it’s making people like you and me lots of money.
Meet Jessie – Author of Uber Tips #1 & #8
Jessie and I have been emailing each other since February. We met through The Casual Capitalist, and Jessie is a part-time real estate investor from Atlanta who dabbles in the sharing economy.
Jessie is an Uber driver only on weekends when she isn’t out partying with her friends. According to Jessie, on average she works eight hours a weekend which earns her $640 a month. Jessie only works 2-3 hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s. For a part-time gig, this ain’t bad.
Although the income potential of Uber is undeniable and tempting, we’ve already covered it here.
Today, we are assuming you want to, or are already driving for Uber. With the following 10 Uber tips, we hope that you can up your ride-sharing game and earn evening more money.
Tip #1 – From Jessie – Invest In Education Before You Hit The Road
Before becoming an Uber driver, Jessie invested in herself ($90 to be exact). Jessie signed up for an online ride-sharing course and hasn’t looked back since. According to Jessie, the advice she got on this course has increased her income substantially. $90 was a good investment that provides ongoing returns.
We couldn’t agree more. I’ve personally sent out thousands of emails to the Casual Capitalist community asking them to describe their sharing economy successes and challenges. Overwhelmingly, the majority want to explore the Uber option. But, their common challenge is not knowing where, or how, to start. It’s not as simple as signing up on a website, there are many different variables at play.
Fortunately, my friend Harry Campbell has developed an awesome course to help you get started with Uber or Lyft. The Maximum Ridesharing Profits course will easily get you from zero to sixty in the ride-sharing game.
Many in the Casual Capitalist community have taken this course and loved it, you will too. Although it costs some money, you will make this back easily within a day of driving. If you’re going to drive with Uber or Lyft, do it right. Get Harry’s advice and increase your income on a daily basis with the tips from this course.
Enough of that, moving on to the remaining nine tips.
At the Casual Capitalist, we canvassed our community and came up with nine other wicked-awesome tips for newbie Uber drivers. Let’s get started.
Uber Tip #2 – Be A Customer Before A Driver
Besides investing in yourself with education, the next best thing you can do is shop before you buy. That is, why not take a dozen or so rides in your particular city to get a feel for it.
This will give you an amazing opportunity to chat with drivers and ask them all the important questions you have. Like:
- What are the municipal or state/provincial laws that affect you?
- How much do you earn?
- What is your biggest challenge?
- When is the most profitable time to drive?
- Do you enjoy driving with Uber?
And we could go on, but you get the point.
Uber Tip #3 – Consider Advertising While Driving
One of the easiest ways to earn more money while driving for Uber or Lyft is to promote products in your car.
Don’t know what to promote? CoPilot is a free platform that makes it as easy as possible to get started, hiring Uber and Lyft drivers to showcase the latest tech products in their car.
Drivers select a product package from one of CoPilot’s increasing number of partnering brands, and receive training in key skills to maximize their in-car success.
Apply using this form, some of their top drivers earn an extra $400+/week!
Uber Tip #4 – Insurance
Although Uber has its own insurance protection, make sure you check with your insurance provider before driving. We know this is a pain, but 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. These including Geico, Aviva, and much more.
Uber Tip #5 – Keep Records
Because you’re operating a small business of sorts, you can deduct your mileage and vehicle costs on your taxes. This will reduce your taxable income, and put more money in your pocket. Keep track of all expenses and mileage, you will thank us come tax time.
For more on the tax issues for ride-sharing, check out this great article by Harry Campbell, the guy I introduced earlier. Also, check out Harry’s article on deductions, it will make your life easier come tax time.
Uber Tip #6 – Snacks And Water
It never hurts to have a case of water and a box of individually packaged snacks in your trunk. You can then offer them to riders which will make them more appreciative and likely to give you a 5-star rating.
We know many drivers who don’t do this, and it’s not a huge game-changer. But, the more you can please the passenger, the easier your life will be.
Plus if you ever get thirsty or hungry, guess who’s got a trunk full of goodies?
Uber Tip #7 – Drive As Little As Possible
Make sure you have a book or something to occupy your time between fares. Driving around and chasing business rarely works, and increases your costs substantially. Don’t drive 15 miles for a fare, unless it’s a big one.
The only time to ignore this advice is if you’re swarmed by other Uber drivers. Move around in this case, to increase your chances of getting riders.
Uber Tip #8 – Music Choice
Remember Jessie? While I was talking with Jessie, she told me a story about the only problem she ever had driving with Uber.
Jessie explained that it was a crisp Friday evening in her hometown of Atlanta. Jessie had picked up her last fare of the night at 2am. After, she was going to head home after a hard night of Uber driving. Jessie had worked 3 hours and earned over $120. Sounds tough, no?
These particular riders were a small group of entitled and intoxicated 20-year-olds heading back to their hotel. The ride started out well, except the group was very upset when Jessie informed them that she had no Taylor Swift to play for them. Unfortunately, Jessie only got a four-star review from those riders.
Jessie’s Uber Lesson #7: Always have some Tay-Tay at the ready for drunk 20-year-olds. Or, do what most driver’s do, have a versatile selection of music at your disposal.
Uber Tip #9 – Get Out Of The Burbs!
Suburbs aren’t only annoying because all the streets and homes look the same. They are not overly profitable for Uber drivers. If you drop someone off in the suburbs, make sure to get back to an area with more traffic. But again, remember tip #6: drive as little as possible.
Uber Tip #10 – Know Surge Times
Know your area and timings. If bars close downtown at 2am, make sure you take note of that and plan accordingly. If rush hour tends to run from 4pm to 6pm, keep that in mind.
Driving during surge times can increase your profits, and who doesn’t want that?
Uber Bonus Tip – No Tips, Unless You Lyft!
Finally, as an Uber driver, you should never accept or solicit tips from your rides. Sharing economy platforms are built on the premise that no hard money is exchanged between the parties.
This rule is for safety and convenience. Don’t break this rule by accepting or soliciting tips. Unless you drive for Lyft, which has a built-in tipping option.
There you have it. To ensure we are ambassadors of the sharing economy, we must always strive to learn and be better sharers and earners. Thank you for joining us today and safe driving.