On the surface, driving for Uber and Lyft is relatively simple: just pick someone up and take them to their destination.
But for full-time drivers on the ride-hailing platforms, there’s plenty more work that goes into making sure they keep a top-notch rating — and that they can entice as many tips as possible.
We asked drivers for the most difficult part of their job. Despite the flexibility that working for Uber and Lyft can offer, many said sitting for long hours can get uncomfortable, as well as a lack of coworkers to socialize with. On top of that, the most lucrative times to drive aren’t always the most convenient.
Here’s what they said (last names have been removed for privacy):
There’s no one to talk to
“The hardest part for me would be the lack of camaraderie with other drivers,” Michael, a driver in Las Vegas, told Business Insider in an email. “I see them as my competition. I wish them well, but just not at my expense.”
“So due to my lack of communication with other drivers it does get lonely while on the road; as a result, since I’m driving in Las Vegas, there will be days that I’m not in a good mood and since my passengers are tourists, on vacation having a good time, it can get hard to drive.”
Having no insight into fares makes calculating earnings hard
“The hardest part is when I try to do research into how much of fares we’re actually getting paid and see that it’s a tiny percentage,” Kevin, a driver in Chicago, told Business Insider in an interview.
“For example, I asked a passenger last week how much she was getting charged and she said roughly $12. When the ride was over, I received $6.50. It’s almost better to not know what the passenger is paying.”
Long hours away from home
“The hardest part in my opinion is dealing with weather and holidays, when I’d rather be warm at home with my family,” Steven, a driver in Kansas City, said in an email.
“But since I know these are good days to work, when there might be a surge or just a lot of people needing rides in general, I like to work.”
Keeping the car clean can get old
“I want to make passengers feel good, because when they’re feeling good, I get more tips,” Ray, a driver in Boston, told Business Insider in an interview.
“But I’m not a young man anymore and cleaning out my car, vacuuming, dusting off the seats, and everything has started to hurt my back recently. I’m considering getting an SUV so it’s a little higher up off of the ground.”
The never-ending ratings game
“Dealing with fraudsters is the hardest, and not just the ones that give a 1 star rating for a one mile ride,” Stephen, a driver in Portland, told Business Insider in an email.
“About six weeks ago I was contacted by Uber asking if I was alright, that I had been in an incident. Turns out one of my fares claimed I ran over their foot while picking them up. I was totally exonerated, because they made the whole thing up.
Sad street scenes
“Mentally, the toughest part for me is seeing all the strung out junkies in San Francisco,” a driver named Austin told Business Insider in an interview.
“I grew up here and drug-use has always been bad, but I have never seen it this bad. SF decriminalized drugs and the shit is everywhere. It is so heartbreaking to see young kids on the block with needles in their arms. I know this has nothing to do with Uber, but as a driver, we see more of the streets than anyone.”