Everything I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Full Time Uber and Lyft Driver


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Harry right here.  For lots of potential drivers, signing up to drive with Uber is usually a massive step.  And should you’re trying to do it full time, there’s much more strain.  So at present, senior RSG contributor Christian Perea shares every thing he would have executed in a different way if he had a second probability to develop into a full time rideshare driver once more.

In 2014, I give up my job to turn out to be a full-time driver for Lyft and Uber. Since then, I’ve spent 2 years absolutely immersed within the sharing financial system, giving over 6,000 rides to passengers in my automotive throughout three totally different cities in California. Obviously, lots has modified in three years of Uber driving, nevertheless it looks like there are nonetheless a number of questions and confusion related to “getting started” as a driver.

I by no means thought turning into a full-time ride-hail driver can be as straightforward as Uber or Lyft marketed. In reality, I knew it might require all the tedious bits of operating a small enterprise, and I was fairly positive that charges have been taking place in the long term.

So though I figured it will be robust, I had additionally all the time needed to run my very own enterprise. Even if it was small. I actually love automobiles, driving, and assembly strangers so once you mix these three issues, you possibly can see why I was so prepared to take the leap in 2014.

So right here’s what I would do in a different way if I began at this time…

After several years of driving, Christian shares what he would have done differently before becoming a full time Uber and Lyft driver.

The Cheapest Car Is Not The Best Car

The very first thing I tried to do was get the “cheapest” automotive obtainable for Uber and Lyft. I figured that costs and pay would drop, and I needed to have the bottom margins potential to guard myself. So I purchased a used 2005 Volkswagen Passat with 135,000 miles for round $four,000. After a couple of weeks of driving for Uber and Lyft, the automotive broke. Then it broke once more. I was spending extra in repairs than I would have spent in a automotive cost. So I acquired a brand new automotive and misplaced about $three,000 in restore payments and resale worth, all inside 2 months of starting.

Patience, Diligence, and Research Will Get You The Best Car

If I have been to do it once more, I would go for a Corolla, Prius, or a turbo-diesel. Low miles, three years previous. That means it’s nonetheless new sufficient to final fifteen years, and I don’t find yourself consuming the depreciation of a brand new automotive. If I have been to do it another time, I would spend extra time hammering out absolutely the BEST deal I might get on a Toyota Prius. By the time my Passat broke down, I was reliant on rideshare revenue to pay my payments, which made my bargaining place fairly dangerous. The longer I was off the street negotiating a deal, the extra money I was dropping.

Related ArticleDo You Know How Much Your Rideshare Vehicle Is Really Costing You?

I understand it might be arduous to get a very good automotive upfront for lots of people. Nowadays, there’s Xchange Leasing, Express Drive, HyreCar, and other options to get you right into a automotive in case you can’t purchase one your self. They are truthfully all respectable packages, since they repair a whole lot of the variable prices of proudly owning a automotive. If I have been beginning at this time, I would in all probability undergo Xchange Leasing for 3 months, drive like loopy, and do no matter was vital to place a down cost on the perfect Prius deal I might get.

Measure Your Miles Like A Hawk

ONE factor I did get proper was meticulously monitoring my miles day by day. At first I used a pocket book and my odometer, then I converted to QuickBooks Self-Employed because it allowed me to measure my miles, bills, revenue, run reviews, and create tax estimates all in the identical place. It primarily put all the ugly and boring bits of driving into one centralized place. Now I swipe via bills on the bathroom.

If you suck at being a enterprise and solely monitor one factor (aside from your revenue) it ought to be the mileage you set in your automotive. Each mile you drive for an app-based service in 2016 will earn you $zero.54 cents in a tax deduction. This is essential as a result of most Uber drivers depend on racking up an absurd quantity of mileage deductions to keep away from paying a ton of cash in taxes on the finish of the yr. See under:

Tracking Miles = BIG Tax Deductions = Less Taxable Income = You Pay Less In Taxes + You Qualify for Higher Health Care Subsidy (for now lol)

So, if you will grind it out on Uber in your Prius, you higher monitor your miles. It prevents overpaying in taxes and creates larger healthcare subsidies. This permits me to make the next declare:


Good Ratings Won’t Get You Anything Special

In the start I fearful quite a bit about my score. Was I doing issues proper? Did my passengers like me? Did they assume I was making an attempt to take the incorrect route? My score dropped .03 factors. I have to be a horrible individual! I higher purchase some Starbursts and REALLY greet my passengers now!

Ratings imply nothing. If they go too low, you may get deactivated. But you’ll obtain completely nothing additional from having a very excessive score. You may get a flowery e mail from Uber or Lyft in case you are fortunate. But for probably the most half, you don’t have anything to realize by having a excessive score aside from “bragging rights” and self-validation that was generated by the man who slammed some bottle-shots within the again seat of your automotive whereas he wasn’t sporting a seat-belt.

Related Video: Should I worry about my rating as a new Uber driver?

I’m not saying that you simply shouldn’t care. Be a great one that runs a decent ship and your scores will take automotive of themselves. Most drivers may have a four.7 or above just by navigating shortly and holding a clear automotive. Your passenger doesn’t all the time need a life-changing dialog. They need to get away and usually really feel snug attending to the opposite aspect of city.

I Would Do Delivery On Fridays/Saturdays

This could seem counter-intuitive to some. Many assume that the weekends are when probably the most “surge” occurs. However I have discovered that weekends are actually a hit-or-miss. It is when the part-time drivers (aka 60% of the driver population) have the time to get on the street and flood the market with their automobiles. This typically leads to little or no surge or few rides altogether. At the identical time, the few passengers you get develop into extra drunk and troublesome to cope with.

If I have been beginning over once more, I would join a service like DoorDash on the similar time that I signed up for Uber/Lyft. That method I would have a second angle to make revenue if the ride-hail apps are sluggish for the night time. Delivery can also be busy through the center of the day or on weekdays when individuals order lunch however don’t depart their workplaces. Generally, supply is busy when rideshare is sluggish. The shopper habits are naturally reverse of one another. People staying so as extra take-out. People leaving their home for the night time order an Uber. Ask your self every weekend “are people going out or staying-in tonight?”

Then select appropriately.

I Don’t Know If I Would Go “Full-Time” Again

The final 2 and a half years have been fairly thrilling for me. However, I don’t assume I’d get began as a full-time driver at this time. If I went again in time to 2014 once more, I may nonetheless do it, however I would do it a lot in another way. You can nonetheless get away with driving full-time in massive cities like San Francisco and New York City in 2016. However, if Uber pays lower than $1/mile in your market, I would solely contemplate driving part-time for some additional change or to save lots of and move time. This assumes that you’ve a comparatively low-cost and gasoline environment friendly car.

Full-time drivers should select to drive throughout probably the most worthwhile hours and depend on issues like “peak hours” and “earnings boost” to maximise earnings. This means working very odd and fragmented hours. If you take pleasure in going out with your mates on the weekends or within the evenings, then you ought to be ready to offer lots of that up as a result of now you may be working as an alternative. It additionally signifies that when these corporations change their pay construction (and they do it often), it’s going to trigger a whole lot of stress in your life.

On prime of all that, full-time drivers should type out their very own healthcare, taxes, and usually undergo a lot of the hassle and studying curve concerned in being a small enterprise. It could also be a very good studying expertise in that respect, however I think about there are extra worthwhile methods to do it.

One of the explanations that I write for this website is that it provides me a option to paint a sensible image of what its like to truly drive and reside off the revenue from deep contained in the sharing financial system. My perspective comes from behind a steering wheel and not from the advertising group at Rides Inc. With some luck, I can forestall some new drivers (perhaps you) from repeating my rookie errors and maybe paint the actual image. If I do, thanks for studying.

Drivers, what’s the one factor you would like you knew earlier than getting began as an Uber driver?  Do you assume it is sensible to be a full time rideshare driver as we speak?

Want More Tips? Deliver With DoorDash

ddlgoDashers obtain recommendations on 97% of their deliveries. DoorDash has a tip button and encourages clients to setup “automatic” ideas. Become a dasher here.

-Christian @ RSG

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In 2014, Christian left his job at a psychological well being middle to drive full time for Lyft and Uber. Since then, he has pushed for principally Lyft with a bit little bit of Sidecar and Postmates thrown in for experimentation and Uber when he does not really feel like speaking to individuals. He likes to speak about Politics and Economics over a great beer to whoever will take heed to him.

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