5 Things to Do Before You Start Driving

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Everyone thinks it’s straightforward to get began driving with Uber and Lyft, however the fact is, there’s some thought that goes into turning into a rideshare driver – particularly if you need to achieve success. Whether you drive full-time or part-time, there are some primary (like signing up!) and not-so-basic (like insurance coverage) issues that new rideshare drivers ought to think about earlier than they get on the street. Today, RSG contributor Melissa Berry outlines her expertise signing up to drive with Uber and Lyft, how lengthy the method takes, and what you need to do when you wait to be permitted to drive.

I lately began driving for Lyft, at Harry’s recommendation to drive for Lyft before Uber, and have discovered it very fascinating, to say the least. In case you don’t know me, I’ve been modifying all of the weblog posts, podcasts and movies across the website for the final two years! And now I’m becoming a member of the rank of rideshare drivers.

New Lyft Driver - Earn 1500:week

Since Harry and Christian signed up a number of years in the past, issues have modified fairly dramatically with Lyft and Uber. So, I assumed I’d share my experiences signing up for each Lyft and Uber. It’s straightforward to enroll and turn into a new Uber or Lyft driver, however on the similar time it’s not as straightforward as I assumed it will be.

For these of you considering of signing up to turn out to be a rideshare driver, listed here are 5 issues you must do earlier than you hit the street.

Planning to start driving with Uber or Lyft? Here's how long it could take, what you should do while you're waiting, and other important things to know!

Before You Start Driving, Get Rideshare Insurance

Before you begin driving, ensure you have rideshare insurance coverage! There are many reasons why you need rideshare insurance, and I personally wasn’t snug driving with out it.

If you’re struggling to discover low cost rideshare insurance coverage, listed here are a number of methods I labored to decrease the prices related to rideshare insurance coverage:

  • Find an agent acquainted with rideshare insurance coverage – I discovered brokers by way of the Insurance Marketplace, and there was no problem in any respect explaining what “rideshare” means as a result of all the brokers are vetted and perceive the distinction between “Uber” and “Lyft”
  • Bundle together with your home-owner’s or renter’s insurance coverage – by bundling my residence and auto insurance coverage, I saved a ton
  • See for those who qualify for good driver reductions – I certified for some good driver reductions based mostly on my driving historical past and, if I selected to, I might have saved much more by placing a type of “speed monitoring” techniques on my automotive

By doing all of this, I discovered an insurer in Arizona who provided me further rideshare insurance coverage safety for $eight a month. Yes – $eight per 30 days (as well as to common auto insurance coverage prices). It’s attainable!

I’ll write extra about this in a future submit, however I ended up going with Allstate here in Arizona. Arizona drivers can discover AZ-specific insurers here and, should you’re on the lookout for insurance coverage choices in your state, you’ll be able to take a look at the insurance marketplace here.

Be Prepared to Spend Some Time Getting Approved

Once you’re prepared to sign up with Uber or with Lyft, ensure you’ve gone to get an inspection, have your driver’s license and car registration useful, and have a photograph of your face (no sun shades or different individuals within the photograph) prepared.

One phrase about inspections: you will get a free inspection from Uber and your inspection type from Uber will work for Lyft! At least, it did for me. I used my Uber inspection type to get certified for Lyft, and Lyft had no issues with accepting Uber’s type.

Note: This is probably not true all over the place. Another author had a problem utilizing the free Uber inspection type for Uber and Lyft, so your outcomes might differ.

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll add all your paperwork and… wait. Uber and Lyft will let you recognize when the background examine has been processed, and when your photograph and licenses are all permitted, however it might take a number of days.

Getting accepted by Uber was quicker: I used to be authorised in two days whereas Lyft took 4. Part of the rationale for that was, whereas I used to be making use of to drive for Lyft, they initially required new drivers to take a “test drive” with a Lyft mentor. I dragged my ft on doing that, after which a day later, Lyft dropped the requirement for driving with a mentor! In most cities, Lyft not has mentors 🙁

On one hand, for those who’re a brand new driver, it was comforting to know that you possibly can get began with Lyft and drive with a mentor. However, in case you’re busy or need to get on the street immediately, it was a problem to schedule time to drive with a Lyft mentor. I’m unsure this can be a nice change, as I feel a mentor supplies reassurance and may reply questions, however you all the time have RSG to reply your new driver questions!

Related: The Most Popular Rideshare Questions Answered

Prepping Your Car

Once you’ve been permitted to drive, you might get on the street and begin driving however… have you ever checked out your automotive?

Until I noticed I used to be truly going to take strangers in my automotive, I hadn’t actually checked out it. Looking at it from a stranger’s perspective made me understand I wanted to clear it out.

Think about it like this: what would your grandmother say about your automotive? Would you are feeling snug driving round your grandmother or different revered member of the family in your automotive? Harry’s number one piece of advice is to take a journey as a passenger, and I extremely advocate you do this. What sort of situation would you want to see a car in as a passenger?

Also, automotive washes and automotive air fresheners are additionally tax-deductible, so maintain your receipts for tax time.

Related: 6 Tax Deductions for Rideshare Drivers You Don’t Want to Miss

It will take a number of days in your stickers, aka “trade dress”, to arrive anyway, so that you may as nicely spruce up your automotive when you wait!

Get Tracking

Either earlier than or as soon as your commerce gown for Uber/Lyft arrives, critically contemplate downloading some useful apps.

Based on these recommendations, I downloaded Stride Drive instantly to begin monitoring my automotive wash, air freshener, and different bills. I nonetheless plan on hanging on to my paper receipts simply to make sure, however you’ll be able to enter your receipt info into Stride to begin documenting.

Another nice monitoring app is QuickBooks Self Employed, which tracks mileage, bills, and automates enterprise transactions whereas syncing with TurboTax. This means at tax time, you’ll be able to simply add all of your info, sync it and get on with ending your taxes quicker.

I already had downloaded the Lyft and Uber driver apps, that are totally different from the passenger apps, and began getting acquainted with the options (particularly Lyft’s destination filter!) One app I actually needed to obtain was Mystro, however I’ve an iPhone and (for now!) they don’t have an iPhone model of Mystro but.

Finally, I added Spotify to my telephone, so I might simply placed on chill music when passengers acquired within the automotive. I understand lots of passengers will in all probability need their very own music, however for many who don’t care, I figured I might be answerable for some peaceable music – and pay attention to my very own music once I don’t have a passenger within the automotive!

You Will Want This One Item

I began driving earlier than studying John’s post on new driver mistakes and let me simply say… he’s 100% proper concerning the telephone mount.

I began driving with no telephone mount, and my very first passenger virtually gave me a coronary heart assault. She received within the passenger’s seat up entrance, the place my water bottle and telephone have been resting within the two cup holders. She took my telephone out of the cupholder, gave it to me, and put her water bottle in its spot.

So… I attempted placing my iPhone 7 within the driver’s aspect deal with, besides my telephone is just too prime heavy and fell out. While I used to be driving. I ended up resting my telephone on my Prius’ material console, which principally labored, nevertheless it wasn’t protected in any respect. Even the passenger, clearly conversant in rideshare drivers, remarked I “needed a phone mount like other drivers.” She nonetheless gave me 5 stars, fortunately!

Related: Top Phone Mounts for Rideshare Drivers

In addition to a telephone mount, some beneficial merchandise for brand spanking new drivers embrace:

  • Some sort of air freshener – it makes a distinction! You should buy an essential oil diffuser like Sam Choi recommends, or you should purchase a primary air freshener – however belief me, you’ll in all probability want one
  • Bluetooth plugin – in case you have a automotive with out Bluetooth, like I do, think about getting a Bluetooth plugin so you possibly can management Spotify, Google Maps, and so forth.
  • Dash cam – I haven’t splurged on a touch cam but, however I do know I want to. There are many issues that may go flawed as a rideshare driver and, even when I’m cautious, that doesn’t imply passengers are. Dash cams are like insurance coverage: have it to be protected somewhat than sorry

Related: 11 Products That Every Rideshare Driver Should be Carrying

Takeaways on Signing Up With Uber and Lyft

Overall, it took me a few week with each Uber and Lyft to get the inspection accomplished, have my licenses/background examine accredited, and get my automotive cleaned and apps loaded. The most time-consuming half was ready for Uber and Lyft, although.

Both corporations rejected me for my photograph: I used to be making an attempt to look fairly, they usually weren’t having it. Just take a primary, pretty-enough photograph and depart the whole lot (sun shades, your canine, your partner, and so forth.) out of it. Uber then rejected me as a result of I signed up beneath a special e mail tackle – I forgot my unique passenger account e-mail, since I signed up with Uber years in the past. Uber is strict about no duplication of emails or telephone numbers!

It took so much longer to obtain my Lyft commerce gown than Uber – Uber’s arrived about four days after I utilized (regardless that they rejected me!) Lyft’s commerce gown arrived virtually 6 days later, and the adhesive for the automotive was missing. I ended up taping a few of my Lyft commerce gown to my entrance and rear home windows.

While you could have the ability to get on the street instantly after being authorised, it pays to assume forward of time about what you’ll want as a driver and what passengers will anticipate in a pleasant rideshare car. By getting ready forward of time, you’ll be much less flustered once you get on the street – which ought to lead to higher scores and better ideas!

Readers, what recommendation do you’ve gotten for brand spanking new drivers earlier than they get on the street?

Make Every Mile Count

Did you understand that each 1,000 enterprise miles can generate $535 in tax deductions? Never miss one other mile with the brand new QuickBooks Self-Employed automated mileage tracker.

– Melissa @ RSG

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Melissa Berry

In 2017, Melissa left her job in Homeland Security to turn into a full-time editor and challenge supervisor. She’s simply getting began driving for Uber and Lyft and drives primarily within the Phoenix market. In her free time, she likes working towards her Spanish with strangers and studying.

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