7 Things to Consider Before You Drive for Uber or Lyft Full-Time
By: Tommy Andrews
While being an Uber driver may not appear to be the most difficult job in the world, it does have its own set of pros and cons.
Whether you drive for Uber or Lyft, there a number of factors to consider before taking on this job full-time.
How much time are you prepared to devote to driving, do you consider yourself a people’s person, how well do you know the city you live in?
These are just a few of the basic considerations. To learn more about important factors to think about before committing to Uber or Lyft, read this blog!
Are You Ready to Drive For Uber or Lyft? What To Consider
Sure, driving all day may seem like a piece of cake, but like most things in life, it’s not always what it seems.
Becoming an Uber driver or Lyft driver, full-time, is a big decision that takes commitment. It’s not just about driving a few hours a day and watching the money fly in. There are a few realities you may need to confront before making this decision.
Here are 7 of the top considerations to think about before calling Uber or Lyft your full-time job…
1. You’ll Be Working Long Hours
Becoming a full-time rideshare driver is a full-on commitment — and that doesn’t mean a few hours of driving here and there throughout the day. Most days, especially during peak periods, you’ll be driving up to 12 hours a day or more.
Things to Consider:
- 12 hours in the driver’s seat equate to a lot of sitting, this tends to cause lower back pain and could exacerbate existing conditions
- You won’t be getting much exercise or movement at all, besides very short pit stops throughout the day
- Long and unusual working hours- some of your busiest periods will be at odd hours when you would usually spend time with your loved ones
Of course, there are solutions to these factors – it’s not all doom and gloom. But there are the realities of full-time driving and definitely worth considering!
2. How Flexible Are You With Your Time?
The reality of being an Uber or Lyft driver is that your busiest time for business is when everyone else is not working! This means that holidays, weekends and evenings are when you’ll be working the most.
With this in mind, you’ll need to consider how flexible you are with your own time and how much you’re willing to sacrifice in the name of your job.
3. Do You Consider Yourself a People’s Person?
At the heart of Uber and Lyft driving is a service being offered to customers. Essentially, you are one of the many faces of either Uber or Lyft and should have some measure of people’s skills.
Be prepared to meet new people, multiple times a day. Some passengers may want to engage with you, others may not. Either way, you’ll need to be courteous and genuinely enjoy the company of others.
Ultimately, your ratings and tips depend on your engagement, likability, and skills as a driver. So if you aren’t overly social or outgoing, this is something to consider!
4. Are You Properly Equipped For the Job?
This boils down to having the right tools to get the job done to the best of your ability. After all, your equipment determines your effectiveness.
Other than driving a suitable car which has passed all necessary inspections of roadworthiness, you’ll need a few other gadgets.
This includes a high-quality GPS system, a smartphone mount for handsfree communication, a dash cam, and plenty of phone chargers for passengers.
You should also invest in an illuminated Uber or Lyft sign for night driving as well as an emergency first aid kit, and vomit bags (yes, really!)
Adding personalized touches such as complimentary bottles of water and candy is also great for ratings.
5. Are You Ready to Be a Small Business Owner?
While Uber or Lyft is not exactly your own business, you are essentially your own boss, and by definition, this makes you a small business owner!
As such, there are a few important responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with being your own boss.
Some of the major considerations you’ll have to keep in mind include:
- The maintenance of your car and conducting regular tune-ups including oil changes, tire changes, cleans and polishes etc.
- Healthcare costs — being self-employed means you’ll need to cover your own healthcare, will you be able to afford this?
- Tax responsibility — you’ll need to begin tracking your income, expenses and filing your taxes as a freelancer.
Undoubtedly, there will be a few other responsibilities that crop up when working for yourself. But it’s important to ensure you’re ready for this and have the time!
6. How Well Do You Know Your City?
Are you a local of the area you live in? Were you born and bred in the city and know the roads like the back of your hand? Then Uber or Lyft driving will be a whole lot easier for you!
If not, you may need to do a little homework and begin associating yourself with the area. Make sure to learn the fastest routes to popular places as well as the best side roads and back roads to skip traffic.
The more efficiently you can deliver your passengers to their destination, the higher your rating will be! Plus, you’re left with more time to make more money.
Keep in mind that if you live in a small town or rural area, you may only receive a surge in business during special events and festivals.
7. Sometimes, the Pay Might Not Cut It
At first, Uber advertised that its drivers could earn up to $90,000 per year, or $40 per hour or more! However, this number has proven rather unrealistic over time.
Today, the average rate per hour is closer to $15-$20, but this does depend on the time and day you drive. Popular occasions such as New Years, Halloween, and large events are a goldmine for Uber and Lyft drivers.
The important thing is to choose the right time of day to drive in order to maximize your profit.
The reality is that there will be peaks and troughs in the amount you can earn as a driver, you just have to prepare for this.
Remember to take into consideration that all other expenses will be out of your own pocket too. This includes most importantly tracking your business miles, maintenance and depreciation of your car, fuel costs, taxes, meals on the road and more.
Looking For More Rideshare Advice?
At Rideshare Consulting we offer all those people thinking of diving for Uber or Lyft invaluable advice for their job on the road.
If you want to learn how to drive for Uber or Lyft, we are here to help you prepare! Contact us for all your driver consulting needs by filling out the contact form on our home page.