When you first start as an Uber driver there are a lot of mistakes people will make. You don’t know how to do something correctly until you have had hands on experience in the subject.
I was having a conversation earlier today with my mom about this. I was telling her how I was gonna make my millions and my goal is to make 100k this year between Ubering and my websites.
She asked if I was gonna go back to school after. Learn more about business, finances, etc…
I mean, that is kind of my career path. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m trying to start my own business.
Don’t get me wrong, education is very important. But, it is not always the path you need to take.
Bill gates and Paul Allen are both college dropouts and are also two of the wealthiest people in the world.
Michael Dell is in the same category of the first two I named.
Anyways, to the point…
I told my mom that if I’m making that kind of money I don’t need to go back to school. I can learn from mistakes with hands on experience instead of spending four years in school only to make those same mistakes anyways.
What a waste…
I value hands on experience over education because you are still educated a long the way.
Since I have already been driving for Uber there is a lot of hands on experience I have to share.
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes as I have done.
This is why in this post I will be sharing 18 essential Uber driving tips that every driver should know so you don’t repeat my history and can make more money with more satisfied riders.
Read on to hear my tips.
Stay Put Between Fares
One of the biggest problems I feel people do is after they take a fare they go back to an area where they think it’ll be busy. Honestly, the best tip is to just stay put.tips for uber driver
There’s plenty of times where I drove someone to the next city over and then on my way back to my starting point I would receive a request for a ride literally block over from where I dropped off the last passenger.
I’ve done this numerous times only to learn that each time I ended up burning more gas and adding more wear and tear to my vehicle than what was actually needed.
With driving for a living, saving pennies on gas will add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars saved. So, stay put. Try not to hover back to your starting point.
Note: If you been sitting in one spot for 15-20 minutes and still no requests, then ya maybe you should move. Just don’t drive back right away when you could end up getting a requests the next block over.
Don’t Chase Surge Fares
I think greed plays a factor with surge pricing. As drivers, we’re all hustling to get that next fare to make more money. When surge pricing jumps into the picture, now we’re all hit with the taste of extra money for the same amount of work.
Problem is, the surge pricing will be on the other side of the city and we have to drive 15 minutes to catch it.
It’s like a tease where you are trying to get home because your favorite meal is being made, but by the time you get there it’s all gone.
Don’t chase surges. Wait it out. If you are working enough hours eventually the surge will pop up in the area you are driving.
If You Decide To Chase Surges….
If you must…Maybe it’s surging extremely high in an area and you feel you must go. My advice would be to go offline until you get to the area.
1.) If you’re chasing a surge you don’t want to get a request from another rider before you to get the area or it may be too late after you do the pick up and drop off.
2.) Surge pricing is based off an algorithm that Uber created. If you show up in the surge area that means there’s one more driver on the road. Now you have added extra supply meaning there’s less of a demand. The second part is how many riders have the Uber app on. This shows Uber how great the demand is.
You don’t want to add extra supply before you make it to a good area or you could potentially lose out on the surge.
Other Drivers Are Visible In The Uber Passenger App
This is probably one the most used tips I have for you. I’m constantly looking at the passenger app so that way I can see how many drivers are online and where they are located.
When requests for rides are made they are pinged to the closest driver to the rider. This is how Uber is able to provide rides within minutes.
So, if there are 3-4 drivers next to each other side by side. The middle guy will be the last one to get a request if there’s enough to go around because he’s in the middle of the pack. There’s a driver on each side of him that would end up being the closest driver.
Where I live I constantly see all the drivers crowd in downtown. I will stay a few blocks outside of downtown so I get all the requests outside of downtown while the others hardly get any because they are all next to each other.
Using Uber’s passenger app is a great way to strategically place yourself where you can cover the largest area to attract the most requests.
If You Decline To Pick Someone Up Three Times In A Row, You Get Punished
I have never actually done this, but I read about it from another Uber driver. They basically went on to say they got a request from the same person 3 times and after declining each time Uber kicked them off the app.
From my understanding they were able to go back online after, but it just shows Uber’s paying attention to you and you don’t want to jeopardize your chances of getting deactivated my ignoring requests.
Besides, if you’re online I don’t see a point in you not wanting to get rides. So I’m sure this tip is only useful for a handful of people. But do be cautious.
Keep Snacks And Water In The Car
No, I am not saying you have to have them for the rider. I get it. That stuff cost money and most riders that don’t tip don’t deserve extra amenities.
But, you need to think about yourself for a second. You’re trying to make money so you don’t want to go offline and make a whole bunch of pit stops. It will slow down your income with all that wasted time.
Brings snacks and water so you can keep yourself fueled while you are working.
Less pit stops= more money. (Unless it’s one of your passengers stops, too!)
Always Carry Change For A $20 Bill
Some people do tip. But, most of the time when they tip they only seem to have a $20 bill and obviously don’t want to give you the whole bill for a $10 ride (Although it has happened).
Carrying change will help increase your chances of getting a tip for those that actually want to give. I’ve missed tips by not carrying change and have gained tips by carrying change.
Don’t lose out on tips because you didn’t bring change for their 20’s.
Keep Track Of Your Mileage – It’s Tax Deductible
Uber doesn’t pay you for your mileage. So what. That doesn’t mean you have to lose money on it.
Considering it is 2016 now, and tax season is right around the corner. You want to get every penny you can. So, the less stuff you’re taxed on the better.
I spend about 25 cents per mile for gas and maintenance. When you do your taxes you get about 55 cents tax deduction for every mile you drive.
Keeping track of your miles will go a long way considering you’re driving a couple hundred miles a week if you do this full time.
Check The Car Once People Exit
Forget To do this enough times and you will be regretting it. Trust me. I drove a guy an hour once only to find out he left his wallet in my car after by mistake.
I did not realize this until I was already home. I ended up driving an hour to his house to return the wallet and of course not get paid for it.
By me simply not checking the backseat I wasted 2 hours of my time returning his property without receiving anything in return.
Don’t make the same mistakes that I have already done. Check the seat after each ride and you will never have to waste all that time returning things.
Make Sure You Receive The Uber Sticker To Place On Your Car Windshield
Admittingly, I didn’t drive around with one the first few months of driving because the people that inspected my car forgot to give me one.
Luckily, I never got pulled over and ticketed for not having one, but if I was to it would’ve cost me almost $1,000 for something that seemed so minor to me.
Just because I was lucky doesn’t mean your luck will be the same. It is better to just have everything in order than to take your chances like I did.
Plus, with the sticker it makes it a lot easier for the passengers to recognize your vehicle and you don’t have to deal with riders questioning why you don’t have one on.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job Yet…
I’m sure you here it all the time.
“Uber is great and you make sooo much money driving.”
I’ll even tell you how I make good money.
But, this doesn’t mean you will make great money too. You could be in a small town that not many people use Uber. Or even knows it exists yet.
Uber started in San Francisco and even still I pick up people in the area that will tell me they just discovered Uber last week and I’m their first ride.
If this happens near San Francisco then it’s more probable to happen in other areas too.
Start off driving on the weekend and see how you like Uber. After a little while, if you feel it’s worth it, then quit your other job.
But, like I said, don’t just quit your job before you have even experienced your first ride.
Make Sure Your Passenger Is The Correct Person
This is very important and something that I made a mistake on as well.
I was driving to the location where the ride was requested and as I pulled up a group of people waved me down. They jumped in the car and I was on my way.
Come to find out after I had already started driving these people were the wrong group. They knew it before they got in, but didn’t want to keep waiting in the cold for their actual Uber ride.
So, after the ride I told Uber to give the person a refund because I didn’t actually pick them up. This means I made no money because Uber had to give a refund because of my mistake.
On top of that, I’m sure the person I was suppose to pick up gave me a bad rating because that’s what I would’ve done if it happened to me.
Luckily, the group I picked was kind enough to give me $20 in cash for probably a $7 ride. But, had they decided to be rude, I would’ve given a free ride to a group of people without any compensation for it.
Keep A Clean Car
One of the easiest tips I can give you without a doubt. When it comes to taxis, this is the thing that passengers comment the most on.
About how taxi drivers don’t maintain their car very well and there’s always some funky smell in the taxi cab.
Passengers hate it and is one of the ways a lot of people end up leaning towards Uber for a ride besides the lower prices.
I pick up people all the time and the first thing they will say to me is how great my car smells. When someone says that it means I’m giving a great first impression.
This usually makes the rider experience more pleasant and gives me a better chance of having a 5 star rating and receiving a potential tip.
Music is life. This world wouldn’t be the same without music, and without sound. Every single person loves music in this world. Whether it’s the same kind of music as you is a different story.
Think about a movie. Most of the time there is some kind of sound in the background. If there wasn’t the movie wouldn’t be half as good.
Same thing with an Uber ride. I like to put my music on low and play music that was a hit for everyone.
The ones that don’t like my music are usually still fine because at least they’re listening to something instead of having that awkward silence in the car.
While I have other people that will tell me to turn up the sound because they love the song. It makes for a great ride when we are all singing in the car.
I usually encourage people to sing if I hear them mumbling the song. Lots of times they laugh and will call themselves a terrible singer. It’s a great ice breaker for having a more pleasant ride.
Clean Personal Appearance
Nobody wants to be picked up by some person that has torn up ragged clothing and the scent of a dumpster. It makes for a bad experience and you could be losing out on future rides because people stopped using the app because of your appearance.
You don’t have to look perfect. Honestly I just put on normal clothing that will spark conversations because it usually is sports clothing.
Nobody seems to like a patriots fan now a days unless you are one yourself.
But, at least be a little clean shaven and take a shower and all that other good stuff. I don’t think I have to talk to you about hygiene. But, simply have a clean appearance.
People are looking for a ride, not to get on a roller coaster. So, speeding over the speed bumps, whipping around corners, and trying to jump over potholes like Frogger is just gonna make your passenger hate you.
Drive slowly. be aware of all the street signs and drive legally. Simple as that.
Act like you’re driving a limo. Not someone trying to spill your hot coffee.
Learn How To Navigate The City
One of the biggest complaints people have for Uber drivers is the navigation.
First off, if you miss too many turns you are now costing the passenger more money than what’s necessary. And they know this. Time is money.
Use Google maps or whatever GPS device you have and take the correct route. In the beginning, drive a whole bunch of hours so you can learn the city and all of it’s backstreets and shortcuts.
If riders don’t have to be your GPS they will be much happier, though I’ll admit there are a lot of backseat drivers anyways.
Be On Time
I know, sounds simple huh?
Truth be told, it is simple.
Just stop dilly dallying after you accept the ride and head straight over to the pick up spot instead of talking to your friends for a few extra minutes.
1.) The quicker you are, the faster you get that second fare.
2.) The quicker you are, the happier the rider.
Do I really need too say much more?
If you have made it to the end.
I know there were quite a few tips and probably even more that I missed.
I wanted to try to be as thorough as possible so you can have a great experience as an Uber driver.
If you have any more Uber driving tips let me know.
Please leave your comments below.