Do you hate the job you have now? Working for Uber might be a much better option for you.
There are some people who think that driving for Uber is only good for those looking for part-time work. But the average full-time Uber driver pulls in almost $43,000 per year, depending on where they work and how often they get behind the wheel.
You can put yourself in a position to make even more than that, too, when you take certain steps. Here are six ways you can maximize your ridesharing income when you're working for Uber.
1. Invest in a New Car
In order to start working for Uber, you'll need to have a car that meets certain requirements. Uber drivers need to have a car that is:
- 15 years old or younger
- Equipped with four doors
- In excellent condition with no obvious cosmetic damage
- Free of any commercial advertising
- Able to pass a vehicle inspection
But if you're going to make a lot of money driving for Uber, you might want to think about going above and beyond when it comes to your car. Consider investing in something brand new—or, at the very least, something brand new to you—for your Uber passengers.
If you can't afford to purchase a new car right now, there are Uber car loans that can help. By spending some money on a new car, you can make more money overall and turn your ridesharing income into your main source of income.
2. Find the Best Times to Drive for Uber in Your City
There are so many people who start working for Uber without doing any research on the ridesharing needs in their city. They end up driving around without passengers for hours on end simply because they decide to drive on, say, a Tuesday afternoon when there aren't many people looking for Ubers.
Before you begin driving for Uber, do your homework and find out the best times to work for Uber in your specific city. It might be:
- At 5 p.m. when people leave for work and need rides home
- At 2 a.m. when the bars let out and people are looking for a safe way to make their way home
- At 6 a.m. when travelers are trying to find someone to take them to the airport
Every city is a little bit different. What works for Uber drivers in one place might not work in another.
Spend a day or two driving around in your car to see when your city seems to need Uber the most. It'll help you see when the demand for Uber drivers is at its highest so you know when to work.
3. Learn to Drive Smarter as Opposed to Harder
Many Uber drivers think that they need to work 70 or 80 hours every week to be as profitable as possible. You can try to take this approach, but why would you want to when you can work a lot fewer hours and make around the same amount of money?
Driving smarter rather than harder is something all Uber drivers should try to do. They can do it by doing things like:
- Figuring out the popular places where people in your city need to be picked up the most
- Driving on holidays and days when there are special events taking place in your city
- Looking for incentives offered to you by Uber
- Learning about the hot spots in your city so that you can recommend longer trips to passengers
Getting enough sleep is another good way to drive smarter. You'll have more energy and make better decisions out on the road when you sleep 7 or 8 hours every night.
4. Sell Stuff to Your Passengers
Last summer, Uber teamed up with a company called Cargo to allow Uber drivers to sell stuff to their passengers. If you're not using Cargo in your car when you're working for Uber, why not?!
By installing a Cargo vending machine in your car, you can collect $1 every time someone asks for something from it—even if whatever they want is free from Cargo. It's a great option for Uber drivers.
Uber drivers can also opt to sell other things if they want. They can sell:
- Phone chargers
- Umbrellas and rain gear
- Hangover “cures”
You might want to be careful about carrying around too much merchandise in your car. But it wouldn't hurt to give people some options and pocket more money at the end of every ride.
5. Make the Most of Tax Deductions
As a ridesharing driver, there are dozens of tax deductions that you can claim during tax season. You may be able to deduct everything from car repair bills and oil changes to car detailing services and your work wardrobe.
You should, of course, speak with an accountant before you start claiming a ton of deductions on your taxes. But it's essential for you to make the most of whatever deductions you do qualify for.
6. Work on Your Customer Service Skills
At the end of the day, you're going to get more tips from people when you provide them with a pleasant and relaxing experience. Not everyone is going to tip you, but you'll increase your chances of scoring tips when you demonstrate strong customer service skills.
Get into the habit of greeting your passengers warmly without being too overbearing. Offer them a snack and ask if they want you to turn on any specific music.
By taking this approach, you'll entice your passengers to leave tips for you and maximize your earning potential while working for Uber.
Turn Working for Uber Into a More Profitable Endeavor
Working for Uber isn't for everyone. There are some people who just aren't cut out to drive for Uber, including those who don't have strong people skills and those who aren't great with directions.
But most people would do just fine working for Uber. As long as you're a good driver and enjoy interacting with others, you can turn a nice profit while driving for Uber.
Take some of our other blogs for a test drive to learn about more ways to make money while being your own boss.