One of the main selling points of becoming an UBER driver is the flexibility; to hear some tell it, you can just get in your car and go, and start raking in some money. The reality is a bit more complicated than that: The successful UBER driver must spend some time stocking his or her car with the items needed both to provide a satisfactory passenger experience, and to make the driver’s own life easier.
You don’t want to overload your car with junk, because doing so will eat into your profit margins; there is a reason, after all, why most drivers shy away from excessive snack selections. To help you determine what’s really worth investing in for your UBER car, here are our ranked suggestions.
1. Dash Cam
There are a number of reasons why you want a dash cam to record your ride, and they all come back to one simple idea: If you record your rides, you can protect yourself, especially in the event of something like an accident. Make sure you have a dash cam and that you keep it running.
2. Car Cradle (Mount)
The UBER driver depends on a cell phone for accepting new fares, for getting GPS directions, for checking traffic, and more—yet when you have a phone in your hands, it automatically makes the passenger feel less safe. Being able to use your phone hands-free is optimal, and a car cradle mount is the most elegant solution.
3. Car Phone Charger
Given how much UBER drivers depend on their phones, the thought of losing your battery life is all but unthinkable. Having a way to charge as you drive is a no-brainer. Whether or not you want to offer some additional charging cables for your passengers is up to you; certainly it’s something that many UBER drivers recommend, though you’ll want to make sure you have cables to accommodate a range of popular devices.
4. Vomit Bags
The UBER driver must be prepared for passengers in all conditions. This includes those who struggle with motion sickness, those who are on their way to the doctor, or—yes—those who have had just a bit too much to drink. It doesn’t really matter why your passengers vomit, of course. What matters is that they will, and you need to be ready for it. This is as much for your car’s sake as it is your passengers’. Get vomit bags!
5. Jumper Cables
What’s worse than your cellphone running out of juice? Your car breaking down. Having jumper cables handy is not a replacement for actual, routine vehicle maintenance, but it’s certainly a smart way to prepare for all contingencies. (Studying up and ensuring you know how to use jumper cables helps, too.)
6. First Aid Kit
Nobody expects their UBER driver to be a trained medic, but having a way to help those with little cuts, scrapes, or aches can certainly endear you to your passengers. You may even need first aid yourself someday—so be ready!
7. Seat Belt Cutters
File this under things you hope you’ll never have to use. In the event of an accident or medical emergency, you may need a way to release someone from their seatbelt, and having a pair of cutters in your glove box is the quickest way to do so. A good precaution.
8. A Portable Vacuum
One of the keys to maintaining stellar ratings is keeping your vehicle clean—and that’s not always an easy thing to do. Having a handy little vacuum stowed in your trunk helps.
Whether looking for an item that rolled under your seat or making quick vehicle repairs in the middle of the night, having a flashlight—other than the one on your phone—is wise.
10. Air Freshener
Have an air freshener hanging, some spares in the glove box, maybe even a bit of deodorizing spray—because again: One of the keys to happy passengers (and high ratings) is maintaining a car that looks, feels, and smells clean.
You can always stop at a gas station to clean off a dirty windshield—but if you’ve got a squeegee on hand, you won’t have to.
12. Gum and/or Mints
Every driver knows that they are recommended to keep gum and mints on hand—and by now, most passengers know it, too. Don’t be caught as the one UBER driver in town who doesn’t have a breath freshener to offer. Keep your car well-stocked.
What’s the best way to get ratings from your passengers? How about just asking for them? Signs and decals can serve as gentle, helpful reminders.
14. A Backseat Organizer
One way to keep your ride feeling clean and tidy is to have everything in its right place—and a simple backseat organizer can go a long way toward accomplishing that.
15. A Gas Can
Remember what we said before about your car running out of juice? In addition to jumper cables, a gas can is a wise thing to keep in the trunk just in case you ever run into a worst-case-scenario.
For comfort as well as safety, having an extra pair of shades in your glove box is a smart move.
17. Paper Towels
For spills, messy hands, or whatever other minor incidents befall you and your passengers, always have paper towels at the ready.
You’ll have passengers suffering with allergies, common colds, and sinus issues aplenty—and some who may be a little teary-eyed, for whatever reasons. Being able to offer a tissue is simply good manners.
19. Hand Sanitizer
This is another little perk that many UBER riders have become accustomed to. Make sure you can provide it whenever it’s requested. (You might occasionally use some hand sanitizer yourself, too.)
20. Car Seat Protectors
For any riders who bring their service animals into your vehicle, a dog-proof car seat protector can help you maintain your car’s fresh and clean feel.
Additional Items to Keep in Your UBER
Finally, here are five more items you should at least consider—all of which can prove handy in select situations:
21. Disinfectant wipes, especially handy for any parents who ride with young kids.
22. A tire gauge, for whenever you need to pump some more air.
23. A trash can, for you and your riders to dispose of unwanted refuse.
24. A small duster, which can be a helpful complement to your hand-held vacuum.
25. A pen and paper, to tabulate mileage and expenses. (Of course, many drivers just do this on their phones.)
Are You Ready to Get Driving?
Before you accept your next UBER fare, make sure your car is stocked to make the best possible impression—and also to give you what you need during a long shift behind the wheel. All of the items on this list are driver-approved and easily available on Amazon—and we think they’ll help you do your job better.
Start from the top and work your way down the list, and see for yourself how much these items come in handy as you UBER.
Drivers… Do you agree with this list? How would you rank the things you need? Comment below!