UBER is a great resource for individuals who rely on the gig-economy to earn a side income, or even their main income. However, as new drivers begin their rideshare journey, they should be aware of some of the most common mistakes that prevent other drivers from optimizing their income through UBER.
If you’re a new driver, or even an experienced driver, make sure to avoid these common mistakes in order to make the most of your rideshare experience.
Don’t Chase the Surge
If you’re a new driver and you don’t know what surge is, it’s a red area on your map in which drivers are paid higher rates due to high demand. For example, depending on how busy it is, your app might tell you that drivers are currently being paid 1.5x the normal rate.
You can probably see why so many drivers are tempted to go out of their way to make it to these areas. It might only be a couple miles away and you figure the time it takes to get there will be worth it. However, you have to remember that surge prices are based on supply and demand, meaning that as more drivers come to the little red area on the map, prices are going to go back to normal.
When Uber sends you a 450% surge 45+ minute trip ping but you’ve just passed the exit
Don’t Only Rely on UBER
Almost any experienced member of the gig-economy will tell you that you should be taking advantage of multiple apps in order to maximize your profits.
UBER is a fantastic side-hustle, but you’ll find that some days are slower than others. You’ll notice that a lot of your fellow UBER drivers also have that Lyft sticker in their windshield. Going online on both apps at the same time is simply more efficient as it gives you the opportunity to accept rides from customers on both apps. Additionally, it can give you the opportunity to catch surge pricing on one app that may not be available on the other app.appa
Whether you’re a new or experienced driver, you should be sure to take advantage of multiple rideshare apps to maximize your earnings.
Don’t Start the Ride Too Early
Often, you’ll find the customers aren’t always ready to go when you get to the pickup location. You might think you’re being sneaky by starting the ride as soon as you get there, but, make no mistake, you’re not.
Starting the ride early is bad for a couple of reasons. First, if your customer notices, you’ll likely get a bad rating, and ratings are everything as you surely know. Second, in some cases, a customer might need to cancel the ride for whatever reason, and if you’ve already started the trip, there’s no way to cancel. Do yourself a favor and just be patient.
Don’t Drive Erratically
This shouldn’t really need to be said, but, unfortunately, it does. This applies primarily to new drivers as they feel pressure to pick up and drop off customers as quickly as possible. In some cases, this means breaking some traffic laws. Additionally, don’t feel pressured to break traffic laws based on your customer’s directions. While it’s important to provide the customer with a good experience, you should never let them encourage you to speed or make an illegal u-turn.
Don’t Forget to Track Your Miles
Experienced drivers likely already know this, but new drivers might not be aware of the importance of tracking your miles. As an independent contractor, you can deduct business expenses from your taxes at the end of the year. For UBER drivers, the largest business expense you’ll likely have is mileage. As of 2018, the standard mileage deduction allows drivers to deduct $0.545 for every business-use mile.
There are several apps you can use to keep track of your mileage, so there’s no excuse to make this mistake anymore.
Do you have any advice for new UBER drivers? What mistakes are we missing? Please share them by commenting below!