There are plenty of ways to make a few extra bucks these days. If you have a car and a couple of spare hours, you may consider becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. Before downloading the app and getting on the road, you should know a little more about the job. So here are four things to keep in mind if you plan to become an Uber or Lyft driver.
1. Driver Requirements
While it may be easy to just clean up your car and open the doors to passengers, you need to make sure you meet the driver requirements. When you sign up for Uber or Lyft, the company will require certain documents as checks before allowing you to pick up rides. You will need to provide the following documents when applying to be a driver:
- Driver’s License
- Background Check
- Vehicle Inspection (in certain states)
- Car (or rental)
- Proof of Residency
If you already find yourself driving often, you should already have all of these things ready to go. But if your registration is about to expire or you need extra time for a background check, you’ll have to keep that in mind before signing up to be a driver.
Your rideshare service of choice will also look at your driving history as well as all of your documentation before approving you as a driver.
2. The Area You Drive In
Before filling out all of the paperwork, it’s a good idea to think about the area you will be driving in. When you do this, you’ll figure out if it’s even worth applying to be a driver. Busier places like cities and large towns may make you more money than if you live in rural areas. You can get more rides in busier areas and benefit from different incentives from Uber and Lyft to make more money as a driver.
You should also be strategic about where you want to drive in your area. If there is a busy area with lots of shopping or restaurants you can drive there. But if there isn’t a lot going on in your area where people might need rides, you may want to consider a different side hustle.
You should also get familiar with the peak hours of your area. These are the hours when most people are looking for rides. If you have bars or concert venues in your area, you may make the most money by driving very late at night or even into the very early morning.
As a driver, you’ll have to make sure you keep yourself and your passengers safe, especially if you’re driving at busy times of the day. You’ll have to be alert to other drivers and accidents. If you drive in a busy place like Los Angeles you’ll have to be on even high alert. If you do end up getting into an accident, you can work with uber accident attorneys in Los Angeles to help you get back on your feet in no time.
3. Can you Avoid Traffic?
Before you sign up to be a rideshare driver, you’d probably assume that you get paid for your time driving. However, with Uber or Lyft, the payout is higher per mile rather than it is per minute. If you find yourself living in a heavily trafficked area, you may not make as much money as you originally thought.
There are plenty of ways to avoid getting stuck in traffic with your passengers. You just have to be strategic about the time of day you drive. While there may be more people looking for rides during rush hour, you’ll have to decide to take a longer ride or sit in traffic for longer.
4. Do You Have the Personality?
One of the difficult things about driving for Uber or Lyft is that your customers rate you after a ride. This rating can affect whether or not other people will take a ride in the future with you. Some people enjoy chatting with their drivers while others would like a quiet ride. So you have to think to yourself, do you have the type of personality that it takes to talk to people all day long? Or know when it’s okay to enjoy a silent trip? The overall experience of being a driver comes from working well with your clients. So if you love small talk and creating a positive experience, then signing up as a driver is for you.
There is a lot more work that goes into being an Uber or Lyft driver than just driving. You have to take care of your car, find the right times to drive, and keep a smile on your face. But if you are ready to take on the challenge, you can make a nice amount of cash on the side as a rideshare drive. Just make sure you keep all of the factors in mind before signing up for Uber or Lyft.
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