Do you wonder if there are ways to make money without having a job? And not just any amount of money, but a lot of money? If you have a car and driver’s license, you can probably make a decent amount of money as an Uber driver. It’s a side job for most people, but a very high paying one that doesn’t really involve much effort. You’re basically just paid to drive your car. Drive, earn. It seems almost too good to be true, but it’s not!
To become an Uber driver, there are some things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, there’s an age requirement. You must be 21 years of age or older and you must have at least 3 years of driving experience. If you are moving from another state, you will have to verify your driving history. Keep your out-of-state driver’s license for your records, you may need it in the future.
Other requirements are more legal oriented. You require an in-state car insurance plan that’s in your name as well as an in-state car registration, but that doesn’t need to be in your name. You also need an in-state driver’s license and a social security number, which will be essential for your background check.
The background check itself is in place to prove that you have a good, clean driving record. You must pass this check or else you do not qualify. The background check is completed by a company named Hirease and often takes 2-5 business days to complete. The check involves seeing that you have no DUI or drug-related offenses, no instances of driving uninsured or without a license, no fatal accidents, no reckless driving, and no criminal history. If you pass that check, congratulations! You’re one step closer to becoming an Uber driver!
With the driver aspect covered, it’s time to cover the requirements of your car. If you just want to drive for the standard Uber, any car that passes health and safety inspection will suffice. If you would live to drive for UberX or any other higher level at Uber, you will have tighter requirements to make and will usually have to own a luxury vehicle. The most basic requirements is that your car is a 4 door sedan that is able to seat four people excluding the driver, that is from the year 2000 or more recent, is not marked, a taxi, or a salvaged vehicle, in-state plates, and registered.
If you have passed all that, congratulations! You’re an Uber driver! How here are 8 helpful tips to make you the best possible Uber driver you can be.
As an Uber driver, you need to set yourself apart from the standard taxi drivers and in order to do so, keep your car up to date with all the latest jacks and plugs. This means your riders can charge their phone or plug into the music system to play whatever they please while you take them to their next location. You can also look into wireless configurations so riders can connect via BlueTooth if all they want to do is play music.
2. Sanitary Items
While it may sound silly to stock your car with what I’m about to list, you’ll be surprised at how handy it will come in one day. Buy vomit bags and keep them easily accessible in the back seat for those passengers that are either drunk or just get car sick. It’ll be easier for them to throw a puke bag out when they leave instead of you having to take your car to a professional detailer to have the seats and floor cleaned and disinfected, and for them to spray something to get rid of that awful stench. You should also keep sanitary hand wipes or little bottles of hand sanitizer. Tissues might also come in handy.
3. Snacks and Beverages
While some Uber drivers say they’re not important, you might want to consider including candy and miniature bottles of water or juice for your riders, especially in the hotter months when water is in short supply. Candy helps keep blood sugar up and is an inexpensive treat to have in stock in your car.
Keep your car as spotless as you can manage. There is nothing more off putting than getting into a vehicle that smells and looks back. You don’t want junk on your floors or on your seats, especially not on your seats! Having air fresheners goes a long way but you should be sure to keep them fresh so your car smells fresh. A regular run-through of your vehicle should keep the seats, windows, and floors nice and clean and clutter free.
5. Keep Track of Your Miles
Be sure to keep track of your starting and ending miles and do so in a way that is reliable and easy to track. Your income as an Uber driver is tax deductible and you need to be sure you keep track of them for that purpose. That is more a tip on your end as a driver, but it’s important that you don’t get suspended from Uber for trying to make money off the books.
6. Follow The Speed Limit
This might seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many Uber drives suffer dearly because they ignore speed limits and end up getting tickets. As a driver with someone else with you, you have a responsibility to drive as safely and responsibly as you can. That means respecting speed limits, driving according to the weather, following any and all street signs, and driving defensively as opposed to offensively.
7. Your Uber Trade Dress
As soon as you get approved as an Uber driver, order your Uber trade dress ASAP so you can get it ASAP. Be sure to put it up in a place where it is clearly visible because it could potentially save you from a ticket. It’s recommended to be stuck onto the bottom of the passenger side of the windshield. The trade dress is a sticker that identifies you as an Uber driver.
This might seem like something that goes under tidiness, but it’s a category all on its own. Keep a bottle or a can of Febreze on you at all times because it’s a quick way to give your car a fresh boost between rides. You never know when you’re picking up someone from either a gym or a bar; either place leaves a sour lingering odour that could stink up your car and make any riders after them uncomfortable.
As an Uber driver, there’s only so much you can do to make sure your riders have a great trip. A good tidbit to keep in mind just for yourself is that you won’t always get a 5.0 rating, but don’t fret. If you follow the aforementioned tips, you’re sure to nab extremely high ratings from all your satisfied rides. Regardless of the rider and their rating, be polite and be grateful.
Something else to keep in mind is not to be a chatter box if your rider doesn’t want to chat! Be polite and greet them with a good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, but beyond that, follow their lead. Ask where they’re going and then focus on driving. Most riders don’t want a conversation from their driver because you should only preoccupy yourself with the road before you. But, if your driver wants a little chat, go along with it. Follow their lead. When your ride ends and your riders are getting out, thank them for riding with you and bid them a good morning, good afternoon, or good night. Being polite goes a long way, especially considering most cab drivers are rude and abrupt. One thing you could stand to ask your riders is how they like the temperature inside their vehicle. Is it too hot? Is it too cold? Would you like a window down? Should I roll the window up? Communicate simple things like that to ensure that your rider is as comfortable as possible.
Being an Uber driver is a great gig, but you shouldn’t quit your day job. Most people start to Uber as a way to supplement the income from a job or position they hold elsewhere. Sometimes you make a lot of money, most of it in tips, and sometimes you don’t make any tips. But don’t let it make you bitter. Remember, you’re an Uber driver because you want to be an Uber driver, not because someone made you or told you to become one. Take pride in your work because it reflects directly on you. You are your own brand and so is your car. Be a clean and quaffed driver and make sure your car is showroom ready. Everything else will take care of itself, you just have to worry about earning money while you drive! I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty sweet gig to me. Good luck on all your Uber fun!