Suppose you have a car with four doors of the right age and have the necessary documentation. In that case, you will be good to start working as an Uber driver, with a lot of enthusiasm and optimism, hoping that you will earn gigs in the new venture. However, you may soon be shocked, especially when you realize that Uber driving typically makes you less than $14 per hour.
And that’s where clever tricks that boost your earnings as an Uber driver come in. This article has gathered advice from experienced drivers who’ve been on the road for a long time and will help you make your hustle more rewarding.
1. Keep the cargo box right in its place
The cargo box is the item that experienced Uber drivers insist that drivers include in the car to make extra money. In fact, it’s most drivers’ favorite way of earning extra bucks. The box has snacks, water, and other excellent items, which most passengers would love to have en route, especially if it’s a long drive.
Instead of the driver hiking the price, the suppliers do it for them, enabling them to earn without fretting or sweating. Of course, $1 per day may sound mediocre. However, think about what that means at the end of a 30-day month. Moreover, you don’t spend any cash to get the box since drivers get it for free.
2. Know the local bathrooms
When you are an Uber driver, something as simple as bathrooms can cost you a lot of money. Therefore, ensure that you know the local bathrooms in your working environments so that when the call of nature knocks, you are sorted.
In fact, if you could know which restrooms are locked at what time of the day and which packing lots are free at what times of the day. Then, you will save the fuel spent while driving continuously to find an ideal parking space before relieving yourself.
3. Re-evaluate your car’s insurance policy and get a cheaper alternative
Most experienced drivers will tell you that a car’s insurance is a must-do, and that’s actually true. However, insurance policies are crazily expensive, especially if you choose big companies like Progressive, Allstate, or Geico.
Therefore, to maximize your Uber earnings, re-evaluate your insurance policy and sign up with more petite guys like Metromile. Of course, the benefits are more or less the same, but the smaller companies allow you to save a few pence. If you want to compare rates for free, try looking at Joywallet’s best car insurance company reviews.
4. Take advantage of surge fares
There are specific times of the day and night when Uber prices surge, and you need to know them and take advantage of them. For example, one veteran driver who drives near local bars realized that Uber prices surged between 2 and 2:30 a.m. when bars closed and those who had been drinking left for home. She suggests that to take advantage of the surges, she needs to log out 15 minutes to reduce the number of drivers in the locality and let the prices shoot up. For her case, she would log out of the app at around 1:45 a.m., and when logging in after 2 a.m., she would get crazy deals.
5. Try a hack when you choose to chase a surge fare
Most Uber drivers would tell you that generally, it’s not economical or worthwhile to chase after a surge fare. Since every other driver will be heading in the same direction. By the time you get there, the surge will have ended. However, there is a hack one should try in case he chooses to go after a surge fare.
Log out of the diver app and log into the passenger app on your way to the price surge area, and when you get there, log out of the passenger app and shift back to the driver app. This sways the system a bit, creating the impression that there are many passengers around, and you may be fortunate enough to catch the surge.
6. Avoid driving endlessly to get a passenger
Most novice drivers drive endlessly in circles, hoping to get a passenger in the process. However, this only wastes money because you use gas and fuel. Instead, look for a central area and stick to it, and avoid staying around suburbs. According to veteran Uber drivers, you can never tell where a passenger wants to go until you get to where he is and talk to him.
This means that if you drive endlessly and end up far away, you will spend a lot of fuel to get back. Meanwhile, the longer you take, the more bored the passenger may bring, and he might cancel the ride, leading to double losses.
7. Use the uber passenger app
Being an Uber driver doesn’t mean that you cannot use the Uber passenger app. In fact, the app has other benefits, which the driver app might lack for one reason or another. For instance, veteran drivers use the passenger app to know how many Uber drivers surround them, allowing them to move to other areas with fewer drivers. Moreover, the driver app may have information delays, including surge fares, but this will never happen with the passenger app.
8. Be smart with uber tips
Uber did not allow its drivers to request passengers for tips until April 2017, when the rule changed. Unfortunately, many passengers are still oblivious of this. You don’t want to make them uncomfortable by asking them for tips directly. Therefore, you need to be smart here and get the most by including a free tip sign printout in your car.
Still, other drivers are more innovative and ask the passengers to rate them on the app. As they do so, they will come across the tip option and will likely tip the driver through the app.
The bottom line
Uber driving is one of the methods with which people are sustaining themselves today. However, most drivers earn less than $14 per hour, which is unsustainable. However, with clever tips, you can maximize your Uber driver earnings. For instance, you could be wise with tips by asking passengers to rate you on the app. In addition, including a cargo box with snacks in the car, taking advantage of surge fares but not chasing after them. And using the passenger app may have other benefits the driver app may lack.
Rose Rosie is a writer for the personal finance website, Joy Wallet, which provides readers with useful information, resources, and tools to help maximize their financial fitness.