Ever considered driving for Uber?
My roommate used to drive after work a couple years ago. I had considered it at the time, but I had other side jobs at the time so I didn’t deem it worth it. This summer, however, I returned from France both job-less and broke as a joke. With the help of friends, I found a job pretty quickly. In between arriving home and starting at the restaurant, I drove Uber to fill the gap of employment. Then, recently I found myself in another little “gap of employment” and began driving again. I now drive part-time after work and on the weekends for extra cash!
While I am happy not to depend on Uber as my sole source of income, I’ve found that it’s a really convenient way to make extra money. If you drive strategically, it can also be quite lucrative. This week, I got a lil electronic-badge congratulating me on getting 100 5-star rides! There’s obviously a lot of things to consider before driving for a car service. Below are some of my main points of concern:
Uber supposedly provides some type of coverage in case something happens while you are driving for them. I had personal coverage through GEICO, so I changed my policy with them to cover both personal and commercial driving. Nothing has happened as of yet, but it’s better to be safe than sorry! Needless to say, commercial driving coverage is a lot more expensive than regular personal. I used my quote to determine whether or not it was worth it to drive or not. Increased car insurance and gasoline costs should definitely be taken into consideration. I decided that as long as I am driving relatively regularly, the insurance and gas are taken care of. The insurance cost, however, is not worth it if I drive less than a couple times weekly because then I won’t really making a profit.
The most frequent comment I get from my riders right off the bat is: “Oh, wow! I never get a female Uber driver!” Some riders have asked me if I ever get nervous driving, as a girl. Despite the annoying fact that no one would ever ask a male Uber driver if he ever feels unsafe, I understand this is a real concern. For peace of mind, and to appease my parents, I keep mace with me just in case. But, to be honest, I have never actually felt uncomfortable with any passengers thus far. I don’t drive late at night that often, but when I have it hasn’t been a problem. Just as riders review their drivers, drivers review riders. Before I accept a ride request, I can see what rating the rider has – if someone has an unusually low rating I probably won’t accept the request.
The flexibility of driving whenever you want is definitely the best perk. Uber also has instant cash out – you can either wait for the regular paycheck (Monday to Sunday, I believe, paid out the following Wednesday/Thursday) or you can cash out whatever you’ve earned to your bank/debit card (for 50 cents). It’s not like Venmo, where there is a day delay – when I press cash out, I can open my online banking and the deposit is already there.
People are always curious about the pay rates for drivers. Individual rides don’t pay very much, so you don’t make much unless you are driving consecutive rides. Uber provides various incentives that help you earn more during certain timeframes. Uber Pool rides provide very little pay individually, but each passenger counts as a separate “Ride” for Quest incentives. Each week/weekend Uber gives a Quest – saying if you drive XX amount of rides between Monday-Thursday/Friday-Sunday, then you get XX bonus on top of the commission.
Some drivers choose to drive for multiple companies – Uber, Lyft, Via, what-have-you. I have only tried Uber thus far, but I have talked with other drivers who do multiple. In a way, it’s smart. Double the chance for demand, and you can choose to drive for whichever brand is offering the best incentive that day/week. For now, I’m good with just one.
As I said before, I haven’t experienced any customers who’ve made me uncomfortable yet (unless you count stinky ones lol). Because I drive to work in DC, I usually drive after work for a bit because I would sit in traffic regardless – might as well get paid to sit in traffic! There is always a surge when everyone gets off work as well. Driving in DC is pretty entertaining because I get a variety of passengers. I get tourists, locals leaving work/happy hour, yesterday I even drove two Congressmen!!
The above pictures were taken while I was stopped at traffic lights and stop signs (I promise!) in DC.
If after reading this you find yourself considering driving for Uber, you should use my code . 😉