Thanks to the rise of ridesharing apps nowadays, it’s possible to earn some extra money with your vehicle or even establish a full-time income while driving. Lyft, Uber and more apps are at your disposal, and if you have a fully functioning car and some time to spare, you’re set up.
Since being a ridesharing driver doesn’t bind you to any specific employer – you’re an independent contractor – you’re free to choose your own hours, which gives you great flexibility and the possibility to earn money whenever it suits you. However, as with any industry, there are mistakes to be made. If you want to establish yourself as a successful rideshare driver and thrive in your field, here are the five biggest mistakes rideshare drivers make that you should avoid.
They Don’t Invest in Their Car Enough
Since becoming a rideshare driver will have a big impact on your car, it’s advisable that you’re prepared to invest in it before you start driving. You’re bound to spend long hours driving around the city and increasing your mileage, therefore the car you use has to be in the best condition it can be, otherwise you’re likely to have to pay for services and repairs on a regular basis.
What’s more, the lower the quality, the more fuel you’ll have to buy, which will result in higher costs. Your car is the most essential tool you use for the growth of your business. Before you decide to become a rideshare driver, make sure to think about how much you’re willing to invest in the business beforehand and if you can afford it. Having a high-quality four-door car that is reliable and provides a great customer experience is absolutely vital for anyone who wants to become a successful rideshare driver.
They Aren’t Aware of Their Surroundings
Just like being aware of the cars around you is important, it’s also necessary to keep your wits about you when it comes to the passengers in your car. As calm as many rideshare experiences are, remember that you’re still letting a stranger into your car each time you offer someone a trip.
During the drive, be aware of your surroundings and stay calm and focused. This is a good way to prevent potential danger, especially if you’re driving late at night. According to the Barnes Firm, an Orange County accident lawyer, if you are at fault in an accident when a passenger is in the car, that passenger may have grounds to sue you. Avoid paying attention to your phone while driving—even if you get a new ride request while on the road.
They Don’t Drive When There’s High Demand
One of the best times to drive when you’re using apps such as Uber is when there’s a surge – this means there’s a higher demand for cars than usual, which automatically results in spiking prices. However, remember that one of the benefits of being a rideshare driver is flexibility and the option to choose when you want to work. Waiting for a surge to occur so that you can go driving (what’s commonly called “chasing surges”) might negatively impact your other responsibilities and your daily routine, so make sure you know how to find the right balance.
Many surges occur at night as people who have been out drinking are looking for a safe way to get home. If you’re willing to drive at night or on the weekend, rideshare driving might turn into a very lucrative business.
They’re Not Willing to Work on Their Social and Driving Skills
After each ride, a passenger gives you a rating on the app you’re using. It’s essential that you try to provide the best possible customer experience, otherwise you’re at the risk of receiving a bad score and having fewer passengers as a result. Once you have a low rating, it can be very hard to work your way back to the top because many passengers won’t accept you as their driver.
There are two things that factor into the rideshare customer experience – your driving skills and your social skills. Always stick to the rules, don’t cross the speed limit and act responsibly. It’s important that your passenger feels safe with you as their driver. Secondly, work on your social skills. Nervous chattering or hostile behavior aren’t welcome. The experience should be as smooth and comfortable as possible.
They Don’t Treat Rideshare Driving as a Business
In order to make rideshare driving profitable, treat it like a business. As an independent contractor, it’s your own responsibility to track your earnings and expenses. When you write everything down, such as the costs of repairs, fuel, and the earnings you make with each trip, you’re much more likely to see how you’re doing overall and if being a rideshare driver is worth it for you. Being successful stems from hard work and a strict business mindset. Keeping up with your expenses also helps you deal with taxes later on.