Rideshare drivers, like all other workers, have a tendency to get lax after they’ve been in the same job for some time. At first the job is all new and fun, but over time the newness wears off as the grind sets in.
At first, drivers are full of energy and enthusiasm and determined to be the best driver there ever was. They keep their cars spotless, they’re kind and polite to every passenger, they load up on water and snacks for their passengers, and they may even open the door for riders.
But over time, once drivers have been taken advantage of a few times or become aware of how unfairly they can be treated by Uber and Lyft, the desire to do a great job tends to fade away. Plus, there are the little mistakes we start to make as laziness kicks in and we get lax about certain things.
If you’re going to drive, though, you may as well do things right, as the things you become lax about will probably end up costing you a lot of money. If you’re going to do the job you may as well do it well even though you know you won’t always be fairly treated or compensated for your efforts. But over time, you’ll be treated better and compensated better if you continue to do the same sterling job you did when you first began.
Top 7 things veteran rideshare drivers should think about
- Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation can cause untold numbers of problems. Just some of the problems that can affect your earning ability are clumsiness, lack of motivation and forgetfulness. If you lose your motivation, you’re not going to get out there as much.
If you’re clumsy and/or forgetful you’re going to miss those turns, leading to lower ratings and smaller tips. Lack of sleep also causes you to have slower response times, which can lead to accidents.
- Have a schedule: Veteran drivers really need a schedule because they’ve done the job long enough to be a little weary of it. Without a schedule, suddenly every little thing becomes the perfect excuse not to go drive today. If you’re not driving, you’re not earning. Make a schedule and stick to it. It will provide the discipline you need to get out there and work. Even when you have a hundred better things to do.
- Set specific goals: This is key. You have to have goals to know what you’re shooting for. If you don’t have goals you’ll go out to drive, earn $50, decide that’s enough for the day and you’ll head home. But if you had a goal of, say, earning $150 a day, then you’ll have a reason to stay out even when you don’t feel like it. In this scenario you would have earned three times as much if you had set a $150 goal and stuck to it.
- Have rideshare insurance: A lot of veteran rideshare drivers haven’t kept up with the ever-changing insurance requirements since they started and don’t realize how much things have changed over the last few years. A few years ago, there was no such thing as rideshare insurance.
But today there is, and it’s required if drivers expect to be paid for damages to their vehicles and their person in the event of an accident. Most drivers don’t have this insurance, often because many are simply not aware that they need it.
If you don’t have a rideshare addendum on your personal auto insurance policy, you will not have comprehensive protection for your car or personal injury protection for yourself. If you’re in an accident and need to access Uber or Lyft’s policies for liability coverage, you’ll have to first file a claim with your own insurance company.
If you don’t have the extra required rideshare insurance, they will promptly deny your claim and cancel your policy.
This additional insurance is a must, and it is now widely available nationwide. A few years ago, it was unheard of and it wasn’t offered by any major auto insurance carriers. Today, most carriers do offer it, and they require it if you are to be covered while you’re using your vehicle for commercial purposes, such as rideshare driving.
- Take an Uber trip once a month: This advice may sound strange, but it’s really important for veteran drivers to use Uber every now and then just to remember how it works from the passenger’s point of view. Two things will happen if you do this that will help you.
One, you’ll get to see things from the rider’s point of view. When you take an Uber you may get a driver who does things the same way you do — but as a rider you might suddenly realize something he does is really annoying. That’ll be a good way for you to see things you should stop doing yourself. Believe me, your ratings and your tips will improve.
The other reason it’s good to use the services yourself from time to time is it keeps you familiar with how the passenger apps work. This will help you understand why a passenger might have been frustrated when they got in your car, and it will help you be better able to answer rider questions that they might have about the apps. If you can answer their questions, it improves their satisfaction with your service and will lead to better ratings and better tips.
- Take breaks and get exercise: Ridester recommends drivers should get out of their cars every couple of hours and just walk for a bit. Sitting in your car all day, or night, is not good for your health.
We need to be up and moving around. But we understand when you get busy and you’re struggling just to make ends meet you don’t want to waste any time off the road. But you have to do this for your health.
Just get out every two hours at a minimum and spend at least 15 minutes walking around. It’ll do your body a world of good.
- Respect your passengers: I know by now, as a veteran driver, you’ve had plenty of terrible passengers who have left a bad taste in your mouth. You can’t let these negative experiences affect the way you treat each new passenger.
Believe me, this will help your ratings and earnings more than anything else. Treat each new passenger as if they were your first. Remember your first passenger? If you don’t remember them specifically, you probably do remember how well you treated them. Well, treat the 10,000th the same way. Remember, they’re paying you to take them somewhere.
So even if they ask you to go a different way than your GPS is directing you — and you know it’ll take longer — just go that way. That’s the way they want to go, and the longer you have them in your vehicle the more you’ll make.
Each veteran driver makes newbie mistakes. We get careless, we get tired, we get lax. Remember to always keep your brain engaged and don’t operate on automatic pilot.
Don’t forget the fundamentals that you once knew, like not chasing the surge and not keeping your car in motion when you’re in between trips. And don’t forget or skip the basics like keeping your car clean and having bottled water available for passengers. It costs next to nothing because very few passengers will ever take a bottle, but it creates goodwill between you and the passengers and will help improve your tips and ratings.
It’s easy to feel tired and beaten down by this job after a few years and lose your motivation, but as long as you’re doing it, you may as well stay great at it so you can earn top dollar.