It’s no secret that driving for Uber can be a great way to make a living or to top up your existing salary. This is especially true if you live in a densely populated metropolitan area where people always need to move from A to B.
Of course, while there’s plenty of scope for Uber drivers to make a good income, it’s also true that this is far from guaranteed. Thankfully, there are plenty of things that Uber drivers can do to improve their bottom line.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some handy tips that’ll ensure your bank balance is looking healthy!
Identify Surge Times and Areas
Every Uber driver wants to be driving during those sweet, sweet surges when they can make much more money than they can during regular pricing hours. Of course, it’s not always possible to predict when surge pricing will hit — invariably, there’ll be times when you’re fast asleep or otherwise able to get behind the wheel.
But if you take a look at when and where surge pricing occurs, you’ll be likely to find patterns. And that means you can build your schedule around the chance to make extra cash.
Understand How Expenses Work
Uber drivers are contractors, not employees. And that means that they’re in charge of their taxes. This, hopefully, is not new information!
While you’ll always need to pay your taxes, it’s also possible that you’re overpaying on this often expensive part of your income. The most efficient way is to track all of your expenses, which you can then write off when it comes to doing your taxes.
Some expenses that Uber drivers typically forget they can write off include bottled water and snacks for customers and tools you use for your work, such as in-car tech support.
Look for Alternatives
You’re an Uber driver, sure, but it’s important to remember that you’re not exclusively an Uber driver. Or rather, you don’t need to be. There are downsides to being an independent contractor, but there are upsides too — one being that you’re free to use your car to drive for other companies, too.
So take a look at which Uber-style startups operate in your area, and sign up to drive with them, too. If Uber is quiet, then one of the other operators might have some work. It’s all about maximizing the amount of money that you can make on the road.
Protect Your Earnings
You’ll want to keep all the money you earn in your bank account. Or to spend it on whatever you want. Alas, if you face an expensive incident, then that may not be possible.
You might find that you need to spend your earnings on fixing your vehicle after a small accident. Now, you might be thinking: isn’t that what car insurance is for? In most cases, yes — but not when you’re using it for business purposes, like driving for Uber.
If you’re driving for Uber (or others), you’ll need insurance for rideshare workers. You’ll hope that you never need it, but if you’re hit with a big expense, then you’ll be very happy that you invested in a policy that offers adequate protection.
Try to Increase Your Tips
Tips are an excellent way to bolster your income. Plus, they’re just nice to get — they’re a sign that you’re doing a good job. Of course, there’s no way to guarantee tips.
They’re a voluntary contribution, after all. But there are things you can do that’ll increase the likelihood of receiving tips. One of the simplest ways is to have snacks and water in your car for your passengers.
Having chargers for all the main phone brands and letting your customer choose the music (and the amount of conversation you have) will all help to create a pleasant journey experience, which will boost the chances of you getting a tip.
One important rule: never ask for a tip. You might get one when you ask, but your rating will go down in the long run.
With gas prices on the rise, Uber drivers need to conserve as much gas as possible. And that means, simply, using less of it. There are two ways to do this.
One is to take smart driving tips onboard that’ll help to improve your MPG (miles per gallon) rate. The other is to stop driving around when there are no passengers. You might be bored, but remember that driving around will increase the number of times you need to visit the gas pump each week.
Prevent Hunger Attacks
Your aim should be to take as much money home with you at the end of your shift as possible. Alas, many drivers end up severely reducing that amount just by spending throughout their shift on relatively needless purchases.
And it largely comes down to one thing: hunger. Once hunger sets in, it doesn’t take much before a person has convinced themselves that they should treat themselves to snacks, fast food, and so on. You could easily end up spending $15 or more, all because you wanted some food.
The best solution to this is to eat well before you begin your shift. It’s also a good idea to carry a little snack with you — a banana and a handful of almonds, for instance, will help to keep hunger at bay for a couple of hours.
Make Friends With a Mechanic
You’ll need your car to make money. But because you’re using your car all the time, it’s more likely that you’ll run into car problems. You can’t always prevent them.
But you can reduce how much it costs to repair your vehicle, just by making friends with a mechanic. That way, you’ll know that you’re not getting ripped off.
We hope these tips have been helpful. As we said at the beginning of the article: Uber provides a great opportunity to bolster your income. But that’ll only happen if you’re doing things correctly.
It’s easy to compromise your earnings if you’re not careful, so be sure to take these tips on board.