Have you considered driving for a rideshare company, like Lyft or Uber? If you have a car, a smart phone, and some spare time, you could be bringing in a few hundred dollars extra a month. (or maybe even thousands of dollars a month according to our friends at The Penny Hoarder). Before you run out and go putting a mustache on your car there are some things you need to know before you dive into the world of rideshares.
If you haven’t done so already, take a trip as a passenger! That way you’ll be able to begin to gauge what the driver can do to ensure that the passenger has a positive experience. Will you have cold water on hand? Mints maybe? Offer different types of music? Will you text your passengers when you are getting close? All of these small decisions will make a difference!
You’ll need to do some math to determine if driving for a rideshare makes sense for you financially. You’ll need to account for the wear and tear on your car, gas money, oil changes, and insurance just to name a few factors. For 2016 the IRS offers for a 54 cent per mile deduction but that does not cover the full cost of operating your car. You should figure out your total expenses and deduct that from how much you plan to make per week. That will give you an idea of how many hours you’ll need to drive per day. You could make anywhere from $15-$20 an hour but when you account for expenses, it comes out to a lot less.
Decide if you want to drive for Uber or Lyft. Both services offer drivers 80% for the fare of each ride. Lyft markets their services as “your friend with a car” while UberX is “your private driver”. If you feel like you’ll want to chat with your customers, Lyft might be a better fit, while UberX would fit well for someone who is looking for a quiet professional setting.
If you don’t own a car, you may need to take out a personal loan to get one. The rideshare company Uber offers a way to lease a car through them so that you’ll have a brand new car to drive around, but the money comes directly from your paycheck, plus you have to put down $2000 up front. You can use this calculator to determine if you should lease or buy a new car.
Lyft and Uber each have their own set of requirements on becoming a driver, check on their sites for more info. You can sign up for Uber here or Lyft here. Now that you know the basics, you may be ready to apply. Take a trip as a passenger, do some math to calculate how much it will cost you to begin, and make sure you meet all of the requirements. If you follow these directions carefully and plan well you will be ready to drive for a rideshare company!