You’ve likely heard of rideshare driving before, but now want to know more about the job! With over 142 million people using Uber monthly, it’s no surprise that it’s a popular profession.
If you’re considering jumping on the bandwagon, read on to discover the basics of rideshare driving. This guide focuses on:
- Pros and cons of being a rideshare driver
- How much money you can make
- How to become a rideshare driver (requirements)
- Insurance and taxes
- Is being a rideshare driver worth it?
Ready to hit the road and learn all about rideshare driving? Let’s hit the road!
- What Is A Rideshare Driver?
- What It’s Like To Be a Rideshare Driver
- Pros and Cons of Being a Rideshare Driver
- How Much Can You Make As A Rideshare Driver?
- Top Rideshare Driver Jobs and Careers
- How To Become A Rideshare Driver
- Do Rideshare Drivers Have Insurance?
- How Do You Pay Taxes As A Rideshare Driver?
- Is Being A Rideshare Driver Worth It?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Careers to Check Out
A rideshare driver is a freelance contractor who uses their own car, or sometimes a rented one, to transport passengers, as part of the gig economy. They operate through a company’s app, accepting ride requests following the app’s navigation to pick up and drop off locations.
Rideshare drivers prioritize safety and customer service, representing the brand they work for. They are responsible for maintaining their vehicle’s cleanliness and condition, ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for passengers or the proper handling of deliveries.
Their role is crucial in providing daily transportation and delivery services to many people.
A day in the life of a rideshare driver is an adventure. No two days are exactly alike for the rideshare driver, but proper planning and setting expectations make the experience easier for everyone involved.
Yes, being a rideshare driver can be hard and stressful. Challenges include long hours of driving, navigating traffic jams, dealing with aggressive drivers, and handling occasionally rude customers.
Ensuring passenger safety, adapting to unpredictable traffic and weather conditions, and managing sudden changes in routes also add to the stress.
A rideshare driver starts their day by activating their driver app and keeps it running while driving. Upon receiving a ride request, they can choose to accept or decline it, but frequently declining requests may lower their acceptance rate.
Their main duties involve driving to the passenger’s pickup location, waiting for them to board, and then safely transporting them to the specified drop-off point.
Throughout the journey, the driver must adhere to all traffic laws and closely follow the directions for pickup and dropoff provided by either the customer or the company.
Is the road to being a rideshare driver more smooth or bumpy? Let’s consider some common ups and downs of the job:
- You’re your own boss! You can accept or decline requests for rides on your own terms
- Side hustle or full-time schedule: setting your own hours means you can devote your week to riding or do it on the side for some extra cash. Rideshare driving hours are 24/7 — whether it’s 2 p.m. or 2. am, you determine when you’re available
- Multiple service opportunities: you can work for multiple rideshare platforms at once (such as Uber and Lyft). If people aren’t your thing, you can also work for non-passenger services, such as food and package delivery.
- With freedom comes a price: nothing is guaranteed with the gig economy! Actual demand can be unpredictable as it heavily relies on local passengers and competition
- Drivers don’t have control over pricing. Rideshare platforms will take a set cut of the price, and the rates in your back pocket will vary based on timing, demand, tips, and other factors.
- Vehicle costs: you’ll rack up more miles on your vehicle! This means you’ll need to fill up more frequently on gas, as well as pay for rideshare insurance and any general maintenance and repair costs.
Unpredictable pay is a part and parcel of the job. Drivers are paid a base fare, and additional per-minute and per-mile rates vary by city.
Uber and Lyft both receive an initial booking and safe rides fee (between $1–$3 in the U.S.), which are added directly to the passenger’s fare. The overall rate depends on when, where, and who you’re driving.
In terms of when and where, working around the busiest times and places means that you can earn extra on top of the standard fare due to high demand!
For example, Uber has an in-app feature called a ‘heat map’ so that drivers can view where rider demand is highest. These are known as ‘surges’ and work by tracking rush hour trends.
To boost your earnings, satisfied passengers can tip any amount that they’d like.
According to a recent survey, Uber drivers make an average of $13.70 per hour before tips. Lyft drivers make an average of $14.73 after tips.
On top of this, tips tend to add another $1.00 – $4.00 per hour. A full-time Uber driver (working 40 hours) could make between $611.20 and $1,464.80 a week before expenses.
Promotions provide drivers with a guaranteed income for meeting specific conditions that week!
An example of an Uber promotion is a minimum number of trips passed. These combat the issue of demand, with Uber covering the shortfall between actual earnings and guaranteed rates.
Rideshare driving is considered a gig job. Rideshare companies are always looking for workers. Here are a few of the best.
Uber is one of the most widely-used companies in the rideshare business. They began in 2011 by transporting passengers and have since grown into a food/item delivery service.
Lyft has had a long life, beginning during its initial service days in the late 2000s.
The rideshare company offers various levels of rides to its millions of customers.
They also have recently begun experimenting with package delivery. Working for Lyft is one of the best driving jobs in the country.
Gett is a rideshare company that focuses on customers in the business industry. They offer limo and high-end cab rides for businesses and corporations.
While their services are similar to Uber and Lyft, they primarily drive luxury black vehicles.
Rideshare drivers can work in any city where a company offers services. Typically, cities with high populations offer more services and have more customers, while those with fewer people might have fewer opportunities for you to get on the road.
You (or someone you know) might be considering the world of rideshare driving. Depending on the platform, you and your car will need to pass certain requirements before you can begin picking up passengers:
Driver And Vehicle Requirements
- Meet the minimum driving age of your city
- Possess a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Have a clean driving record
- Pass a background check.
With Uber, you will also need to have been driving for more than a year. If you’re younger than 25, this rule extends to three years.
As for your vehicle, it will need to meet Uber and Lyft’s varying age and model criteria.
Common Documents You Need to Submit
- A valid U.S. driver’s license
- Proof of residency in your city/state
- Proof of vehicle insurance, registration, and sometimes inspection.
- A profile photo.
Uber and Lyft both offer rideshare insurance coverage, designed to protect both driver and passenger.
These vary between platforms and states, so you’ll need to check for specific insurance policies.
When you’re not on the clock, personal insurance takes the wheel instead!
Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. Like a small business, this means you’re required to file your own taxes on your rideshare income.
Rideshare drivers can also take advantage of various tax deductions to reduce their taxable income.
The answer to this question depends wholly on your personal circumstances and preferences!
Rideshare driving is not suitable for everyone. If you love to drive and meet travelers, this may be the gig for you. You might also value a flexible lifestyle, where you call the shots on your schedule.
Rideshare driving may be an especially worthwhile side hustle if you have spare time during peak travel periods.
However, it’s important to remember that there might be bumps in the road. Unpredictable pay is not for everyone, and the increasing wear and tear on your ride may add up.
Before you weigh the pros and cons, check that you and your vehicle first pass the necessary requirements.
Make sure that you understand the financial implications of rideshare driving to ensure a lucrative outcome! This will vary according to different rideshare platforms, as well as your area and availability. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
Rideshare drivers earn through their driver app, with earnings typically paid out weekly. They can also opt for daily cashouts, often for a small fee, although there’s a limit on daily cashouts. Earnings are directly deposited into a linked bank account.
This career is perfect for balancing work and personal life. Making their own schedule gives rideshare drivers flexibility not found in most other occupations.
Similar Careers to Check Out
Whether rideshare driving is your cup of tea, there are a few careers to consider that may be of similar interest.
- Scooter Charger: Freelance employee who collects and charges rentable electric scooters.
- Micro Entrepreneur: Self-employed individual running a small business with fewer than ten employees.
- Independent Delivery Contractor: Driver delivering packages to homes and businesses for customer satisfaction.
The sources we reviewed to write this article.