I have been driver with Uber and Lyft for about 7 months now and now I can share my experience as a driver with Uber and Lyft, can you make money? as a student?. I recommend to anyone looking to make some extra cash to cover something that is coming up. Now, I thought I could make a great deal of money doing that and in fact I was pretty excited when I started.
Most of us have used Uber or Lyft before as a rider or at least heard of it but never tried it as a driver. I would highly recommend using Uber or Lyft for your needs to either get somewhere or especially not risking the consequences of driving intoxicate.
There are some requirements that you must meet before applying:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have at least one year of driving experience in the U.S. (3 years if you are under 23 years old)
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Use an eligible 4-door vehicle
as well as:
- A valid U.S. driver’s license
- Proof of vehicle insurance
and then follows a driving screening process where they check your background history.
I am driving for the cheapest option available which is for Uber its an “X” and for Lyft its just “Lyft”. My experience driving thus far has been up and down.
The pros of driving for uber for me are:
- Flexibility – I can work any time I want, all I need is my phone switched on and am ready to go.
- Meeting new people – You get to meet people that are every kind. Every person that gets in the drivers car creates an opportunity for social interaction.
- Listening to music or news while you work – Not all jobs allow a worker to listen to the stereo while they work. Although a driver should be conscious of what sounds might disturb a rider, generally listening to the stereo is admissible.
- No boss overseeing – Although there is a manager for the drivers and sometimes they do give suggestions or pass on critique, for the most part there is no boss saying what to do and when. A driver is on their own prerogative to go where they please when they please. A drivers boss at times can be more the passengers. A driver has to maintain a 4.5 or above rating to not be cut from driving. While riders can get bossy at times, the good thing is it’s not long before they are dropped off. The driver rates the passengers as well.
- Surge Pricing – Although getting a surge ride (an exponentially increased fare) can be elusive, it can also be lucrative. Especially for big events and holidays; Surge can make the riders fare relatively expensive and the drivers shift a lot more productive for the paycheck. My highest surge so far has been x5.8 which was $30 for a 7 minute ride, cant complain :). And the longest ride with surge was $278 for an hour ride from Orange County, CA to San Diego, CA. The experience as a driver with Uber and Lyft, can you make money? You can with surge pricing if it is 2.0x or more.
- Tips – Before about two months ago only Lyft had a tipping option in US, now Uber does as well and riders are getting familiarized with it and I get tips on average about every other ride I give. Service matters too, thats just how the customer business work. I’ve gotten a tip more than fare multiple times just because they rider liked me.
- Seeing how stupid drunk people are – It can be entertaining to see and listen to drunk people. It can also be enlightening to see how ridiculous alcohol can make a person act.
- Insurance – You can be dropped by your personal auto insurer if found to be transporting passengers without a rideshare endorsement. This is a complicated issue that is not explained well by Uber or Lyft.
- Work/fares can be slow when you want them to be busy – There can be times when a driver wants to be taking fares and making money but the requets are low or there are too many drivers compared to passengers. It can be frustrating to want to work and be on-call but not be getting any.
- Career limbo – Let’s admit, this is a temporary gig before the self driving cars take over, so the companies like Uber and Lyft can profit much more by eliminating the real drivers.
- An ineffective rating system – Customers rate a driver 1 to 5 stars, and unfortunately for drivers, a 4 star average is failing and being terminated.
- Little recognition from the management/boss – The higher ups at Uber don’t do much to recognize good performance of their drivers. You either are doing fine, or you are getting cut. In addition an individual drivers opinion or request can be very minute to the management.
And I believe biggest con
- Wear and tear on your car – You are putting miles on your car and tear. IF you love your just don’t do it, the riders don’t care much about your car and will slam your doors or scratch something with their feet. You will also need to do maintenance much more frequently.
I have come to the point where I just do Uber and Lyft whenever it surges on the weekend, I would not recommend making this your priority in terms of income, but I would recommend it if you need to make extra cash for a trip or a go out on the weekend.
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So, my experience as a driver with Uber and Lyft, can you make money? like really as a student? Yes, you can, but you need to look for a popularity in your area and try to use the calculators available for car depreciation vs your income with the companies. You might think you are making money but in the end you car might be costing much more without you knowing. The times when your friends are calling you to hang out most likely the times when the demand for ride share is high. So, I would suggest switching up weekends, hang out one weekend and other weekend work.