6 Things to Keep in Mind If You’re Considering Driving for Lyft or Uber

    Ridesharing can be a great way to make extra cash on the side, but there are many things to consider before signing up. Some drivers report that the expenses and time required hardly justifies the pay, and certain personalities might not be suited well for the job. Other drivers find that the type of work is profitable and highly gratifying.

    The following aspects of the job might catch you off guard, but they are important to keep in mind if you are considering a rideshare gig.

    You might not earn as much as you think you will.

    While high earnings are advertised, they aren’t always a reality. Earnings have been reported anywhere from $8.77 to $19 per hour, on average. While it seems to be inconsistent at best, putting in the hours and figuring out how to make it profitable for you could work. Your location might have a major impact on how much you are able to bring home.

    Certain hours might be more profitable than others.

    Both companies increase the cost of rides during their busiest times, which means you can earn more for the same ride during a slow period. This is called Surge pricing for Uber and Prime Time with Lyft. These busy periods normally take place late at night or in early morning hours. Plus, Lyft and Uber will compensate you for any messes that happen in your car that require it to be deep cleaned.

    If you have been arrested for a felony or DUI, it might not even be an option.

    For the safety of their customers, it is against the policies of both Lyft and Uber to hire felons. Lyft will not hire any drivers who have been arrested for a DUI within the last 7 years (10 years in California). But can you drive for Uber with a DUI? The company policy states no: the rules are the same as Lyft. Both companies follow the state rules for the length of time the infraction remains on your record.

    You might make more if you drive when events are scheduled in your area.

    For example, in certain areas of Georgia, a driver realized that the money was only good when the Beer Festival and Masters Golf Tournament was taking place. In rural locations or smaller cities, it might be unrealistic to expect business if major festivals or events are not hosted nearby.

    Be prepared to keep the inside and outside of your car in top condition.  

    You may need to take your car in to get washed frequently and it might require occasional detailing. This could result in better tips.

    Uber’s app doesn’t typically figure tips in for drivers, but Lyft’s app does.

    Uber customers need to use a credit card to pay for their fare, but they can use cash to tip their driver. Lyft requires that drivers get tipped. In New York and California, legislation is considering making tipping a requirement.