Knowing where to drive Uber can go a long way towards boosting your earnings. As an Uber driver, you are the face of the company and a big part of Uber’s business model. Your goal is to make money by giving passengers a safe, quality ride to their destination of choice.
That said, driver earnings vary widely, and it all boils down to the individual strategy a driver employs. With time and experience, your intuition will sharpen, and you know where you need to be to earn more. The tips and hacks below can help you on your journey to maximizing your income.
Forget what Uber says you can earn
What Uber says you can make is hardly practical especially if you’re just starting out. You would be doing yourself a big favor by forgetting all about it. Instead, focus more on outdoing yourself each day.
The role of experience and understanding your area well
Experience matters a lot. The attributes of geographical locations vary widely, and the needs of would-be passengers are diverse.
Your goal should be to find a geographical niche that has a reasonable number of riders that you are comfortable with. As a general tip, you should avoid suburbs. If a ride takes you a reasonable distance away from your base location, slowly work your way back.
How to make the surge work for you
The problem with chasing the surge is that driver competition in surge zones tends to be high. You may drive quite a distance to be in a surge zone, only to be left high and dry. Additionally, surge zones change rapidly.
The trick lies in doing a cost-benefit assessment of how far the surge is from you. If you are going to waste a lot of time getting there, it’s not going to be worth it. You might arrive only to find that the surge is over. However, if you are nearby, then just park and wait for a rider.
How to take advantage of surge fares
To benefit from surge fares, log out of the driver app as you drive towards a surge zone. Log into the passenger app which will make Uber think you are a passenger rather than a driver. This will drive up or maintain the fare rate. You can then log back into the driver app when in the surge zone.
The twenty minute rule
You should only stay in an area for a maximum of twenty minutes, after which you should change locations. It doesn’t have to be a big change; you can drive just a few miles down the road. Many drivers find that being near busy areas is a good way to ensure regular business. A university, mall, theater, sporting event or business complex are all good ideas.
Use the passenger app
The passenger app has nifty features that are absent from the driver app. It gives helpful insight regarding where other drivers are. You can, therefore, choose hotspots where there is minimum competition. This maximizes your chances of getting a rider.
Be event savvy
As an Uber driver, part of your job description is knowing all the events going on around your niche area. Do not always focus on the big events, consider smaller events that are less likely to attract many drivers.
Reduce your costs as much as possible
Reducing costs is about being attentive to detail and the small, seemingly irrelevant things. You can reduce your costs by:
- Having an efficient car, e.g. Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, etc.
- Having snacks and water; not for your customers, but for you. It will reduce urges to get take out.
- Keeping track of your miles and getting gas from the cheapest stations. Apps like gas buddy are helpful in this regard.
- Knowing the free parking spots.
- Avoid driving around aimlessly; it increases your mileage, maintenance costs, and expenditure.
Be mindful of how you treat you clients
Be friendly to customers and try to make conversation. If your passenger is not into it, do not force it. Remember, Uber takes driver rating seriously. Your average score should never go below 4.6 to be on the safe side.
In conclusion, earning more as an Uber driver is all about using your time wisely. Your mindset should be customer based, but you should also consider the competition as well. Remember that there is no alternative to getting experience and knowing your area well.
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