By now you are probably familiar with Uber and Lyft; two transportation companies that allow passengers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to drivers who use their own cars essentially as taxis.
What if I told you you can earn some extra money in your spare time driving for Uber and/or Lyft in order to help finance that tailgating habit of yours that can be quite expensive?
If you are unfamiliar with both Uber and Lyft, we’ll let their Wikipedia pages speak to them and what they are all about.
Wikipedia – Uber
Wikipedia – Lyft
If you have never used Uber or Lyft, here are some coupon codes for free rides using either Uber or Lyft.
Lyft – $50 in free ride credits – Scan the QR code above or click on it or click HERE to claim your $50 in free rides from Lyft.
Uber – Get your first ride free (up to $15 maximum) – Scan the QR code above or click on it or click HERE to get your first ride for free up to $15. (*Free ride value amounts vary by city.)
Both promotions through Uber and Lyft only apply if you are a first time user of Uber and/or Lyft. If you have already requested and taken at least one ride with Uber and/or Lyft, you are not eligible for the free coupons. The good news is if you have friends or family that have never take Uber or Lyft, pass those coupon codes along to them and they can get free rides themselves.
Drive with Uber / Drive with Lyft
Now that we gotten the free ride coupons out of the way, let’s jump to how you can make some money and also provide some hints and tips on earning more on your very first trip.
Right now, Uber is offering a $500 bonus for drivers who sign up and complete 75 rides. 75 rides may seem like a large number but there is no timetable as to how long you need to provide rides to get that bonus. To sign up to drive with Uber, click HERE.
(The bonus structure for Lyft varies from city to city and they sometimes will adjust it up or down based on driver supply and rider demand. An example is those who want to drive in San Francisco can earn a $1,000 bonus and need to complete 100 rides in 30 days. New drivers in Columbus, Ohio can earn a $150 bonus while only giving 30 rides in 30 days. Check out the Referral Rewards for Lyft Drivers page to see if Lyft is in your city and what the bonus structure and requirements are for your area.)
If you are a tailgater, you probably have your own car. That’s the first step towards driving for Uber and Lyft. Your vehicle needs to have at least four doors and be in good condition. In addition to having your own vehicle, you need to be 21 years of age or older and have a smart phone. Uber and Lyft requests come to drivers via a mobile app so it is recommended to have an iPhone 4s or newer or Android 2013 or newer.
In order to be approved by Uber and Lyft, you will need to have a clean driving record and pass a criminal and personal background check. Your vehicle will also undergo a safety inspection to ensure your vehicle is safe and presentable.
After you are approved, you are ready to hit the road and start earning money.
To start driving with Lyft, scan the above QR code with your smart phone or click HERE.
To start driving with Uber, scan the above QR code or click HERE.
Some Uber and Lyft drivers have reported they earn an average of $1,500 per week. This varies based on the number of hours they drive and which days they choose to drive but the opportunity to make some money is out there. Even driving part-time on your schedule, you can earn some extra beer money or money to take a road trip or buy some new tailgating gear.
If you do end up driving for Uber and/or Lyft, here are some hints and tips:
- You can drive for both companies. With Uber and Lyft, you are an independent contractor and are free to work for both companies. Both companies do not deduct taxes from your payments so it is your responsibility to save a portion of your earnings when filing your taxes. You will be given a 1099 form for tax purposes and therefore you are eligible to work for both companies.
- Speaking of taxes, you can write off a portion of your gasoline and maintenance costs if you drive for Uber and Lyft. Since gassing up is needed in order to give rides, the IRS views gasoline as a business expense. Same thing goes for oil changes, new tires and even car washes and auto detailing. We are not tax attorneys so we would suggest consulting with someone who has more knowledge than us to know exactly what portion of these costs can be written off your taxes.
- You can have both apps open at the same time. When a Lyft rider request comes through and you accept it, turn off Uber. Same goes after you accept an Uber request. You want to turn the other app off so that your acceptance rate does not suffer. Both Uber and Lyft encourage their drivers to maintain a rider request acceptance rate at or above 90%. Turning off the other app when on another ride will ensure a request will not come through that you have to ignore and thus affecting your acceptance rate with that company.
- Lyft allows for passengers to give tips directly within the app. Uber does not have a tipping function within the app. If a Lyft passenger chooses to tip a driver, 100% of that tip amount is passed on to the driver and Lyft does not take a percentage.
- Keep your car clean both inside and out. Passengers getting into a dirty car are less likely to tip and will probably give you a lower star rating than had your vehicle been clean and presentable.
- Understand that when accepting a ride request, you will be routed to wherever that passenger is located. It may be at a house or a business and you may have to drive a few minutes to pick them up. You do not earn money on your way to pick up the passenger but the clock starts ticking and you start earning money as soon as you pick them up.
- Fares are based on total miles and total minutes during a ride. Longer mileage and the more time spent means a higher payout to you. Even if you are sitting in traffic or at a stop light, you are getting paid to give that ride. The mileage and minute rates vary between the companies so make sure you know how much they pay.
- There are no set hours when driving for Uber and Lyft. You can drive early morning or late at night or anytime in between. It is up to you to determine how much or how little you want to drive. You turn on the app when you want to earn extra money and turn it off when it is not a convenient time. It is truly a job where you set your own hours and are your own boss.
- When picking up a passenger, you will not know where they are going until you confirm they are picked up. They might be going to the airport which is 90 minutes away or they might be going a half mile from the super market to their home and do not want to walk carrying all their bags. You never know where you are going to end up until the passenger gets in your car. Make sure that if you have an appointment during the day, you budget enough time to be able to get there based on wherever you end up. Turn off your app about an hour prior to your appointment time to ensure you are not too far away and can not make it in time.
There are plenty of other hints and tips to driving with Lyft and Uber but those are the basics to get you started. We are considering doing a “How to be an Uber/Lyft Driver” video in the future. Be on the look out for that.
If you are ready to start earning some extra money with both Uber and Lyft, there is very little stopping you. If you meet the above criteria and you and your vehicle pass all the checks, you can be earning money right away. The get driving with Uber and Lyft and start earning bonuses, click the link below: