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Tips for Uber Drivers to Make More Money

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  By Forrest McCall | Last Updated:  January 10, 2020

Tips for Uber Drivers to Make More Money

The online articles and feature news stories make it seem that making money driving for Uber involves nothing more than owning a car and knowing where to pick up customers.

There is much more to it than that, as one Uber driver proves by making around $250,000 per year selling fine jewelry to the customers he takes around town. In fact, by implementing a few tips for Uber drivers to make more money, you might be able to earn more money annually than many professionals starting in entry-level positions.

However, a recent study shows Uber drivers average less than $14 an hour, which in many large urban areas, sits at or just below the minimum wage. That amount of money is not enough to put aside a little bit for a rainy day, much less pay for all of your monthly bills.

Do you want to earn full-time or supplemental income as an Uber driver? If you answered yes, then the following tips for Uber drivers to make more money should help you achieve your personal financial goals.

How to Become a Successful Uber Driver (Psst…It’s Mostly about Providing Superior Service)

Since working as an Uber driver puts you in the customer service business, what do you think makes the difference between you earning healthy tip income and walking away after a day driving people around, without much to show for it in your wallet?

If you answered providing superior customer service, then you have nailed the first and perhaps the most important factor for earning more cash driving for Uber. Nonetheless, there are several other tips that involve channeling your inner entrepreneur.

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Friendly and Personable Wins the Uber Race

If you used taxi services, you have probably encountered at least one surly driver. The cold shoulder treatment is bad, but outright hostility made you want to flee the cab as fast as possible. A driver that remains sullen or worse, openly agitated, cannot expect to earn a significant amount of tip income.

Don’t be like the big city cab drivers that think you owe them a tip. Provide authentically friendly and personable customer service to motivate your customers to leave you a little extra cash after a ride.

Go Out of Your Way Service

Now that we have mastered being friendly and personable, let’s think abut ways to deliver service that separates you from other rideshare drivers. When you pull up to a ride, think about how you feel when the driver jumps out of the vehicle and asks to help you put your things inside of the car. It makes you feel like whipping out your wallet and handing over a few dollar bills. Use the same mindset when you drive up to an Uber customer. Go the extra mile by placing the customer’s stuff in the trunk and opening the door as well.

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Speaking of Going the Extra Mile

You might not have heard about a cargo box, but it is an effective way to get your customers to warm up to you during an Uber ride. A cargo box holds snacks and beverages that help replenish the depleted energy of harried passengers. You can store fresh fruit, protein bars, and tasty snacks in a cargo box. The extra money generating idea is especially effective at making you more money when you pick up fares at airports.

Make Your Fares “Surge”

In the world of ridesharing, there is a revenue generator called a surge fare, which is a surcharge above the standard fare you typically charge as an Uber driver. The key is to know exactly when to switch from a regular fare to a surge fare. Common sense tells you charging surge fares after the bars close is a good idea. Most customers will pay a premium to get home safely.

What are the other times should you charge surge fares? Well, in the morning out to the airport and during the afternoon rush when customers want to get their destinations quickly. Other than that, you have to have a strong feel for when demand will reach its peak for ridesharing services in the area where you live.

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Set Your Own Course

Although it appears to make sound financial sense to set up shop in high demand areas, the fact remains that other ridesharing drivers will be doing the same. High-demand areas include locations close to major entertainment venues and morning work commute hot spots. You can benefit from charging surge fares by driving for Uber in areas where demand exceeds supply. Conduct the research necessary to find these hidden money-making gems.

Uber Offers a Passenger App for a Good Reason

You use the Uber driver app to optimize the time you spend on the road. Well, if you want to separate your Uber driving services from fellow drivers, then taken advantage of the Uber passenger app. The Uber passenger app is the ideal strategy to invest in yourself by accessing some features you cannot access by using the Uber driver app. You will be able to use the Uber passenger app to detect areas that need drivers, but there are not many drivers available to service the area.

Wasting Gas…Not Good

Making more money as an Uber driver is not all about generating more revenue. You also have to factor in the expenses side of the profit equation. The most important expense to control is the amount of gas you use to pick up and drop off Uber passengers. This means avoid driving around in circles searching for customers. You have access to a couple of advanced Uber apps to ensure you do not drive around endlessly. When the inevitable down time occurs, turn off the engine to conserve fuel. Also, make sure to confirm a fare located a long distance away is at where he or she claims to be. Nothing wastes your time and money more than arriving to a spot across town where there is not a customer waiting for you. Monitoring your driving habits can also reduce the frequency of costly oil changes.

Lower Your Insurance Costs

Ask any driver that has represented Uber for a long time, and you will quickly learn the importance of reducing your vehicle insurance costs. Do you forgo more expensive rideshare insurance for standard car insurance? The answer is no because you need the comprehensive coverage offered by a rideshare insurance policy. What you want to do is reexamine your rideshare insurance policy to determine if there are any features you do not use, but yet you still pay for every month.

Keep Your Customers Entertained

No, this does not mean you have to perform a stand up comedy monologue while you sit behind the wheel of your Uber rideshare vehicle. Simply invest in an audio system that allows you to access the music requested by your passengers. There is nothing more relaxing for a customer than listen to his or her favorite music , as you move across the open road. Make sure the audio system you choose allows for a Smartphone or an auxiliary cord connection.

Refer Your Friends to Uber

If you have friends, family members, or professional peers looking to earn a little extra cash, refer them to Uber and earn a bonus for each referral. Uber will give you a unique Uber driver invite code that you use to invite people you know to join the Uber driver team. Every time Uber accepts a referral, a bonus will appear on your monthly bank or debit card statement.

Start a Facebook Page and Upload Reviews

Making Uber a side business does not mean you have to create a small business website that is devoted to your Uber driving job. However, you should consider creating a Facebook page that promotes your Uber driving services. Ask for customer reviews and then feature the positive reviews on your Facebook home page.

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Your Uber Driver Rating Matters

Uber places a lot of emphasis on your driver rating when matching you with customers. Know the metrics used by Uber to calculate your driver rating. Then, focus on keeping your driver stats higher than other drivers. Be professional and provide excellent customer service, and you should enjoy an impressive Uber driver rating.

Do Your Taxes the Right Way

As an independent contractor, filing taxes can be an exercise in frustration. You have to know what deductions to take, as well as understand the value of depreciating assets like your vehicle. Knowing how to maximize the tax benefits of driving for Uber can lead to a lower tax bill. If you have any questions about maximizing your business expense deductions, do not hesitate to ask for the help from a tax preparer, even if the tax preparer offers his or her services free of charge. There are a lot of retired tax experts that offer free tax consultations.

Final Thoughts on Making Money with Uber

Following some of tips for Uber drivers to make more money will certainly not make you a millionaire. Nonetheless, the extra cash in your pocket can help you handle the obstacles that come with managing personal finances. Whether it's starting a Facebook page or referring your friends, there are many ways you can make more money driving for Uber or other ridesharing companies.

Do you drive for Uber or Lyft? Comment your experience below!

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing expert dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He has a Bachelor's degree in business and has been featured in many popular publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Bankrate, CNET Money, and many others. To learn more about Forrest, visit the About Us Page for more info.
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