How To Avoid Losing Money Driving For Lyft and Uber on Holidays
This Year I was out $500 on New Year's Eve
Last New Year's Eve, I earned over $400. working both for Lyft and Uber in the Philadelphia area. I was confident this year it would be over $500. Only problem was, I injured my neck and right shoulder prior to the holiday from physical activity.
Unfortunately, this limited my range of motion and my neck could not turn that far to the left. One thing about driving ride share or driving in general is you need full range of motion to make sure cars are not coming. On one of the busiest nights of the year, I would not be able to comfortably check for cars which would not be safe for me, my passengers or others on the road. Yes, I want to earn money driving ride share for Lyft and Uber, but I want to do it safely for everyone. I decided not to drive, which was kind of hard.
The lesson here is, especially if you are an older driver, you may want to avoid doing anything physical that could throw a monkey wrench into your plans like helping someone move, trying a new exercise routine or sport as well as doing anything physical out of the ordinary. New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all good money maker days for drivers and to take advantage of them, we need to be sure nothing interferes with driving.
On the upside, I got to spend time with my wife and son that I wouldn't have had if I were driving.
The Health Of Your Car
It should go without saying the health of your car is just as important as the health of yourself.
You don't want to be on the road where ride requests are coming in left and right and you have something mechanical preventing you from accepting them. Ahead of time, make sure your tires and brakes are good, make sure all your lights works, your car inspections and insurance are all up to date. You know the drill.
The last thing you want to do is sit by the road waiting for Triple A to come change a flat or be detained by the long arm of the law because you have a brake light out or some other minor infraction. All of which take time away from being on the road.
Amenities and Necessities
Do you provide bottled water? You should. It's inexpensive, easy to store and appreciated by customers. Make sure your door panels are stocked and you have back up supply in your trunk. Personally, I'm not one for offering candy but if that's something you do, go for it.
One of the most important items you can have on your car New Year's Eve or any other time you are driving late at night are vomit bags, like the ones available here.
If someone gets sick in your car, remember to take pictures of the nasty stuff. Yes, pictures of vomit. You will need pictures when filing a claim with Uber and Lyft to show as evidence of what the customer did in your car. Depending on the damage, Uber and Lyft will give you between $25 and $250 depending on the service and severity of damage.
Uber cleaning fee info - "...Significant amounts of bodily fluids (e.g. urine, blood, or vomit) on the vehicle's interior or messes that require cleaning between the window and door are charged $150..."
Lyft terms and conditions - "...If a Driver reports that you have materially damaged the Driver's vehicle, you agree to pay a “Damage Fee” of up to $250 depending on the extent of the damage (as determined by Lyft in its sole discretion)..."
Although damage fees help with the hassle of cleaning up vomit, it is much better to have a sick customer throw up in a bag which will keep you on the road, driving uninterrupted and earning money.
Bottom Line: Be proactive and plan ahead. Do whatever you can to stay on the road and on the app providing service and earning money.
About the Author
Joseph has been a ride share driver for over a year. He enjoys meeting new people and having interesting conversations. Before moving to Delaware in 2006, he lived in Hawaii for 12 years on the island of Kauai. His goal is to bring the "aloha spirit" to his passengers and give them better service than they expect. In addition to driving, he is employed full time in the customer service industry for a major manufacturing company in Delaware.