Follow our tips for being an Uber driver to stay at the top of your game. Uber acts as a popular service platform that allows road passengers to book private and shared transportation. Founded in 2009, Uber Technologies has emerged as the leading global ride-hailing company. Arm yourself with practical Uber driver tips, as well as some tricks of the trade.

Park at Strategic Locations

Make the best use of your driving hours by planning your parking locations. Waiting for passengers at strategic points proves beneficial for most drivers. You can position your car some distance away from popular hotels, restaurants, bars, and other social hubs.

Why should you pay attention to parking? Although Uber’s algorithm remains a mystery to the public, ride-providing apps calculate your position and compare it to the current traffic situation. The driver closest to the passenger enjoys a higher chance of scoring the ride than other Uber drivers.

Steer Clear of Rush Hour

Getting stuck in traffic jams affects your productivity and earnings. Passengers pay the amount quoted in the Uber app regardless of the time it takes to wait out congestion. Drivers don’t receive compensation for hours wasted in traffic. You can avoid this problem by scheduling a break during rush hour. Also, keep a log of problematic routes and the times to avoid them.

Familiarize Yourself with the Area

Rather than depending on the GPS, get familiar with the area the old-fashioned way. Staying aware of your surroundings proves invaluable when your GPS crashes. Passengers rely on your geographical knowledge.

Gather navigational insight as you work, including shortcuts and alternate routes. That way, you can make swift decisions if you encounter accidents or construction sites along your route.

Avoid Aimless Driving

Driving aimlessly while waiting for a ride request on Uber wastes your gas. Organize your moves and practice patience by limiting your driving between gigs. Save fuel money by finding a strategic parking area and waiting for at least 15 minutes. You can stay occupied by turning on the radio or listening to a book on tape. If you don’t get a ride request after 20 minutes, try shifting to another location.

Track and Manage Your Expenses

As an independent rideshare driver, you can manage your earnings and expenses by getting a business debit card. Stay informed about current tax deductions for independent contractors. Drivers can write off:

• Business miles

• Car expenses

• Insurance

• Parking charges

• Gas

However, you need to keep a record of your car expenses to fulfill the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements when filing your taxes.

Maintain a Passenger-Friendly Car

Boost your credibility on the Uber app by creating a pleasant atmosphere for your passengers. You can achieve a 4.5-star rating or higher if your occupants experience a safe, comfortable ride.

Stock up on bottled water, phone chargers, gum, and snacks. Keep barf bags available to avoid messy situations when you pick up clients from bars. Maintain safety by installing dash cams to record fender-benders and encounters with unruly passengers.

To impress your passengers, you can also:

Keep your surfaces free of visible stains and dirt

Invest in high-quality air fresheners

Maintain a defensive driving style

Play soothing music

Stay Informed About Events

Public events like concerts and rallies serve as hotspots for picking up passengers. You’ll find eager commuters and stranded individuals waiting to request a cab ride. However, one downside of such situations involves possible road closures.

Make your service accessible by looking for special events in advance. You can stay ahead of the pack by parking in the vicinity of large gatherings before the crowds leave.

Think Twice Before Waiting at the Airport

An airport is one of the busiest places in any city, so many novice rideshare drivers believe that they offer a quick way to earn money. However, most airports reserve exclusive waiting areas for Uber drivers that function on a first-come, first-served basis.

Because airport queues result in long waits, you may waste a significant part of your working hours. Sometimes, over 200 drivers line up waiting for passengers. Weigh your options before relying on airport pick-ups to secure gigs.

Indulge in Periodic Breaks

As an Uber driver, you enjoy flexible working hours. However, driving for long hours without proper rest will affect your productivity. Prioritize your health and your passengers’ safety by staying mentally and physically fit. Taking breaks not only re-energizes you but also ensures safe driving by keeping you focused.

Profit from Your Ride Home

When your work takes you several miles away from home, you can pick up passengers on your return ride. After a hectic day of driving, some drivers prefer heading home alone. However, you can take advantage of Uber’s driver destination feature. By setting up the destination on your app, riders who share your route can join you.

Uber vs. Uber Eats

Whether you work as a regular Uber driver or an Uber Eats driver, you can reap benefits from either platform. The service providers offer income incentives and referral bonuses to their partnering drivers. Driving for Uber and Uber Eats as a side gig opens up opportunities to supplement your income.

As an Uber driver, you can enjoy:

Meeting and interacting with strangers

Engaging in meaningful conversations

Driving around the clock with flexibility

Receiving tips from passengers

Launched in 2014 by Uber, Uber Eats serves as a food delivery platform. Its drivers pick up orders from restaurants and deliver them to remote customers. The pros of being an Uber Eats driver include:

Determining your own work hours

Enjoying minimal commitment

Getting tipped by customers

Avoiding the stress of dealing with rude passengers