How To Be A Successful Part Time Rideshare Driver
Driving for Uber or Lyft part-time can be a great way to make some extra money. In many markets, experienced part timers can earn between $22-$30 per hour, sometimes more. However, most of those drivers didn’t start out earning that much. In fact, most of them probably made under $20 per hour their first few weeks on the road.
I met one driver who’s online around 15 hours per week, and averages around $23 per hour. His first week though, he was around $15 an hour, and his second week was worse. It took him a couple of months to work out a system and schedule that worked for him, and let him reliably earn $20 per hour, or more.
Another common story I hear is about how a drivers rating is usually lower their first few weeks on the road. In general, many part-time rideshare drivers earn less in their first few weeks, and have a slightly lower rating than they have after a couple of months.
Given these common issues, I decided to compile some tips for new part-time Uber and Lyft drivers. Hopefully, these will help you hit the road with high earnings and high ratings.
Part Time Lyft & Uber Driving – Keys For Success
In order to hit the ground running as a part-time rideshare driver, it’s important to adopt a strategy. Your strategy will be dependent on how often, and during what hours you’re going to drive. If you simply plan on doing a few rides before or after work, your schedule and strategy are worked out for you. Start picking up rides when you leave work, and when you’re ready to go home, set the destination filter to your address. Before work, leave a couple of hours early, and set your destination towards your work address.
Know The Peak Days
However, if you plan on driving 10 or 20 hours a week, it’s important to pick the right hours and days. The busiest days during the week tend to be Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. This holds true for almost every market. It doesn’t mean there’s no money to be made on Tuesday and Wednesday, but overall, they’re not as busy.
Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest and the most lucrative times in almost all markets. However, Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons are also great times to drive. Traffic is light and many of the Friday and Saturday night drivers have signed off. And, people go plenty of places on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Know The Peak Hours
In most markets, the best hours to drive during the week are between 5am and 9am, and then from 4pm to 8pm. However, these times vary a bit from city to city. Some places, the busiest afternoon hours are only from 5pm to 8pm. If you’re part-time, and you plan on driving during the week, these hours are when you’re likely to earn the most. However, in your town, the busiest afternoon hours may be 3pm – 7pm.
On weekends, driving rideshare is usually busy all day. Many people go to lunch on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. You’ll also get a lot of people going to and from church on Sunday. And of course, you’ll have a few rides of shame.
Take A Ride As A Passenger
If you haven’t already, take a ride in a Lyft or an Uber. So many people start driving without ever having used either service. Try it out and note what you did and didn’t like about the ride and the driver. It will give you insight into the passenger experience and likely help your ratings from the get go.
Get The Accessories You’ll Need Beforehand
You will need three accessories; a cigarette lighter/usb phone charger, a charger cable, and a phone mount. Recommendations for all of these can be found on our Essential Products page. That’s pretty much it. Get these before you start driving. Don’t be the rookie driver rolling around with the phone in their hand.
If you want to keep waters or snacks for passengers, it’s your call. I know some highly rated, high earning drivers who have stuff for passengers, and I know other highly rated, high earning drivers who don’t.
First Two Weeks Uber or Lyft Driving Strategy
Go into your first couple of weeks with a basic strategy.
- Commit to drive a set number of hours.
- Pick the times you’re going to drive.
Here’s a good sample strategy to start with if you’re planning to drive Uber or Lyft 15 hours a week.
Drive a five hour shift from 5am – 10am on a Monday, Tuesday, or Friday.
Drive a five hour shift from 3pm – 8pm on a Monday, Tuesday, or Friday.
Drive a five hour shift on Saturday or Sunday between 10am – 10pm.
Adjust this to suit your schedule. If you want to do all evening rush hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, go for it. If you just want to drive on the weekends, do that. If you want to start at 6 or 7am instead, by all means.
If you can though, drive five hour shifts or longer. The main reason for this is that after a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to look at your earnings and see which hours are the most lucrative in your area. You can then use that info to adjust your driving schedule to earn more.
You may find that you earn more from 6am – 9am. If that’s the case, you may not want to keep driving until 10am. If you only want to drive ten hours, it’s better to start out doing two longer shifts than three short ones. The reason is that when you drive for more than a couple of hours, you sort of get into a zone, and your efficiency goes up.
After driving your schedule for two weeks, look over your earnings and determine when they were highest. Adjust your schedule for the third week so that you drive when you earned the most during the first two weeks. After the third week, look at your earnings again, and make more adjustments. After your fourth week, check your per hour earnings and compare them to your first week. Unless the first week was a holiday or something else that would skew the numbers, your fourth week per hour earnings should be higher.
If you haven’t signed up for a rideshare service, you’re probably better off signing up for Lyft before Uber. Most drivers prefer driving for Lyft, and they still have sign up bonuses.
If you would like more information about signing up to drive for Lyft, be sure to check out our page about Lyft Driver Sign Up Bonuses.
Want to drive rideshare, but don’t have a car? Visit our Vehicle Financing guide, which contains information on how to buy, rent or lease a car for Lyft or Uber.
If you’re considering purchasing rideshare insurance (highly recommended if you’re going to drive rideshare), visit our Rideshare Insurance State Marketplace.
Other resources that you may find helpful: