If you drive Uber or Lyft, you may have noticed a bit of a drop off in business the past few weeks. If you have, you’re not alone. In many parts of the country, Uber and Lyft business slows down a bit in January and February, especially during the week. It’s only temporary. Business starts to pick up again around Valentine’s Day and there are a couple of things you can do to mitigate the slowdown.
In colder areas like Chicago, Philly, Boston, Oklahoma City, and St. Louis, the overall dropoff is around 10%. When it’s freezing, people tend to go out when they have to, not when they want to.
Even if you’re in a warmer Uber or Lyft market like Phoenix or Los Angeles, you may have also noticed a drop off. Unfortunately, the annual Uber and Lyft business drop off tends to happen everywhere, but can be less pronounced in certain markets in the Southwest like Southern California or Arizona. However, pretty much everywhere, Uber and Lyft business is a bit lower in January and February
Why Uber And Lyft Slow Down In January and February.
The main reason for the slowdown is that the holidays are usually expensive. In November, you’ve got Thanksgiving, which often involves traveling or preparing a pricey meal. And that’s just a warm up for December, which is the most costly month of the year for most people. So, after the new year, most people tend to cut down on expenses as much as possible. Overall, people go out less in January and February than any other time of the year. And when they do go out, they try and be a bit more economical. What that often means is taking less Uber and Lyft.
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At least this year Uber and Lyft aren’t cutting rates for the winter. Up until last year, both companies would drop rates between 5 – 10% in many markets to make up for the winter drop off in demand. Thankfully, they’ve stopped doing that. But, if you drive Lyft or Uber, there’s still the natural dropoff in demand you have to deal with. Luckily, there’s a few things you can do that may help you make a little more money driving Uber or Lyft in winter. While none of these are a magic bullet that will increase your winter earnings 20%, they should help a bit.
How Uber And Lyft Drivers Can Adjust To Winter
- The main thing you can do during winter is to adjust your driving schedule a little bit. The winter slowdown is most noticeable during off peak hours. However, business during peak hours doesn’t drop off as much. So, if possible, shift your schedule to take advantage of as many busy hours as possible. During the week, the busiest Uber and Lyft hours tend to be mornings between 5am and 9:30am in most markets, and afternoons between 4:30pm and 8:00pm. On weekends, the busiest hours are usually Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm until the bars close. If you’re driving Uber or Lyft 10 to 20 hours per week and you want to make as much money as possible, you want to be driving as many of those hours as possible. If you’re full time, you probably already drive many of those hours, but drive all of them if you can.
- Another thing you can do to boost your Winter Uber and Lyft earnings is to drive during inclement weather. However, don’t go out if driving conditions make it unsafe. During winter, rain and snow tend to bring on high demand leading to surge and prime time fares. If a big storm hits, drivers can often make a couple of hundred dollars in a few hours. So, if you’re comfortable driving in rain, sleet, and snow, get out there during the storms.
- Also, consider some of the additional driver revenue options I discuss in our post 5 Ways To Drive Uber & Lyft Profitably. By implementing these options, drivers are able to add several hundred dollars per month to their income.
By following these tips and making a few small adjustments, you may be able to mitigate the effects of the Uber slow season. While you still may not make as much in January as you will in June, you can get close.