Woman driving Uber and Lyft in the Summer.

Driving Uber & Lyft In The Summer: Pro tips

Today, we’ve got a great post from Rideshare Dan on how to drive profitably during the summer.

Tips For Driving Lyft And Uber In The Summer

Summer Driving Making Some Cash
Summer driving, don’t drive too fast.
Picked up some riders, who were really hip.
Dropped them off, got a big tip.
Summer hints, for Uber of Lyft
Oooh, uh, oh those summer rides.

Driving in the summer can bring some additional challenges to your attempts to make money. Here are some things that you should consider when driving for Uber and Lyft during the hot months. While overall rider volume actually goes up in the summer, a lot of part time Uber & Lyft drivers start driving in the summer. This can negate the increase in rider traffic.

While these tips may not all apply to your city, several of them might. And if you happen to live in a city where summer months cause a boom in increased requests and fares, you may have other off seasons where these tips might help you.

In Some Markets, Business may be slower

While it varies from market to market, in many places, drivers experience a Summer slowdown on Uber and Lyft. There are several reasons why business may be a little slower for you as a driver in your city over the summer.

College kids are home

One of the more reliable sources of rides when driving for Uber and Lyft can be the college crowd. If you live in or near a college town, or a city with several colleges, you may see a reduction of demand over the summer as the students go back home. Some students may stick around to work over the summer or may be taking some summer classes. However, a lot of them will be going home. If the colleges near you have a large amount of out of town students, the amount of 18-25 riders you pick up will likely be reduced over the summer months. This causes overall demand for rides to go down.

Heat can cause less tourism/fewer conventions

In many places, especially in the summer, you might see a reduction in business visitors to your city. Many times organizations will plan conventions in the spring or fall to make the experience better for the convention goers. This can cause another drop in demand for ride share services during the summer. While it’s true that vacation travel spikes in the summer, those travelers don’t have the generous expense accounts that conventioneers do.

Teachers are out of school

It’s a well worn myth that teachers do not work over the summer. They often have many things to prepare for the upcoming year. However, with less time needed in the classroom, may teachers may be hitting the road for part time side hustles. This increases the supply of drivers on the road.

How do you offset those potential losses?

Shifts in supply and demand will cause a different equilibrium point. You have to compensate for all those factors in order to keep your earnings steady.

Aim for higher tips

The more tips you get, the more efficient your rides will be. You can offset the loss in demand for everyone’s services by upping your game. You should always strive to give the best service possible. The summer months give you the opportunity to try out new ways to convince customers to tip you.

Give away more items

The amount of drivers who do not offer extras to their passengers is astounding to me. I get tipped all the time by customers who never take advantage of free items. The fact that I offered free item was enough to impress them and consider my service tip worthy. I always offer free water to my customers.

This summer I have gone the extra mile and bought some ice packs to keep the water cool. Overheated customers can have a nice cool water instead of a bottle that is room temperature. The return on investment in this area is substantial.

I have also moved beyond offering just mints to my customers. Look at the stores and see what individually wrapped candies or snacks are available for a cheap enough cost that will bring your game up. Get creative with it (but make sure the items won’t cause a bigger mess to clean later). Make the experience unique to you and passengers will be more likely to tip you for it. You may even want to consider signing up for Cargo, a service that helps you provide complementary and premium products to your riders.

Step up your cleaning game

The nicer your car looks, the better your passenger will feel about getting in it. If it looks and smells like you have gone the extra mile to give your passengers a clean car to ride in, they may very well appreciate that and give you higher tips as well. Consider using a car-wash with a monthly plan that allows you to clean your car often. Make sure it has vacuum cleaners available so you can get out all the dirt and other messes passengers might leave behind.

Make sure your A/C is working properly

Nobody wants to get into a car on a blistering hot day that doesn’t have working air conditioning. Make sure that when you take your car in for your regular tire servicing that they also look at any A/C problems if it seems like it is necessary.

Drive smarter

Spending time planning out your week may allow you to drive in a more efficient way. There are no guarantees on how many rides you will get in a week. But if you can maximize the time you are
spending with passengers in your car, the better off you will be during slower months.

Check out convention schedules

Your local tourism board may have an online listing of the conventions coming up in the next week, how many people are attending them, and when they start and leave. Looking up the conventions themselves may also tell you what hotels most guests may be staying at during the convention. When the convention is finished for the day, people may want rides to dinner. When the convention is finished for the week, people may want rides to the airport. A little research beforehand can go a long way in helping you drive profitably.

Check out flight schedules

Airports can provide you with information on when flights are arriving and departing. Perhaps waiting in the queue at the airport when a large convention is coming in might be a way to make a lot of money. Perhaps waiting downtown near hotels on days that conventions let out would be another way to maximize your income.

Switch up your driving schedule:

Always be prepared to consider driving at different times of the day than your normal schedule. For many people, summer plans and schedules  may be very different from their plans over the rest of the year. Hours that might normally be slow in winter months may now be super busy.

Don’t follow the crowd

Use your rider applications to see where the drivers are. If your area is swamped with drivers, go to another area of town where they have less people. When they zig, you zag

Most importantly, hang in there!

When doing rideshare driving, you may very well have some slow periods. But emphasizing high quality service and learning how to drive more efficiently can replace your higher quantity of rides with a higher quality of ride.

Daniel Zimmerman is a one of the best drivers in the New Orleans area and can be found on Twitter @ridesharedan or on his blog, Rideshare Dan.