College students all over the country look forward to winter break as a chance to spend time with family, reunite with high school pals, and recuperate from that brutal organic chem final.
It can also be a great time to earn some extra cash and get out of the house when your family starts to drive you crazy. Driving for Uber or Lyft during the holidays is a great way to finance those late-night meals at Applebee’s or next semester’s textbook bill.
Interested? Check out these tips on how to maximize your earnings as an Uber or Lyft driver this winter.
Sign Up for Both the Lyft and Uber Platforms
Depending on where you plan to drive, Uber may be more popular than Lyft, or vice versa. Regardless, sign up for both platforms to increase your earnings as a driver. You may be wondering why you should go through the extra trouble. Here’s why:
Uber and Lyft are very different companies, and as such, they do things differently. For example, Lyft offers sign up bonuses while Uber does not, opting instead to offer sign up earnings guarantees. Depending on your situation, one, or both, could be helpful to you.
Apps often fail during peak times, which can be frustrating if you’re only using one of the two and you’re already out on the road, hoping to make money. It’s better to have a back-up to keep from losing any earnings over the course of the day or night.
Often, Uber and Lyft prices surge at the same time. However, sometimes, Uber may surge while Lyft doesn’t.
If it’s a busy moment, you’ll want to make sure you have both apps open.
Pro Tip: In some cities, Uber or Lyft may require a vehicle inspection (though not always). If you need to have one done, ask a family member to do it for you before you get home, so you won’t have to waste any time.
Don’t Have a Car? Rent One with Lyft Express Drive, Maven, or HyreCar
As long as you meet the age requirements, renting a car to drive for Uber and Lyft is easier than ever. However, which option you choose should depend on which platform you’ll be using.
Lyft Express Drive
Lyft Express Drive is the easiest option because it is available directly through Lyft. The company actually wants its drivers to start using this option. However, those who prefer to use Uber exclusively or in addition to Lyft will need to choose another option.
With Maven (GM’s weekly car rental service), you can drive with Lyft, Uber, or another smaller rideshare platform. Options vary, and you can choose one that works with your budget.
HyreCar is another option if you’d like to rent vehicles from individuals. Also, the rental periods can be as short as one or two days, so you can try out different cars.
Fair is another option for car rental, but unfortunately, it only allows you to rent month-to-month. As a college student just home for a few weeks, it’s probably better to go with one of the other options.
Other rental companies include Hertz, Turo, and Rideshare Rental, as well as GetAround, which is only available in limited areas. All in all, though, if you’re looking to work for both Uber and Lyft at the same time, Maven or HyreCar are your best bets.
Balancing Family, Friends, and Driving
All work and no play makes Jack wish he had stayed in the dorm eating Oreos and playing God of War. Of course, you don’t want to work all the way through your winter break—and the good news is you don’t have to.
When you drive for Uber or Lyft, the key is to drive during the most lucrative times. No sense missing a lunch with friends just to sit in your car earning nothing.
To better balance work and pleasure, choose your drive times carefully. Your most lucrative times will be:
- First couple weeks of December
- Just before and after Christmas Day
- End of December–January 1st
- Monday–Saturday Nights (10 p.m. to 3 a.m.)
- Weekday early mornings
Focusing on these peak periods can get your bank balance up while giving you plenty of time to hang with friends and family. Of course, if you decide not to work a certain day or holiday, that’s up to you. It’s the beauty of being your own boss!
Driver Advice to Keep Your Passengers Tip-sy
Drivers that go the extra mile often earn more in tips from grateful passengers. Here are a few pieces of advice for making sure your passengers will love their trip enough to tip.
- Let the rider set the tone for conversations. If they seem chatty, talk. If not, don’t. But always stay polite.
- Offer at least two chargers—one for iPhones and one for Androids—for your riders.
- Ask your passenger where they want to be dropped off. They might surprise you and ask to be dropped at a side entrance.
- Say “Thank you” or “Have a good day.” Always leave things on a positive note.
Pro Tip: Even more than receiving tips, your positive attitude and attention to detail can earn you good ratings, which will get you more rides.
Is It Worth It to Drive With Lyft or Uber During Winter Break?
If you’re short on cash or want to finance that semester abroad, driving for Uber or Lyft for a few weeks this winter can be a great way to pad your bank account.
According to Uber, drivers earn 8 percent more in December as compared to November. To make the most of your time, be strategic with your drive times and offer the best passenger experience you can.
If you’re ready to sign up, click below to see your Lyft sign up bonus!