Considering working for Uber? Becoming an Uber Driver can help you supplement your full-time income, help you cover expenses if you’re in between jobs, or even provide enough income to support you full-time. But while you can make real money driving for Uber, doing so is not as simple as opening up the app every day and accepting riders. You’ll need to be strategic about when and where you accept fares. You’ll need to be personable to maximize tips, and you should know your service area well in case your navigation app fails.
Here are five other things you should know before you accept your first ride:
Plan for Expenses
As a driver, you’ll have extra expenses, including gas, tolls, and excess wear and tear on your car. So you should determine how much you want to earn each week at the outset — a figure that should include an estimate of the additional expenses you incur. Doing so will help you determine where and when you try to pick up riders, as well as how long you’ll likely need to work each week.
When you’re figuring out what you want your post-expense take-home pay to be, factor breaks into multi-hour driving shifts. You’ll need to stretch, use the bathroom, and just plain take a break from driving. Taking regular breaks will help you present a sunny disposition to each passenger and increase your chance of receiving tips.
Track Your Mileage
Your biggest tax-deductible business expense is likely to be your mileage — so track it! Use an app like MileIQ or TripLog that can help you track miles when you drive, distinguish between personal and business driving, and generate a mileage log that can easily be appended to your tax return.
Form an LLC
Set up an LLC to minimize your professional and personal tax liabilities. If a passenger sues you and wins, your LLC will limit your financial liability to the assets held by the LLC. Forming an LLC may also make it easier for you to receive government grants and other assistance meant for small business owners.
Understand Uber’s Safety Features
Uber and other ride-sharing services have gotten a fair amount of bad press regarding driverand passenger safety concerns. In response, they’ve rolled out some additional safety features like easier access to 911. Keep yourself up-to-date on Uber’s latest driver safety features to keep yourself safe, and consider posting passenger safety features in your car to put riders at ease.
You’ll learn a lot more about driving for Uber over time. But following these tips can help you improve your chances of success at the outset and avoid costly mistakes.