Uber Driving Smart Not Hard

We always hear people saying that you should work smart not hard. So what does that mean when it comes to Uber Driving?

Drive When You Want To

First off being smart about how you do something is all about what you are trying to get out of it. There are people who use Uber Driving to help cover the cost of the petrol driving to and from work. These people may only do 2 trips a day and when they go online they always setup the app to only give them trips either to work or home.

The key point here is to drive when you want to not when Uber wants you to. I’ve read articles that point out that Uber would like it’s drivers to drive as much as legally possible so the waiting time for passengers is as low as possible. To this end there is an element of game theory built into the app to encourage that.

If your target is to earn money with Uber as a full-time or part-time role then set yourself hourly not money targets. Daily money targets mean that you may stop early when you are earning well but keep going when you are not. This behaviour will reduce your hourly income which is counter to what you are trying to achieve. You are much better to keep going when you are earning well and stop when you are earning poorly. Having an hourly target will help with that keeping you going when your are going well and not pushing on wasting good time after bad.

The other side of having hourly targets means that you can set yourself up to get the rest you need. Driving safe which includes not doing tired is important. Having a monetary target might make you keep going for that extra thirty minutes, hour or more. Having an accident in that time, because you are tired, will be much more costly than missing out on a fare or two.

Choosing The Right Car

Your car is going to be your office and so having the right car is going to be important. Obviously the car mush comply with Uber’s local rules. After that the first thing people think about is the monetary cost in buying the car, servicing, insurance and fuel. So yes you want an economical car and you want to drive it in an economical way. That means smooth driving or not accelerating, braking and steering too hard. All those things will increase your fuel consumption and wear on the tyres and other parts of the car.

The other side of it is having a car that you find comfortable to drive. You are going to be sitting in the same position for hours at a time and so it has to be one that doesn’t cause and aches and pains. Not only is an ergonomically seating position going to be important but also good visibility, you will be doing lots of manoeuvring. Finally having a good stereo might be important to you and how it integrates with your phone so think about these things too.

It’s All About The Hourly Rate

At the end of the day Uber Driving is about earning money not about getting a promotion, standing in society or saving the planet. So if you are going to have an hourly target, then getting your hourly income as high as possible is your key target.

This might sound overly obvious but an Uber driver gets paid for driving people to places. What that means is you are not earning when you don’t have a passenger and when you are stuck in traffic or otherwise stationary with a passenger the hourly rate is negligible. So the goal is to minimise your idle time, that means the big fare to the suburbs might look great but if you have to drive 45 minutes back into town for your next fare that hourly rate starts dropping fast. Those back to back short trips around the CBD might be just as or even more profitable especially if some of them happen during surges.

Talking about surges, clearly if you can put yourself in areas that commonly surge then that’s a good thing. But as we have already said it’s not about the big fare but about constantly earning so chasing surges can be very unprofitable. I have headed into surge areas before and not got a fare so not only can they disappear before you get there but they are also not guarantees of getting a trip.

It’s not always the obvious places that you pick up trips and also the frequency of trips in some places will change. A consultancy might have a big project will a particular client meaning lots of back and forth trips between a couple of office blocks for a set period of time. So I think that smart driving includes setting some time aside each week for experimenting. Maybe you try Monday evening instead of Wednesday evening one week or instead of turning left out of your driveway turn right. Knowledge is power and knowing where to avoid can be as important as knowing where to head sometimes.

Those are my thoughts on the key points to Uber Driving Smart Not Hard, let me know your thoughts on Smart Driving in the comments below.

Become An Uber Driver

If you would like to become an Uber driver please use my referral code paulb47554ue and it could make us both a little more cash. Uber does change it’s referral program from time to time so check the terms when you sign-up.


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