An increasingly popular way to supplement your income these days is to join one of the rideshare companies, such as Uber or Lyft. You can drive on your own time, which allows you to set your own hours and make some extra money by simply driving your own car.
There are many things to take into consideration before taking on any new job or responsibility and this is especially true when you’re using your own personal vehicle to transport strangers through an app service.
There are four steps to become a successful rideshare driver and things to take into consideration along the way: deciding who you want to work for, submitting your application, checking your insurance, and staying on top of the company and its rules.
Decide which company(ies) to work for
So you’ve decided you want to start driving in your free time to make a little extra money. One of the first questions you’re going to come across is who to drive for and which one works best for you.
If you’re struggling with the decision of whether to driver for Uber or Lyft, or one of the lesser known companies, you might want to consider joining more than one if possible. Not only do they all have their own perks, but working with multiple companies will open you up to more people since different customers tend to prefer one particular app over another.
Submit your application(s)
Even if you only want to drive for one company, it’s a good idea to apply to multiple places just in case. You can apply to Uber, Lyft, or any of the other rideshare apps through their websites.
Most application processes will be similar and include these basic steps:
- Open up the website’s main page
- Click on “Sign Up to Drive” or “Become a Driver” and fill out the basic information (name, email, phone number and city)
- Follow the rest of the prompts to submit all the required information (this includes your social security number for a background check)
- Wait for a reply back from the company requesting further information or approving your application
Processes and steps are slightly different for each company but these steps are easily laid out on their individual websites.
Check your insurance policy or policies
Since rideshare companies are fairly new, insurance coverage for the drivers has only just recently been more carefully laid out. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the company’s insurance policy, your own insurance, and to make sure you’re getting the necessary coverage you need.
There are certain things covered under the insurance of the company itself. For example, Lyft’s insurance coverage - which comes at no cost to their drivers - covers commercial auto liability insurance, contingent collision insurance and coverage for bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist.
Some insurance companies like Geico and MetLife have specific rideshare driver insurance coverage. These policies would be in addition to whatever coverage the rideshare company offers.
Continue doing your research after you get accepted as a driver
To be a successful driver for any rideshare company, you must familiarize yourself with every aspect of the company, app service, insurance, and liability policies. Continue your diligent research even after they’ve accepted you and you’ve started driving.
More research should also be done to find the best times and places to drive. There are actually Facebook communities out there for rideshare drivers in different cities where drivers can share information, tips, and warnings. Take advantage of any additional help you can get.
Using your vehicle to transport strangers can seem confusing at first. Breaking down each step into achievable pieces helps. After you’ve done your research and covered all of your bases, you’ll be able to enjoy some time talking and socializing, while driving and making money all at the same time.