December 6, 2023
Some Uber and Lyft drivers have learned that they can make more money if they are selective about who they serve.

  • Some Uber and Lyft drivers say being choosy about the rides they accept can help their income.
  • Business Insider asked drivers whether cutting some rides to increase pay is a good strategy.
  • canceling trips Can help drivers avoid situations that are not profitable.

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There is no cheat code for this Making Money as an Uber or Lyft Driver – but some have found Strategies that work for them.

Drivers face countless decisions, including what time of day to work, what vehicle type How to use, how to set up a net suggestions from customersand the best way keep track of their earnings, One driver’s optimal strategy may differ from another depending on their particular markets.

But one of the most important decisions a driver makes is when to accept a ride that comes on his driving apps. Uber and Lyft adopted it last year advance rental program In select US cities that have provided drivers more information about them before accepting or rejecting their trips – including how much do they payEstimated time and distance, and their destination.

Business Insider spoke to three drivers about when they will selective with ride When it comes to increasing your profits, being less selective may be the best approach.

Accepting rides that pay at least $0.80 per mile and giving priority to airport trips can increase pay

Ken generally only accepts rides that pay at least $0.80 to $1.00 per mile. Nathan Sterk/Getty Images

Ken, a 36-year-old Uber and Lyft driver in Houston, drives about four to five hours per day — in addition to his full-time analyst job — to supplement his income. Last year he made a combined $25,000 from about 2,000 trips for Uber and Lyft, according to screenshots of earnings documents seen by Business Insider.

Although he accepts most rides, he said he prefers trips that pay at least $0.80 to $1.00 per mile, excluding vehicle expenses — a ride’s base pay and distance displayed on the app. . He also tries to avoid trips that take him too far from Houston because he worries he won’t be able to find trips to go back. He calls these “empty miles.”

“I’ve seen 50-mile trips that were only offered for $20,” Kane previously told Business. insider, “I will not do that.” He requested that his last name not be included for fear of professional consequences.

Ken, who hasn’t had much success with customer tipping in recent months, said he tries to prioritize rides to and from the airport whenever possible because those customers are more likely to tip. it occurs.

“When I get a ride to the airport, I count myself blessed,” he said.

Using caution on trips can help drivers avoid “one-way rides”

Bill cancels many trips to avoid unprofitable trips. There is no picture of the driver in the story. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bill, a part-time Uber driver in North Carolina, started driving for extra income after retiring six years ago. Last year, the 70-year-old man earned more than $28,000 from nearly 1,500 Uber trips.

But he will not accept any ride.

“I spend a lot of time saying no,” Bill, who asked to use a pseudonym for fear of professional repercussions, previously told Business Insider. insider, While driving for Uber, he accepted less than 10% of the rides and canceled more than 30% of them, according to screenshots of his driver app seen by Business Insider, to ensure he got the value for his time. Getting a ride.

Bill lives in an area where Uber’s advance fare program has not yet launched, so he has limited information about his trips before accepting it. As a result, he does everything he can to avoid “one-way rides” that take him to remote areas – where he is less likely to find another ride going in his preferred direction.

To bypass these riders, Bill asks customers when they pick them up if their destination is in the area. If they are going out of town, he often makes excuses as to why he can’t drive them.

However, their approach comes with some risks. Uber lists refusing or canceling a trip based on the driver’s destination as something that could lead to a driver doing so lose access to their account, Bill said he’s heard that drivers have been banned from airport pickups for canceling long rides, but that hasn’t happened to him yet.

Accepting most rides can help drivers gain some profits

A passenger enters an Uber car in New York Jefferson Siegel/Reuters

Fred, a 40-year-old Uber driver in Virginia, first tried Uber in 2018, but stopped his driving between 2019 and 2021. According to earnings screenshots, he started driving again in mid-2022 and earned about $44,000 in about 3,000 trips. The document was seen by Business Insider. Last September, he earned more than $5,000.

Fred’s main strategy as a driver is to accept almost every ride – his lifetime acceptance rate is around 84%. He said he does this because it gives him the best chance of maintaining Uber’s “Diamond status”, which offers various benefits, such as savings at select gas stations through a rewards system. Fred said the best benefit of his position is the dedicated customer support he receives.

“When I call Uber support, my call or messaging is handled promptly and professionally,” he said. But if drivers don’t care about these extra benefits, Fred said he understands why they would decline rides that don’t seem profitable.

Are you a gig worker willing to share your story about pay, schedules, and tipping? If yes, please contact this correspondent [email protected],


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