4 Tips Every New Driver Should Know
Driver Tip #1: Plan Your Work Schedule
One of the biggest perks of ride-sharing is that you can create your own schedule. While this may sound like ultimate freedom, the truth is that you can significantly multiply your income just by driving the right days and times.
For example, during a slow time of day, you might be lucky to average $10 and hour - but if you work a busy time of day with surge pricing, you might earn $40 an hour. By driving smarter you can work less hours, while making more money.
Services like Lyft, for example, will show you a schedule with estimated earnings per hour. While this is a good place to start, it’s not guaranteed. That’s why we recommend using the SherpaShare dashboard to find the best times to drive.
We use real driver data and insights to show you what days drivers are making the most money. This allows you to quickly and easily choose which days to drive. Here’s another tip: If you drive full time, try to take your days off during the slowest days of the week.
And don’t forget, there are usually a ton of rides early in the morning and late at night. So if you’re a early bird or a night owl, don’t miss out on these lucrative hours. A quick word of advice: mornings are usually busy with commuters, while the nights are filled with people getting a ride home from the bars. Depending on your personality, you’ll probably love one and hate the other.
The other benefit of setting a schedule? You can make sure you hit your target income. By setting aside a set number of hours per week to drive, you are much more likely to hit your income goals. Your SherpaShare Dashboard can also help you see where you’re at financially for the week, and how much further you need to go.
Driver Tip #2: Avoid Rush Hour Gridlock
Here’s a quick cautionary tale:
"My first passenger pickup happened to be on Market Street in San Francisco during rush hour. Imagine balancing rush hour traffic, greeting your first passengers, starting the ride, not really knowing where they were going, and trying to fumble with using navigation? Now it’s old hat, but those first rides definitely were a bit stressful.” - Driver, San Francisco
Remember, miles pay more than minutes. If you’re stuck in rush hour for 30 minutes, and you only drive 2 miles, you’re going to earn a painfully low fare. (Unless there’s a major surge price in effect!) On the other hand, if you’re zipping down the highway, a 15 minute ride may earn you a big fare.
Many drivers find rush hour to be a stressful time to drive. As a driver it’s important to be patient and not get stressed. If you’re new to ride-sharing, you’ll want to take things easy at first. Here’s a tip: Mention to your passengers it’s your first day. They’ve probably heard it before, and they’ll usually be more friendly and patient (it also helps to have some basic city knowledge).
Until you’re comfortable with the ins-and-outs of being a driver (using the app, navigating, dealing with passengers) take it easy, and avoid the extra stress of rush hour.
Driver Tip #3: Be Careful Where You Park
"My first delivery pickup was in Palo Alto and I was picking up food from a few restaurants during the lunch time rush and delivering to a few nearby offices. The pace and expectation was quite different than having a passenger, but it took some getting used to on how to review and ensure accuracy of the order - the most important thing.” - Driver, Silicon Valley
Whether you’re waiting for a passenger or pulling over somewhere to pick up a delivery, you might find that you’re parked somewhere that’s far from an official parking spot. The good news? As long as you’re pulled over in a safe place and you’re not there for too long, the odds are you’ll be ok. But remember, The last thing you want to get is a ticket.
Here are some tips: Don’t stop somewhere that can block traffic and stay away from crosswalks and intersections. If you’re parked illegally and your passenger is taking a long time to arrive, send them a friendly text to remind them that you’ve arrive - and if necessary, find a more appropriate spot to wait for them.
Waiting for your next ride? Try pulling over in a big open parking lot (like those outside of grocery stores). These areas are usually centrally located so you can pick up another ride fast, plus parking there is free - this can save you from driving around in circles and wasting gas.
The absolute most important thing is for safety to be your #1 priority. It’s great to go above and beyond for your passengers, but remember to always follow the law and be mindful of your surroundings - you don’t want to risk getting a ticket or putting a passenger in harms way.
Driver Tip #4: Keep Your Phone Charged.
New drivers are often amazed at how quickly their phones die on the road. Between the apps and navigation running non stop, you battery will drain quickly.
Remember: If your phone dies - you can’t get any rides. It seems simple, but it’s happened to the best of us, and it’s a nuisance.
"I had a phone charger but for some reason it wasn’t working in the car outlet, so I had to get creative. I took out my computer and put it under the driver seat, and charged directly from the computer. However, I had to keep tapping it on so the charge would stay active. I was taking a passenger home from the airport so needed the GPS. It was pretty bootleg, and in retrospect, not very safe. - Driver, Los Angeles
Get a car charger and drive with your phone plugged in. Driving is also a lot easier when you have a good car phone mount.
Here are some additional time saving tips: Take some snacks and water with you on the road so you don’t have to pull over for a long lunch. Also make sure you have enough gas in your tank for your shift before you start driving, this way you won’t run out of gas with a passenger or need to stop mid shift.
What resonates with you and what did we forget? Tell us here or on Facebook or Twitter.
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