Harry started driving with Uber and Lyft in 2014, while working as a full-time aerospace engineer. After finding a need in the driver community, he started his website to help drivers like himself. He has since quit his day job to focus on his incredibly successful website that provides drivers with insights and a database of tools to help grow their ridesharing income. Plus, he still drives regularly!
In this interview, you’ll learn:
How Harry got into rideshare driving.
How Lyft and Uber driver-partners get paid.
Whether or not he thinks there’s room for more rideshare drivers.
The positives and negatives of being a driver.
The kind of car you’ll need.
And more! This interview is packed full of valuable information!
I asked you, my readers, what questions I should ask him, so below are your questions (and some of mine) about becoming a rideshare driver. Make sure you’re following me on Facebook so you have the opportunity to submit your own questions for the next interview.
Note: You can become a driver-partner with Uber by clicking here.
1. Please give us a background on yourself and this side hustle.
I started rideshare driving with Uber and Lyft back in 2014 (which is a long time ago in ridesharing years!) and, shortly thereafter, started the blog The Rideshare Guy.
I’ve been writing and driving ever since then, and I’ve talked to thousands of drivers, plus people in the rideshare industry. I think people really gravitate to RSG because I try to be unbiased, objective, and I really am running RSG to help drivers. I’m a driver with a lot of the same questions they have, so I know what questions to ask and how to get that out to drivers in a relatable way.
I started it because it seemed like an interesting industry and I wanted to learn more about it. I’ve always been the type to try new things that I’m interested in, and if there’s a financial component, even better! I love getting paid for things I would have done anyways.
2. What exactly is Uber and Lyft? Can you explain this more for those who have no idea?
Basically, Uber and Lyft are companies that connect riders and drivers. People with cars (drivers) have the ability to make money on their own schedule by driving other people (passengers) around. This is enabled through an app on both the drivers’ and passengers’ phones. Passengers open the app, “request a ride” to go wherever they need to go (ex: the airport) and a driver gets a “ping” on their app, which shows them where the rider is.
Once the driver arrives, the passenger hops in, the driver takes the passenger to their destination, and that’s pretty much it! But that’s the gist of it
Drivers are paid once the trip is completed, and drivers can make their own schedule, so many drivers drive when they’re commuting to work, or after they’ve dropped the kids off, etc.
3. How much can a driver expect to make?
I wouldn’t necessarily encourage people to become an Uber driver-partner/Lyft, as it puts a lot of miles and wear/tear on your car, but for a side hustle, I think it’s a great gig.
4. How does a driver get paid? Check? PayPal? Something else?
Drivers get paid each week. Drivers can log in to their earnings statements on the app to verify they’re correct, then earnings are deposited via direct deposit in to drivers’ bank accounts.
You can get paid instantly with Lyft’s Instant Pay feature and can also cash out your earnings to a debit card up to 5 times a day when you sign up for Uber’s Instant Pay.
5. Do you think there’s still room for more drivers? How many drivers are there currently?
I think there is room for more drivers, particularly in big cities and in cities where Uber/Lyft are newly available.
There might be some saturation points, especially in the summer when a lot of college students are off and are casually driving with Uber/Lyft, but overall, I think if you remember this is a side hustle, it could be worth it to try.
6. Should/could a person sign up for both Uber and Lyft? Or, does a person need to choose just one?
I think a person could and should sign up to drive with both Uber and Lyft! Passengers typically have a “favorite” app (although it usually just comes down to price), but I believe all drivers should sign up to drive with both Uber and Lyft if they can. Sometimes things are slow on just the Uber app, so if you’re able to leverage Lyft too, that means you might be able to get more requests and earn more money.
7. What are the positives and negatives of being a driver?
There are a lot of positives I find about driving, but just to name a few: meeting interesting people, driving whenever I want. One thing I’ve found about drivers in general is that many of us have an entrepreneurial spirit in common, and being an Uber driver-partner is just like running your own business. You might have to worry about diversifying your income and things like expenses.
The negatives can be things like driver fares or a rude passenger (or one who vomits in your car, that can be a big negative).
But in general, most of your passengers will never puke (I’ve never had a puker in over four years of driving!) and many will be interesting (or quiet, which is fine!) people.
8. What are common expenses?
Gas, insurance, other expenses – those are the big ones.
Other things, like car washes and cleaning supplies, although once you buy most cleaning supplies, they can last you a while. Wear and tear and vehicle maintenance can be pricey – regular drivers might put on a lot of miles per week on their cars!
9. Will my current car be okay to drive? Or, do I need something specific?
In general, your car has to be 15 years old or newer, but there are exceptions depending on the city. You’ll also need a four door vehicle with working seatbelts. From my experience, you might also be more likely to get tips if your car is in good shape, heat/air conditioning work, and your car is clean.
10. What’s the craziest/funniest driver story you have experienced?
There are a lot of stories to choose from, but one of my favorite rides to this day was a pick-up in Los Angeles of a very elderly gentleman.
His nephew had installed and setup the Uber app on his phone, and this was his first ride ever, but he managed to request a ride and got me. He was pushing 80, yet very active, and we had an awesome 45 minute ride where we talked all about his life, why he was out in LA, and how using the Uber app was already changing the way he could get around the city. It was really inspiring to hear how he planned on requesting rides through Uber going forward to meet friends he hadn’t seen in a while and to get around the city.
11. Lastly, are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to become a driver?
If you’re interested in becoming a driver, my number one tip is to take an Uber or Lyft trip first! Take a ride as a passenger and you could ask your driver questions – what do they like about it? How is driving in [your city] like? What’s the craziest thing they’ve ever seen? Do most passengers talk or are most quiet and on their phones? Taking a ride as a passenger and talking to your driver could give you the best perspective on what driving is like in your city, which is invaluable. Oh, and of course I recommend you check out my blog TheRideshareGuy.com to stay up to date on all the latest info
Are you interested in becoming a Uber driver-partner or Lyft driver?