16 Tips for Uber Newbie to become Expert

Uber will give you minimal to no information on how to actually do the job. You get thrown out of the nest and maybe you will fly. Maybe not. I would look up videos on youtube on uber tips or read this article. This article will have plenty of helpful tips on how to navigate the world of rideshare.

16 Tips From Uber Newbie to Expert
16 Tips From Uber Newbie to Expert. Photo by Austin Distel

Table of contents

Take advantage of being new to Uber
Know the Airport rules
Do not pick up unaccompanied minors
Do not take cash rides
Do not smoke in your car
Check your backseat to make sure passengers don’t leave anything
Do not wait for passengers
Keep your car clean
Try to use a vehicle that qualifies for more than one platform
COVID-19 Updates
Use your sign-on bonus
Don’t drive around looking for rides
Remember this is your car
Get rideshare insurance
Don’t speed
Music is usually something passengers like

Take advantage of being new to Uber

Take advantage of being new to Uber. Uber gives you preferential treatment. They give you priority on rides over others. They want you to keep on driving for them. So they want to make it as attractive as possible. And they offer extra incentives for you to keep driving. But make no mistake, those things will sadly come to an end at some point. Uber typically gives out trips based on proximity. The closest driver gets the trip. But new drivers bypass this system for as long as the system recognizes them as new. I recommend you drive as much as you possibly can for that first month or two after you start to take advantage of the newbie perks while they last.

Learn Your market. Learn the patterns of your city and the way it moves. If you want to take advantage of the quest and surge pricing then you need to know ahead of time where you need to be. Uber gives out quests during certain times and on certain occasions. For example, they like to do a do 3 trips in a row and make $5. Meaning if you do 3 trips in a row without declining and trips in between or going offline you get and extra $5 on top of what you make for those particular trips. Usually, they have a certain area the first trip has to start in for the series to count. So check the requirements closely. But you can as many of them as you can during the time period allotted. Typically its a 3 hour period. But it can be longer. And you can do as many of those series as you want. So that money adds up.

Know the Airport rules

Know the Airport rules if you plan to pick up or drop off at the airport. You can drop off with no issue but you need a little placard that hangs from your mirror to pick up at the airport. It has to be current. You can have uber send you one. I recommend that as soon as you sign up give them a call and ask them to send you one. The fines for picking up at the airport without that sign can be in the thousands. Uber will send you one for free. Picking up at the airport can be hectic. They have you wait at a waiting lot until you get a trip. You get put into the wait queue. You can see what number you are in the queue. Now depending on how fast the queue is going, you might get a trip in 5 minutes but if it’s slow you could wait for hours. You will learn when to sit and wait and when to leave the airport area and get a regular trip. If it’s a high surge I would wait. If the surge at the airport is $10 or $15 that line will move extremely fast.

An area surges because the driver demand far outpaces supply. Too many passengers and not enough drivers. In Atlanta on a good Sunday night, I would usually head to the airport at about 10:00 pm. It usually surges up to $15 then it will drop down as passengers get picked up. A little time would go by and then it would start to surge again. It usually surges 3 times then It pretty much stays normal from then on out. Unless planes are late. That can prolong the surge.

The airport in Atlanta has 3 main terminals. domestic north terminal, domestic south terminal( which is all Delta), and the International terminal. Your screen will tell you when the trip pops up which terminal you are picking up from. The apps built-in GPS will take you to it.(you can’t totally rely on the GPS. It will have you riding around in circles trying to figure out where you are supposed to go. Keep in mind what terminal you are going to and follow the signs for it.)

Check and make sure of where you are picking up in that particular terminal. Some people will get picked up at the rideshare lot for that particular terminal. Others want curbside pickup. If they want curbside it will usually not say Domestic south rideshare lot or domestic north rideshare lot. It might have a section curbside where the person is. Be patient. Each airport is different. Try to familiarize yourself with the process your airport uses. Picking up at the airport at the right time can be very lucrative.

Do not pick up unaccompanied minors

Do not, Do not, Do not pick up unaccompanied minors. It’s against Uber’s policy and parents know this. They will try to get you to take their kid to school or to the mall. It’s a big risk on your part. If anything happens to the kid it will be on you. If you get into an accident with an unaccompanied minor in the car you could be in big trouble. You also can be deactivated. I have been guilty of this a few times. But it was usually upper middle school or high school age. Never elementary age kids. Simply tell them that you can’t take them without an adult in the car. There is an option on the app when you cancel that says “unaccompanied minor”. For whatever good picking that option over simply canceling normally does.

Do not take cash rides

Do not take cash rides. Unless you are in uber black you are not allowed to take cash rides. Period. In some places uber has decoys that will take rides with you and attempt to get you to take cash. Cops can sometimes do this as well as a way to write tickets. So tell them no. It’s not worth losing thousands of potential revenue for $10. Also if you get in an accident neither you nor the passenger is covered by uber or your insurance. If the passenger is hurt they will turn around and sue YOU. This is an unnecessary risk for you to take.

Don’t start your trip until all your passengers are inside the vehicle. For example, A man comes and gets in. You start the trip then he says “hold up my wife and son are coming”. So you wait and the wife gets in carrying their son. You tell them that they need a car seat, you can’t drive with them holding a baby. That’s a nightmare situation in the case of an accident. ~tip: Be wary of pickups that are a children’s hospital. I recommend you call them and ask them if they have children with them and the proper child seats. Parents might have rushed their child to the hospital. And in situations like that, they really are not thinking about a child seat.

Take breaks and stretch. Smoke a cigarette or cigar (in my case). Take 15 minutes to give your spine a chance to relax. You will be able to drive longer if you do.

Do not smoke in your car

Do not smoke in your car. Some people have sensitive noses. They can smell the smoke. Even if you drove with the windows down for 5 minutes. Step outside and get your smoke on.

You will likely get drunks and weed smokers. I have driven countless of each and I haven’t really had many issues with the weed smokers (except for your car smelling like weed afterward. But blunt spray air freshener takes care of that). But I have had drunks throw up in my car. (I had one girl who was in the military who was too drunk to drive. I picked her up with her friends around. I figured one of them was going to ride with her. Nope. She tried to open the door on the way. Then she threw up on herself and the car. Then to top it off there was supposed to be someone to come out and get her at her apartment. No one around.

So I go knock on her door. No answer. I go back to the car and she has opened the door and is leaning out throwing up. I get her back in the car and sit there for an hour. Eventually, someone calls her phone and I jump up to answer it. It’s the only contact I have with people who know her and can take her off my hands. I tell them the situation and they say they will be right there. Someone comes from the apartment I had knocked on earlier and takes her inside.

Check your backseat to make sure passengers don’t leave anything

Check your backseat to make sure passengers don’t leave anything. Especially cellphones. Do not let your passenger leave their cellphone in your car. People go crazy over their phones and will bug the holy hell out of you to get it back. Trust me you don’t want those problems. If someone leaves one in your car you will likely get a call from Uber support trying to see if you found a phone. You have the option of allowing customer service to pass your number to the passenger so that you and the passenger can coordinate to get their phone back to them. You also have the option of taking the phone to the nearest Uber greenlight hub near you. The passenger can then pick it up from them. Because of Covid all greenlight hubs are closed. You will have to check to see when they are scheduled to open again.

Do not wait for passengers

Do not wait for passengers. If they say they will be just a second on a stop make sure you tell them you will wait 5 minutes and then you are gone. People lose track of time and a quick run inside turns into 20 minutes. You can wait if you like. I recommend you tell them you will wait if they pay you. Let them decide if it is worth it to them. They can always get another Uber to go back.

You are not in the driving business you are in the customer service business. How good a rating you keep and how much you make in tips is directly linked to how well your customer service skills are.

Learn to read people. You need to know when people are in a talkative mood and when they would rather have silence. It could be the difference between a 5 dollar tip and a 5-star rating and no tip with a 4 or 1-star rating.

Your ratings are based on the last 500 trips you have given. When you are new you have protection. You won’t be deactivated because your ratings are low. They give you time to build your ratings up. Normally if you get to a 4.6-star rating you are in danger of being deactivated. Ratings change as you do more trips. More get added and others drop off. 1-star trips can drag your rating down quickly. And they take a while to get off. Don’t let a bad week get you down. Do your best and your star rating will slowly go back up.

Passengers do screen drivers based on your star rating. So it is important that you try to keep your rating as high as you can.

Keep your car clean

Keep your car clean. You don’t necessarily need to keep it immaculate. But you want to keep the windows clean, seats clean. No clutter on the floors. A little dirt from people in and out of the car is fine. People probably won’t care at all about that. I would invest in a small vacuum. Vacuum the car out after every shift. Having a clean car will result in a better rating and more tips.

Use an air freshener after every 5 trips or sooner if your trips were long. Roll the window down and to let the car air out. Then spray your freshener while the window is down so the car isn’t overpowered with the smell.

If you have problems with passengers or they are rude when you are trying to pick them up, cancel the trip. You can cancel any trip at any time for any reason at all. But don’t be unreasonable with this power. But don’t take passengers that you can see are going to be horrible. They likely will give you a bad rating no matter how nice you are to them.

Try to use a vehicle that qualifies for more than one platform

Try to use a vehicle that qualifies for more than one platform. Uber has Uberx, Uberxl, uber select, Uber comfort. There is also Uber black which is their limousine service. Uber black pays by far the most but you will need a vehicle that qualifies, a commercial license, and commercial insurance. Also, they restrict how many are vehicles they allow in a market for Uber select and Uber black. For example, you want a car that will qualify for uberx and Uberxl or one that qualifies for Uberx and Uber comfort. That way you can take trips from both platforms. A latemodel camry qualifies for Uberx and Uber comfort.

Uberx: UberX seats 4 passengers. UberX cars are typically sedans such as Toyota Prius, Honda Accord. Uberxl:UberXL seats 6 passengers in an SUV and minivan. XL costs more than UberX . Uberxl Typically pays double what uberx does but there are typically less uberxl rides. Uber comfort: Uber Comfort seats 4 in a larger vehicle with more legroom. Uber select: Uber Select is Uber’s entry-level luxury service that seats up to 4 passengers. Select cars are typically BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc. Uber Black: Uber BLACK and Uber SUV is Uber’s luxury service. Commercially registered and insured livery vehicles, typically a black SUV or luxury sedan. Black is the most expensive Uber service

COVID-19 Updates

Covid Updates: Uber has had to change things around because of Covid. For the beginning of the pandemic passenger rides dropped off a cliff. No bars and $1,000 weekends. Atlanta was basically a ghost town. It reminded of one of those apocalyptic movies where all the humans died out. But things are returning to normal. Many drivers, (the smart ones) started doing Uber eats instead of driving people. People were not going out but they still had to eat. During the beginning of covid I got sick myself. I was down for about 5 days but recovered. I took 2 weeks off and thought about if I even wanted to continue doing it. I eventually did.

But downtown Atlanta had very few rides. So I started going to the outskirts and taking trips out there. Normally I would avoid the areas around Atlanta because the distance you have to drive to pick up your passengers increases when you are out in the boonies. But during Covid I took those trips. As long as an area had a steady supply of trips I kept picking them up. I was making about $200 or more a day doing that. During that time pickups were crazy. They were giving me pickups that were 10 and 15 miles away. Normally your pickup is 5 minutes or less away.

Covid-19

Drivers and passengers in all states are now required to wear a mask

The Uber Pool service is temporarily unavailable

Drivers are encouraged to regularly sanitize their vehicles and drive with their windows cracked open

Passengers are no longer permitted to sit in the front seat

Passengers and drivers must agree to a safety checklist before each ride

Use your sign-on bonus

Use your sign-on bonus. It can get you up to $1000. You should also use a referral link to get you and another driver extra cash. You can always use mineā€¦ hint hint.

So what do you need to get started? A car that qualifies for one of the Uber platforms. Uberx, UberXl, Uber Select, Uber comfort, and Uber Black. Do not specifically go out and buy a car to use for uber. It’s one thing if you were already going to buy something newer and you decide to get something you like that also qualifies for one of the uber platforms. That’s fine. But if you get a car just for Uber you run the risk that you will get deactivated at some point and be stuck with a car you have no other use for.

Uber is not a long term job. It’s a part of the Gig economy. That means you can’t count on it long term. Make as much as you can while you can but keep your options open and have other opportunities you can fall back on should uber not be available for you.

Eventually, you will get deactivated. If you do this for a long time it will happen. Typically it will be because of a false report. Someone says you were drunk or driving erratically or you sexually harassed them in an attempt to get their money back or as retaliation. False reporting is something that some passengers do. You will be pissed the first time it happens but don’t get too upset. It comes with the territory. Uber will likely email you and tell you something was reported to them. Depending on what it is they might just be sending you the email to let you know about it. If it’s serious they might temporarily deactivate you while they investigate the claim. I use the word “investigate” very loosely.

As far as I have determined, when it comes to false reporting Uber has a limit to how many reports you can get before they deactivate you. Nobody knows what that number is. It might not even be the same for everybody. I suspect though that if you are a driver that is making $1,000 a week they possibly might be more lenient with you. But you can never count on it.

Don’t drive around looking for rides

Don’t drive around looking for rides. Find a good spot and sit tight. You’ll burn up gas and your available drive time if you just roam around. You have to be strategic. Only the time you spend driving while online counts towards your time. You could go offline and go home and have dinner and that time doesn’t count. Uber gives you 12 hours before you can no longer take trips without 6 hours offline.

You could use the site wrapify to make extra money. You can get up to $500 extra by letting them wrap your car in an advertisement or by putting a lighted billboard on the roof of your car if you don’t want your car wrapped.

Track your miles that you drive getting to the place you uber from. The miles you drive during Ubering and The miles you drive going back home. That’s a tax deduction. The IRS lets you deduct 58 cents per mile so that can really add up. Your gas is also a deduction as well as your phone usage.

Remember this is your car

Remember this is your car. Not Uber’s. You can end a trip at any time for any reason. Don’t abuse that power or your rating will take a big hit. But If it’s a question of your safety or the passenger is too demanding, you can and should end the trip. They can get another Uber.

You have to adapt to your environment. Your strategies should change as conditions change. Whether it’s a business or people, “that which does not adapt, dies”.

Get rideshare insurance

Get rideshare insurance. It’s usually pretty cheap and the last thing you want is your insurance company saying they won’t cover an accident because you were doing rideshare. Yes, Uber does have insurance that covers you while you are on a trip but you don’t really want to have to rely on that. It has a $1,000 deductible. If its a minor fender bender and cost $899 to fix guess who has to pay for the repairs. Yep, you.

Rideshare insurance is usually $5 to $10 per month and greatly reduces your headache in case of an accident. So get it.

Get a dashcam. You likely won’t need it but then again you just might. Make sure it’s visible to passengers. It helps to keep them on their best behavior. Try to get one that records sound as well as video. It’s a good idea to get one with night vision too. The last thing you need is to be accused of something inappropriate and have no way to prove your innocence. Your dash cam is insurance. If you are accused of something you at least have the ability to send Uber the footage to show what happened, or what didn’t happen. Whether Uber even takes a look at it is not guaranteed. A video of the incident might be the difference between you being deactivated and being able to continue to make money.

Don’t speed

Don’t speed. (too much) If someone sends in a complaint for you speeding you will get an email from Uber. You get too many and you will be deactivated. Don’t drive erratically or accelerate too fast or smash on the brakes. Try to drive like a limo. Nice and smooth.

Don’t let a passenger get you to speed because they are late getting somewhere. It’s not your fault they didn’t call for an Uber sooner. The passenger will not pay for your ticket and they will likely still give you a 1-star rating. It’s against uber’s policy for a passenger to try to get a driver to speed.

Music is usually something passengers like

Music is usually something passengers like. But it depends on their mood. You need to discriminate. Not in a bad way. You need to judge by the person whether they would probably like country music, rap, rock or top 40. I have several playlists already made. One with, slow soft music, top 40 pop, jazz , blues or hip hop. Tailor it to your passengers. BUT only put songs on your playlist that YOU like. You don’t want to be on a 45-minute trip listening to music you don’t like.

Published by Julie Robert

, passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, I spent most of the time to develop new skills and learning more about the tech world because I derive great satisfaction from helping readers eliminate technological headaches that plague their day-to-day lives.