Uber driver in car

Tips & Advice for New Uber Drivers

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Learn how to be a successful Uber driver with these tips and tricks for new drivers. You'll learn important safety tips, how to get a 5-star rating, and how to increase your earnings with Uber.

Did you just start an entrepreneurial endeavor by becoming an Uber driver? There’s nothing like making some cash at your own convenience. Make the most of your ride by educating yourself on the best ways to earn, drive and simply enjoy being a rideshare driver.

Car Care Tips for Uber Drivers

Since people are paying you for a service, it’s important to provide a clean and reliable vehicle. Maintaining your car is a must for an enjoyable and, most importantly, safe ride.

Here are some car-care tips for Uber drivers:

  • Take your car into be inspected before you hit the road, and get regular check-ups as you continue to drive.
  • Make sure the vehicle is clean inside and out by frequently vacuuming and going through the car wash.
  • Use air fresheners — but nothing too overwhelming!
  • Have some small paper bags handy in the event of a sick passenger (hey, it happens).
  • Keep basic car maintenance tools, like a jack, flare, spare tire, etc. in your trunk.
  • Bonus tip: Did you know that Uber rewards drivers with discounted oil changes, car washes and more for accumulated hours and high ratings? Check out your app to see how you can qualify.

Uber Driver Safety Tips

Your customer is putting their trust in you and your vehicle to get them from point A to point B safely. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you stay safe and alert on the road:

  • Invest in a phone mount so you can keep your eyes on the road.
  • Pack snacks for yourself — your riders don’t want a hangry driver!
  • Get up and out of your car for a solid stretch every now and then. Do some squats, jumping jacks, a little spin — anything to get you more energized.
  • Schedule breaks — take some time to step away from the wheel and clear your head.
  • Don’t drive tired — if you find yourself nodding off while waiting for a patron, maybe it’s time to pack up. Or, take a little snooze behind the wheel to recharge (after you pull over!).
  • Know your route — if you’re familiar with the area you’re driving, you probably won’t be as distracted as driving in unfamiliar territory, since you’ll know common stops and heavier pedestrian areas, among other things.
  • Bonus Tip: Though you do what you can to drive carefully, if you find yourself facing the unexpected, you’ll want to have the right auto insurance coverage. Yes, your company probably covers you if you get in an accident when you’re en route to pick up a customer, and then once your customer is in the car. But if you’re simply logged into the app and waiting for ride requests, you’ll have very basic coverage with minimum limits, and potentially no comprehensive or collision coverage (which is what protects you and your vehicle). That’s where American Family Insurance’s Rideshare coverage steps in — it helps cover you during this gap.

How to Get a 5-Star Driver Rating

As an Uber driver, your rating is key to your success — and it typically depends on little things you can do to reach that certified awesome driver status. It all comes down to your passengers’ experience. Give them a better ride with these simple tips:

1. Greet Your Passengers

While saying hello and goodbye might not seem like a big deal, the little touches are all a part of a great customer experience.

2. Communicate

Let your passenger know you would be happy to change the climate settings, let them use audio jacks and help themselves to a phone charger right away.

3. Provide Phone Chargers

On that note, hook up a few different phone chargers to your car and an audio jack so they can play music.

4. Let Your Passenger Set the Tone of the Ride

If they like to keep to themselves, follow their lead. If they start small talk, go with it!

5. Smile!

A friendly driver is a memorable driver and a simple smile goes a long way.

Bonus Tip: Make yourself an “Uber Box” with cold water bottles, tissues, gum, hairbands, snacks and any other unique items that might make you stand out.

Little touches like these can make the experience noteworthy and will hopefully help you make your way up to that 5-star rating.

Increase Your Earnings With Uber

The amount of money you make driving for Uber is more tactical than you may think. Make the most of your ride by following these tips and tricks to earn more money driving for Uber:

  • Don’t head straight for surge areas. Since drivers head to these busier areas in droves, the surge pricing decreases because there’s no longer a lack of drivers in the area (which is what the surge premium is based off of). This means the drivers earn less money per ride.
  • Stick to an area you know well and don’t go too far out of your way to pick someone up, since most likely you’ll end up driving further to get them than taking them to their destination.
  • Bonus Tip: Download the Uber passenger app to see where your competition is (or isn’t).

Having Fun While You Drive

Sure, you might be technically working when you’re behind the wheel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it! Take advantage of the flexibility and benefits of driving with Uber by following these tips:

  • Plan an earn-as-you-go road trip to see new cities and meet new people — while earning money at the same time! Keep in mind, Uber has you designate a home market or a home city, and you can drive within that entire state. However, you won’t be able to drive Uber in other states.
  • As a driver, you’ll meet new people every single day — don’t be afraid to chat with passengers. Who knows what you could learn!
  • Have fun with your vehicle by decorating it. It’ll help make your passengers’ ride a memorable one.
  • Bonus Tip: Join the community! Connect via social media with other rideshare drivers and share more tips and tricks.

Now that you know some great ways to make the most of your Uber driving business, make sure to check out our Rideshare FAQs for more information on insurance for Uber drivers, or connect with an American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to make sure the ride is not only fun and profitable, but insured as well.

American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. & its Operating Companies, 6000 American Parkway, Madison WI 53783

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