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What to Expect Your First Week and Moving Forward

Have you ever wondered how much people really make in on-demand? We spoke to our members, crunched the numbers, and the results may surprise you!

This 10 minute training goes through what other Animo members make driving for Uber and Lyft, and offers suggestions on how to improve your earnings.

The beauty of the on-demand world is that you can decide how hard you want to work and how much money you want to earn. Whether you apply all of these tips or none of them is up to you and what your goals are.

We’re here to empower you with the knowledge to make the decision that makes sense for you.

Table of Contents

  • What to expect in your first week

  • Tips for Driving >30 hours/week

  • Tips for Driving 30-40 hours/week

  • Tips for Driving 40+ hours/week

  • General tips for all drivers

  • Conclusion

What To Expect in Your First Week

Your first few week on rideshare or delivery can be the most exciting, nerve-wracking, and frustrating days.

Exciting because this is new and different. Nerve-wracking because you’ll be doing something you’ve never done before. And frustrating because there’s so much to learn and so little training to prepare you.

What all of this means is that the lofty promises of $30/hr promised by some companies are not realistic goals when you’re first starting out.

You may get lucky and end up with a few high paying rides, but a more realistic expectation is that you’ll spend your first five to six days in rideshare getting used to the ropes and earning closer to $5 or $8/hr (after Animo fees).

But don’t panic! This learning curve is normal, and with our help you’ll get up the learning curve faster than the average rideshare driver and start earning more in no time!

Coach tip: Think of your first five reservations as your “investment” period. You’re “getting a lay of the land” and the more you pay attention, the faster you’ll start to make better money! We recommend bringing a notepad and tracking where you get long rides, which areas of the city get bogged down in traffic at different times, etc. and start to build out your “mental map" of the best places and times to drive.

So how much can you expect to make once you’re past the initial learning curve?

We’ve seen top-performing Animo members earn $30/hr or more doing rideshare. It takes time and hard work to reach this level of earnings, but it’s something that’s doable and we’ll go into this in more detail in the next few sections.

Are you excited? Good! Now let's get into the differences between $8 and $30 an hour in these next few sections.

The Part-Timer - Tips for members driving less than 30 hours/week

Many of our members drive an Animo car between 10 to 30 hours a week, using Animo to supplement part-time jobs or add extra on-demand income on the weekend. If you drive fewer than 10 hours per week, the same strategies listed here apply to you as well.

If you’re part of this group, you should be able to earn anywhere between $9 to $18/hr (after Animo fees) after getting up the learning curve. Earnings will depend on the times and areas you drive, which services you drive for, and whether you’re putting in 10 hours or 30 hours a week.

If you’re driving primarily during the traffic heavy daytime hours (11AM to 7PM), you should expect to make on the lower end of this range. As a rule of thumb, you’re paid more for a mile driven than for a minute spent waiting, so if you can avoid traffic you’ll earn more.

Strategies to earn more:

  • Consider shifting your hours towards late night shifts (1AM and onwards) or early morning (before 11AM)

  • Think about location - picking up rides in Santa Monica, downtown Los Angeles, and near tourist attractions tends to lead to longer (and more profitable) rides.

  • Sign up for both Uber and Lyft and keep both apps open to minimize downtime between rides - this is recommended only if you are driving less than 15 hours a week as you are unlikely to hit the minimum of 30* rides to get Uber’s guaranteed surge promotion in Los Angeles.

  • Pay attention to Lyft and Uber’s periodic offers of “guarantee hours” and earn between $20 to $35/hr by signing up and working those shifts.

  • Increase your hours on Uber - once you are giving 30+ rides per week you’ll start getting guaranteed surge offers from Uber*

*Uber’s promotions may change week by week including the minimum number to qualify for certain promotions. Animo does not have any power over this promotion, and the number 30 is based on our research and conversations with members in Los Angeles. It is subject to change at any time.

The Full-Timer - Tips for members driving 30-40 hours/week

A large portion of our members drive between 30 to 40 hours a week. Members in this group are often looking for a flexible full-time job and keep a regular schedule of days / times they typically drive each week.

If you’re part of this group, you should be able to earn anywhere between $12 to $25/hr (after Animo fees) after getting up the learning curve. Earnings will depend on the times and areas you drive, which services you drive for, and whether you’re using an optimal strategy.

You’ll be making more money than the part-time crowd because you should be able to take advantage of Uber and Lyft promotions* more easily, including some Uber promotions that give you up to 2.0x guaranteed surge and Lyft promotions that can give you a 20% boost to your earnings.

Many of the same guidelines from the part-time crowd apply to this crowd as well. If you’re driving during the weekday afternoons, you should expect to make on the lower side of earnings, all other things equal.

Strategies to earn more:

  • Consider shifting your hours towards late night shifts (1AM and onwards) or early morning (before 11AM)

  • Pay attention to Lyft and Uber’s “guarantee hours” and earn between $20 to $35/hr guaranteed

  • Make a choice to drive for either Uber or Lyft (not both) in order to increase your chances of qualifying for their promotions (Power Driver on Lyft or guaranteed surge on Uber)**

  • If driving for Lyft: Shift your hours on Lyft to match Prime Time hours and fulfill the ride requirement to get a 20% earnings boost

  • If driving for Uber: Make use of the Driving for Volume and Driving for Profit strategies in the Basic Rideshare Strategy training in order to qualify for Uber promotions and then maximize your earnings using those promotions. Once you are giving 30+ rides per week you’ll start getting guaranteed surge offers from Uber (up to 30% boosts during certain times of day), and at 45+ rides and 75+ rides you’ll get higher surge guarantees (up to 100% boosts during certain times of the day).

**Animo has no power over other companies promotions, and our observations here are based off of what we have observed in the Los Angeles market. If you are an Animo member in outside of the Los Angeles market, the same promotions are unlikely to apply.

**This strategy applies to the Los Angeles market only

The Ultra Full-Timer - Tips for members driving 40+ hours/week

Animo has a group of consistent members who put in 40 or more hours a week, including up to 70 hours in some cases.

If you’re in this group, you should be able to earn between $15 to $30/hr (after Animo fees) because you will qualify for the best promotions on either Uber or Lyft.

The biggest factors that affect how much you’ll earn in this group have to do with your chosen hours, locations worked, and whether you’re strategizing for events and surges.

If you’re simply turning your driver app on and driving without a strategy, you’ll still be able to earn at least $15/hr on Uber simply by qualifying for their best promotions. But to become a top earner, you’ll need to plan for high-surge areas, follow the flow of people around the city, and in general optimize your schedule to maximize your chance of getting long and profitable rides.

Strategies to earn more:

  • Optimize your Uber strategy for profitable rides - at this point you should already be giving 75+ rides a week

  • Stay on top of the best Uber and Lyft promotions by visiting online forums and decide which is going to help you earn more

  • Keep track of your rides so you know when to switch from “Driving for Volume” strategy to the “Driving for Profit” strategy

  • Stay in the Core LA area if driving with Uber. Promotions only apply to rides that begin in this section

General Tips For All Drivers

No matter how many hours you work each week, here are some of the general tips to improve your earnings that apply to everyone.

  • Surge - drivers working certain shifts (late night, early morning) are more likely to find surge pricing. However, it is strongly recommended you do not chase surge (meaning do not open your app, look at the surge areas, and then drive 20 minutes to get there only to find the surge has ended). Instead, follow the surge strategy found in Basic Rideshare Training

  • Location - Pay attention to your long rides and where you’re getting them from. Become familiar with neighborhoods that tend to have more short rides VS long rides and optimize between the two to balance getting rides with profit

  • Tipping strategy - read this training on earning more tips to see how you can create a unique passenger experience to earn more cash or in-app tips

  • Stay on top of major events happening to take advantage of Primetime/Surge pricing when they let out - major concerts, sporting events, and festivals offer opportunities to get rides worth hundreds of dollars!

  • Network with passengers and learn about big conventions happening to plan for airport pickups the day before and morning of to increase your chance of getting longer rides


We hope you enjoyed this training. Are you finding that you’re within the range of expected earnings? Above them? Below them?

Email us at and let us know what’s working for you!

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