Driving for Uber or Lyft is different from any other job because there isn’t an official handbook about how to do it successfully. When you start driving, you're your own boss. You get to set your own schedule and create your own rules. While it’s great to be in charge of yourself, it can be difficult to figure out the “best” way to drive for Uber or Lyft. How do you make the most money and ultimately have the best experience? We’ve compiled a list of advice that will give you some guidance on how to drive to maximize your earnings.
When you drive matters
LA drivers will be happy to know that the bigger the city you live in, the more you’ll make on average. You’ll have access to constant ride requests, but only if you know where to go and when to go there. Busy times are 7-9am and 4-6pm every weekday. Weekend nights from 7pm-2am also end up being very lucrative. If you can manage to keep yourself up past 2am, you’ll be rewarded with another hour or so of surge pricing because no one else wants to drive then.
This brings up the next point-- drive when other drivers won’t be driving. This includes very early in the morning, very late at night, or in the middle of weekdays.
Drive for multiple services
If you drive for Uber, chances are you also drive for Lyft. Most drivers opt to drive for both companies so they can maximize the number of ride requests they receive and choose the one that will make them more money. In addition to Uber and Lyft, driving for a food delivery service like Door Dash, Grubhub, or Postmates can bring in a lot of extra income.
Animo pricing work in a way that you’ll only be charged by the mile, which means you don’t have to sweat about paying for wait times at restaurants or walking to someone’s door to deliver food. Plus, it’s pretty convenient that a lull in ride requests is usually met with a jump in food deliveries. When people stay home instead of requesting Ubers and Lyfts, they’re more likely to order takeout.
Make use of the passenger app
Just because you drive for Uber and/or Lyft, that doesn’t mean you should completely forget about the powers of your passenger app. This app can help you in two important ways. One, you can open it and instantly see where your competition is; if you’re surrounded by a lot of other drivers, it might be better to go somewhere less populated. This will cut down on your wait time in between ride requests.
The second important feature of your passenger app is a little less straightforward, but incredibly effective. Surge fares are based off the number of passengers and drivers in a specific area; a lot of passengers will increase the surge, and a lot of drivers will decrease it. If you see an area with a high surge pricing, log out of your driver app and into your passenger app before you drive there. That way, you’ll drive up the surge upon arrival instead of decreasing it. Once you’re there, you can log back into your driver app and find a ride.
Don’t drive far and wide looking for rides
If you drive in circles looking for ride requests, you’ll waste your gas and increase your overall driving costs. Additionally, don’t travel far outside the city to find rides—most requests will be found in the well-traveled areas. Instead of driving aimlessly around, use a strategy.
When you pick up your car at the Animo lot, you should start by sticking near the lot location so no miles are wasted. Then you can use the destination filter to move toward highly trafficked areas. The filter is also useful for when your shift is coming to an end and you want to travel back to the lot--remember, you can return an Animo car up to two hours early without any penalty!
Where you drive matters
You’ll be a more successful driver if you strategically choose where to drive around LA. As an Animo subscriber, you get weekly emails announcing various events around town; take advantage of those and drive around those spots. The busiest spots generally tend to be touristy destinations like DTLA, Santa Monica, and Hollywood. Take a look below to see the hot spots around LA.
Try to implement any or all of these tips and track your earnings to see the difference! Let us know how it goes in the comments below!