Similing driver talking with female passenger. Woman holding mobile phone in hand.

8 Things You Should Know Before Taking Your Uber Career to the Streets

Are you looking for a new job where you can have fun, set your own hours, and make decent money? Sounds impossible, but those are just some of the many advantages that come from being an Uber driver.

Many people are drawn to working for Uber because it’s a fun side gig, which allows you to work when you please and pick up passengers via the Uber app, then drive them to their destination. You get paid per ride, with fares based on the distance and time of day.

Thinking of launching your Uber career? If so, there are a few things you should know first—keep reading to find eight key tips that can help you decide if Uber is right for you.

1. The Flexibility Is Amazing

One thing many people love the most about life as an Uber driver is the flexibility. Unlike other jobs, where you’re locked into 9-5 or you have to work a rotating schedule of nights and weekends, Uber gives you lots of flexibility.

You can log on and go to work whenever you want—the choice is yours, making it easy to work around another job, family commitments, or travel plans. Of course, the more you’re willing to work, the more you’re likely to earn.

2. Pay Attention to Peak Travel Times

To make more money as a driver, you’ll want to be strategic about when you work. In most cities, peak travel periods qualify for what’s known as surge pricing.

Surge pricing means customers pay a premium for traveling during these times, which means drivers receive a slightly higher pay for the job too.

Usually, surge pricing kicks in with Ubers are in high demand—this could be during the morning or evening commute, but it can also apply on days when a special event is happening in your town, like a big sporting event.

3. Accidents Can Happen

When driving for Uber, you’re likely to be behind the wheel much more often than you would otherwise. Unfortunately, this means more risk of accidents.

Even if you’re the most careful driver in the world, there’s always a risk of getting hit by another car. If this happens, stay calm, call the police, and let your insurer know what’s happened.

You might also want to contact an Uber accident attorney to provide you with legal representation after the accident.

4. You’ll Want to Always Keep Your Car Clean

Uber passengers expect to get into a pristine, sparkling car–if not, they might give you a lower rating. Your car needs to be kept clean at all times and free from debris—no one wants to get into the backseat and find your dirty gym clothes or fast food wrappers.

Speaking of cleanliness, the unfortunate truth is that people often call an Uber after a night of drinking, which means there’s a chance that a passenger will vomit in your car.

If this happens, you’re able to charge them a cleaning fee via the app, but you’ll still want to get your car cleaned as soon as possible to prevent the stains from setting.

5. Not All Vehicles Are Eligible

Uber is strict about what types of cars can be used by their drivers, so your car might not qualify, especially if it’s older.

Generally, your car needs to be newer, with four doors, in excellent working condition. It will need to look good on the outside too, free from dents or scratches.

You’ll also need to have insurance and the car will need to have passed all required state safety inspections.

However, if you want to drive for Uber Eats, which involves delivering food and not people, the requirements are different, with bikes, scooters, and motorcycles being permitted.

6. Organize Your Taxes

As an Uber driver, you’re self-employed—this means Uber does not withhold any tax when they pay you. As a result, you’ll be responsible for your own taxes and you’ll need to declare all of your Uber money as income.

Most self-employed workers pay tax quarterly, but do some tax research to learn more and set up your accounting systems to make it easier to get your taxes paid.

7. Accept That You Won’t Like Everyone You Meet

It helps to be a people person if you want to launch an Uber career, but keep in mind that you won’t like everyone you meet. There will always be the occasional passenger who is rude, disrespectful, or running late.

Although it can be tough, try not to take it personally and remain respectful, if you can. Uber lets you rate passengers after a ride has finished, which is a good opportunity to give feedback.

8. Talk to Your Insurer First

Before signing up as a driver, you need to make sure your insurance policy covers ride-sharing. Give your auto insurance company a call and talk to them about what you’re planning—it might be that you need to switch to a more comprehensive policy before you can start driving.

While Uber provides liability insurance for drivers when they’re logged in and doing a job, you’ll still need to have auto insurance as required by your state.

Launch Your Uber Career Today

If you’re ready to start your Uber career, the tips above should help you know what to expect. Like every job, it may not be 100% perfect, but overall, Uber drivers love their work for the freedom, flexibility, and income it provides.

To get started, read through all of Uber’s guides for new drivers, then put in your application. Soon, you’ll be out on the road and picking up your first passenger!

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