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Must-Know Tips for New Rideshare Drivers

The holiday season is the perfect time to start participating in the gig economy by becoming a rideshare driver.

The holidays are a bustling time when people are out and about shopping, going to parties and just participating in a variety of holiday events, and they might need the services of a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft more than ever before.

Maybe your decision to start working as a rideshare driver isn’t just about the timing of the holidays, but you might have made it a goal in 2018 to earn extra income. There are also good opportunities to earn sign-on bonuses and use promo codes with rideshare companies right now, which is, of course, an incentive for a lot of new drivers.

Regardless of your reasons, what should you know as a new rideshare driver as we head into 2018?

Learn About the Passenger Experience

While you might both end up in the car together, the driver experience and passenger experience can be very different.

As a driver, it’s important to learn about the passenger experience, including how the app works on their end. You might want to take some rides as a passenger, so you can put yourself in their shoes and determine how to get the best rating by giving them the best experience.

For example, different passengers are going to have different levels of interest in conversation. Learn how to gauge this and how to meet their expectations.

Start Out During Slow Times

When you’re just starting as a rideshare driver, you don’t necessarily want to dive in during the busiest times.

Instead, it can be better to start when things are slow, for example, mid-morning on a weekday. This gives you the opportunity to get a feel for things, without getting too overwhelmed.

Contrary to what you might believe, it can be a fast-paced environment, and it’s important to ease yourself into it.

Once you get used to what it’s like, you can start driving during busiest times. If you’re going to be driving part-time, going after the busiest prime times is best.

Don’t Chase Surges

Surge pricing can be lucrative for drivers, but if you see one come up on your map and you’re not already there, don’t try to chase it.

These surge times last for a few minutes, so it’s likely to be over by the time you get there, and you’ve wasted your time.

Get a Phone Mount

Before you do your first ride, make sure you have a high-quality phone mount and put your phone near your eye level. You don’t want to be constantly looking down at your phone because it can be dangerous and you’re also likely to get lower ratings from your passengers.

While you’re at it, you should also get a 2 amp charger, because while you’re using your app, you’re going to be draining a lot of your battery.

Finally, make sure you have logistical things in place before driving, including rideshare insurance, and have a way to track your mileage and expenses.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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