It’s been almost two full years since I signed up to become a rideshare driver. I first signed up with Lyft, then took the plunge and signed up for Uber too. After a few months of driving people around, I thought I knew it all. But towards the end of 2014, the rideshare scene was drastically changing, and I had to adapt to keep up.
2015 brought its fair share of lessons, and I would like to share with you a few things I learned over the past two years. Hopefully some of these suggestions help you avoid rookie mistakes and help maximize your income!
1. The industry remains heavily divided about tipping
You’ve probably heard it before: one of your rideshare friends complaining about not getting tips, or rejoicing because they got a big one. Tipping is one of the most debated issues among riders and drivers, and the industry remains heavily divided on the topic.
For example, let’s look at Lyft and Uber’s tipping policies. Lyft incorporates tipping directly into the app, while Uber blatantly discourages it. Check out this quote taken directly from the Uber website:
“You don’t need cash when you ride with Uber. Once you arrive at your destination, your fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file — there’s no need to tip.”
This is a frustrating topic, I know. But here’s the thing: drivers are already keeping 80% of their ride fares. So even though rideshare driving is technically a service industry, I have learned that rather than focus on tips, the best thing to do is maximize the rideshare experience for my passengers. Organically, tips will likely follow.
2015 taught me…
- Expect the worst and hope for the best. Don’t expect a tip, but if you get one, awesome
- Never blatantly ask for a tip. Doing so will make riders feel uncomfortable and, more often than not, won’t result in a tip
- Be nice and easy-going and the tips will follow. By far the easiest way to increase your tips is by making the rider’s experience a pleasant one