13 tips to help Uber drivers survive the competition
As ride-hailing apps such as Uber expand their reach and become even more successful, they will inevitably attract more private hire drivers to their platforms. Unfortunately, the platform has reduced the per mile charge for passengers without a consultation process with drivers. This is just one of the drawbacks of its use. With growing competition, drivers will have to work either more efficiently, or longer hours to maintain a sufficient income.
This ultimately results in Uber drivers having less money in their account. We have created this guide to help Uber drivers survive the ever-increasing competition and remain profitable. Some of these expert tips will even help you make more money than you thought possible.
13 top tips to help Uber drivers remain competitive
1. Drive during peak periods
The first step to working smarter and not harder is to learn about the busiest hours for Uber drivers. As an example, the morning rush from 6am onwards is what you want to target along with late evenings and nights from 9pm onwards.
On the weekend however, you will likely make a good amount of money during the morning, afternoon, evening and nights. So, if it fits your schedule, consider these peak service usage hours.
2. Cut your Uber insurance premium
Making more income is always going to be great. There is another side to this though and that is to find and compare Uber taxi insurance as well as private taxi hire insurance through Utility Saving Expert. It only takes around 10 minutes to compare leading insurance providers and you could be saving hundreds of pounds on your renewal each year.
3. Take advantage of the high turnover rate
Ridesharing apps such as Uber have a high turnover in comparison to some other industries. For this reason, some Uber drivers may get drawn into the politics around rates and choose to delete the app from their phone. The key takeaway here is to be consistent. Although many will leave the app, hundreds of new drivers will join to balance things out. It’s always good to check the availability for rides in a specific city to see what the demand is like.
4. Offer exceptional customer service
Being polite and offering a high level of customer service will help you succeed in any industry, and this is no different in the private hire taxi world. Be kind, keep your vehicle clean at all times and try to understand the customer’s needs. Greet the customer by his/her name as it builds a connection and leaves a positive personalised impression, which will in turn help you increase your Uber driver rating.
5. Don’t chase the surge
Never speed off to chase the next surge or a spike in demand, unless of course you are already in the area where the surge is taking place. This is because a surge typically won’t last that long. By the time you reach the area where all this sudden activity is taking place, you may be too late and at the same time you have consumed additional fuel for very little gain.
6. Don’t be discouraged
New ridesharing drivers are likely to make small mistakes from time to time. For example, you may press the wrong button on the Uber app or make a wrong turn causing your passenger’s smile to turn upside down. Do not get discouraged by being tough on yourself, think of it all as part of the learning process. You will soon be a seasoned professional in no time.
7. Join a local Uber driver’s Facebook group
If you use social media, it may be worth joining a local Uber driver’s Facebook group. This will help you share your experiences and find common solutions to local challenges. These communities allow you to feel better connected to your town or city.
8. Install a phone mount with a charger
It’s never a good idea to work as an Uber driver without a fully functional phone mount. This decision will reflect poorly on your passengers if they see you handling your phone whilst working or placing it in a cup holder. If a client doesn’t feel safe, he or she is sure to give you a lower rating. Afterall a good phone mount is there to make your life easier.
Along with this, make sure you have a working phone charger with you at all times in your car. Uber’s app uses GPS functionality and will consume a lot of battery when in use. You want enough power to get you through the day.
9. Remind passengers to take their belongings
From time to time passengers can and will forget their belongings. It can be easy to leave a phone, wallet or keys in the backseat of a taxi. You may be 20 miles away by the time they realise this. This will result in you using up your fuel and valuable time to return these items. It’s best practice to remind the passenger to collect these belongings before exiting your vehicle.
10. Relax and take a break
To work to your optimal efficiency, you will need to be well rested and take breaks from time to time. Breaks in the day offer you the chance to stretch your muscles and walk around. Long term, this will keep you in better shape.
11. Know where to rest
To know where you can take a break is also useful. Many supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants will have toilet facilities. Additionally, this will also give you the opportunity to stock up on food. As you gain more experience and familiarise yourself with different routes, you will know where the nearest restroom is along with car parking spaces that have minimal or no fees at all.
12. Keep your car clean and tidy
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that passengers like to travel in a clean and tidy vehicle. Make sure you wash your car and clean it thoroughly on a regular basis. Remember to check the back seat and floor for any rubbish after each rider exits the vehicle.
13. The city is busier than the suburbs
Across the UK, almost every city will be busier for Uber drivers in comparison to the suburbs. This is because of the population density. There are a greater number of customers available who will potentially need a ride to their next destination. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make money within the suburbs, you can, but there will be less work available depending on the competition.
To summarise, the 13 innovative tips listed above will help you survive the increasing competition as an Uber driver. These are just some of the most popular ideas out there and you will surely come across many more as you become an experienced driver. Remember to work smarter and not harder as this will certainly pay dividends over the long haul.