Is Driving with Uber or UberEATS for You?
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. READ MY AFFILIATE POLICY HERE.
I use Uber pretty often, both while traveling and while in town, and love it because it’s so handy. I’ve always been curious about what it would be like to drive with Uber or UberEATS.
But since I don’t have an Uber eligible vehicle, I’ve contented myself with asking the drivers I ride with about their experience. In my random sample, those experiences have varied.
Why drive with Uber or UberEATS?
Some folks clearly LOVE it, some folks are so-so on the idea, and a few have said they’d prefer not to but enjoy the extra money anyway. The vast majority of drivers I spoke with were doing for the ability to make extra money on their own schedule.
Typically folks driving with Uber aim to make money while they’re 1) unemployed and looking for a job, 2) working extra to pay off debt, or 3) as a break from creative work or while on their way home from a full time job.
So how do you know if driving with Uber or UberEATS is a good idea for you?
Examine your motives and goals.
First, you’ll want to examine your motives and goals so you can determine if driving with Uber or UberEATS will meet those needs.
Ask yourself questions like these:
- Is your goal to make some extra money while driving anytime that works for you?
- Do you LIKE driving?
- Do you like interacting with the public a lot, or would you prefer to focus more on deliveries?
- What do you hope to get out of the work?
As a rider, I can tell you that the drivers who seemed happiest were the ones who genuinely seemed to enjoy both driving and talking with random strangers. So while of course sometimes we all need to bring in a little extra cash quickly, if you want to make a habit of driving with Uber regularly, it’s best to enjoy it too.
Make sure you meet the basic requirements.
Second, you’ll need to make sure you meet the basic requirements for driving with Uber or UberEats.
Note: I do NOT recommend buying or renting a car to use with Uber or UberEATS. Remember, you want to make money, not spend it!
Some of the criteria you must meet in order to drive with Uber, include:
- be at least 21 years of age with a valid U.S. driver’s license and car insurance
- have at least one year of driving experience in the U.S. (3 years if you are under 23 years old)
- use an eligible 4-door vehicle (eligible vehicles may vary by city)
- pass a background check, which reviews your driving record and criminal history
- sign up here to drive with Uber
Delivering with UberEATS
On the other hand, if you’d rather deliver food instead of people , delivering with UberEATS is a lot more flexible. In some places you don’t even need to have a car at all.
If you’re delivering by car, some of the UberEATS requirements include:
- be at least 19 years old with a valid U.S. driver’s license and car insurance
- have at least one year of driving experience in the U.S.
- use a 2-door or 4-door car made after 1997
- sign up here to deliver with UberEATS
If you’re delivering by bicycle, you’ll at least need to:
- be in an area that offers delivery by bicycle
- be at least 18 years old
- have a state-issued ID
- choose Biking under transportation method when signing up
- sign up here to deliver with UberEATS
Get signed up with Uber and/or UberEATS.
If you haven’t already done so, the next step of course is to get signed up so you can go through the activation process.
Prepare for your new business.
Remember, when you drive with Uber or UberEATS, you’re an independent contractor. That means that you’re in business for yourself.
It’s also a good idea to consider adding additional rideshare insurance. This extended coverage from your personal auto policy generally protects you from paying for damages out of your own pocket. Here’s a nice list of ridesharing insurance companies. Note: Your insurance company may also require you to inform them if you’re going to be driving with Uber or any other ridesharing service, so you’ll want to check on those details.
Get yourself (and your car) ready to drive with Uber or UberEATS.
Once you’re activated, there’s one “must have” you’ll definitely need for your car before you get started: a cell phone car mount.
You’ll be using your cell phone throughout the process, so it’s critical to be able to do so hands-free. It’s so much safer and more convenient. Plus, riders don’t want to see you holding your phone while driving, even if doing so isn’t yet illegal in your area.
To help encourage 5-star reviews, as a driver with Uber you may want to offer riders bottles of water or the ability to charge their phones while they ride with you. (Of course you need to be able to charge YOUR phone as well, so a car charger is a must if your car isn’t already equipped with one.) If you’ll be picking up potentially queasy riders, you may want to have a few vomit bags on hand too just in case. A prepared driver is a happy driver.
Maximize your earnings.
That may mean driving during times others don’t want to (such as for early morning airport runs or late-night pickups), taking advantage of any weekly driving incentives that may be offered in your area (such as making a certain number of trips in a week), or being available after big events or at other times there may be surge pricing in effect.
Tipping is now allowed in-app with Uber, so that can help increase your earnings as well — especially if you’re friendly and helpful to those passengers who appear interested in conversation.
Ready to get started with Uber?
Finally, if you’re looking for additional sources of extra income, my 101 Ways to Make Extra Income in Your Spare Time idea book has a huge variety of ideas just waiting for you.