Hitting the Go Online button for the first time can be very intimidating as an Uber or Lyft driver! In fact, tens of thousands of drivers will go through the entire onboarding process and never take their first trip. This is for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common is due to nerves. It’s a big step to push that button for the first time. Here we look at a few things you can do build confidence, whether you’re driving for the first time or have been driving for a while.
Start off on the right foot
Confidence comes from being prepared. Think about what you want to achieve before you set out. Being prepared also ensures that you don’t have to scramble later to assemble things that might ensure you maintain your five star rating and/or get you more tips! Think about what sort of experience you want to offer your passenger. You may want to stock up on bottles of water, boxes of tissue and snacks as a first time driver, just to go above and beyond. You eventually may want to phase those out, but having those in the beginning can be a nice touch.
Make sure you get your car cleaned thoroughly and completely before your first drive. Make sure you do this a few days in advance to avoid having to do it late at night, half heartedly at the last moment. Unlike other jobs, the car is your office. Set the tone accordingly. You can also deduct these expenses when it comes to tax season too!
Things we suggest
In addition to bottled water, which you should always buy by the case, we think these suggestions will be something that makes your driving experience better.
- Barf Bags: you can get these on Amazon and will save you a major headache cleaning. Keep them in the seat pocket in front of the passengers and make sure you point them out if you have a particularly inebriated customer.
- Hand Sanitizer: especially good when ferrying kids around.
- Wet wipes: these are multifunctional and come in compact sizes that fit in your glove box.
- A phone mount : never ever drive and hold your phone in your hand while you look up directions.
- SherpaShare!: make sure you log all your miles and expenses from day one!
- Air Sanitizer: we recommend Ozium! It’s cheap, extremely effective and most importantly odorless! Why risk offending someone who hates how flowers smell? 🙂
- Phone Charger: both for Apple and for Androids.
- Auxiliary cord for music: make every passenger a DJ if that’s what they want.
- Paper towels and cleaners: always have some cleaning supplies in your trunk at all times to ensure timely cleaning up of smaller messes.
- Car Vacuum: A quick vacuum in the morning will help you save on cleaning costs.
- Gum/Mints: These are always appreciated.
- A good book!
Be aware of the expected code of conduct
Do your research! Learn what is expected of you – the more you read the more you know what to do to ensure a five star rating from the get go!
Take advantage of referral codes!
You could dip your toes in to the on-demand money making world with referral codes. Lyft and Uber both encourage this a lot and many drivers have switched from driving to just hustling referral codes, for both new passengers and drivers. Why not try that from the beginning? This is what Lyft currently offers in referral codes. If you didn’t know an existing driver then you can in some cases retroactively get your bonus.
Learn how your taxes will work before you start
Do this now if you haven’t already! We have a great guide to taxes too.
Remember, you are NOT alone
Ryder Pearce, our co-founder and chief community officer, commented on this in a recent NPR article:
“I think taxi drivers traditionally have had fleets and lots, so at the beginning of the shift, you will go, check in with a dispatcher, hang out, have a coffee with other taxi drivers and then go out — rather than this completely dispersed Uber network, where you don’t have to go anywhere, you just turn on the app in your car and drive for eight hours and never talk to any other driver.”
Remember, there is a large community out there that shares its experiences on SherpaShare Pulse! Always communicate any issues you might have and you will be amazed as to how helpful our driver community is! Maybe it is just sharing stories or talking about your favorite song – you never know what is going to make you smile and feel happier as you work. Never ever feel like you are alone, reach out and add to our community and others will do the same! We want to make SherpaShareBlog your one stop shop for education and Pulse to help you stay connected and on top all the time. And remember, Pulse is absolutely free!
Worried what people will think?
Don’t be! Here is some Pulse Community advice!
Here are some recent discussions on Pulse about nerves being calmed. Do you have a story too? What was your first ride like? Tell us!
Do you have other tips that you think would help? Leave us a comment!