Looking to earn some extra cash? A rideshare side-hustle with a company like Uber or Lyft could be very lucrative, especially at this time of year. But there’s a lot you need to know. If you’re thinking about becoming a rideshare driver, start by visiting experts like the The Rideshare Guy where you can learn the ins-and-outs of the business, including what’s required for insurance and what to do if you get in an accident. Next, prepare your car so you can pickup and deliver passengers to their destination without any unexpected events. Remember, you want to provide a safe, comforting and efficient experience for passengers while ensuring a headache-free time for yourself. Here are a few tips to prepare your car for rideshare side-hustle.
Give your ride a complete once-over
Start by checking your tires. Make sure the air pressure is right, the tire tread is healthy and that your spare is in good working order. Check oil and coolant levels and be sure all lights (tail-lights and running lights) are working properly. If the Check Engine light is on (or any other light signaling that your vehicle needs maintenance), make an appointment with an automotive professional.
Registration and inspection
Make sure that your registration and inspection are valid before you start your rideshare side-hustle. You should have a copy of the registration in your car. If you can’t find it, get a new copy from your local Department of Motor Vehicles and store it securely in your vehicle. Look at your inspection sticker and make sure it’s not about to expire. If it is, get the inspection done as soon as possible. You won’t have time once you start your side-hustle.
Keeping track of your mileage is important at tax time (the federal tax deduction is 54.5 cents per mile of business travel driven). Track miles manually or use a mileage tracker apps. HyreCar has put together a list of 14 to choose from. Should there be an incident, dash cams will show exactly what happened. Dash cams range in size, price, and features. Features can include night vision, external and internal facing cameras and rear view mirror functionality. Find the right dash cam for you at PCMag’s Best Dash Cams of 2018.
Get these rideshare necessities
- Toll Pass or Toll Tag: Get a toll pass or toll tag and automate toll paying. If you’re operating on the east coast, many toll booths are automated so you must obtain an E-ZPass. E-ZPasses are accepted in 17 states. For more information about tolls in your area, read VroomVroomVroom.com’s Guide to USA Toll Roads.
- Uber/Lyft Sticker: Stickers (also known as trade dress) not only help passengers identify your car, they’re required. Learn more about the Uber decal and Lyft requirements by state.
- Provide snacks and water: Having water and snacks on-hand will delight your customers and may lead to a higher rating. Provide them free-of-charge or earn extra money by selling them via a company such as Cargo.
- Phone mount: Use a phone mount when driving. Holding your phone is inconvenient and dangerous, not to mention illegal in some states. There are lots of mounts to choose from, ranging in size, price and how they attach to the vehicle.
- Jumper cables: Keep a pair of jumper cables handy in case the battery dies and be sure you know how to jumpstart your car.
- Sickness bags and cleaning supplies: Prevent your car from needing a deep-clean by keeping bags like these on hand. Sanitizing wipes are great for cleaning-up spills and wiping down surfaces that are touched most often by passengers.
- Charging accessories: You’ll always have a ride hailing app engaged on your device. Make sure you have everything you need to keep the device powered and your side-hustle running. Passengers will also appreciate it if you have a cord they can use to charge up if needed.
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