Mastering efficiency is key to maximizing rideshare profits.
Rideshare drives often lose efficiency in two main areas: time management and money management.
Unfortunately, improving time and money management while rideshare can be challenging. Especially if a driver has fallen into a routine that is easy to maintain and hard to change.
Fortunately, there are apps for Uber and Lyft drivers designed to help drivers master the management side of the business. And don’t worry, most of these apps are available on Android and iPhone ios.
Learn how you can achieve this goal and maximize your efficiency with these 21 essential apps for Uber drivers.
- Mileage Tracking
- Roadside Assistance
- Airport Schedules
- Passenger Apps
- Driver Apps
Navigation Apps for Uber Drivers
The number one way a rideshare driver can maximize their time behind the wheel is with proper navigation.
The best way to do so is to memorize every street and the fastest routes (in addition to being up-to-date with all construction and road closures).
The more practical approach is to have a good navigation app. The right navigation app can help drivers avoid traffic jams, construction, and other obstacles that can slow you down.
Quick note: If there is no traffic and you know where you’re going, turn off your navigation apps to preserve your phone’s battery life.
Known as “the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app”, Waze is a free app designed to make drivers happy. The app is comprised of real-time and up-to-the-minute road conditions sourced from people on the road. Fellow drivers maintain the app by reporting useful data such as where accidents, police, and road hazards are. Plus, Waze is always adding new features that could help you reach your weekly earning goals.
Another useful tidbit includes where to get the cheapest gas around town, which can save you a handsome sum each week on its own. Needless to say, these perks combined with the low, low price of free make Waze an ideal navigation app.
Google Maps (Free)
If Waze isn’t your ideal app, there is a more traditional GPS map you can use. Google Maps is always reliable and readily available to use on most smartphones. This app can show you a variety of routes to take and let you decide which one is the best based on estimated time of arrival.
Unfortunately, without a community actively backing the app, road and traffic updates are a bit on the slow side compared to Waze.
Mileage Tracking Apps
Keeping track of the distance you travel goes beyond the factor of how much Uber is paying you for each mile covered. Every mile you drive racks up an additional multiplier in the background from the United States government.
To benefit from this per mile pay, drivers must record distance traveled throughout the year. On average, a deduction of $0.54 per mile can be included when filing.
Many drivers have reported receiving a healthy tax return using the per mile deduction. It is easy to see why a mileage tracking app is a must-have. Here are a few to get you started.
Stride Tax (Free)
As you head toward your first ride request location be sure to have Stride Tax on and running in the background. This app tracks the mileage and actually shows you how much money you’ll via the tax deduction.
Drivers can also take photos of their work-related expenses and Stride Tax will update the total amount spent for you. Stride Tax is also capable of finding new tax deductions for you as well, which is a pretty nice bonus.
Once the year is over, app users can actually get an IRS summary of total expenses and miles for drivers, making it really easy to file an accurate return.
Hurdlr (Free for Basic, $7.99/month for premium)
Designed for self-employed individuals, Hurdlr offers similar functionality as Stride Tax. Drivers can use Hurdlr to record their mileage and expenses to get real-time estimates of their tax deduction. Bear in mind, Hurdlr comes with a lot of other items that are more geared towards individuals outside of the rideshare industry.
Additional services include bank account monitoring, invoicing and other extra features. This can bloat the app making it not ideal for everyone.
MileIQ (Free for 40 drives per month, $5.99/month for premium)
MileIQ is another mileage tracking app. One of the defining differences is that MileIQ offers users a weekly generated report. These detailed descriptions are customizable and may be organized in any way users see fit.
We have been receiving a few reports from drivers saying they use Triplog to track their mileage and we wanted to pass the details along.
Apparently, the interface is not as clean as some of the other alternatives we have mentioned so far. Despite this, many drivers have reported that the app works flawlessly.
Triplog gives drivers a plethora of options on how to start mileage tracking, including plugging your phone into the car power outlet.
Related: 5 Ways to Make More Money With Uber
Finance Apps for Uber Drivers
Rideshare drivers are essentially self-employed freelancers. Which means all expenses should be tracked just like any other business. Practicing this policy throughout the year is a fantastic way to maximize your tax deductions and avoid an IRS audit when tax time comes.
To make the expense tracking a bit easier, try out any of the following apps.
QuickBooks Self-Employed ($10/month)
When it comes to accounting software, QuickBooks is the go-to option for businesses around the world. The software has become so popular there is even a slimmed down version dubbed QuickBooks Self-Employed. This lighter version of Quickbooks is designed for mobile users filing as self-employed.
There is a monthly subscription fee, so keep reading for our suggestion for a free Quickbooks alternative.
For drivers who prefer to spend as little excess money as possible, Wave is an ideal alternative to QuickBooks. Wave, a free finance app, offers users a way to track business expenses via their bank account and receipt imaging. They provide other services as well, such as invoicing and payroll, but users are free to use the software without restrictions or limits.
Providing excellent customer service for your passengers increases the odds of receiving tips. One of the easiest ways to make the inside of your cabin a comfortable, tip worthy environment is by playing good music.[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IcQfQBLH8M” width=”560″ height=”320″]
Fabulous tunes can aid a passenger with developing a positive, upbeat mood that can scare away any feelings of annoyance due to traffic.
Plus, bands, songs, and concert stories are a great way to strike up a conversation. Trading stories or music passions in this manner with passengers can potentially transform a would be 3-star rating to a 5-star rating.
Be sure to buy a long enough cord that can reach the backseat and equip your ride with any of the following apps.
Spotify (Free, $9.99/month for premium)
When it comes to streaming music, Spotify is king. Users can create their own playlist, find new tunes based on past music preferences, and listen to brand new tracks as soon as they’re released. They even have pre-generated song collections designed to compliment you or your passenger’s current mood.
As for drivers that are strapped for data every month, you may be interested in Spotify’s offline mode (premium only). Users can download customized playlists directly to their phone and play the content offline. By doing this, drivers are able to reduce the amount of data their smartphone uses each month.
Pandora (Free with ads, $3.99/month without ads)
One of the beautiful things about traditional radio is being able to simply turn it on and listen to music without having to fiddle with it. Unless, of course, a commercial comes on and you need to change the channel. Pandora successfully delivers this type of experience, but with more variety.
Users can select favorite songs or simply put in a song name to get Pandora to serve up groovy tunes that match the beat of your preferred drum. Interested parties can use Pandora for free with ads mixed in or go ad-free by paying $3.99 a month.
Soundcloud (Free with ads, $9.99/month for premium)
For underground music that hasn’t become mainstream enough to hit Spotify yet, check out Soundcloud. This music playground is where artists go to show off what they are made of. Soundcloud is also a popular place for artists to host live sets. Live sets are a great way to listen to an hour or more of music without interruption.
Equip your rideshare business with Soundcloud for free with ads or download Soundcloud GO to play music ad-free for $9.99 a month.
Gas Apps for Uber Drivers
With gas being so expensive these days it is easy to see why the golden liquid has become a central concern for drivers everywhere. It is without a doubt the biggest expense for in the business of rideshare. Fortunately, there are ways for drivers to grab a few gallons at the lowest price available in their city.
This budget management skill can even be used without having to travel all over town comparing gas prices.
Gas Buddy (Free)
Like Waze, Gas Buddy is another crowd-sourced information app. Gas prices from gas stations, groceries, and supercenters are frequently uploaded to the Gas Buddy database by users. From there, the app figures out which locations are offering the lowest price per gallon for any fuel type. Users can easily find the cheapest gas prices near them, making the app an essential for rideshare drivers.
You might also like: How to Maximize Your Uber Earnings
Tracking bad weather is a great way to boost your rideshare earnings. More often than not, when the weather is bad, people do not want to go for a leisurely stroll or ride their bike. Instead, they opt to request a ride. For drivers, this can be very lucrative, especially during Surge time.
Weather Underground (Free)
Weather Underground has a beautiful interface that is easy to navigate. Users can get up-to-date weather information or plan out the next week and a half with the fabulous 10-day forecast view.
Another very popular weather app is Accuweather. Users can check allergen levels, temperature, and any other metric you can think of. We’ve read reviews that Accuweather offers one of the best extended forecasts in the meteorology.
Roadside Assistance Apps
If you drive full-time, you are eventually going to hit a bump in the road. The following roadside assistance apps make handling these ordeals a bit less stressful when they do occur.
Honk offers drivers 24/7 roadside assistance. Members can expect help within 15-30 minutes to assist with common road issues, such as a flat tire. In the event that something a bit more drastic is required, Honk provides towing services as well.
There are no membership fees, however, there are packages available starting at $49.
Dubbed the “Uber of roadside assistance,” Urgently provides drivers with useful services, such as lock-out assistance and fuel assistance.
The app is free to download and offers flat-rate, upfront pricing with no membership requirement or annual charges.
Airports can mean big money for rideshare drivers. Major travel hubs provide a virtually endless supply of fares, if you’re there at the right times.
To make sure you are at the airport when a plane lands, use an app such as Flightstats to check on flights. We suggest checking the app when the weather is bad, because it makes no sense to head towards an airport when no flights are coming and going.
This app provides real-time updates on all incoming and departing flights.
A great alternative to consider is FlightView. This provides weather delay updates, flight tracking, and parking availability. The parking availability alone can help drivers find a prime location to eat lunch while waiting for passengers to depart.
Rideshare Passenger Apps
Checking the rider version of your rideshare app of choice is an often underlooked method to seeing the best places to drive.
Uber & Lyft Passenger App (Free)
The Uber Driver app is not the only rideshare app you need. Having the Uber passenger app is absolutely essential.
Want to see if there are a lot of other Uber drivers in your area? Pop open the Uber app or Lyft App and look at the home screen to quickly see where cars are around you. If you find yourself in a sea of other drivers competing for pickups, try heading to another part of where there are fewer drivers.
Rideshare Driver Focused Apps
It’s no surprise that developers have noticed the market for rideshare driver-focused apps. Here are a few applications developed with you in mind.
Dubbed the “Ultimate Rideshare Driver Assistant”, SherpaShare serves many of the functions mentioned on this list. Features include:
- Driver to driver chat
- Mileage tracking
- Expense tracking
Mystro (Pricing varies)
Drivers that swing between Uber and Lyft every day may find Mystro pretty useful. This Android-only app focuses on helping drivers operate multiple rideshare companies at the same time. This is intended to help drivers make the most money per hour by always having a passenger queued up in the area.
Most drivers claim they make about 30% more money using this automated software, however, Mystro is not free. Pricing packages are listed below.
- Annually – $99.95 per year
- Monthly – $11.95 per month
- Per Use – $.20 per ride
Saving money on gas, tracking expenses, recording mileage, and optimizing passenger pickup will help increase your weekly paycheck.
We hope these apps help you stay safe and maximize your rideshare earnings (all while listening to some good tunes).
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.