The ubiquity of smartphones has led to a revolutionized transportation industry. With millions of users across the country and around the world, the market for ridesharing has spread quickly, reaching new cities and towns all the time. For drivers, this means a form of employment wherever life takes you. Whether as a side-hustle or something more, driving for a rideshare company has become an attractive business for people from just about every background. So how does one become a rideshare driver for one of these ultra-popular rideshare services?
How To Become a Rideshare Driver
As to be expected, there are some requirements for those interested in driving for a company like Uber or Lyft. These may vary depending on which company you look at, so it’s very important to thoroughly check each company’s required criteria.
Most companies will ask for the following at the very least:
- A minimum age requirement of twenty-one years old
- A minimum of three years driving experience, possibly in-state
- Car insurance under your name (insurance must be in the same state you’ll be driving in and meet that state’s minimum requirements)
- A Social Security number
- Submit for a background check which will at minimum look for:
- DUIs, reckless driving charges, and other offenses
- History of operating a vehicle without insurance
- Suspended licenses
- An accident history
- A criminal history
In addition to driver requirements, your vehicle must also meet specific conditions. There are even requirements that differ based on which services within a rideshare company you are looking to drive for. For example, driving for UberBlack, a luxury vehicle service, would obviously require different vehicle specifications than the basic UberX program. It behooves you to do a little research into what services you may be interested in, and which ones fit your current vehicle specs. Some services are based on passenger size, which could mean that unless you have a vehicle capable of legally seating 6 or more, you would not qualify to drive for that service. In every case though, all companies will require State-issued license plates, valid registration, and a clean title.
Application and Inspection
Once you’re ready to start the process, head over to the site for any companies you’re interested in and fill out the application. Then have your vehicle inspected at the company’s local inspection station or a certified third party where permitted. The last step is to submit the paperwork and materials for the background check. If all that goes off without a hitch, you’re ready to drive.
Driving For Multiple Companies
Operating for multiple companies is something that most drivers take advantage of. Taking ride requests from more than one app allows you to maximize your earnings potential, so if things are slow on one service, you can check the others. The hours you put in picking up rides translates into how much money you’ll get out of each session you work. Finding what fits your schedule and needs is absolutely necessary. If you work more hours, you’ll make more money. If you want to take a few days off, you can do that, too. It’s your time, on your schedule. It’s what provides so much of the flexibility that rideshare drivers talk about.
The Social Element
The last component to consider when deciding to drive for a rideshare company is the social element. Your time working will be spent picking up strangers and attempting to give them a pleasant riding experience. They may be super talkative, or maybe perpetually cold if any windows are down. They could even reek of a powerful, musky cologne. No matter what though, at the end of a rider’s trip, they are prompted on the app to provide a score for their experience, or even provide comments.
Beyond occasionally leading to incentive bonuses, your rating as a driver is rather important. With enough people eager to try their hand at driving for a rideshare company, the bar has been set pretty high. The rating threshold for a driver’s account being deactivated varies based on location, but the number is not as low as you may think. You may want to consider the volume of your music or providing water bottles. Things like the cleanliness of your car are now a critical part of the job.
All in all, rideshare driving has become an option for many, many people. If you enjoy making your own schedule, being polite and feeling comfortable with riders, and last but not least, meet the required application criteria – you’re ready to start driving for a rideshare company, too.