Providing a great experience for rideshare passengers requires more than just safely getting them from point A to point B. The advent of on-demand apps and increased luxuries offered by other drivers has drastically changed how riders view their expectations for a ride.
Offering the right supplies to riders is vital for every ride. Not only will it save the riders at times (I’m looking to you dead phone batteries) but also has the potential to greatly increase ratings and tips.
Now let’s be clear.. we’re not asking you to go out and offer free wifi here. I’ve seen drivers do that and I think it’s insane. Nobody should do that. But you SHOULD offer a few essential supplies for rider convenience.
But what items are absolutely necessary?
We put together an infographic of a few things that rideshare drivers shouldn’t leave the house without.
A few of these supplies aren’t entirely necessary, and going above and beyond the essential items like chargers, floor mats, and throw up bags is heavily debated among drivers.
Some drivers believe that they should go above and beyond, offering small perks like candy and snacks to drivers. Other drivers believe that these additional items are a waste of money, and don’t lead to any extra tips.
Whichever side of the fight you’re on, these are all things worth at least considering when figuring out which items to stock your rideshare vehicle with.
Rideshare Drivers | Essential Items to Consider
1. Chargers And Cables
The first item on the list is definitely an essential item for all rideshare drivers to carry at all times. These chargers will not only save a rider’s life during busy commutes, but will likely also help you out when driving passengers around town. Rideshare and navigation apps suck battery like crazy, trust me. If I had a dollar for every time a phone charger saved my life when picking up a passenger or trying to navigate a longer route than expected, I would never have to drive again.
Most passengers expect a phone charger in the car, and is convenient for riders that are always on-the-go. Running low on battery is a nuisance, and a quick charge between stops is sometimes all they need. A phone charger is one of the cheapest and easiest things to but when driving, so there’s no excuse to not have a few of these in your vehicle.
- Offer something extra to your riders
- Find a charger that has multiple USB ports so more than one person can charge
- Remember to offer various dongles, including iPhone 9 pin and microUSB
I highly recommend getting a charger from Amazon, particularly one that Amazon makes directly under the AmazonBasics brand. These chargers are cheap, reliable, and work with most models of phones. Plus, it’s an Amazon product so you can pretty much expect it’s going to work well.
I recommend: AmazonBasics 4.0 Amp Dual USB Car Charger ($7.49)
2. Phone Mount
Next on the list is one of the most popular Uber accessories for drivers, a phone mount for driver smartphones. A phone mount lessens the stress of making a wrong turn and having to double back or finding another route, especially if you’re on the clock. Go hands-free to comply with driving laws, too.
A phone mount not only looks professional, but also brings an additional level of safety to the rider and drivers. Instead of messing with a phone while driving, a phone mount allows drivers to clearly see where they are going and keep the phone within an arms reach. Riders don’t like distracted drivers, and reports of distracted driving often lead to incredibly low ratings from passengers.
A good phone mount for Uber and Lyft drivers is typically easily reachable, sturdy, and stands up to abuse from drivers constantly pressing on their phones. If you can’t press on the screen, or take the phone out of the mount and put it back in a lot, then keep on searching until you find one that can.
- Get directions hands-free
- Guarantees safety of you and your riders
- Passengers can follow along as you drive
Most drivers have a different preference, but the phone mount I personally like the best is made by a company called QizGear, and sold on Amazon. I like this mount because it attached to the air vent of a rideshare vehicle, which cools the phone down when it gets hot. It’s also magnetic, so taking it on and off the mount is super easy.
I recommend: WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Phone Mount ($6.99)
3. Seat Covers
In my experience with driving, an essential Lyft accessory, and a definite on things Uber drivers should have, is a seat cover.
Riders are constantly getting in and out of the vehicle, so seat covers keep leather and cloth seats clean from whatever passengers drag in. They also help keep your car smelling fresh and looking clean for passengers.
Seat covers work especially well in bad weather, including rain, snow, and dust storms. I once picked a group of drivers up from a camping trip, and I’m glad I had my seat covers on, otherwise I would have spend at least two hours cleaning all they dragged in off the seats.
- Keep your seats clean by adding seat covers
- Easy to remove when you’re not on the clock
- Adds a personalized touch to your vehicle
There’s a variety of selections and styles to choose from, and there’s not a specific brand I recommend. I use some seat covers I bought at CostCo a year ago, but you can really choose any type that you like.
I recommend: Universal Waterproof Seat Covers ($12.99+)
4. Floor Mats
Like seat covers, floor mats do their part in keeping your vehicle clean, and are another “must-have” in the Uber car accessories lineup.
What I like about floor mats is that they’re really cheap to purchase, and super easy to swap out. I keep three sets in my vehicle, and when one gets dirty, I throw those in the trunk and replace them with another. Instantly your car becomes clean, which means a lot to most Lyft and Uber riders.
Floor mats also keep your car smelling good. Until you stop and take a look at what you’re vacuuming off your carpets, you never really realize how much junk that gets dragged into your car. So investing in a set of floor mats will save you time and money in the long run.
- Keep your car clean from dirt tracked in
- Protects your floor from spilled drinks or food
- Can easily be swapped out to provide a “clean, new-car feel” for riders
I’ve used quite a few floor mats in my time, but I typically opt for rubber mats. I have a set of Armor All rubber mats in my car right now, and they hold up especially well in rain and snow. The best part about them is that you can pull them out, hose them down, and put them back. Minimal cleaning means more time on the road.
I recommend: Armor All 4-Piece All Season Rubber Floor Mats ($22.48)
5. Throw Up Bags
Have you ever had to clean up somebody else’s vomit from your car? Have you seen what it looks like? If you answered no to those questions, you probably never want to go through that experience. And if you have, you probably already have barf bags in your vehicle.
I’m a cautious driver that plans for worst and hopes for the best. As part of that, I rarely leave home without barf bags.
These are cheap, discrete, and incredibly helpful in times of unplanned emergencies. If you drive at night especially, this is an essential staple in any good rideshare driver’s aresenal.
- Depending on when you work, these may be of incredible value
- Save yourself time and money spent on cleaning the car
- Save passengers from shilling out a fortune. They’ll thank you
There are many types of sickness bags drivers can buy, but I recommend going with ones that are specifically made for this purpose. That way you know they’ll hold up until you can dispose of them. Like everything else I buy, I get mine from Amazon. They are rated well, inexpensive, and sealable to better hide the smell.
I recommend: Disposable Emesis Bags ($16.99)
6. Business Cards
— Deathstar Berlin (@DeathstarBerlin) August 14, 2017
Networking while in the car with an Uber driver is one of the simplest but little-known tricks of the side hustle. For example, I took an Uber the other day and the conversation led into what my driver did for a living, which was install water softeners. I was in the market for one, but didn’t know where to go. The driver gave me his card, and he came out a few days later and installed a system in my house.
Had it not been for that card, I likely would have gone with another provider, but since the driver was at the right place, at the right time, and happened to have a business card, he got my business.
You wouldn’t believe how well this works. Whether you’re cross-promoting rideshare services to offer riders free Lyft or Uber rides, attempting to recruit drivers by informing them about Lyft and Uber’s huge sign-on bonuses, or simply telling riders about what you do for a living, always have a card. You never know when this will pay off.
- Network with people of you freelance or run a business
- Also, remember to promote your passenger referral codes
- Don’t oversell, but never pass up the opportunity of a captive audience, especially if they are interested
As I said, this is a huge opportunity and I’ve seen it work time after time.
I recommend: Carrying business cards and handing them out if the conversation goes in that direction. Don’t oversell, but seize the opportunity if it arises.
7. Rideshare Sign
It’s a fact that rates are dropping and rideshare drivers are making less. One way to increase Lyft income, or Uber income, or whatever service you’re driving for, is to subtly hint at asking for tips.
Now let me be clear.. this does not work if you blatantly ask for tips. It has never worked, and will continue to NOT work.
But there is a subtle way to ask riders for tips without being pushy, and that is by displaying a gentle reminder in your car. These types of signs can be done correctly, or incorrectly.
Riders don’t typically mind signs like this, but if the sign is strongly worded, it could work against you. Play it safe and download our free sign below.
- Help passengers find your car more easily
- Save money and time waiting around for riders
- Potential increase in tips and ratings
We created the sign you see above for drivers to download for free. We have multiple versions of the sign available for download. There are two color schemes; one for Uber and one for Lyft.
Watch this video to sum things up!
Do you have your own supplies that you make available for rideshare passengers? Please share them in the comments section below.