What Should You Have In Your Car?

In this video, Sam Choi offers some of the best advice on what drivers should carry in their cars that we’ve seen anywhere.  This video actually deserves to be watched several times so that you don’t miss anything.

Sam moves fast in this one, so we’d like take a little time to break it down and show just why his advice is so darn good!

The first and main thing you can take away from this video is that while Sam has a pretty average rideshare car, he has paid attention to a hundred little details that make it feel much more luxurious to his passengers than it really is!  And everything he has done, he has done with the thought in mind of what will most benefit my passengers.

Even if you miss the details of all the things Sam recommends drivers have in their cars, don’t miss this little detail:  His attitude.

Don’t miss his overriding desire to delight each and every one of his passengers.  Don’t miss his enthusiasm and don’t miss the clean-cut way he dresses and presents himself.

We know a lot of drivers who think they’re too good or too tough to have to do any of these things, but we also know a lot of drivers who don’t have great ratings!  So, if you’re in that boat, with ratings lower than you’d like, our best advice is watch this video and really think about what’s being said and try to understand why it works.

Put a Lot of Thought into What You Put in Your Car

The first item Sam shows us is a little portable water proof trash bag.  It can do double duty, if someone needs to ‘barf’ he can quickly hand it back to them and they can do it in the bag!  And when it’s not performing that important duty, it doubles as a handy and neat place for Sam to put all the garbage that collects up during a long day of driving.  All in all, this little bag, simple as it is, goes a long way in helping you to keep your car clean.  And clean cars will definitely help you get better ratings.

Then hidden next to his right leg is a stack of business cards with a Lyft and Uber logo on them.  If you want to really maximize your driving income, finding private clients is the absolute best thing you can do.  So Sam has these cards ready to go at a moment’s notice.  Whenever he strikes up a nice conversation with a passenger and feels a connection, he can offer them a card and invite them to call him next time they need a ride.

However, doing that is illegal in many cities and it may void your rideshare insurance to take a passenger outside of the Lyft or Uber apps.  Although, just because they’re contacting you privately doesn’t mean you can’t do the trip through Uber or Lyft.  Although both companies also have rules against pre-arranging rides with any previous passenger you’ve had.  So, check out the rules and laws in your area and if it’s okay to do it, we would recommend that you do.

He has some coupons from a local restaurant.  The restaurant gives these out to Uber and Lyft drivers as a way to promote their business.  They hope the drivers will hand them to riders, who will then head for their restaurant.  But, it also helps out drivers.  Because the coupons offer riders a little free food and some free drinks.  So, it’s a win – win for everybody.  Riders will really appreciate any driver who gives them a ticket for free food and drinks – whether they ultimately ever use it or not.

He also carries something we haven’t seen many, if any, drivers do.  He carries a long a portable plug-in essential oil diffuser.   Now, this is a really thoughtful gesture.  It’s just a small thing and if you don’t have one no one will notice or complain.  But if you do have one, you know what’s going to happen?  The inside of your car is going to smell so nice, that the passenger will immediately feel they’ve entered a luxury zone.  You cannot underestimate the power of our five senses, and smell is one of the most powerful of the five.

People almost never notice the smells they’re surrounded by.  But, when they get an unexpected smell that is also unexpectedly pleasant, it delights them!  So, this is just another point along the way that will put your riders in a more cheerful and more positive mood.  And that can lead to better ratings and more tips!  So, don’t overlook these details that are very easy to overlook.

Also, one word on using any kind of air fresheners or other types of aromatic devices.  Do not use those cheap Christmas tree things that drivers hang on their mirrors.  They absolutely stink!  And riders hate them.  You have to be very careful if you’re going to do anything to alter the way your car smells on the inside.  Because all of the things that are typically sold far cars, are really terrible.  That’s why this idea for an essential oils diffuser is such a good one.  It will put out a very subtle hint of a pleasant aroma.  Just enough that the passengers will pick up on it.  And if you get the right oils, the aroma will be very pleasant.  Sam likes eucalyptus oil and a citrus blend.

He says it adds a kind of luxury hotel feel to his car.  And that’s exactly what you want to do and that’s the way you turn your average car into a stellar experience for your passengers.


Sam shows us the floor mats he uses.  He chooses ones that are very easy to clean.  All he has to do is shake them out to clean them.  That’s a great idea!

He also uses a magnetic mount for his phone.  We also recommend that.  The magnetic mounts are really the best, because they’re almost invisible to the passengers.  Instead of having the large clamps staring them in the face from the front seat – like most mounts have – magnetic mounts are for the most part invisible.  And they make your phone look like it’s floating in air… which is a really cool effect.  They also make it very quick and easy to mount and unmount your phone.

In the Trunk

It is in the trunk where Sam keeps a lot of the things he personally needs to do the job.  He has food carrying bags, like a Door Dash bag – so he can do food deliveries when the regular driving is slow.  He also has a hundred small water bottles for his passengers.

He also keeps a cloth for cleaning the car, as well as some extra passenger goodies in the trunk.

Passenger Goodies

He also has another phone that he uses to watch the passenger apps so he can see where the other drivers are.  That’s also a very smart idea.  But, when he has a passenger in the car, he’s obviously not going to be watching the passenger app.  So, he has programmed his phone to show pictures of himself and his family!  And who doesn’t love seeing pictures of their driver with his wife and kids!?  Come on!  Who doesn’t love that?  It’s a great conversation starter and kind of motivates people to want to leave a tip because they feel like they have such a personal connection to you.

So, all these nice touches, Sam has put a lot of thought into and added to his car, really do add up to a much more  comfortable and pleasant trip for his riders.

Uber and Lyft recommend that you carry water and snacks!  Most drivers sneer at the snacks part.  And most drivers who do carry snacks, present them in the wrong way.  Normally they have them laying around all over their car.  But Sam puts them in his glove compartment and offers them to his riders when he feels the time is right.  Maybe he doesn’t offer them to some riders at all.  Then to others, they might get into a nice conversation and he has a good opening to offer them something and it just clinches the deal when you do it in a natural way like that.

Phone charges:  Sam offers his riders, who need one, a charging cable that has multiple charges attached to it.  One cord has four chargers, both for Android and iPhones.  So no more rooting through your glove compartment to find the exact cord your passenger needs.  Just hand them this intelligently designed cord and you’re done.  They’ll have what they need.

The Backseat

In the backseat, Sam has one of those pocket bags that attaches to the headrest behind the driver’s seat where he can store a bunch of other little goodies.

The first thing he carries is skin lotion.  Maybe most people don’t use it, but in the winter time, in Minneapolis where he is, a lot of people really appreciate that it’s there.

Jolly Ranchers!  Sam says people love them!  So, he buys a huge bag for a couple of bucks and he’s good to go for several months before they run out.

A lot of drivers balk at offering this many things to their passengers, because it’s too expensive for how much they’re earning, they’ll tell you.  But, really, if you divide the cost out over the number of passengers you have to carry before you run out of everything, it literally comes to a few tenths of a cent per passenger.  So, don’t get all stingy on the goodies.  Use the goodies to enhance your driver rating and your tips.

He also has Ice Breakers and Eclipse.  He gets the good stuff, not the cheap-o stuff.  If you’re going to get cheap-o stuff for your passengers, then you’re really better off not getting anything at all.  The cheap stuff is like a slap in the face for them.  And people don’t tend to leave good ratings or tips when they feel like you’ve slapped them in the face and disrespected them.  The good stuff shows your respect for them and makes them feel honored.

He also carries Kleenex, which we feel is essential.  Not many passengers will ever use it, but the ones who do will be really glad you had it.


Video Transcription:

All right. Well, welcome to my car setup. So this is a 2010 Prius, nothing super fancy, but gratefully, I had leather seats that just happen to come with it.

And so it looks pretty luxurious. This is my trash bag, and it’s waterproof, and so I can hand it to people if they need to barf. And it’s kinda helpful. I can kinda move it back for it’s collapsible, it’s falling apart.

Over here, here are my business cards that are always ready for me to hand out and give to people. I also have my Square reader, and this Square reader is really helpful so that I can swipe personal payments if I have to.

Check out that video. It’s illegal, don’t do it. Here are also some coupons that I got from Hell’s Kitchen. They gave it to me, as a driver, to give out to people.

A nice, little gesture. You get free lemon ricotta hot cake and there are free drinks, too. So that’s a cool little thing.

Here is one of the coolest things that I would recommend every driver to get because it takes so little. It’s only a few…it’s only about $20 bucks, and this is an essential oil diffuser.

It makes the car smell really good. And it’s actually good for you. It lifts your mood. So I put eucalyptus oil here.

Boom. And then I also use just like a focus citrus blend called Sharpen. And it just…at night, it’s really cool because it lights up in different colors, so people can see it.

And also it just puts this aroma out, and people, especially ladies, are often like, “Oh, wow. Aromatherapy. Smells great.” And it just…it adds like a luxurious, kind of, hotel feel to everything.

Also, these are my mats. I’m going to get WeatherTech mats, and those are the ones that I recommend. And this is really helpful because you can just take them out and toss them, and get all this dirt and out when it gets full.

Let me show you a couple of things. I put a little metal plate in here, and I got these WizGear mounts. And so, metal’s in here, boom. And it just fits right in.

Looks a lot, I think, cleaner, than one of those clamps. And I also have another iPod right here. And what the iPod here does is, I can use it for my two-app trick, where I’m checking and seeing where other drivers are.

But also, when this is charged, I’ll have my pictures up of my family. And so people see my pictures, or I can put on a slideshow. And so it’s a great conversation starter, and people know, “Hey, this guy has kids. He’s a nice guy. And we need to give him tips because he needs to feed his kids.”

Also, in the front seat, I have water on the side if you can see right there. And then I got Eclipse, Ice Breakers, and a bag of Jolly Ranchers.

Now, in the winter I’ll kind of rotate them and I’ll get cough drops, I’ll probably get Cold-EEZE, and different things like that. Let me show you a couple of things.

I have this charger that has multiple, different cords, and they will work for different…whether it’s Android or iPhone. And I also have an auxiliary cord that goes right into my system, so if people want to listen to music, okay?

So this is the front seat, and this is how I got it all set up. Now let’s check out the back.

All right. Now, in the back, I try to make sure I get the smaller person sitting here, because not only do I have this thing right here, which I need to tighten, I also…I’m taller, and so there’s less leg room.

But check this out. I got lotion, which, maybe, only a few people use it, but in the winter, you better believe it. Jolly Ranchers. And this is a really great idea because Jolly Ranchers…these Jolly Ranchers have lasted for months.

People work through them. I bought a huge bag, and it cost me, you know, cents for each. But, what people do is say, “Jolly Ranchers? I love Jolly Ranchers.” And they go crazy for them.

I also have Ice Breakers that go right here and Eclipse. So notice, I got the good stuff. I’m not getting cheapo stuff.

People feel honored by that. And I even have some Twizzlers here. So, I try different things and rotate different things. If you do a lot of early morning rides, get granola bars and different things like that.

Also, I have waters right here. And, if you can see, there is a smashed Kleenex box that I need to fix. But this is really helpful for some people.

And then right here, I have this Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, and it gets refreshed by just putting it in the sun. And what it does is it soaks up all the bad odors in the car. So I put it here.

Let me show you the trunk. Here’s my trunk. Priuses are awesome because they have a lot of trunk space. This is what I put on my back for long trips if I want some back support. Look at this. Boom.

In here, I have my DoorDash bag, I have my Postmates bag, and I have my super big pizza DoorDash bag. And I have it all stored in here in the back. And look at this. Lots and lots of water.

And extra Eclipse gum. And different supplies. And I got a wiper to wipe things down when it gets dirty.

So this is my setup. I have everything I need for everything that will come up. And so, hope you liked it. I’d love to see yours. Show me, and send me a video of how you have your car setup.

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