Should You Drive Full or Part Time?

A big question new and prospective drivers ask themselves is whether they should drive for Uber and Lyft full time or part time.

Sam advises new drivers very strongly against jumping in full time.  He says, “Do not abandon your career”!  Do not tell your boss to ‘take this job and shove it’!

And that’s very good advice actually.  And that is of course assuming that you have another job.  The reality is that a lot of new drivers don’t have jobs and driving is all they have for the moment.  If that’s your situation, then by all means, jump in with both feet.

But, a big caution to you too… do not go out and buy or lease a new car just for the opportunity to drive for Uber and Lyft.  At most, if you don’t already have access to a vehicle, and your plan is to purchase a car, you need to purchase the cheapest used car you can find.  Typically a car that’s around two to three years old with low mileage is the best bet.

For more advice on what type of vehicle you should use and whether you should buy, lease or rent, check out Ridester’s in-depth look at this subject.

Are You Currently Employed?

If you’re currently employed, you should dip your feet into the rideshare waters, very, very slowly.  If you’re just itching to get out of your current job, we advise patience.  Drive for Uber and Lyft at night or on weekends, or whenever it is you don’t work at your regular job, to get a feel for it.

You might surprise yourself and hate it!  Or, you might surprise yourself just as much and love it.  But the thing is, you should try it before you make any kind of long-term commitment to it.

That’s because, there are a lot of things a person can’t know about it until they try it.  And if you’re thinking about doing it full time, you should even go slower.  Because as a full-time grind, you really do need to have a very good idea what you’re getting into before you burn any bridges with your current job!

My Butt Hurts!

People are surprised to learn that probably a majority of Uber and Lyft drivers are over 50.  If you’re in that boat, and you’ve never driven full time, or spent 8 hours at a time on the road, day after day after day, then you’ll definitely want to test the waters before you make a full-time commitment to it.

One 50+ driver told me one time that in his third week of full-time driving, he suddenly realized he couldn’t do it anymore.  When I asked him why, he said because his butt hurts sitting in the car that many hours a day, day after long day.  Actually, much younger drivers will tell you the same thing.  But they seem somehow better able to bounce back!

The point of that story is, you might find there’s just this one little thing… but to you it’s so big it actually becomes a deal killer.  Little things that can become big things.  For instance, it’s normally a minor matter when you’re doing personal driving and you have to find a restroom.  You can usually easily find one within 10 to 15 minutes or so.

But when you’re driving professionally… it may not be possible for you to get to a restroom for over an hour sometimes.  Imagine you just finished that morning cup of coffee, right after rush hour has died down and you think you’re going to have a few hours of down time.

When all of a sudden you get a ping!  You’re thinking you probably should hit the restroom real quick before you go but you figure it’s just going to be a short trip across town and you’ll be able to handle it.

But, when the passenger gets in the car and you start the trip, you find out they’re going on a 25 mile journey.  Well, you can’t back out now because it’ll cost you if you cancel a trip after the passenger has gotten in your car.  And your passenger will be able to leave you a 1 star rating.

So, you figure, okay, you’ll be done within about 30 minutes and you can wait that long – no problem.  But when you get out to the highway, you discover there’s been a serious accident up ahead and you’re stuck in traffic for 30 minutes!  Now, this 30 minute trip turns into a 60 minute trip!

You can’t very well tell your passenger you have to stop for a quick bathroom break.  Because if you do – they’re probably going to leave you a less than stellar rating.  And you need those rating points right now.  So, you decide to stick it out.

By the time you drop the passenger off you’re in excruciating pain!  And you just barely make it to the next gas station restroom in the nick of time!

Well, for some people, that scenario is too much.  Maybe their health is weak and something like that could be a serious situation for them.

That’s why we say, you really need to dip your feet in gradually, test the waters and make sure it’s something you really like and are adaptable to.

There are a lot of situations like the one we just described, that drivers don’t normally talk about.  So, if you’re getting your information from other drivers these are the kinds of things you won’t know about and the only way to discover them is to drive yourself.

The Right Car

We touched on this a little bit, but if you already have a car that you plan to drive, you should make sure it’s the right kind of car for rideshare driving.  Is it a gas guzzler?  If so, it’s going to be a lot harder to make a dime.

Is it a new car that you’ve purchased?  If so, all the extra miles you’re going to put on it driving for Uber and Lyft are really going to hurt you at resale time when the car will have a much lower trade-in value than it would have had if you had used another vehicle.

Also, ask yourself if your car is able to be driven for any of the services above the uberX level.  uberX is of course the lowest Uber service.  uberXL, uberSELECT, uberBLACK and uberSUV are the higher level services and each one has higher rates than the next.

If you have a car that qualifies for any of those other services, then your ability to make money will be greatly enhanced over those who just have cars that qualify only for uberX.  But again, and especially so in this case, if you have a car that qualifies for a higher level than uberX, it really is imperative that you try driving for a few weeks before you commit to it full time.

That’s because you have to employ special strategies and have special knowledge in order to make money with the higher level services.  With uberX, basically all you have to do is drive out onto the road and turn the app on and you’ll get trips!  But with the higher level services, you actually have to strategize and have a plan.  You will not get trips on the other services, simply because you turned the app on!

Using Multiple Apps

Sam also highly recommends that you try out driving for not only both Uber and Lyft, but with some of the other app-based services as well.  Like Door Dash or Amazon Flex.  The reason is because if you only drive for one type of service, you’ll have a lot of downtime at various times throughout the day.  But when Uber and Lyft are slow, Door Dash or Amazon Flex or one of the other numerous services might be just getting busy.

You can pick up a few extra bucks when you’re signed up with a bunch of the different companies.  And testing it all out before you make a final commitment is a really good idea.

You Won’t Get Rich

If you’re going into Ubering and Lyfting because you’ve heard stories of guys making a lot of money – just don’t believe them!  It’s not that you can’t make some pretty decent money.  But it’s that making decent money takes a lot of hard work.  And by a lot, we’re talking 12+ hour days for those who really make some pretty decent money.  And we’re talking at least six days a week – every week!

You might find out that during your testing period that you simply don’t have the discipline to get out there day after day.  That’s what a lot of guys find.  They go into it all gung ho but by the third day they’re tired and they’re bored and they have to drag themselves out to the car!  And by the fourth day, their dragging doesn’t even get them to the door!   The best way to find out if you have the discipline and the wherewithal – is to test it out.

If you’re looking for a six-figure income however, that’s most likely not going to happen.  It takes a lot of things aligning just right for drivers to make that kind of money.  And the ones who do are out on the road at least 14 hours every single day.

You can get a good basic idea what all is involved by watching the rest of Sam’s excellent videos right here on Ridester.  Check them out, then do some driving on your own and then you’ll be ready to make that full-time commitment!

Good luck!


Video Transcription:

So should you drive full time or part time? This is a really, really common question, it’s very, very important. I actually created a whole course just on full-time driving.

However, I want to say to you and I want to say to you very strongly, do not drive full-time in the beginning. Do not abandon your career. Do not slam down the gauntlet and quit and tell your boss shove it.

Do not leave your job for Uber or Lyft until, and this is the keyword, until you become an elite driver, okay. So that’s why this is Elite Rideshare 101. It’s so, so important for you to master the basics as a part-time driver.

Get a feel, can you do this? Do you like long shifts? Okay, listen, rideshare is a grind, it’s not easy. There are times when it’s easy and it’s really fun, but it’s hard. It’s work, it is a job. You’re sitting on your butt lots of hours a week, and if you like that, then, man, this could be a great fit.

So start off, ease into it, start part-time. And to go full-time there need to be so many things. You need drive multiple different platforms and apps, do delivery, do different services that you’re going to have to be busy during times, so certain apps are busier during one time, other apps are busy during other times.

If you just use one you’re going to be super slow at one time and busy in others. If you use multiple ones, you’re gonna always catch all the busy…all the peaks.

And so it’s super important to learn to use multiple apps and multiple services and use those for your benefit. And it’s also important to know, can you do this long term? Can your body handle it?

And do you have the right car? If your car is a gas guzzler, if it’s older, there are so many factors, and then I’m going to show you in a future video all the different levels where you can get paid higher if you have a nicer car.

And so that’s another thing to consider. Could you have that nicer car that will give you the higher rates to make it more worthwhile? Because the reality is there is a cap of how much you make as a rideshare driver.

There are clearly things that you can do with bonuses and promotions. You can do training, you can do things like what I’m doing, but there is a limit.

You cannot be a millionaire doing this unless if you get into building your company doing this or so forth. And so there are limitations so you have to consider that. What is your standard of living?

If you’re a person who’s used to living around the poverty line of $40,000, $50,000, $60,000 in the U.S., you can live really comfortably. Let’s be honest, depending on where you live then, man, rideshare can be great.

But if you want, you know, in the six figures, it’s very hard…you can do this job and get to six figures, but it’s very, very hard and you’re not going to have much of a life. So you’ve got to consider a lot of things.

There are a lot of factors and I have other videos to teach you that. So the answer is, do part-time first and if you’re really, really good and you love it and you have a lot of opportunity for greater income, do full-time.

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