How To Reduce Minimum Fares And Maximize Uber Earnings

Cars driving as the sun sets

You have endured the late nights. The overworked weekends. The drunken 2 am ride request. The traffic-ridden streets of rush hour.

You’re starting to make decent money and you’re proud.

Proud of how far you have progressed since you were a rookie driver and the experience you’ve earned along the way. You’ve learned everything about the driver app. You’ve mastered navigating the city. Your tips are steadily increasing.

If this sounds like you, you know the basics of the ridesharing business.

It is usually at this point in Uber driver’s career that they start looking for new ways to take your earnings to the next level.

This feeling can manifest as a result of encounters with minimum fares or a need to outmaneuver rookie Uber and Lyft drivers.

Regardless of your motives, we will show you how to become an even better rideshare driver in order to make more money driving.


Leverage Your Hourly Guarantees

With more and more drivers flooding the market these days, more than likely you are noticing a drop in Uber passenger rates. Due to this, Uber has started implementing a payment guarantee in different locations across their coverage area.

Let’s review what this guarantee is and how you can get the most out of using it.

What is the Uber Hourly Guarantee?

Here is how it works. During certain times of the day, Uber will implement an Hourly Guarantee. Drivers complete as many rides as they can within an hour.

Uber takes a look at the gross fare earned during that time frame. Depending on the requirements in your local area, if your total fare is lower than the guaranteed rate and you meet the other criterion, Uber will bump your pay up to the hourly guarantee amount.

Remember, this rate does not include tips. Ever. Those are all yours.

The hourly guarantee is a set level of the total fare that is calculated before Uber’s Service Fee. To figure out if you qualify based on hourly rate alone, figure out the total earned for that hour.

Screenshot of the Uber Hourly Guarantees Page

Subtract the service and booking fee. If it is lower than the hourly guarantee in your area and the other criteria, such as acceptance rate, meet the requirements you may qualify for the guarantee.

If you meet the acceptance rate and required trips per hour, but earn more than the hourly, you still get to keep your net Uber earnings without any penalty.

The hourly guarantees are shown as gross fares, which is how much you earn after the Booking Fee but before Uber’s Service Fee. If you made less than the hourly, you qualify for an earnings top-up.

Since this is now your total fare for the hour, Uber will deduct the Service fee from the new amount instead of the original one.

Partial Hours

One thing we want to revisit before moving on is how the hourly guarantee is distributed. Uber pays this coverage out in prorated lump sums, which means you will never have to worry about counting out how many minutes you worked.

For example, if your area has an hourly guarantee of $30 and you only drive for a half hour, you will receive $15. Assuming, of course, that you meet the other requirements for that half hour time span. For more information about Uber’s hourly guarantee, check out their FAQs!

Check the Uber Promotions Hub

Of course, if the hourly guarantee is old news to you, we recommend checking out the Promotions Hub. Here, all the rotating guarantees are posted for drivers on a constant basis.

These can vary by day, so be sure to check the hub every morning. To do so, navigate to the Promotions section of the Uber app. They list the date, time, and amount of each guarantee before it happens.

There are two main types of Uber promotions: Quest and Boost.

For a Quest promotion, drivers receive a bonus if you complete a certain number of trips within a specified period. The time periods are usually a weekend or an entire week.

An example of a Question promotion would be: Complete ten trips Friday-Sunday and receive a $50 bonus.

Boost promotions are very similar to Surge pricing (or Lyft’s Primetime pricing), except the passenger never sees the Boost rate. During Boost promotions, drivers receive higher fares during busy hours in certain areas.  In the promotions hub, Uber will tell you your Boost rate, which is a multiple of your normal rate.

For example, if you get a trip in a 2x Boost zone that’s usually $8, then your Boosted fare is $16, or twice (2x) the amount. If Surge pricing is higher than your Boost, then you’ll make the Surge amount.


Identify the “Hidden Gems” in Your City

If you take a look around and realize that you always drive in the same area, now may be a great time to venture forth!

Every city has hidden gems, lesser known areas, and cool locations that only a few drivers know about. These underserved areas can be goldmines for Uber drivers because there is way less competition.

Discovering profitable locations can help you map out new territories and identify the best times to drive. Since you are doing yourself a solid by staying ahead of the game, most rookie drivers will stick to popular areas and times while you are raking in cash elsewhere. Nevertheless, if you would like to review the timeframes that are considered to be the best times to drive, check out this Ridester article.

Make More With Tips

Since you know the basics, it’s time to step up your game with each ride by going above and beyond. Whether you are providing your passengers with snacks, charging cables to use during the ride, or great conversation, be sure to put your best foot forward every time.

Ensuring that a rider is satisfied with their trip is a great way to increase the odds of getting tipped, which is always a great thing!

Climbing to the top of the highest earners takes time, effort, and dedication. Staying in that profitable spot requires ten times the effort, but it is possible. To find out how to be a top-earning Uber driver in your area go here.

Drive During Major Events in Your City

Staying up-to-date with what is going on in your town is smart. Doing so will give you a heads up when things are changing, for better or worse.

If you weather those alterations, you can earn a lot of money from them. One of the best ways to achieve this is to mark all local events on your calendar.

Keeping track of local events requires a little more planning and preparedness than usual. Still, if you keep up with it, there is a strong possibility you will be rewarded two-fold.

First and foremost, knowing what is going on event wise is a great conversation starter.

By spreading the word, you increase the odds of others going to the event and thus giving you more opportunities to earn cash. Using this strategy can also help you make some money in the short-term too.

Passengers that feel as though they got word of a big event will be in a good mood, which means they are likely to be a bit more generous when it comes time to tip you.

Beyond that, if you prepare and plan on driving throughout significant events, such as concerts or sports games, you can take advantage of surge pricing as well as increase the number of rides you can complete in a short amount of time. Passenger demand is always high during big events. This minds higher surges, more ride requests, and increased cash flow.

By the way, here’s a pro tip: Picking up riders a little outside of the main venue while you wait for the main event to end is a great way to keep things moving.

Be sure to be prepared for the worst, such as riders getting sick in your vehicle. Doing so will ensure that you can reap the benefits of driving during this somewhat chaotic time.

Learn the Best Pickup Spots for Uber

As we mentioned above, every city is different. If you want to successfully outmaneuver other drivers you will need to learn the best pickup spots.

This is especially important if you are working at major events.

For example, if you are working a major the night of a major concert, scope out the area beforehand. Identify the exits. Also look for the best places to pull over to pick up and drop off passengers.

Working a popular event can be a cluster. But if you know the best pick and dropoff spots in the area beforehand, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Keep in mind, identifying where the best pickup spots will be a trial and error process. Nevertheless, if you keep track of these valuable details, this option is your best bet.

Plus, things can change in the drop of a hat. Checking up on the flow of your area can help you keep a thumb on the city’s pulse, which will benefit you.

Snag Longer Rides

Unfortunately, there is no way to gauge how long your trips will be if the passenger doesn’t put in their final destination. Even so, there are ways to increase your chances of picking up longer rides if you play your cards right.

For example, heading out to the suburbs attempting to get a ride that is a bit longer may prove to be a good strategy for you. Airport runs are also typically longer, but make sure you wait around and take people back into town as well. One-way Uber rides are never good for your bottom line.

Of course, staying in the heart of downtown during rush hour so you can help people get from Point A to Point B naturally takes longer too. Regardless of what your city has to offer in regards to passenger flow, try to pick up on patterns as much as possible as it evolves.

Utilize Both Lyft and Uber

Going back and forth between rideshare apps is a great way to make the most of your time. For example, if one app only has minimum fares available or none at all, switch over the other one.

Doing so eradicate less profitable fares and helps you reduce the time between rides.

Another critical item to review is fare. Uber may only have minimum fares available while Lyft has high fares waiting for you to snag. Due to this, it is always a good idea to check out every option before heading out.

You may even be able to unearth a pattern in regards to which app is best to use based on the current time, date, and location.

Staking your claim in the rideshare business started long ago. Sure, the industry has changed quite a lot since then, but you have adapted with the times.

More than likely, you aim to continue to do so too. Which is why we recommend making the most of every opportunity that comes your way.

When you see minimum fares available, take them on. Capitalize on the hourly guarantee by hitting your acceptance rate and rides per hour.

Increase the odds of getting tipped by being cordial, professional, and friendly. Keep those exciting conversations flowing by staying up-to-date on what is going on in your city and letting passengers know about those festivities.

Attend significant events prepared and ready for anything. Use surge pricing, keep your vehicle looking clean, and keep hustling out there.

Do not be afraid to explore new areas and map out target locations where there is a great influx of people. Explore the outskirts of your city.

Find hidden gems and active hotspots that no one has tapped yet.

Regardless of where the road takes you, be smart, know your surroundings, and adapt to the changes as they come your way.

Once you start to increase your earnings, the next steps will have to do with treating your gig as a small business. That means taking advantage of tax write-offs (like oil changes and car washes). Reducing your taxable income by tracking these expenses will do wonders to your rideshare income. We will cover this more in-depth soon.

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