How to Become an Uber Driver in a New City

timelapsed picture of cars on a highway

You did it: you moved to a new city! Usually, if you move to a new city, you’re getting ready to start a new job or are just about to begin your search.

Fortunately, you are a rideshare driver, which means that no matter where you go if you have your vehicle with you, you can make a living.

Although this perk is nice to have when relocating, the concept of setting up shop in a new city can be a bit intimidating at first. After all, the streets are unfamiliar, the city vibe is different, and more than likely it is going to be hard to navigate for a few weeks.

Even so, rideshare drivers that get the opportunity to explore a new area may discover how exciting this can be.

Of course, getting to that positive viewpoint might take some time. To help you get to this point and dissolve some of the anxiety along the way, we put together the following list.


Check Local Requirements

When you move to a different city, it is important to check local regulations for Uber drivers. This is super easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Sign into and go to the Signing Up help section
  2. In the top right corner, select your new city
  3. Head down to the Requirements section to review driving requirements for the city you’d like to drive in

Once you’re finished signing up in the new city, Uber will review your account to see if there are any additional requirements. This is usually a super fast process since most cities and states have the same requirements. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t take as long as the original background check.

Keep in mind: Uber doesn’t allow for temporary changes of your city. So you can’t exactly drive across the country and pick up and drop off people wherever you go.

Get Familiar With Your Surroundings

To thrive in a new environment, a person has to get acquainted with their new surroundings. Although this is true for anyone in a new area, the process is a bit different for rideshare drivers.

Once you know where a few key places are in relation to your home, work on expanding that map as fast as possible.

To do this, you will need to explore your new home as well as conduct some research. Take the information you have gathered during the time you spent locating the essentials, such as the grocery store, and compare that to a map.

Review all the locations between the essentials and your home, then some of the streets around that proximity. Once you have identified areas that may be an active spot for passengers, head out!

Scope out the places you came across when viewing the map. Take note of whether there are people around. If so, take note of the time. From there, work outwards from the location you identified on the map.

To improve search results, try to focus on one direction at a time.

For example, say the grocery store is north of your house. Once you have visited all the locations between your home and the store, continue to explore what lies beyond the grocery in a northward direction.

Be sure not to go too far out. Afterward, rinse repeat for the east, south, and west areas. By getting the general feel of the city in this manner, you can cover a lot of ground in one day and identify a few promising rideshare locations worth visiting.

If you get lost along the way, do not hesitate to turn on your GPS. The longer you have the device off during your exploration, the faster you will get acquainted with the local neighborhoods.

Figure Out The “Schedule” of the City

Once the exploration phase starts to come to an end, odds are you will feel confident enough to start accepting ride requests.

During this transitional part of your move, we recommend sticking to the main area you mapped out at the very beginning until you know the landscape well enough to find your way back home without the GPS.

Of course, this may not be an option for you if passengers are in need of a ride further out than the radius around your home base. If you find yourself in this situation, play it safe until you feel comfortable venturing out into your new city.

When you do start picking up riders, tell them that you are new to town! Let passengers know that you are new to the area and ask them for recommendations on what there is to do in the city.

Try to see if there is a pattern in where riders are suggesting you check out. More than likely, these areas are going to be your best bet for picking up passengers as well as taking an active role in your new community.

Another inquiry to consider is rush hour. Every city has a has different work hours, such as start, finish, and lunchtime. From our experience, East Coast cities tend to wake up a little earlier than their West Coast counterparts.

Also figure out what times bars close in the city. Some cities close earlier, while some never close at all.

By asking riders, you may be able to get a decent picture of when the streets are going to get congested, which is essential if you want to take advantage of surge pricing in your new hometown.

By taking the initiative to get involved with your city in this manner, Uber drivers can prepare their rideshare operation for what is in store, which will go a long way in regards to sustainability.

Roll Out the Red Carpet

Do everything in your power to provide riders with the best service as possible.

You are making a first impression here. You never know if they’ll end up in your car again for future trips. This is especially true in small towns where this is a very limited number of rideshare drivers. You want passengers to remember you in a positive light. That way, if you meet again, it will be a mini-reunion where riders ask you for details about what happened since the last time you spoke.

So, make sure you have all the customer service enhancing items you need before heading out. Check to see if you have enough bottled water, snacks, cough drops, and tunes in your vehicle.

Take the time to be professional and never lose your cool even if you are feeling a bit anxious about the new environment. Furthermore, take the time to gauge your passengers when they get into your ride. Sometimes people are not in the mood to talk.

Check the Events Calendar

Sure, asking your passengers about the local nightlife and other attractions is a good way to familiarize yourself with the city. People are not computers. They are not going to know everything that is scheduled to happen in the area.

If you want to be successful as a rideshare driver in your new location, you need to be on top of the event schedule before those activities go down. To do this, go online and find your city’s local event guide. Look for significant festivities that are set to go down and plan your work schedule around them.

Key events you are looking for include concerts, festivals, or other big celebrations where a bunch of people are likely going to be at.

When looking at the events calendar, make note of the popular locations. You will want to know exactly where the big concert venue is AND the best place to pick up and drop passengers.

Gaining this insight is super beneficial, especially if riders describe why they are not going to the big event.

Moving can be tough. There are an overwhelming amount of things to take into consideration before, during, and after the migration. For rideshare drivers, some of the burdens of moving are eliminated because their occupation goes with them.

Then again, having to set up shop in a brand new area has its unique challenges tacked on that may be a bit intimidating to deal with. At first.

Once you can get familiar with a new area, things will be easier. To get to that milestone, rideshare drivers need to plan and think about how to get started in the new area.

A great way to do this is to think of this phase as a fun exploration, one that will yield hidden treasures if you only know where to look.

Maintaining this mindset, journey forth into your new home. Map out where all the essentials are, such as the grocery store, gas station, and bank, before heading out.

Upon getting familiar with the area between the key locations we mentioned and your home base, take the time to branch out into the unknown.

Try to head in one main direction for a while to get familiar with the neighborhoods and landscapes before venturing into other areas. Along the way, do your best to leave the GPS off and instead focus on memorizing the sights.

By doing so, you may be able to get acquainted with the area in a short amount of time, rather than a couple of months. Acquiring this information can help you discover where the popular locations are in your city, which is essential for drivers to know if they want to start earning fast.

Be sure to engage with your fellow community members when you have the chance too. Bring up the fact that you are new to the area. See if your audience can provide any insights into the local scene, when rush hour is, and any other profitable information.

Drivers that can capitalize on these helpful tidbits will be able to get their rideshare operation up and running in no time flat.

Remember, exploring a new city can be a fun adventure, so do not deprive yourself of the experience.

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