Students Share Darker Side of Being a Rideshare Driver

Know someone thinking about driving rideshare – you might want to have them read this.

We recently had several students share their experiences using the rideshare apps before coming to us.

Their stories were very revealing.

We wanted to combine their experiences in this article for those considering working on these rideshare platforms.

They all shared how exciting it was to drive in the beginning:

  • controlling their schedules
  • not having a boss
  • meeting new people

Things Quickly Changed
They were looking to earn part-time income to supplement their jobs. Almost without exception they also shared how things quickly changed.

In one case a student had a slight fender bender while driving a rider. She was horrified to discover that the rideshare platform’s insurance deductible was 2,500 dollars!

(A fact that wasn’t mentioned in anything she remembers seeing when joining the platform).

When checking with her insurance company she learned that driving for commercial purposes (Uber, Lyft, or Delivery) is actually against the terms of your insurance.

This means if you get into an accident things can get complicated. You must carry commercial rideshare insurance on your vehicle. There are no exceptions to this rule in any community.

Should your passenger experience an injury in an accident, whether it was your fault or not, then they could potentially hold you liable for their medical expenses and other costs.

Because most Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors and not employees, this means your assets are on the line in this circumstance.

Damaging Their Cars
They didn’t realize the poor conditions, (potholes, etc.) of city streets until they started. All shared similar stories about how rideshare takes a horrible toll on your car.

  • brakes
  • tires
  • frequent oil changes
  • more car washes

And of course, the rising cost of gasoline has to be taken into account. According to Google, most rideshare drivers spend $150 a week on gas.

Fortunately, none of our students ran into personal safety issues.

Use a Company Vehicle!
One of the students who was driving rideshare full-time decided to take advantage of the vehicle lease program. He felt this would eliminate the car damage problem and give him a fresh start.

After a couple of months the math became painfully clear:

$300 for the existing monthly car payment
$150 for car insurance
$1,600 (400 x 4 weeks for vehicle leasing)

$2,050 Total

This means that he had to clear this amount before he could make any profit. He had thrown in the towel around the time he discovered our program.

How Much Can You Earn?
Many use rideshare to fill in the gaps. But many drivers do it full-time.

Statistics show that many rideshare drivers use 100 dollars a day as their income goal. But when you subtract the average daily cost of 30 dollars for gasoline that makes their daily take home only 70 dollars.

Working 30 days a month and earning 70 dollars a day equals 2,100 dollars. When you subtract $625 on food spend (many drivers spend $10 to $20 daily) and other ancillary items that makes their monthly income only $1,475.

That’s only a 17,700 dollar a year income as a full-time driver.

According to Census.Gov, an individual income at the poverty level would be $18,225 a year!

What About Food Delivery?
One student tried her hand at food delivery and the results were worst. Rideshare lets you control driving schedules. That means you have a better chance of avoiding rush hour traffic.

Food delivery requires driving during peak hours (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

Although your deliveries tend to be clustered and driving distances are reduced the drain on your time is horrible.

Here’s an actual food delivery example:

5 minutes driving to the restaurant
10 minutes of waiting at the restaurant
5 minutes of driving to the customer
5 minutes of parking, walking through the apartment complex, going up the stairs, and then returning to the car.

The earnings in this example were $3.55 (and the customer did not leave a tip).

The time spent was 25 minutes!

(Panhandlers probably do better than this).

Another downside often mentioned is the smell of the food that lingers in your car.

If you know a rideshare driver looking for an alternative share the link below: