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Okay, so this is the year you decide to monetize your spare time and sensible, late-model car by becoming a rideshare driver. Not a bad idea; you can make a helpful supplementary or even a primary income when you drive for Uber, Lyft, or a competitor. However, you can quickly spoil your gig by driving foolishly and losing your rating. So, before you saddle up your SUV or sensible sedan to start earning, heed these tips to avoid alienating potential clientele.

Excessive speeding, dishonesty, and a cluttered car could be your ticket to rideshare exile

Rideshare opportunities are everywhere. However, getting started with the opportunity to drive for Uber or Lyft is just the beginning. Apps work with rating systems, typically a 1-to-5 system. When you qualify to drive with an app, you’ll have an initial rating. 

Based on your rider feedback, your score will stay nice and high or drop down to unattractive levels. Therein lies the responsibility of drivers. Drivers must deliver riders to their destinations safely and with as few mishaps as reasonably possible. Adhere to these tips, and your rideshare ratings can stay high and right. 

  • Avoid excessive speeding and reckless driving
  • Be upfront with riders about delays
  • Keep your car empty enough for luggage or shopping bags
  • Keep conversation light, non-political, and professional
A passenger goes for a drive with an Uber rideshare driver.
A passenger in a rideshare | Antonio_Diaz via iStock

Granted, you can’t please everyone. You may welcome a passenger into your clean Toyota Camry, and they’ll give you a negative review based on the fact that they hate Taylor Swift. It happens. However, you can stack the deck in your favor by steering clear of some of the blatant faux pas.

For instance, one of the fastest ways to off-put a rider is by driving recklessly or speeding excessively. A timely dropoff is appreciated, but riders will give a low rating if they feel endangered during the ride. That, and let’s face it, your Nissan Altima isn’t exactly a race car. Drive it right; safety is paramount.

If you have to stop for gasoline, your rideshare customer will likely understand. However, you should let them know rather than omit that detail. After all, they can see you on the real-time map. 

Your car doesn’t have to be squeaky clean (though it’s a win-win for you and your passengers). However, if you’re accepting airport rides or shopping trips, you’ll need to leave plenty of space in your trunk and backseat.

Finally, some riders are chatty. Others are silent and occupied with their smartphones. It’s your best option to keep conversation light and let your rider drive the volume. Moreover, given the divisiveness of politics, it’s best to leave it out of your car when you drive for Uber or a comparable rideshare platform.