Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way that we travel – and they have simultaneously transformed the gig economy. Working for these companies provides many people with numerous benefits, such as flexible schedules or additional incomes.
If you are one of the estimated five million drivers working for a rideshare company in the US or you aspire to be one, you know that the type of car you drive really matters.
Additionally, certain vehicles can also qualify for additional services, such as Uber XL for parties of five to six people or Uber Black and Lyft Lux – which is a driving service for luxury vehicles.
Both Uber and Lyft have set regulations on the age and condition of the vehicle that can be used. If your car is too old or is not up to standards, then you will not be allowed to drive it through these services.
The truth is that not every car was made for a rideshare service.
Some vehicles certainly offer more benefits than others if you plan to drive for Lyft, Uber, or another company – and some car brands are simply better than others for various reasons.
So, if you are thinking of joining one of these rideshare companies or you need to upgrade your current vehicle, here are some things to take into consideration when choosing the car that you’ll chauffeur people around in.
1) Find Something with Good Gas Mileage
Since drivers are compensated for rides, some don’t necessarily think much about fuel efficiency for a rideshare vehicle. However, what many don’t realize is that Lyft and Uber drivers have to pay for their own gas. That means if you’re only getting 7 miles to the gallon, you could be facing a hefty gasoline bill at the end of the month.
Plus, you have to remember that you are not just using gas during trips. If you are driving around in-between rides looking for your next passenger, you could be losing money if your car is not fuel-efficient.
There are plenty of car brands that offer high gas mileage for both city and highway. Many car companies offer both hybrid and non-hybrid options that average well over 45 miles to the gallon.
The four models that top the list according to US News & World Report as the most fuel-efficient cars of 2019 are as follows:
- Honda Insight 52 combined (meaning the average of both city and highway) mpg
- Toyota Camry Hybrid 52 combined mpg
- Toyota Prius Prime 54 combined mpg
- Hyundai Ioniq 58 combined mpg
You will notice that Toyota has several of the top spots here for gas mileage. It is also the most popular vehicle brand in New Mexico, so there are plenty of used Toyota cars for sale in Albuquerque that are great options for rideshare drivers.
Be sure to compare any models that you are considering in the Motor Trend magazine to see how they match up in terms of gas mileage and reliability.
You should also be following some common gas saving tips, such as:
- Accelerating and braking slowly and smoothly.
- Using the correct and recommended fuel type for your car.
- Reducing extra weight by clearing unnecessary items out of your trunk.
- Keeping tires properly inflated.
- Replacing your air filter and getting regular oil changes.
Little things add up here, so by following these few tips, you could add several more miles to each gallon you put in.
2) Consider the Wear and Tear on the Vehicle
Although you might be tempted to get a snazzy car that will get your riders excited, at the end of the day, the most important thing is to pick people up in a vehicle that’s reliable. There are plenty of pre-owned vehicles for sale in Albuquerque that is in perfect running condition and still looks great!
Don’t get too wrapped up in the idea of having a car with all of the latest bells and whistles either; remember, most people are using this service to get from point A to point B, not to play around with your stereo system or be impressed with a retractable sunroof.
But, on the other hand, appearances do matter. You don’t want to run into problems with people in the car and wind up with bad reviews. For example, if your car has lots of scrapes and dents, riders may worry that you are not a very safe driver. This could factor into lower ratings, hurting your reputation and possibly getting you kicked off of the app for good.
No matter what type of vehicle you end up with, consider the extra costs that will need to factor in to keep things looking nice and clean. You will need to clean both the interior and exterior on a regular basis, and you may want to get scratches buffed out as soon as possible.
3) Think About Where You’ll Be Driving
There are other vehicle factors that will come into play depending on the area where you will be driving the most.
For example, if you live in a city that has a large airport, you might need something with large cargo space to hold extra baggage. If you will be driving late in the nightlife areas, you may want to consider buying seat covers or opting for materials like leather which can be easily cleaned in case someone gets sick in the back.
You may also want to conduct some research to see which cars are popular in your area based on the typical driving conditions. If you live in an area where it frequently snows or rains, then you may want to invest in a car with a four-wheel drive to keep you and your passengers safe.
And finally, think practically about the experience for your customers. Chances are they will not appreciate squeezing into the back seat with barely enough legroom. They will also prefer comfortable seats and air temperature control. Little touches like backseat charging ports or a nice sound system are added bonuses, but not necessities.
The right vehicle can make all the difference in the number of 5-star rides you are able to complete with these rideshare services. By choosing a car with great gas mileage, picking additional features that appeal to your rides, and keeping the vehicle in tip-top shape, you can maximize your compensation to help you earn even more as a rideshare driver.