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Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are offering a new way to earn extra income or even work as a full-time driver. If you have been considering becoming a driver, then it’s time to get that side hustle going. Here are some secrets from those already driving.

1.  It is easy to become a rideshare driver.

If you are thinking about starting out as a rideshare driver, the process is pretty straightforward. First, you need to be of driving age. Then one year of experience operating in the US or 3years of knowledge going in the US for those below 23 years will do. Next, the car you want to use must have four doors, and you must have a driving license. 

The process is simple and can be verified within 24hours. Your criminal record is also reviewed online to see if you are a good actor. Although some people feel stricter measures such as fingerprinting are required before approving the application, rideshare finds that expensive and unnecessary.

2. Ridesharing isn’t for everyone.

You might have met the qualifications above and now think you are set to become a rideshare driver. But, unfortunately, this hustle isn’t for every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and meeting the requirements does not mean you will make it here. For instance, those who don’t like meeting new people can have terrible exchanges with passengers and get fired due to lousy ratings.

3. Rideshare drivers dread four stars. 

This may sound absurd, but rideshare drivers don’t like four-star ratings. In normal circumstances, four stars would seem normal, an almost perfect rating. However, in ridesharing, this may mean a driver being fired. This is because ratings are interpreted differently from one city to another. For ridesharing, anything below 4.6 may be pretty off-putting. In fact, some drivers have been fired for consistently getting four-star ratings throughout the day.

4. Rideshare drivers don’t like to be asked questions.

A recent survey by MentalFloss established that rideshare drivers are pissed off by the typical questions and wish they would get a break from them. Once a passenger gets in, the driver starts getting worried about that same series of questions, “How long have you been doing this? Do you like it? Given another chance, would you choose it?” These questions are boring, and they wish the cycle would change.

5. Barfing in the car may be an opportunity for the driver for a profit.

Ridesharing is characterized by people who party and barf around. Just so you know, barfing in the car may be great for profiting the driver. Vinesky, a rideshare driver for two years, relates the experience as follows, ‘I have had two customers vomit in the car on two different occasions. The first one was too drunk to realize it, and I let him go. 

The second one laughed over it and said she felt great after doing it. I escalated the issue and reported the second person. The person was charged $300, which I was given.’ Therefore, the next time you barf, think about what it might mean for you.

6. Party lights may help uber drivers get better ratings and tips.

Sometimes a person has just had a stressful day, and something as simple as party lights may get the mood elevated. What’s more, partying and drunk passengers might feel happy seeing that kind of lighting, which is why you will often find it in rideshare cars. Those impressed by the illumination would leave good ratings and tips for the drivers. 

“On Fridays, I carry partying passengers most of the time. My party lighting matches their mood, whether they are going to or coming from a party. And this has always paid off in terms of rating and tips. One night I ended up with a whopping $100 tip,” Vinesky says.

7. Drivers disagree on the worth of the pay.

One exciting thing about ridesharing is that its drivers disagree on the worth of the pay. Some say that $11 to $14 hourly wage is not enough. Others at the same rates love it. It’s a typical case of one man’s poison being another man’s delicacy.

8. Returning a lost item can be a significant inconvenience to the rideshare drivers.

Rideshare drivers a lot of times find items in the back seat. Often, it’s a phone, wallet, or a camera, although some customers have even left behind a fish tank and mannequin. In fact, drivers return about 11 lost items on average yearly. Unfortunately, the larger the item, the harder it becomes an inconvenience to replace it. 

This is because, before 2017, the drivers were not being compensated for returning it. However, the companies charge about $15 for every returned item. The driver fills a form and is given three days later. Some passengers also tip the drivers.

9. Some drivers prefer courtesy when it comes to discussing movies and TV shows.

Have you ever seen the joy people have when discussing a movie they watched? This is relatable. Yet, some rideshare drivers wish passengers were more courteous discussing these movies and TV shows. Sometimes, they are looking forward to watching the film and want to do it at their own pace, without the end being spoiled when you overly discuss it.

10. When some rideshare drivers are friendly and helpful to you, they expect you to tip them.

Until 2017, most rideshare apps did not have tipping features. Even now, when the tipping app is there, some customers do not use it. Most rideshare drivers agree that tipping is not mandatory. It is acceptable when the driver goes out of his way and extends some help to you. If you used the disposable charger, it would be good if you tipped the driver.

There is more to becoming a rideshare driver than just picking up passengers and dropping them. So why do rideshare drivers dread four stars? What are some of their expectations? Are they satisfied with their pay? Learn all this from this write-up on the secrets of being a rideshare driver.

Rose Rosie is a writer for the personal finance website, Joy Wallet, which provides readers with useful information, resources, and tools to help maximize their financial fitness.

Julie Gonzalez