Driving for Lyft has created meaningful income for thousands of individuals. As freelancers, you must optimize your time. You also need to keep track of your mileage and expenses.
Anytime you make a mistake while working, it costs you. For example, if the authorities give you a ticket for illegally parking your vehicle, you pay the penalty. Plus, it goes against you on your driver’s license and has additional negative ripple effects.
As lucrative as driving has become, it’s still not income that you can lose.
Studies show that rideshare drivers earn between $15 to $18 an hour on average. Multiply those amounts by the number of hours you want to work daily, weekly, and monthly and you can estimate how much you’ll earn in those periods.
Resourceful drivers can earn about $40,000 annually.
To maximize your income, let’s look at seven mistakes that every Lyft driver should avoid.
1. Forgetting to Follow Lyft Requirements
To remain in good standing with Lyft, drivers must meet the basic requirements. For example, Lyft requires:
- A valid driver’s license
- Background check
- Vehicle registration
- Vehicle with 4-doors
A 4-door vehicle might seem odd but it makes sense. Your passengers should have separate doors to enter and exit the vehicle. Thus, you have your exclusive door too.
For a more in-depth overview of Lyft car requirements, check out this post from Gigly.
2. Driving without Proper Insurance
All 50 states require drivers to satisfy minimum insurance requirements. If you lease your vehicle, the leasing company will outline their requirements too.
Those who have financed their vehicle through a financial institution will also need to satisfy those insurance mandates.
Purchasing insurance feels like an additional expense. The monthly payment doesn’t render visible benefits. Instead, insurance provides peace of mind.
First, it covers you in case you become involved in a vehicle collision. Insurance also covers you against financial losses. Moreover, Lyft requires it.
Thus, remember to pay your premiums on time.
3. Illegal Parking
Cities that have high rideshare use rates usually have hard-to-find or expensive parking.
More venues, from shopping centers to entertainment places, have established rideshare pick-up and drop-off zones. They recognize that consumers don’t want to pay $20 or more for parking. Moreover, patrons don’t want to take several laps to find a spot.
Adding these zones also helps reduce the incidence of illegally parked cars.
As a driver, you must avoid illegally parking your vehicle too. No matter how convenient or tempting it is, find a legal place to park in between rides.
Rideshare drivers are not taxi cabs. Even veteran cab drivers know that it’s not optimal to overdrive.
Driving to find passengers puts more wear and tear on your vehicle. Plus, gas prices remain high. Instead, use your Lyft app to your advantage – allow it to find passengers for you. Then, make your way toward them.
5. Skipping Market Research
One way to avoid overdriving is to do some market research. As mentioned earlier, all freelancers must optimize their time. Otherwise, they work longer hours and earn less, on average.
Savvy rideshare drivers know when events are coming to their towns. The traffic from championship sporting events, concerts, and festivals can net attractive income for a few days of work.
In addition, familiarize yourself with your service area and consumer habits. Passengers will notice when you provide outstanding service.
6. Driving without the Tech Essentials
In 2022, few freelancers can work without some tech essentials such as:
- Productivity software
- Productivity apps
For rideshare drivers, you also need:
- Bluetooth earpiece
- Extra phone chargers
Since the technology is widely available and tested, allow it to help you.
7. Poor Recordkeeping
One of the caveats of freelancing is that the government sees you as a small business owner. Therefore, you have all the responsibilities that come with running a business.
Freelancers must keep impeccable records of income and expenses. It allows you to easily pay your estimated quarterly taxes and obtain tax write-offs. Moreover, you’ll see patterns in the data that you can capitalize on.
Good records will show when it’s best to work and where. Plus, you’ll figure out how to manage your expenses.
When Lyft drivers make mistakes, it costs them. Therefore, avoid making the seven that we outlined. As you gain more experience, you’ll pick up additional ways to optimize your service and income.