People all over the US have discovered how easy it is to make money driving for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies. If you have a clean driving record and a decent car, you can sign up to be a driver, start accepting fares, and make money almost immediately. If you really want to maximize your earnings as a ride-share driver, though, there are a few things you can do.

TRACK YOUR MILEAGE AND WRITE-OFFS 

Did you know that if you’re self-employed and you use your car for your business, you can get back 54 cents for every mile you drive? That means, for every 100 miles you drive, you’ll get back $54 on your taxes. And you don’t have to keep adding up your mileage over the year, either. Instead, you can use an app from QuickBooks to do it all for you. According to Quickbooks, the average user for this app finds over $3800 in tax savings every year.

FIND A GOOD SPOT TO PARK

Some drivers try to get more fares by driving around in circles in hot areas. This really doesn’t help, and it puts a lot of unnecessary miles on their cars. Instead, look for a good place to park and wait nearby. Then stay logged in to the app and find something productive to do with your time. You might even be able to make some extra money completing tasks online while you wait.

DON’T BLINDLY FOLLOW UBER’S TEXTS

Uber’s developers and management want to help drivers get more fares, but sometimes their efforts aren’t the most helpful. When you’re working, you’ll likely get numerous texts about the best places to camp out and wait for fares, like a bar district on Saturday night or along a popular commute during early morning hours.

Following these texts can result in a lot of needless driving. Find spots that work for you throughout the day or night and stick to the ones where you’ve had the most luck. Watch event calendars in your area, as well, to see when you should plan to take advantage of crowds and peak ride-sharing hours.

PLAN AHEAD TO FUEL YOURSELF

If you’re going to be working for several hours at a time, you’re going to need some food and beverages to keep you going. Buying snacks and drinks at gas stations all day long can quickly put a hole in your wallet. Instead, keep a small cooler in the trunk of your car and fill it with food and beverages for yourself.

You might also want to include some bottled water and candy for your fares, but it’s more important to make sure that you’re well fueled so that you can get them safely to their destinations.

Along the same lines, get to know the areas you’ll be driving in. Find out where restrooms are so that you don’t end up driving around looking for a place to relieve yourself, which can result in missed fares.

KEEP AN EYE ON THE PASSENGER APP

Finally, while the driver app for Uber is really useful, there are some things it can’t help you with. If you keep an eye on the passenger app, you can become a more effective driver by seeing where other drivers are so that you can reposition yourself to get more pings.

Follow these tips, and you’ll become a better Uber driver so that you can make more money with less work. Good luck!

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