Should You Tell People You’re a Rideshare Driver?

Depending on where you drive, this scenario could be common for you: you receive a ride request and realize you know the person! How you know them could determine your reaction, but should you be embarrassed to be a rideshare driver? RSG contributor Tyler Philbrook says ‘no way!’ Below, he shares why some drivers are embarrassed, plus what drivers have to say about running into people they know.

You’re out driving on a Friday night, a ping goes off. You look and the picture and name show you that it is your high school best friend you haven’t seen in years.

Do you continue the ride, or cancel it?

Some people are embarrassed for their friends and family to find out about their rideshare driving. Others don’t care at all. No matter where you fall, we all may at one time or another run into someone we know while rideshare driving.

Why Some Drivers Hate Running Into People They Know While Driving

People May Think You’re Desperate

I would be lying if I told you I’ve always driven for Uber or Lyft for extra money. The truth is, I have at times driven because rent was due tomorrow and I needed money to pay it. I’m sure most of you have the same experience.

Because of this, some people feel that’s the only reason to drive for Uber and Lyft. In this case, some friends and family may be worried about you. They may feel you need help, when in reality you’re just saving up to buy a new iPad.

In some cases, drivers immediately start reassuring their friends or family they’re “doing it for extra money” or “saving up for travel expenses.” Whether or not that’s true doesn’t really matter.

If you’re worried about people thinking this about you, just keep in mind: a lot of people have side hustles – you probably just don’t know about it! People are always looking for ways to save and keep their money, and sometimes that means working an extra job or using cash back apps. There’s nothing wrong with driving for Uber and Lyft, no matter what the reason is.

Friends May Feel You Failed

When I left my full-time job in 2017, I thought that my business would keep me going for the rest of my life, that I’d never have to work for a company again. Sadly, near the end of 2019 my business took a turn for the worse and I got a bit desperate to make some money.

Fortunately, I was able to drive for Uber and at least keep above water, and eventually get back on track.

For me, at that time I made it seem like I was driving “because I wanted to get out of the house.” The last thing I wanted anyone to know was that I had failed at my business.

Maybe you haven’t failed at a business, maybe you just over-extended yourself when you bought that new car, house, boat, or whatever. The last thing you want people to know is the mistake you made, so you don’t tell anyone and don’t want anyone to request you for a ride.

Not Enough Money

One reason many people don’t want others to know they are rideshare driving is because it isn’t always the greatest money. Let’s face facts, we are at times judged by how much money we have. And oddly enough, even if you are driving for Uber, Lyft or another rideshare company part time, people might think it’s your only source of income (rightly or, usually, wrongly!)

We can say we don’t, but most of the time we think people with nice cars, clothes, and homes are more successful than those that have a 10-year-old car, clothes even older, and a house that needs some work. Some people clearly don’t realize how frugal billionaires, like Warren Buffet, can be!

So, when someone starts driving for rideshare and you hear of people making less than minimum wage after expenses (even if it’s not true for you!), it can be embarrassing and make you not want to let people know that you are a driver.

Drivers Share Their Experiences with Picking Up Friends, Family or Acquaintances

Close Friend

One day while driving I got a request – nothing out of the ordinary at all. I had to call the passenger because I couldn’t find the pickup location and when I did, some red flags went off.

It was a woman, but they sounded like they were trying to alter their voice, almost like they were prank calling me, but they were giving me all the information I needed to pick them up. Finally, I was able to find where they wanted to be picked up, and a very good friend of mine I hadn’t seen in a few years came walking out the building and got in my car.

When I had called, she changed her voice because she wanted to see my face when I realized I was picking her up. We then had a little fun with it and called my wife to have my passenger/friend catch up with her.

All and all it was a good experience, and we had fun catching up. I did tell her I would have picked her up and taken her home for free as a friend but she told me I needed to make my money just like she has to make hers.

Picked Up Guy Went To Rehab With

One of our followers on Facebook gave us another experience.

He was out one night, making his money like normal, and got a request from someone he knew at a bar. That’s not unusual at all for most nights, especially the weekend. However, what was unusual was that these guys knew each other from rehab. Obviously, that individual’s sobriety hadn’t stuck.


Many followers also noted the reunion feeling of picking up people they know. We all fall out of touch with people as we grow in our life, and accidentally running into people usually brings us great joy.

Some ran into old high school friends, others co-workers, old bosses, and some old exes!

Most of those are positive experiences and can be a lot of fun. Usually when it happens you can exchange information and set up a time to catch up even more in a different environment.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Rideshare Driving!

For some rideshare driving is their full time gig, others do it part time, some do it while looking for another job. Some are using their earnings to invest or buying crypto, whereas others are using it to bridge a gap in employment.

Whatever your reason for driving is, you should never be made to feel ashamed for making a living. Never be afraid or embarrassed to tell your friends and family what you do to keep a roof over your head and food on your table. Keep your head up, we’re all here with you.

Have you ever picked up someone you knew, or delivered to someone you knew? What was their reaction?

-Tyler @ RSG