How I Increased My Pay By 20% With This 1 Easy Step!

You would think that after 28,786 rides, I would know every trick in the book. Turns out, the most obvious strategy is the last one I have embraced.

For five of the past seven years, I have been driving for Uber and Lyft. Yet, for some reason that now seems inexplicable, I have not partaken in the best strategy to increase my revenue.

As the title of this article indicates, this one easy step created a 20% increase in my per-hour rate. In this article, I will share the strategy and address some of the challenges that kept me from higher earnings in the past.

So, How Did I Increase My Pay by 20%? Driving late at Night!

For seven years, I have told myself and many passengers that I don’t drive late at night.

However, recently I drove Saturday night from 1 AM to 8 AM.

No one puked in my car. Sure, some of my passengers were drunk. And it was great. Talking to buzzed people can be really quite entertaining.

And instead of playing jazz music, I could play Led Zeppelin. Loud!

What Kept Me From Driving for Uber & Lyft Late at Night

Let’s talk about some of the issues associated with late-night driving and why it took me so long to try it out.

1. Puking

Sure, it happens. It has not happened even once in my car. However, I am very selective at pick-up.

If I see someone is completely wasted, I have no problem canceling the ride and driving away. I have had some very wasted people in my car. I do have barf bags at the ready.

I know to open the windows to get fresh air in the car. This seems to help keep people conscious and less inclined to heave.

2. Being Tired

Being tired was a big concern. I have learned that I can sleep from 6 PM to 12 midnight. I get up, take a shower, make a fresh coffee, and then drink half a shot of my new secret weapon.

It is called Ketone IQ.

If you don’t know what ketones are, you can Google them and learn more. When you are on a keto diet, your body produces ketones that act as energy sources, replacing glucose.

You can also put ketones in your body (called exogenous ketones) and get a clean boost of energy and mental clarity.

I’ve been pleased with the results. It’s not cheap (about $120 for three bottles, which should last about two months). I learned about this product by listening to the Huberman Lab podcast.

I did notice that I was tired the following Sunday, so I took a one-hour nap. That worked out well for me, and I got a solid 8 hours of sleep Sunday night.

3. Better Music

Saturday night, at 1:30 AM, I pick up a passenger from a bar. As I was driving him home, I had a Rolling Stones song playing.

He said, “Can you turn it up?”, so I nudged it up from level 7 to level 10. “No, turn it way up.”

Just then, Van Morrison’s Moondance came on. I turned the volume up to 20. I had never heard how loud my car speakers could play.

I am happy to report that Moondance played at level 20, is quite spectacular in my 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid. I can’t do that at 8 AM.

4. Less Traffic

Complete dream. The roads are bare and nighttime rules apply. I felt so free. The streets were mine – I love it!

5. Better Bonuses

Since most drivers don’t want to drive late at night, both Uber and Lyft offer their best bonuses late at night.

When I started at 1 AM, I earned an extra $5.50 per ride, and the bonus lasted for 2 hours.

Since there are few drivers, the demand for drivers is high.  You won’t be waiting around for rides late at night.

6. Better Tips

You will get better tips late at night. Buzzed and drunk passengers are likelier to have a meaningful conversation with you.

That type of conversation often leads to bigger and more frequent tips.

I also had one guy give me a big tip because he knew he was drunk and he was being obnoxious. You could call it an “apology tip” or a “shame tip.”

7. 20% Higher Revenue

All of these factors lead to a rather serious increase in your revenue. I only drove on Saturday night, which seems to be the busiest night.

It was also the night that had the best bonuses. As a result of this one tweak to my schedule, I jacked up my per-hour earning from $30 an hour to $37 an hour.

Notice that nearly 30% of my pay came from bonuses and tips. The increase is a result of late-night driving.

how much i made driving for uber late at night

Key Takeaways

How much money have I left on the table by not driving late nights? Even one night a week will make an impact. If I were to really go for it, I suppose I could also add Friday night to my schedule.

If you are scared to drive late at night, I suggest you prepare and try it. It can be very liberating. In addition to making more money, I enjoyed my passengers very much.

When you put it all together, more money, less traffic, exuberant passengers, and loud and energetic music, it all adds up to a great night’s adventure. Be safe out there.