Is it even worth it to get started as a new driver with Uber and Lyft? Senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur talks to one new driver in Dallas, TX about how he got started and became a successful rideshare driver, making $1500 per week. His strategies and more below.
Paul Pintor is a new driver in Dallas, Texas who reached out to us via email. He had questions as a new driver and wanted some advice on how to maximize his earnings. I gave Paul a call and answered some of his questions in a coaching session. Subsequent to that call, I brought Paul onto the Rideshare Dojo podcast and we talked about how a new driver can best get started as a successful rideshare driver.
Below, I’ll cover what we discussed on our coaching call, how it’s helped Paul and takeaways for new drivers.
Mr. Paul Pintor
Why Paul Pintor Decided To Drive For Uber and Lyft
Paul is 55 years old. He was listening to Financial Expert Dave Ramsey on the radio and Mr. Ramsey talked about how some rideshare drivers have been able to “crack the code” and make decent money to reduce their debt. In addition to earning extra money, Paul also wanted to use rideshare driving to meet new people.
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Paul was between jobs and thought Uber and Lyft would be the perfect venue to make some additional revenue, meet some new people and possibly shake hands with his next business partner or employer.
Here is how Paul reached out to us:
“Paul Pintor here, I wanted to reach out and introduce myself. Yesterday was my first day and I pegged $251.47 blindfolded; did not know how to turn the Uber Drive App, nothing. It would be so nice to have a short conversation, zoom conference, something.”
In order to get started, Paul secured a good road vehicle, a 2020 Kia Sol.
He loaded it up with good car seats, car mats, and plenty of snacks like water, cookies, Pop Tarts and nuts. Initially, Paul signed up exclusively for Uber. In his market, Uber is king. The pings come faster and the pickup times are shorter with Uber. He subsequently added Lyft to his arsenal when he realized Uber timed out after 14 hours.
During our first conversation, Paul and I talked about working events. I told him I don’t work events because you will spend most of your time in traffic getting to your passenger, then again in traffic getting away from the event, and then after you make your drop off, the event opportunity is over.
It is better to work outside of the event. Since most drivers are heading to the event, you can be assured of getting good quick rides away from the event because the demand will be high since supply is low.
Don’t have a car to drive for Uber/Lyft? Take a look at our Vehicle Marketplace page here for options.
What’s Been The Biggest Lesson?
Paul estimates that only 10% of his passengers took him up on his offer for condiments. However, offering the condiments improved the frequency and amount of his tips. Paul does one thing that has made the amount and number of his tips soar: Paul treats each of his passengers as if they were limousine passengers. For each passenger, Paul jumps out of his car and walks to the passenger side and opens the door for his passenger to enter his car.
I had never heard of an Uber or Lyft driver doing this before, but this has made a huge impact on Paul’s tips, which dramatically improve his bottom line. Just last Saturday, Paul secured a $120 cash tip from one of his passengers.
Let’s take a look at his three-week rideshare driver earning statistics from Dallas, Texas.
From this graph, we can see that Paul is receiving an average of a 20% cash tip for all his Uber rides. That is very impressive. We can also see that Paul was able to deposit over $4,500 into his bank account at the end of three weeks. That represents a per-week earnings figure of over $1,500. Those are strong numbers coming out of Dallas!
What Paul Likes The Most About Rideshare Driving
Paul likes meeting new people, and finds rideshare driving is exciting. You never know who is going to get in your car. “It’s all about making it rain for people!” Paul likes to shower his passengers with love and that makes for happy passengers and good tips and pleasant exchanges.
Paul told me the story of the $120 tip. One of his passengers, happy with the service Paul provided, ripped a $100 bill in half. He gave half of the bill to Paul and said: “Come pick me up at 10 PM, and I will give you the other half!” Paul did show up and he got the other half and another $20.
You can see from Paul’s Uber profile that he is all about the passengers.
What Paul Likes The Least About Rideshare Driving
The thing Paul dislikes most about rideshare driving is a similar complaint all rideshare drivers have: the rating system! He once received a one star ride, and he still doesn’t know why, and dislikes how the rating system is based on what passengers feel at that moment. He works very hard to give an excellent driving experience and anything short of a five-star rating is unacceptable to him.
Given the amount of effort Paul is putting into each and every one of his passengers, I can understand his frustration. Still, he has a perfectly acceptable 4.92 rating. As I told Paul, the ratings don’t really mean anything unless you drift down to 4.6, at which time Uber or Lyft could deactivate you and demand you undergo some training to get back on the road.
What The Future Holds
Rideshare driving was a bridge, a stop-gap between two jobs. Since Paul started driving three weeks ago, he has landed a full-time job. However, he must drive 70 miles round trip to his new office. Therefore, Paul will continue to pick up a passenger or two on his way to work and on his way home. He may even work some weekends to keep that extra bit of money coming in for that retirement fund. As Paul said to me, “I can’t imagine I will ever stop doing it.”
Rideshare driving is still a great way to make some extra money to pay down debt, save for an exotic vacation, build on a retirement fund, or work some extra deductions into your tax return. Paul has demonstrated that when you put the passenger first, you can use your driving to earn some extra money, and potentially also add an average 20% cash tip to each ride. That is money that is off the books.
Interested in driver coaching for yourself? Visit our Driver Coaching page here.
Next time I feel like complaining about deadbeat passengers, I will remember to jump out of my car, open the door and give my passenger the “Paul Pintor Limo Experience.”
Finally, we can see how important context is when evaluating an opportunity. When we look at rideshare driving now versus five years ago, it does not look good. When we look with fresh “new driver” eyes, we can see a good opportunity, debt reduction, meeting new people and an exciting chance to make it rain for people while you shower them with love. Thanks, Paul. Drive safe out there.
Drivers, what advice would you have for new drivers in your city?
-Jay @ RSG