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7 min read

    7 min read

    Warning: the measures this driver took to earn $4,000+ a week are extreme and not sustainable. 

    Do not attempt if you are not able to drive for very long periods of time.

    GetUpside Gas App

    This is an extreme example for someone who needs to make a lot of money FAST and is already an Uber or Lyft driver.

    When we recently published our ‘Questions to Ask Before Returning to Rideshare’ article, we heard from many of you who are cautiously returning to rideshare and are asking themselves the questions we listed. One driver in particular, however, stood out with the screenshots he sent us: he’s making over $4,000 a week driving for Lyft.

    Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins interviewed Aaron P. about his earnings, his tips for drivers, and how he pivoted his strategy during COVID to continue earning.

    Typically in Phoenix, AZ earnings are through the roof during Major League Baseball spring training. Right when that peak was about to hit, however, COVID-19 put a screeching halt to the best and easiest ways to earn money with Uber and Lyft.

    Driver Aaron from Phoenix spoke with me about how he changed gears to continue earning as much as possible, and made sure to put in the hours needed to keep bills paid and food on the table during such a difficult time for the country.

    It’s important to note that Arizona is a state that’s opened before many other states, but even so, states across the country are beginning to open up again. If your state has more restrictions on going out to bars, restaurants, etc. right now, consider Aaron’s experience a precursor of what’s to potentially come to your state, in terms of demand.

    Watch the video on how this Lyft driver earns $4,000 a week:

     

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    Adjusting His Strategy During the Pandemic

    Previous to COVID-19, Aaaron had been using his Lexus as a luxury car, which he’d use to drive around the ball players, coaches and visitors in town for the spring training and earn top dollar for those rides.

    Once spring training was canceled, he switched gears and changed over to his “generic” Nissan so he could keep driving without putting too many miles on his newest and nicest vehicle that was no longer making him money.

    “When that hit, I was devastated and I had to switch to the Nissan and cave to the cheaper rides,” explained Aaron.

    Originally, once the pandemic hit and canceled everything, Aaron’s earnings went way down because the number of visitors went down drastically. But, he kept his eye on things.

    “I pay attention to driver groups,” said Aaron, “so I’m pretty aware of what’s going on in the industry, so I noticed the drivers in a local Lyft Facebook group talking about getting unemployment and how dangerous it is and how they are not going to risk their lives to drive.

    So, I was keen on the fact that the drivers should be dropping off. I noticed it was getting busier doing the cheap rides, so I busted out the Lexus again and I was killing it on Lux and Lux Black on Lyft.”

    Driving for Lyft – But Not Uber?

    Once Aaron switched back to Lux driving, he decided to only drive for Lyft because, in his words, “Uber is terrible because they’ve hidden the Select all the way…you have to scroll like three scrolls to find it, and they don’t make the passengers aware that it’s 2 minutes away from you.”

    “They’ll let the passenger order a 30-minute wait even though I’m sitting right there, one neighborhood over from them,” asid Aaron. “Lyft doesn’t do that. Lyft tells you. They even do a pop up and suggest ‘For 8 bucks more, you can get a Lux in 3 minutes.’ Lyft is way better for me and it has been the whole time since I graduated to the luxury levels.”

    Aaron also explained further reasons why he doesn’t bother with Uber now. He had a stellar week—$4,149.05—with Lyft and got around $70 with Uber, but that’s not why he stopped Ubering.

    His other reason for quitting Uber right now? “I quit even logging on to Uber when they rolled out having to wear a mask and they are telling the passengers to roll the windows down. It’s 109 degrees here. Telling them they can’t sit in the front, which I’m against. I want to be able to take the group of four. I’m not going to decline a ride because they want to take what they were always allowed to before.”

    Note: RSG follows CDC recommendations to wear a mask to prevent the spread (and catching) of COVID-19. 

    Earnings with Lyft During the Pandemic

    Below are several recent weeks of Aaron’s earnings driving for Lyft, including the most recent week.

    “When I’ve posted huge earnings, people freak out and can’t believe it and think it’s fake,” said Aaron. “The main, most common-sense way to maximize and make more money is to work more hours.”

    “That $4,000 is 84 hours and 35 minutes,” said Aaron. “I got kicked off at the maximum 12 hours that we’re allowed all 7 days of that week. That’s the main most common-sense advice I have.”

    At this rate, Aaron is earning $48/hr. To do that, you’ve got to put in the time and effort.

    Since he has a Lux vehicle, the earnings are likely higher overall than if he’d put in the same number of hours with his Nissan, but he’d likely still have pulled in a lot more than the average driver just by driving his max hours.

    Obviously, driving 12-hour days each and every day is not always feasible and it’s not something that’s really possible long-term. But when you’re able to do it, you can bet your earnings will reflect the extra time you put into it.

    When Aaron put in a 49-hour week as opposed to the 84.5-hour week, he earned about $2,000 less, but still turned out a decent hourly rate in the grand scheme of things – $41/hr!

    Below are Aaron’s most recent earnings – a total of 85 hours on the road (Phoenix allows drivers to drive for 12 hours a day) at $47/hr.

    Summary

    It’s undeniable that Aaron drives a lot – 80 hours in a week is not sustainable for most people, even Aaron! However, it’s an interesting experiment to see how much you can make driving right now.

    We’re not saying you should drive this much, or at all if you don’t feel safe doing so. However, Aaron epitomizes what we’ve always said about rideshare driving: you have to see which hours work the best for you and your earnings goal.

    How busy is your city? When is it busy? Have your city patterns changed since the epidemic began? You won’t know unless you get out there (if you feel comfortable doing so!) and see for yourself.

    If you feel comfortable going out and driving, right now is a great time to see what’s changed in your city and what’s stayed the same.

    If you’re driving right now, what would you say demand is like for Uber/Lyft? Higher than the last few weeks, lower or the same?

    -Paula @ RSG

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    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins, a graduate of Augustana University, Sioux Falls, is a part-time rideshare driver and a full-time proofreader. She is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in trivia nights.