Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies have shown how important apps are to the transportation industry. Today, we’re looking at a few other apps to help you take your rideshare business to the next level. Here’s the video version but read on if you’d like to learn more.
59 Things Uber and Lyft Drivers Could Consider Having In Their Car
Disclosure: ) this article contains affiliate links, a way for us to monetize our content so we can continue to create detailed guides for you. -RSG Team
Let’s face it
Ridesharing ain’t easy. The passengers we encounter range anywhere from “quiet and polite” to “drunk and incoherent” – and the ones who fall into that last category can be tough to deal with when you’re out there on your own.
When I first started driving, I thought all I would need was my car, my phone, a steady hand on the wheel, and my favorite t-shirt.
While that’s kinda true, I’ve found that it really pays off to be prepared for the variety of different situations one can encounter on the road. Now, I can’t imagine hitting the road without these supplies. Here, in order of importance, are the most useful items you can add to your ridesharing office (aka your car).
A lot of these essential accessories and gear are great for Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing service drivers but a lot of these items can also apply to those who are driving for Postmates, Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and other food delivery services. Click here to see gear specifically for Bird Scooter Chargers. Click here to see gear specifically for food delivery drivers.
This is a comprehensive list of everything an Uber Driver or a Lyft Driver might find useful while they’re doing their driving. We’re not saying you should buy every single item on this list, but you may be able to find something useful that you haven’t thought of before.
If you haven’t started driving for Uber, Lyft, Postmates, or Doordash yet, click here to sign up.
Ultimate Uber/Lyft Driver Gear, Gadgets, Tools, & Accessories List
Keep in mind that all of the items below are physical products you can have in your car. For a list of essential services, softwares, and apps that are useful to rideshare drivers, check out these articles:
- 12 Must Have Apps for Uber and Lyft Drivers
- 8 Best Apps to Track Mileage for Tax Deductions
- Ways To Make More Money as a Rideshare Driver
- How To Make Hundreds of Extra Dollars Driving for Uber
- Insurance for Rideshare Drivers by State
- Software and Services for Uber & Lyft Drivers
- Resources for Uber and Lyft Drivers
- How to rent a car to Drive for Uber and Lyft
- How to save money on every gallon of gas you buy
We’re constantly adding to and updating this list as we test and review more products and gear. If you have any favorite products that you’ve found to be great to have, please let us know in the comments at the end!
If you don’t feel like looking through the whole list of all 59 things, these are our top 10 picks:
- Phone Mount
- Car Charger Hub and Charging Cables
- Dash Cam
- All Weather Floor Mats
- Towels (for cleaning and for service dogs)
- Seat Covers
- Illuminated Uber/Lyft Window Sign
- Car Cleaning Supplies (interior and exterior)
- Tip Jar (with a funny picture/message)
- Emesis Bags (for throw up/vomit/barf)
We’ve broken up our list into 6 parts. You can click these links to skip down the list:
- Driver Comfort & Safety
- Passenger Comfort & Safety
- Hygiene & Cleanliness
- How to Make More Money Selling Things
- Seasonal Gear
- Road Safety
- Bonus Items
These items and gear increase the comfort and efficiency of Uber and Lyft drivers.
1.) Best Phone Mount for Uber & Lyft Drivers
Coming in at #1 is the trusty phone mount – a staple of rideshare drivers everywhere. The main benefit of having your phone up on your dash or windshield is simple: You won’t have to look down at your lap for directions every 30 seconds. This is a tremendous benefit to your safety (and that of your car).
Plus, a phone mount can improve your ratings: Passengers appreciate being able to see the directions you’re following, and they always feel safer with a driver who has both eyes on the road. Here’s an overview of the top options.
Magnetic: Many drivers like magnetic mounts, as they allow you to easily remove your phone when you need to make a call or send a text. A mount like these ones includes multiple magnetic backings that adhere firmly to the back of your phone or the interior of your phone’s case.
These have been my favorite so far:
Flexible and customizeable: For a sturdy non-magnetic option, these RAM mounts are the gold standard, with adjustable grip tension and a variety of other options. If you have a deep dashboard, you can even accessorize with an extension arm to bring your phone closer in.
Unobtrusive: And if you’re looking for something unobtrusive, check out smaller vent-mounted options, like the Kenu Airframe.
Cup Holder Phone Mount: this fits perfectly in your cup holder. It’s not on the dashboard or windshield. It’s easier to read and navigate because it’s right next to you, and cops won’t see you on your phone.
2.) Dash Cam
A dashcam is the cheapest insurance policy you can buy (you should still look into rideshare insurance though!) – both for yourself and your car. Having a dashcam in your vehicle will not only discourage bad passenger behavior, it will also act as an objective witness if you’re ever involved in a collision or some other incident on the road.
To see a full explanation of several top-rated dashcams, check out Jon’s article and video reviews here. There’s a lot of different car video cameras to choose from on amazon, for any price/budget. Here’s the best seller:
This is our favorite dash cam so far, the Falcon F360. It has “dual cam” technology which means it records the interior of the car AND exterior (in front) of the car:
It starts recording automatically every time you start your car, and it both the road and the interior of the car simultaneously. This offers protection against both passengers and other drivers. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use the footage – but if you do, you’ll be really glad you got one.
If you prefer to have a dedicated GPS unit instead of relying on your phone, click here to view our best car gps review.
4.) Car Back Support
My friend says that driving for long periods of time makes him a little sore, but making the investment in one of these has been worth it, as he’s able to drive for longer periods of time.
We recommend the BackShield, one of the best back supports for your car.
Or if you want to go with a more simple option, there’s plenty of back supports to choose from on Amazon, like this one:
5.) LED Flashlight
The most important reason for having a heavy, baton-like flashlight is to be able to see street signs in the dark.
And speaking of flashlights, I recommend a nice bright set of LED headlight lamps to really brighten up the road in front of you at night:
6.) First Aid Kit
I’ve always had a first aid kit in my car even before I became a rideshare driver. I’ve only had to use it a few times, but those times I did need one it came in very handy.
7.) Head and Neck Rest
If you don’t take care of your neck while you drive, you’ll end up with a stiff neck and then you might not be able to drive for a few days after that, which is not good. A car head rest can keep your head and neck in perfect form while you drive.
8.) Travel Pillow
People usually buy these for airplanes, but they’re also great for taking a nap in a car between shifts. I got this pillow and it’s worked great so far. It’s longer than other ones so it’s able to support your chin
9.) Car Seat Gap Filler & Organizer
I love my coin side pocket! And it keeps my phone from falling in the crack (or as I like to call – the black hole).
10.) Pepper Spray
If you work in a higher-crime area or you work with a lot of drunk people, it could be worth carrying one of these with you, if it’s legal in your area. Check your rules and laws.
11.) Polarized Sunglasses
There’s a reason I’m recommending polarized over non-polarized. If you haven’t tried polarized sunglasses before, grab a pair and see if you like them. After trying polarized I never went back to regular. It blocks glare and gives you a much more clear field of vision. There’s LOTS of different sunglasses on amazon and you’re sure to find one you like within your budget.
Here’s a cheap but highly rated one (#1 best seller on amazon):
Here’s a more expensive one. I prefer to invest a little more in things like sunglasses because you sometimes get what you pay for. The cheaper ones can get scratched easier, for example, and the polarization is more crisp and beautiful in the established brands.
12.) Lunch Box/Tupperware/Thermos
The Thermos can keep food cold for 7 hours and hot for 5 hours! I take soup with me on cold days.
13.) Insulated Water Bottle/Reusable Water Bottle
Insulated keeps your beverages cold or hot for long periods of time.
14.) Bluetooth Headset
My family loves to call me, so for me personally this best bluetooth headset has come in very handy!
Not everyone feels perfect everyday. Whether you have an upset stomach or headache, sometimes it’s not worth calling off the day for some allergies. Instead, keep some medicine with you like pepto bismol, tums, and tylenol or stop by a pharmacy if you feel a little down. If you don’t live close to a pharmacy, keep some essentials just in case. This common medicine pack has everything you need for non-emergencies.
This equipment can make your passengers more comfortable and happier during the ride, which might result in improved ratings and increased tips.
1.) Multi-Chargers and Charging Cables
If you’ve been driving for more than a few hours, you’ve probably had a passenger ask for a phone charger. Having a good one is important not only for keeping your own device online, it’s also a great way to offer something extra to passengers – without having to stock up on snacks or bottled water.
When the USB standard was first introduced, it put out a relatively low amount of electric current. As screens and batteries grew bigger, the amount of electric current required to charge a device went up. That means your old 12v-to-USB adapter might not be charging newer devices very quickly (if at all) – and that can be a major nuisance to a driver who works long hours.
This charger has four USB ports, all of which charge at a full 2.4 amps – so you’ll be able to power and charge a phone, a GPS, and a dashcam, and still have a slot left for passenger. Plus, it even has a surge protector and a microchip to determine each devices’ charging needs, so it won’t put too much current into a device that can’t handle it. Add on the Amazon warranty, and this might be the perfect car charger.
The adapter alone isn’t the full story – passengers often don’t carry cables with them, and they really appreciate it when drivers go the extra mile and provide one. Although you can purchase “universal” cables with multiple charging tips for different devices, I usually steer clear of these. In my opinion, it’s better to get multiple cables – they’re usually longer (better for reaching the backseat), and if one wears out, you can replace them one at a time rather than shelling out for another universal cable. In my car, I keep one for Android and one for iPhone; it’s rare to encounter a device that uses something else these days. The cheap (and surprisingly durable) offerings from Amazon Basics are usually your best bet: You can also save some dough on these by buying in multiples!
And a cable organizer to arrange it neatly:
2.) Aux Cable/Adaptor
The all-important aux cable – both for connecting to the best audio system and playing either your music or letting your passengers DJ (if you’re so inclined).
I like this one from Anker: The housings on each connector are made from reflective metal, making it more durable and easier to find in a dark car.
You can also get a bluetooth Aux adaptor, it’s the same thing as an Aux cable but wireless!
And if you have a car that does not have an aux input, you can get a FM transmitter like this one:
3.) Illuminated Uber Sign
If you work busy areas or large events, finding passengers can be a huge hassle. Simplify the search with one of these awesome light-up Uber signs. Your passengers will appreciate being able to find you more easily, and you’ll appreciate less downtime waiting on people trying to hunt down your car. It’s also a helpful identifier for valet guys and parking attendants who love to give drivers a hassle – when they see the sign, they’ll know that you will be on your way soon, and may be less likely to give you a hard time about your parking decisions.
4.) Car Trash Can
Passengers appreciate extra attention to details like this, plus sometimes customers leave junk and trash in the back seat and now they have no excuse not to throw their trash away.
Don’t forget to stock up on water for your car. Whether it’s for you and/or for your passenger, and whether you want to sell it or give it away for free, it’s always useful to have water in your car. You can get water and other groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh.
6.) Window Shades
I’ve done a few trips out in Arizona during the summer and these greatly improved the comfortability of my passengers. They don’t really notice because they’re just on their phone the whole time, but they’re not squinting cause the sun wasn’t glaring in their face the whole ride.
These products and supplies will keep your car looking like new and smelling like fresh. A win-win for everyone, a driver is happier when their car is clean and organized, and so is the passenger. Keeping your car clean is a key way to increasing ratings and tips.
If you pick up a lot of passengers from the beach like I do, you’ll end up with a lot of sand in your car. Even in inland areas, passengers usually manage to track a fair amount of dirt into your car. Adding some quality rubber floormats to your ride will make cleanup a snap, and offer added protection against spilled beverages, rain, and so forth.
Click here to read our best floor mats review
These universal floor mats can be cut to size to fit most vehicles. WeatherTech also makes custom-fit mats for certain types of cars, so check to see if there’s a pre-cut option for your car before ordering!
2.) Plain Old Towels
Speaking of spilled beverages and rain, it’s always a good idea to have a towel on-hand. In the wise words of Douglas Adams, “a towel … is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” Not only do they make great seat covers when it’s raining outside, they’re also great for protecting your upholstery when transporting service dogs that like to shed all over your car. You probably have towels already, but just in case, here’s one from Amazon…
3.) Seat Covers
For a more permanent and/or classy solution to the above problems, consider investing in some seat covers. Amazon has a great selection of both universal and custom-fit covers for an assortment of different vehicles. Check out all the options here.
4.) Interior and Exterior Duster
Car washes can add up fast. Save money by going DIY and investing in some quality cleaning tools.
For the exterior, I recommend these California dusters. They’re treated with paraffin wax to clean effectively without the use of sprays, and they’re made of 100% cotton to ensure your car’s finish stays scratch-free.
For the interior, I use this one:
5.) Car Vacuum
For the interior, you can’t beat the classic Dust Buster. Although there are some options that charge through your car’s 12v outlet for on-the-go cleaning, I’ve found that the beefier “stay-at-home” models are more powerful and better at picking up dirt and dust from your car’s nooks and crannies. Plus, they’re great for keeping the house clean, too. Here’s the model I use, which contains a lithium-ion battery for consistent suction and a long lifespan:
6.) Throw-Up Bags
Gross, I know. But if your passengers need these, everyone involved will be very glad you had them. The technical term for these is “emesis bags,” and there’s actually a couple options. These blue ones are some of the cheapest:
If you work in a college town where this is a more regular occurrence, you may want to invest in these Cadillac emesis bags, featuring absorbent pads to fight smell and an extra closing mechanism in case the first one fails:
7.) Lint roller
Comes in very useful when someone comes into my car covered in dog or cat hair, or after a service animal has been in the car. Passengers don’t appreciate getting pet hair from the passenger before on them. It’s even caused me to los ratings!
8.) Air Freshener
When so many people are coming in and out of the car every day, it’s impossible for smells not to start forming. I keep the odors at bay using a variety of methods, but these little fresheners are some of the best ones I’ve tried:
Very useful for wiping dirt, water, or condensation off of your windows.
10.) Latex Gloves
For cleaning up vomit or poking around the engine, it will keep grease off of your hands.
11.) Paper Towels, Tissues, Tissue Holder
12.) Wet Naps/Wet Wipes/Baby Wipes/Disinfecting Wipes
13.) Hand Sanitizer
I’m so germophobic, being an Uber driver is probably one of the last things I should be doing, but that’s why hand sanitizer is a god send for me. Can’t live without it 🙂
14.) Trunk Organizer
If you don’t have a garage, you’re gonna need to keep your auto accessories somewhere
15.) Scotch Guard Fabric Protector
Recommended by a reader in the comments below, Scotchgard Fabric Protector helps repel liquids and block stains without changing the look and feel of fabric. If someone spills something for example, you’ll be able to wipe the surface clean before it sinks in.
“Scotch guard the heck out of the interior, I used 12 cans, carpet, headliner, seats etc. then put down rubber floor mats” -TOMK777
These are ways to make more money while driving. There’s lot of ways to make money while rideshare driving. A lot of people actually drive for Uber/Lyft to pitch their other businesses/services to prospective clients, which I’ve always found super cool. I personally do have a little tip sign and sell snacks and products like disposable chargers, which you’ll see below.
Freebird is an app that gives Uber and Lyft riders rewards. Promote Freebird to your Uber and Lyft riders and get up to $10 per person that signs up. Every passenger you give a ride to is an opportunity to make an extra $10. Freebird is an easy way to make more money while driving for Uber and Lyft.
2.) Add Tip Box
With the recent ruling that Uber drivers can, in fact, accept tips, many drivers have taken to putting signs or small donation boxes in their vehicles. This is a great way to pick up extra cash on the job, and over time it could add some serious dough to your bottom line. This is especially true if you use a funny sign, or offer some extra amenities to passengers during trips!
Someone in the comments down below recomended giving away small things candy/mints/lifesaver/tootsie pops for free with a candy/tip jar combo like this one:
This one’s pretty expensive, but you can always make your own!
3.) Add Tip/Rating Sign
You can either write your own or purchase one that looks professionally made, like this one:
4.) Car Back Seat Organizer
A great way to display products for sale on the back of your seat. Put drinks and snacks right in front of your passenger, cause how could they resist the temptation?
5.) Buy and Sell Rain Ponchos
You can buy and sell rain ponchos when a rain storm comes out of nowhere and catches everyone unexpected.
6.) Buy and Sell Emergency Disposable Phone Chargers
7.) Add a vending machine to your car
Cargo is a startup that sends you a car vending machine with snacks FOR FREE. You just pay them when you sell the snacks. Click here to sign up for Cargo.
There’s also Vendigo, another startup that does the same thing
These gadgets are only useful for part of the year, but for that small part of the year don’t be caught without these essential rain and snow products.
1.) Windshield Sun Shade
For those that live in very hot locations, these are great for keeping the car cool while you’re parked.
A large 2-person umbrella for escorting passengers to and from the car, when they don’t have their own at least. Clients always leave a 5 star and sometimes tip extra when I do this.
3.) Snow Brush and Ice Scraper
4.) Windshield Snow and Ice Cover
5.) Traction Mats
6.) Snow Chains
These items and gear will help you out if your car (heaven forbid) breaks down.
1.) Emergency Kit
Full of useful tools in case you get stuck in the middle of nowhere.
2.) Jumper Cables
I’ve always carried a set of these in my car even when I wasn’t working for rideshare.
3.) Jump Starter (Battery Charger)
My car’s battery used to drain a lot and the car would stop working on me, so I carried one of these around. Turns out my after market stereo was draining my battery and I had to install a kill switch to my battery so it would stop doing that.
4.) Gas Can
If you live somewhere that’s more remote without a gas station on every block, it might be worth having one of these in your car.
5.) Tire Pressure Gauge
Did you know that driving with properly inflated tires can actually help you save gas? You get better MPG when your tires are at the optimum pressure.
6.) Air Compressor Pump
For filling your tire with air on the go – especially if you don’t have a spare tire.
7.) Car Jack
One time I bought a used car that didn’t come with one of these, and I didn’t find out until it was too late.
8.) Breaker Bar
Have you ever tried to change a spare tire and couldn’t get the lug nuts off? Breaker bars are long and heavy – perfect for getting the leverage you need to be able to get lug nuts off your tires, especially if they were screwed on too tight from prior service. You will need to purchase the right size drive, an adaptor, and a socket that fits your lug nuts.
10.) Diagnostic tool
These are extra accessories that you can use to go above and beyond. These are not necessary to have.
1.) Business Cards
Rideshare driving is one of the best ways to network with people in your area. If you’re a freelancer or run another business on the side, keeping a stack of business cards with you is a great way to get your name out there and pick up new work. Or just to promote your passenger referral code so you can make extra money from referring new drivers. You can get cheap cards on VistaPrint or if you’re looking to really stand out, Palm Interactive has some of the best business cards money can buy! This is where I got my Rideshare Guy cards done actually! 🙂
2.) Car Karaoke
If you drive around bars and nightclubs a lot, you can buy a bluetooth karaoke microphone like this one:
Just amazed to see a karaoke system installed by a UBER driver in his car in Hong Kong! Play n Ride🎙 pic.twitter.com/tZIVn7y24g
— Rakesh Laroia (@r_laroia) November 20, 2016
I personally love karoaoke so much that if an Uber driver did this for me he would get a $20 tip before I’ve even left the car.
3.) Car Cooler/Fridge (And Heater!)
This thing cools food and beverages AND/OR warms it up if you want it to. Pretty schwifty.
4.) Electronic Toll Transponder
For those of us who live in places with paid carpool/fast lanes, getting the fastrak pass or whatever they call it in your area is worth it.
San Diegans know what I’m talking about. You never know when you might be dropping that one last client off at their home which happens to be near the border, and you may decide that you want to take a quick trip over the border to have some fun. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, in fact, it’s encouraged. You deserve it for working so hard.
More gear: car alarms.
Lastly, don’t forget to pick up a copy of Harry’s Book on Amazon, The Rideshare Guide!
There’s paperbook and kindle versions available
Cheers! To all the rideshare drivers.
We hope you enjoyed reading this comprehensive guide on gear for rideshare drivers. We know how hard you work and hope that some of the items on this list help make your life easier when you’re out on the road.
If you haven’t started driving for Uber or Lyft yet, click here to sign up.
Drivers: What are your favorite products to have with you out on the road? Let us know in the comments! -Harry @ RSG
The debate between new and veteran Uber/Lyft drivers rages on: which type of driver does Uber/Lyft value more? It turns out, that question is more complicated than it seems. Senior RSG contributor John Ince breaks down this question from the perspective of the companies and the passengers. Which type of driver do you think Uber/Lyft prefers? And do you think new or experienced drivers get more pings?
The question ‘do Uber/Lyft prefer experienced or new drivers’ seems to have a pretty easy answer, right? Of course Uber/Lyft would want more experienced (in terms of knowing their city and how to handle pax) drivers, right? It turns out, there is more to this question than it seems. If you don’t believe me, take a look at my last article on whether or not Uber/Lyft prefer full time or part time drivers. For this article, I’m going to approach it from two primary perspectives: the company and the passenger.
Disclaimer: I have no first hand knowledge how Uber/Lyft feel about this, so this article is based entirely on my speculation about their thinking.
One question we get a lot at The Rideshare Guy is: what type of drivers do Uber and Lyft value more? Do part-time or full-time drivers get better treatment? We had senior RSG contributor John Ince investigate this question and share which group he believes is more valued and why.
At The Rideshare Guy we really do pay close attention to what you, the readers, are saying and thinking. In fact, this article is a direct response to a comment from one of our readers that appeared last November on Uber Pro – New Rewards Program Helps Drivers Be More Successful
In response to that article,
Have you started driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services yet? If not, click here to sign up and get your sign up bonus. If you sign up for multiple services, you’ll be able to compare surge/prime times. And if one of the apps crashes (which tends to happen on busy nights), you’ll have a backup. I also recommend picking up a good dash cam. Riders tend to get belligerent on big nights.
- Click here to learn how to rent a car FAST to drive for Uber/Lyft during the holidays
- Click here to see a list of essential gear for Uber Drivers
- Click here to buy an Uber Driver T-shirt (makes a great gift)
Driving for Uber and Lyft During the Holidays
Let’s take a look at what days of the year rideshare drivers see record numbers. My reasoning behind this list is pretty simple: follow the alcohol.
We already know that Friday and Saturday nights are peak demand times since everyone is out and about drinking, so it only makes sense that the biggest rideshare days of the year would coincide with the biggest drinking holidays of the year.
1.) New Year’s Eve
If you’ve been driving for any amount of time, you’re probably already familiar with the stories from NYE. New Year’s Eve is off the hook busy: multipliers are maxed out and this year’s NYE will likely be the biggest rideshare night we’ve ever seen! When I say maxed out, this means 8x for Uber and 3x for Lyft.
Most rides after midnight between 12:30 and 2:30 were steady at this high multiplier. The rest of the night is commonly above 4x except from about 10 until 12 when there is a bit of a lull. Plan to wait to e at dinner and take a break during this time. I started this past year about 3pm and I remember having a 5.5 multiplier around 5:30pm so demand is strong most of the day.
It is not unheard of to make $500-$1,000 on NYE (even in the lowest cost market of Chicago) but you have to be prepared for the drama. There are mainly 2 types of riders on a night where there are high expectations. There are people who had fun and those that didn’t. There isn’t much in between and those that didn’t have fun will be surrounded by drama and tears, so be ready.