If you were able to make more money than an average day of driving rideshare, would you? If your answer is yes, you may be interested in this article, where we cover the best holidays to drive for Uber.
If you haven’t signed up to drive for Uber and Lyft yet, click here to sign up and get your sign up bonus. If you sign up for both Uber and Lyft, 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.
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How to Maximize Your Earnings on Busy Nights
Even though it’s a holiday and you’re likely to hit it bigger than most days of the week, you still want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Here are a few things to watch out for and things not to do:
- Person comes up to the car and wants to request you as a driver – On these busy nights, people are desperate to find rides. You may think “that’s great, I will be the closest person so it will be easy to get connected to this person on the app.” In reality, it will be very hard to connect to this person and you will waste valuable minutes and cancellations to try to connect to this person. It is a waste of time. It is just easier to move on to the next request that is coming on your phone and say, “Sorry, I already have another request.” I keep my doors locked during busy times where there are extra crowds to prevent people from climbing in my car without confirming they are who should be there.
- Person wants to pay you cash – This is such a bad idea in so many ways. First, you could get a ticket as only taxis are allowed to accept street hails. Also, you wouldn’t be covered by insurance since you are performing a commercial activity but not on the rideshare system where they will cover you with their insurance. And lastly, they are not likely to offer you the same amount of cash that you would make just accepting your next fare. Just don’t do it. It’s too big of a risk for you, especially on the best holidays to drive for Uber.
- Uber vs Lyft – On these busy holidays, Uber is always more profitable than Lyft. Uber has higher multipliers than Lyft. The multiplier maximums are different across the country, but I have never heard of a market where UberXs were at or below the maximum multiplier of Lyft. But, if for some reason it starts to get slow on Uber, use Lyft as a backup. Always make sure you’ve signed up with both Uber and Lyft, but especially during the holiday season!
Best Holidays to Drive for Uber and Lyft
One big purposes behind rideshare companies is to find passengers a safe and sober ride home. All of the biggest holidays are surrounded by alcohol, where people try to deal with their families or go out and celebrate with friends.
As long as you’re willing to pick up drunk people, you’ll be likely to find money during the following major holidays and events.
1) New Year’s Day
This holiday is sure to be a big hit. New Years day is the best holiday to drive for Uber because not only will you be driving people back to the vehicles they abandoned the night before, but you’ll also be taking people to sports bars and parties to watch bowl games all day long. Whether you’re a night or daytime driver, you’ll find something to keep you busy on New Year’s Day.
My advice is if you are not planning on driving New Year’s Eve, drive New Year’s Day, starting early in the morning. You can keep busy for the better part of the day simply driving people back to their vehicles or back to their homes. Keep your vomit bags on hand though, because you’re likely to get people who are still drunk from the night before or are severely hungover and may still need that service.
Another thing to keep in mind is keeping the music low. If people are hungover, the last thing they want is blaring music making their heads bang even more than they already are. These people will also be unlikely to want a chatty driver, so keep the convo short and sweet or non-existent.
2) Super Bowl Sunday
In some cases, drivers from surrounding areas decide to drive in the city where the Super Bowl is. This could skew the numbers, but visitors to the city and natives alike will appreciate a ride from someone who knows the area. The problem with outside drivers is they don’t know where they are going anymore than their visiting passengers do – and if you’re a local, this is your time to capitalize on knowing the tricks of getting around your city.
With events taking place all week leading up to the Super Bowl, you’ll likely keep steady as normal days would be. The day of the event, you’re sure to be busy taking people to the game location itself as well as people heading to parties and bars throughout the surrounding area. Don’t underestimate the need for drivers in the suburbs. That’s what makes this one of the best holidays to drive for Uber.
Keep in mind the days where you might earn the most could be the two days after the Super Bowl. Everyone who came in for the game will be leaving that Monday or Tuesday to head back home. You’ll be needed all over the city to take passengers back to the airport.
3) Valentine’s Day
People like to splurge on this day, which makes it one of the best holidays to drive for Uber. People who just want a ride to dinner will take an UberX. Others might go all out in honor of the holiday and upgrade to a Black or Select to make the night more romantic or special. Up your chances for a tip by playing jazz music or something else that’s considered romantic when driving couples, adding to the vibe of the evening.
4) St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is no doubt one of the best days to drive for Uber, especially in any city with an Irish background. For example, my driving area of Minneapolis/St. Paul — Minneapolis is dead on this day, but St. Paul is more than hopping, including a parade. In St. Paul there is a festival, typically the weekend before St. Paddy’s Day that you’d also want to make bank on. Learn the celebrations of your city to see which ones are going to hit big.
Another big St. Patrick’s Day city is Chicago. This is a huge holiday and it starts early, so plan on getting out there bright and early. In Chicago, this is THE day where there is the most alcohol consumption, so on this day more than any other, beware of pukers and be prepared with some vomit bags. You might want to stock up on some crucial rideshare driver supplies, too!
Honorable Mention: Cinco de Mayo
It’s not as hyped up as St. Patrick’s Day overall as a holiday, but people are always looking for a reason to party. So, especially if Cinco de Mayo lands on a weekend, expect to be busy, but again, beware of drunk passengers. You’ll likely get a lot of them.
5) 4th of July
This day can be a bit surprising, but when you think about all the festivals, traffic and parking issues, you can see why this is a great day to drive. This is a day where the city and suburbs alike will be busy.
If you live near a beach, you will likely see even higher surge and Prime Time though. Harry’s podcast on how to handle the 4th of July weekend at one of the busiest beaches in the country is a must-listen!
Driving an XL vehicle could also be to your benefit as families will often be traveling together on the 4th. But also keep in mind since it is a very family oriented holiday, you might not get as many requests as you’d like. So judge for yourself if you’d like to take the time away from your family on this day to help other families come together in celebration.
I didn’t drive on Halloween this past year, but regretted not doing so because it’s one of the best holidays to drive for Uber. It would have been great money, as there were large surges for a good portion of the night.
If you do decide to drive on Halloween, be sure to drive safely if you’re going to be in neighborhoods while kids are out trick-or-treating. Hopefully if you’re driving late enough for adults going to and coming home from bars, this won’t be an issue, but if you do find yourself out around dusk, keep an extra eye out for kids running into the street.
The night before Thanksgiving is a big day/night because a lot of college kids are home from school, ready to see their friends and ready to party! This should be a good night to drive because there won’t be too many drivers out on the road.
It’s also a good night because by this time people have already been spending time with their families and just need to get away and head out for a drink to calm the nerves before facing the family again the entire next day.
Around Christmas is a good time to pick up some extra shifts, especially around hotels, airports, and other places that visitors tend to hang out. Christmas Day is pretty slow itself but the day(s) before and after are jam packed with travelers who will be looking for rides, which makes this a best day to drive for Uber.
It tends to be hit or miss if people will tip better because of the holiday. I typically expect fewer tips because people’s money is going toward gifts for their kids and their money is being stretched thin by everyone wanting donations and expecting good tips. If I get a great tip, awesome; if not, it’s just another day.
9) 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: surges are maxed out and you’re going to find a ride basically any part of that night. You can expect to keep steady if not busy the entire night.
You’ll get the most rides right after the ball drops at midnight. That’s when people are done partying and celebrating and just looking to get home. From about 11 to midnight, you can expect it to be fairly slow because everyone will be where they wanted to go. Most employers give this as a paid day off as well as New Year’s Day, so expect to be busy all day. People tend to go out and party more when they know they don’t have to worry about work in the morning.
With a big holiday like this, there might be drama, so be ready for it. There are mainly 2 types of riders on a night where there are high expectations: people who had fun and people who didn’t. There isn’t much in between and those that didn’t have fun will be surrounded by drama. Plus, of course, you’ve got people who have been drinking throughout most of the day/night. You’ve been warned.
Readers, which holidays have you found to be the best to drive for Uber? In which city do you drive?
-Paula @ RSG
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