Contents:

10 min read

    10 min read

    It’s time for another monthly YouTube Live recap! Every month Harry goes live on YouTube to share all the latest rideshare news and answer questions from current or interested drivers like you.

    This month’s August live Q and A recapped the Uber Pro expansion, Harry’s thoughts on Uber and Lyft’s major loss report, honest opinions on the Fair car rental program and more.

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    Feel free to view the original YouTube Live video below, but here’s a recap including answers to some of your most common questions.

    So, Uber Reportedly Lost $5 Billion Last Quarter…

    Now that Uber and Lyft are public companies, they announce how much they earn and lose throughout the quarter. This is interesting for rideshare drivers to see because it may confirm some suspicions we’ve all had about where the money is going.

    Lyft reported they were charging riders more, but not paying drivers more, which isn’t super surprising. In the past, when these companies were just starting up, they likely had investors subsidizing the costs. Now, there are really two main ways to make money: either charge riders more or pay drivers less.

    This just means that drivers need to be more strategic about when and where they drive. This was discussed heavily in this month’s YouTube live so be sure to keep reading.

    Uber’s $5.2 billion loss last month may have sent their stock shares plummeting, but it seems like they spent quite a bit of money on stock write-offs for employees, paying drivers, and research. All the costs seem roped in together which adds up to the big sticker shock amount.

    Should I Rent a Car From Fair?

    Right now, there are a ton of options for drivers when it comes to renting or leasing a car. The RSG is an affiliate for Fair and RSG contributor Jay Cradeur has tried this program out personally.

    Fair has a partnership with Uber allowing drivers to rent a vehicle for transporting passengers. Fair launched a new and improved program in California and the Washington D.C. area that allows you to rent a vehicle for $195 per week and get the first week free. We’re hoping their new program expands to other markets soon because it’s a pretty nice option if you don’t have a car and want to start driving for Uber.

    Drivers can also hit certain trip thresholds allowing you to get money credited back to you to help cover the weekly rental fee.

    Is There an App That Allows You To Use Uber and Lyft Together?

    Mystro allows drivers on Android to do this. However, the problem is that Lyft has blocked Mystro. You can still use this program, but it’s recommended you just use it on your computer since the app may not be effective for Lyft drivers.

    Is Signing Up for the Uber ASU Tuition Offer Something to Rely on for the Next 4 Years?

    One of the benefits of Uber Pro is their partnership with ASU. At the end of July, they also expanded their Uber Pro program. This can benefit drivers who are thinking of going back to school and want to save a little money.

    Harry doesn’t think that Uber’s ASU tuition credit is going to be taken away out of the blue, but if enough drivers don’t take advantage of it, they may replace it with something else.

    With All of the U&L Rate Cuts and Decreasing Incentives, Do You Really Believe You Can Still Be Successful With Rideshare?

    Everyone’s definition of successful is different. If you’ve been driving for several years and have lived through some of the rate cuts, it may seem tougher to feel successful by driving with Uber and Lyft. If you’re a newer driver however, your definition of success may be different depending on how much you’re looking to earn (ie. whether this is just a side job or you’re willing to put forth more hours).

    For example, RSG contributor Sergio consistently earns $25 – $30 per hour driving for Lyft in the LA area despite the rate cuts. He uses a specific strategy that allows him to maximize driving during Uber’s surge periods, which is a perfect example of working with the factors you can control to earn more money with rideshare driving.

    Do You Think We Should Buy a BackShield?

    We should have an article on the Backshield and recently reviewed it on YouTube. A BackShield is basically a supportive device for your back which could be a solution if you sit for long periods of the car and get back pain.

     

    This may not be an instant solution for more serious back issues, but it’s worth trying for 2-3 weeks to see if it improves how you feel. Drivers who work longer shifts should also be getting up to take brief breaks and stretch their legs often.

    What Should Drivers Do About the Low Rates Per Mile in Cities Like Las Vegas?

    Sure, $0.45 per mile in Las Vegas isn’t an awesome rate, but hopefully drivers in this area are driving at strategic times where they can get more/higher-paying trips and using tools like the Kickback app. This app curates ‘hot spot’ places in the city that you can recommend to your passengers and earn cash back when you drop them off there. In a heavy-tourist city like Las Vegas, this could be a win-win for both you and the passenger.

    Is Cargo Working For Others?

    Cargo is another way for drivers to make some extra revenue with little effort on their end. Harry has tried out Cargo and feels that adding up programs like this can really help your bottom line. Some full-time drivers are making an extra $200 – $300 per month using Cargo boxes, so if you’re really focused on earning extra money, the opportunity is out there. Get started and sign up with Cargo here.

    How Can I Increase My Tips?

    Tipping has become even more valuable to rideshare drivers given some of the recent rate cuts. We’ll have a video coming out in a few weeks detailing some strategies that can help you get more passenger tips but you can also check out our 3 best ways to increase tips here.

    Overall, it’s not recommended that you flat out ask passengers for tips or pressure them in any way. As an alternative, you can make subtle moves like having a tipping sign in your car or simply going above and beyond with your service.

    One RSG reader says that he sends a final text to passengers just prior to signing off that says something along the lines of “Thank you for being a 5-star rider. Please remember to rate me if you enjoyed your ride and tips appreciated.”

    The truth is, every driver has their own preference about whether they should encourage tips or not, but it could be helpful to try different strategies out. Even a positive rating could help you if a passenger can’t tip. A gentle reminder might even be appreciated since most passengers will give a bad rating for a negative experience, but they might forget to rate if the experience was normal or pleasant.

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    Do older drivers make more money?

    This depends on a variety of factors. For example, if you’ve been driving for 3-4 years, you may be grandfathered in to earning a particular rate. Harry gets paid $0.64 per mile to drive in L.A. while new drivers get around $0.60 per mile. It’s a small difference, but every penny adds up over time.

    This is another reason why you may want to get in with these companies very early on. Cargo, for example, was paying drivers way more when they first got started. They paid out more bonuses and incentives but it decreased over time. It’s a similar thing with companies like Firefly, HopSkipDrive and ZUM.

    Which Rideshare Rental Company Benefits The Driver More?

    Fair is one of the best options out there considering our comparison of the major rideshare car rental companies. However, Maven Gig is also great because they offer electric Chevy Volts. There is a 220 mile range, which is a good distance for most drivers to get some consistent trips completed. Plus, you can take a lunch break and charge your car during your shift as well.

    TRYP Is Launching Soon in Miami, Who Signed Up?

    We covered TRYP a while ago and noticed a lot of red flags as they were just starting. Harry is still holding out some hope that TRYP can clear up some of the concerns people have had and be a solid competitor for Uber and Lyft because the more competition for drivers, the better.

    If you have any experiences or input to share about the Miami launch, feel free to sound off in the comments.

    Lyft’s New Pay Structure

    Lyft’s new pay structure has been covered before, but it was rolled out in about 5 or 6 markets a few months ago and is now expanding to other cities. In a nutshell, Lyft has lowered the mileage rates for drivers but will start paying you from the moment you accept a trip and start heading toward the pick-up location.

    Normally, drivers haven’t gotten paid during Period 2, so we see this as somewhat helpful to drivers who live in more spread out towns or even rural areas as it’s often been a complaint in the past.

    If You Give More Rides With Lyft Does It Lower Your Weekly Payment For Lyft Express Drive?

    Yes, since Lyft Express Drive is Lyft’s official partner, the more trips you do, the more they’ll pay you in the form of a bonus. If you do a certain number of trips, you can get the full bonus which offsets the fees to rent the car.

    Thoughts on ‘Opportunities Nearby’ Feature For Uber?

    This was a great question by a reader who mentioned how using Uber’s recommendations on where to expect the next trip didn’t really work 9 times out of 10. Harry hasn’t really used this feature as much because he agrees – it doesn’t really work.

    It’s a missed opportunity for these companies to put their money where their mouth is and actually guarantee that drivers will receive trips in certain locations or credit them.

    I Noticed That Lyft Changed Their Lux Compatible Vehicles… Are Lyft Lux/Black XL Drivers Grandfathered In?

    Uber and Lyft have always been pretty good at grandfathering people in when they change the vehicle requirements so 9 times out of 10, you should be fine. If you’ve been eligible for Lyft Lux so far, you will likely still be able to continue using it.

    This may not be the best for new drivers, especially considering Lyft’s updated requirements in Florida where new drivers must drive a 2017 vehicle or newer.

    Don’t forget to join us on the next live Q and A and if you have any tips, strategies, or recommendations for maximizing your rideshare earnings despite the rate cuts or getting more tips, feel free to share them in the comments below!

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    -Chonce @ RSG

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with living well on a budget and loves encouraging people to make extra money so they can meet their financial goals. She is happily married to one of the best Uber drivers in the Chicago metro area, who currently has 2,800+ trips under his belt.

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