It took over a week, but I was finally approved to start driving for Uber! I submitted photos of my Driver’s License and vehicle registration. To get my insurance approved, I had to get in a chat room with one of their agents and submit it there. My dad’s name is listed on my insurance, but I had a letter from Geico stating that I am indeed a covered driver. I had to submit this to an agent in the chat room and explain my situation. He then submitted it to my file for me.
My car is already in good condition and I’ve been keeping it clean lately, so it didn’t need any major cleaning or vacuuming. I just cleared all of my personal things out of the seats and sat in the passenger seats for a bit to make sure everything would be okay if someone sat back there.
Then! I decided I would drive around for 1-2 hours on a Tuesday night before getting dinner with my friends.
The first thing people asked me when I said I’m going to drive for Uber was if I was worried or scared for my safety. After all, I am picking up random people from random places and then driving them to who-knows-where. Sure I’m worried, but I figured if I stuck to the university area during daylight/evening hours it would help me feel safer. So I’ve made that my niche.
After reading through a couple of documents, I went online around 6pm on a Tuesday.
Within a couple minutes I got my first ride request, but the navigation on Uber’s app took me to the wrong place! I was waiting there for 5~ minutes and had made the rookie mistake of putting my phone on Do Not Disturb so I had a few missed calls from my rider! I still managed to pick up the rider and complete the short trip.
Immediately after, I got a second request. I was familiar with the pickup location and the rider needed to go to a location right off a major street so that was a quick and easy one. However, I took me a little away from the university but I stayed online and got a request from even further.
The rider’s neighborhood had a security guard and I remember I tried to explain that I was an Uber driver and only had the rider’s location pin and not their building number. But the procedure was to call the rider and ask while I let the security guard write down my Driver’s license information. I was just really flustered, but ultimately now I know how to handle the next situation like that more smoothly.
I ended up at the airport area, and since I can’t pick anyone up from there (MCO doesn’t allow it!) I decided to finish my night at that and head back to the university area.
Summary of the monetary value of my time & miles:
Hours Online: 1.5
Miles Driven (total): 27.5
Can be averaged as $11.33/hour or $0.61/mile or $5.67/rider. (I get 75% of whatever the rider pays.) This isn’t including gas expenses, but it still makes for good money for what I put in.
The things I will do differently next time:
1. Don’t put your phone on Do Not Disturb.
2. Realize that Uber’s navigation is imperfect.
3. Realize it’s okay to go offline between trips.
4. Be prepared to call rider for their building information in case I need it.
I had a good night and still learned (and earned) a lot! It’s profitable and will help me make my car/insurance payments. I’m gonna stick to it.
I guess this semester is full of odd jobs!