What are the top apps no driver should be without? After years of experience, and plenty of chatting to drivers, here are the top 4 apps I think every driver should have installed on their phones. From apps that help you earn more, save more, and learn more, these apps will enhance your driving experience.
Buckle has partnered with Harry Campbell, founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, to provide our Members with the very best tips, tricks, and news to help maximize their income as a rideshare and delivery driver.
As an Uber or Lyft driver, there are certain “must-haves” that you shouldn’t drive without. Those include:
- A phone holder, so you can see the app you’re using as well as navigation
- A car charger—at least one for you, but you should probably get some for your passengers, too
- A solid dash cam from a company like Displayride or Vantrue
- Reliable apps to help you make more money, keep more money and be able to stay out longer
If you’re new to rideshare driving, you may not know which apps are the “best” for drivers, or what they do. I’m here to help!
Here are my top 4 apps that are must-haves for when I’m driving. Now to be honest, there are dozens more out there but I wanted to narrow it down to 4 to keep it simple and straight forward.
App #1 - Gridwise
I often call Gridwise the Swiss Army knife of rideshare apps. It literally does everything and does it all well.
First, this is the easiest way I have found to keep track of your mileage. Turn the app on when you first start driving and hit the off button when you’re done. If it helps, you can think of it as “clocking in” for work and “clocking out”.
Also, tracking your mileage is important and can save you money when doing taxes. If Gridwise doesn’t work for you, you can also take a look at other top mileage tracking apps. Stride Tax is one of the most popular free mileage tracking apps.
If you need to, you can add miles manually to Gridwise.
Uber and Lyft only track the number of miles you have a passenger in your vehicle, but there are more miles to track than that, which is why a separate app for mileage tracking is helpful.
Second, Gridwise will show you how well you are doing and how much money you’re making. It ties directly into Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and several other gig apps, and gets your daily income for you. It then sends you a report telling you how many rides, deliveries, or batches you did, and how much you made on average including your hourly rate and your pay per mile.
All of this helps you see how much you made, and can affect how you drive in the future. For instance, if you see that every Wednesday you make far less per mile, and per hour, maybe Wednesday isn’t a good day to drive every week.
Finally, Gridewise was a lifesaver when I was driving for Uber by telling me what events were going on around my area. The biggest thing for my area is the airport, and Gridwise tells you how many people are booked to fly at any given time.
With Gridwise, I could look and see the night before that at 7 a.m. there were 500 people who had flights taking off. This means they are likely going to be leaving between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., so if I drove at that time I would likely get some of those rides.
It will also tell you when sporting games are going on, concerts, and other festivities that can make you more money by driving before, during, and after.
App #2 - Waze
Most rideshare apps have their own navigation side that you can use, and they will work perfectly fine. On top of that, most phones have Google Maps included, which again is not a bad navigation app.
But I honestly love Waze the most, and it’s one of the first things I download whenever I get a new phone. I use it even for personal use, but it comes in extremely handy for rideshare driving.
Waze navigation has information about the roads you’re on, all crowdsourced from other Waze users in your area. When there is a car on the side of the road, or police waiting to catch someone speeding, or other obstacles including road construction, other drivers report it. For the most part, I’ve found the reporting from other users to be very accurate, and it’s much faster than what I’ve seen using Google Maps.
If safe to do so, you can make updates within the app as well.
Not only that, but Waze will also recommend food around you. I know it’s because they are getting paid to advertise those places, but seriously it works, because if I’m out working for hours at a time, I’ll need a snack!
Not sure what the difference is between Waze and Google Maps? Check out The Rideshare Guy’s video breakdown on the differences between Google Maps vs Waze.
App #3 - Audible
I may or may not have, on many occasions, driven longer because I was wrapped up in a good book and wanted to finish it.
This is especially true when doing delivery because you can listen to whole books while driving!
Not only can the Audible app give you something to do while you wait for another ping, but you’ll be able to continue listening to your book while you’re working.
The same can be said of podcasts, and music, but I have always loved books, and this app allows me to listen while doing just about anything.
The best part about this is it makes the time go by faster, and as I mentioned, may make you want to stay out longer (and earn more!)
App #4 - Solo
A newer app that I’m a big fan of is called Solo, and it’s one of my favorite money-making apps for 2022. As of now, Solo offers its full suite of benefits to drivers in Seattle (where Solo started) and Miami, but the app offers all kinds of features to drivers nationwide, including:
- A breakdown of how much you earn per gig
- Goal setting informed by data (no more guessing as to the best times of day to drive!)
- Earnings progress tracking
- Guaranteed earnings pay (only in Seattle and Miami)
My Top 4 Driver Apps
There are plenty of apps out there, and many more that are also good and helpful for drivers. However, the four listed above are the ones I’ve found most useful to help me earn more, accurately estimate my miles come tax time, and entertain me!
It’s crucial that the apps you use out while driving serve some type of benefit, like saving you money, helping you find rides, or keep you focused (and not sleepy!) Everyone’s app choices may be different - take the time to try out ones that you like the most!
Harry Campbell is a former Boeing Aerospace Engineer and founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, a blog, podcast and Youtube channel for ridehail drivers and other gig workers and author of, The Rideshare Guide. Over the years, Harry has covered the gig economy industry closely and talked to tens of thousands of drivers and gig workers about their experience on the road.