Rideshare drivers do a LOT of driving, and if they aren’t driving hybrid or electric vehicles, they could be feeling some pain at the pump with high gas prices. What’s a driver to do?
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.
Everyone is feeling the sting of higher gas prices these days - especially rideshare drivers. If you’re driving for Uber and Lyft, you know that fuel prices can eat away at your earnings or perhaps even change your entire driving strategy.
While many drivers have expressed interest in getting an electric vehicle or hybrid in the future, for many drivers, their main focus is how to get the best fuel mileage every day and fill their tanks with fewer dollars.
Luckily, rideshare drivers have plenty of experience when it comes to driving efficiently! Here are practical ways drivers can spend less at the pump.
1. Know How Prices Vary Per Location
Yes, gas prices are high all around right now. But, there is still some wiggle room for drivers to take advantage of. I drive regularly around my city and pass several gas stations with many different prices.
One may charge $4.49 per gallon, while another might charge $4.19. I’ve even seen gas as low as $3.99 around my area and as high as $4.79, so where I stop is a crucial decision that could save quite a bit.
Get familiar with prices at different gas stations in your area and your driving route to ensure you’re getting the best price. Are gas prices cheaper in a certain area that you tend to drive in? If so, you may want to wait until you get there to fill up. As we all know, even saving a few cents per gallon these days can make a huge difference.
One app that makes doing this even easier is Upside. You may have even seen Upside in your Uber or Lyft apps, as both companies have Upside partnerships. Upside will not only help you find cheap gas in your city, but also offers you cash back every time you fill up. Learn more about Upside in our Upside review and download the app here.
2. Increase Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency
Some cars can be more efficient than others, but there are still some things you can do to boost your car’s fuel efficiency on your own. Start by making sure your tires are properly aligned and check your tire pressure regularly.
Your vehicle might even show you your tire pressure on the dashboard. Also, many places provide a free tire rotation when you purchase new tires, so check to see if you have this option available.
Getting a full-service oil change may cost more but it allows the mechanic to check your vehicle’s fluids and other parts to ensure it’s running efficiently. This will save you more money in the long run.
3. Improve Your Car’s MPG
Whether your car has great mileage or not can make a difference, but the key is to focus on what you have and make the best of it. We all know that speed can kill your gas mileage a lot faster, so pay extra close attention to the speed limit and avoid going over 55 if you can.
If you’re doing highway driving, set your car in cruise control as much as possible. Then, be careful about constant braking during local driving. If there’s a route you know that has fewer traffic signals, take it.
4. Take Advantage of Driver Promotions
Uber and Lyft offer new driver and ongoing promotions regularly. Make sure you’re taking advantage of this, especially if you can earn a bonus right when you start.
Uber will usually have a guaranteed earnings bonus they will offer if you complete a certain number of trips by a specific deadline. Learn more about Uber sign up guarantees.
You can accept shorter trips to help you meet the qualifications of the promotion. Plus, shorter trips will help you stretch your gas as well. You can read more about how to maximize your time on the road with these driving strategies.
5. Limit Driving When You’re Offline
This might sound obvious if you’re trying to save money at the pump, but it’s one of the best strategies to use right now. When you’re completing trips for Uber or Lyft, you’re making money, but you may not be when you’re just running errands or doing personal driving.
Try to limit your driving when you’re not doing rideshare and consider biking or walking if it makes sense and is a possibility in your area. You can also complete your errands in bulk by planning ahead and mapping out your route.
Pay attention to when events are happening in your area, and drive strategically. Now is not the time to turn on the app whenever and just head out - you want to be sure you’re driving during high-demand days or nights.
Bonus Tip: Consider Driving for Delivery Until Gas Prices Come Down!
Depending on how many miles per gallon your car gets, it may make more sense to drive for delivery companies, which typically put less miles on your vehicle since delivery requests have a smaller radius than rideshare.
Some of the higher paying delivery companies are the more popular ones, including:
All three of these companies are also offering fuel surcharges to drivers, although amounts vary by company and by city in which you drive. Learn more about these delivery services here.
The bottom line is to be very intentional about where you drive and how often. Now that gas prices have shot up, we must be more mindful of where we’re driving and consolidate some of our trips.
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.