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How to Maximize Earnings This Summer

Harry Campbell The Rideshare Guy
July 8, 2022

Even though gas prices continue to rise, people are still out traveling, ordering delivery, and placing grocery orders through Instacart. Summer 2022 is shaping up to be a busy one - here’s how you can earn more this summer through various gig apps!

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.

Summer is here and we predict it’s going to be a busy one for drivers. People will be traveling, going to events, and still needing food and groceries delivered locally. While gas prices have gotten much higher this year, summer can still be a prime earnings opportunity if you have the right strategy.

We’re all about testing out different options and app features and implementing strategies that have gotten proven results. Here are some of the best-proven ways to maximize your earnings this summer as a driver.

Increase Your Percentage of Tips

The great thing about driving for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, or any other app is that you get to keep 100% of your tips. You don’t have to drive further distances to get more tips either. Increasing your tips as a rideshare driver relates directly to the type of experience you can provide passengers with.

Rideshare Guy contributor Jay earned $600 after completing four 5-hour shifts and $100 of his earnings was tips. He recommends setting a goal for 20% of your earnings to be made up of tips. But generally, 15% to 20% is an excellent range.

To increase tips, Jay recommends drivers ‘read the room’ and ask and listen at the start of the ride. Oftentimes, we want to talk and be friendly to give a great first impression and make the ride go smoother. However, it’s important to get a feel for the rider’s mood when they first enter the car. They may not want to talk much and just want to relax on the way to their destination.

If the rider does welcome some conversation, be sure to listen and take an interest in what they’re saying. You may be able to make a local recommendation they’ll appreciate. Or perhaps you’ll find you have something in common. Each ride is going to be different, but you can expect more tips when you focus on giving the rider a good experience.  

If you’re not really sure where to get started when it comes to earning more with rideshare driving, check out The Rideshare Guy’s course: Maximum Ridesharing Profits. It will help walk you through what you need to know about earning more and spending less with rideshare!

Provide a Professional Service

Another way to maximize your tips and provide the rider with exceptional service is to keep it professional. Driving for Uber and Lyft doesn’t require you to dress business casual each day - thankfully! Still, you want to look presentable and clean.

The same goes for your car. Take the time out to clean your car thoroughly and make sure it smells fresh. Yes, this will take some extra time out of your day, but it’s going to be worth it. Riders like to reward drivers that gave them a good trip experience and this includes the condition of the car.

Also, try to consider yourself a professional driver, even if you don’t feel like it. Passengers are trusting you to get them to their destinations safely and in one piece. While you may know the city like the back of your hand and want to drive fast to get to the destination, this can turn riders off and make them feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Would you want to tip someone who was driving so aggressively that you kept jerking back and forth in your seat during the ride? Probably not. Focus on making smooth turns and avoid slamming on your brakes when you come to a stop. These are little things but they make a noticeable difference.

Take Advantage of Festival Weekends

Tons of festivals take place each summer. Consider mapping out the dates and locations for popular festivals and schedule yourself to drive during that time. When traffic is busy and rider demand is high, you’ll be able to earn bonuses to make the trip more worthwhile.

Use an app like Gridwise, which not only tracks flights from your local airport, but also alerts you when there are upcoming events in your area.

If a festival will be occurring for most of the day, you might receive a steady flow of ride requests back and forth. Or, maybe you can plan to drive at the start of the festival, take a break and switch to another app, then turn on Uber and Lyft again toward the end of the festival when there might be a surge of ride requests.

Schedule Shifts With Food Delivery Apps

Food delivery apps like DoorDash might get slower during the summer with more people traveling and not ordering food to their homes, along with more college students being out of school and driving with the app to earn money.

Food delivery apps are still a great option to mix in with the other gig apps you’re using. DoorDash also has a feature where you can schedule your shift in advance. This helps you plan out your day more efficiently and keep a window open to receive more food delivery requests so you’re not waiting around for an extended period of time.

Limit Your Coverage Area With Instacart

It’s usually a good idea to cast a wider net for more gig app opportunities especially if you suspect a summer lull. One thing a lot of drivers are doing is trying out Instacart knowing that people will always have grocery orders even during the summer or while traveling/vacationing somewhere else.

With Instacart, Rideshare Guy contributor Tyler recommends picking a few stores that are close by and that you’re familiar with instead of just accepting every order request in the app. Stores that are further from you will cost you more gas. Plus if you’re not familiar with the store’s layout, you could spend more time finding what you need.

With Instacart, efficiency is key if you’re looking to maximize your earnings. Another thing you may want to try is picking orders that take you to warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club or Costco. These orders are usually not that large so you can get your shopping done quickly. Since warehouse clubs sell items in bulk though, you can expect a larger order total and perhaps more pay and a higher tip on your end.

The summer season doesn’t have to be slow when you try out some of these proven strategies that drivers have used to boost their earnings. Focus on testing out different things and adapting as you go. This will help you develop your own best practices and strategies that work best to help you maximize earnings in your particular market.

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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.

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