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Important Things To Know Before Joining Uber

Uber is a popular ride sharing service that allows riders and drivers to connect with just a click of a button. A rider can simply choose their ride through the Uber mobile app, set the pickup location and the destination, and your Uber’s ETA, driver, and vehicle details will be sent. Payment is also convenient for both rider and driver as it’s made via credit card. Nowadays for those without a credit card, they can comfortably apply for credit card online.  As for Uber drivers, once a ride request comes in, you only have 4 minutes to accept before it gets reassigned to another Uber driver. Once you accept, it will open to a map with your rider’s location.

More and more car owners today are joining Uber because of the convenient way you can earn extra money on your free time. uberX charges a base fare and a minimum fare of ₱40, while UberBLACK charges ₱90 and ₱120 respectively. Per kilometer, uberX charges ₱5, while UberBLACK charges ₱13.75. If your rider books a ride and then decides to cancel, there is a ₱100 cancellation charge.

To be an Uber driver, you can sign up through the Uber rider app which you can download on your smartphone, or attend official partner info sessions happening in different parts of the country. You can be an Uber driver even without your own vehicle. But if you do have your own vehicle, it must be at least 3 years old from the date of your Uber application. Which means if you’re joining Uber this year, your vehicle cannot be older than 2013.

Some of the recommended vehicles for uberX include Nissan Sentra, Mitsubishi Mirage, Toyota Altis, Toyota Innova, Toyota Vios, Toyota Wigo, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Eon, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Tucson, and Kia Optima. For UberBLACK, some of the recommended vehicles include Ford Everest, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Fortuner, Mazda CX5, and Mitsubishi Montero.

In addition, the vehicle should have 4 full and independently opening doors, with no damage or missing pieces, as well as commercial branding or taxi paint jobs. No vans or heavy duty trucks will be accepted, either. If you wish to become an Uber driver, these are the other important things that you need to take note of.

car maintenance imageYou will bring on the mileage

A lot of wear and tear is to be expected, especially when you start driving your vehicle every day in a full 8-hour shift. Keeping your vehicle in the best condition is of utmost importance. Have a maintenance schedule routine. Change your motor oil and oil filter regularly. Warm up the car properly and always check your tire pressure. Your brake pads also wear down over time, so go easy on the brakes. Aside from avoiding road problems and getting involved in accidents, it’s also a fact that having a well maintained car can save you a lot on gas.

smartphone navigation imageYou are expected to know the ins and outs of Metro Manila

More often than not, your riders will have no clue how to get from point A to point B. It’s up to you to navigate the streets of Metro Manila efficiently and bring them to their destination the quickest possible way. Google Maps and Waze are a lifesaver, but nothing beats knowing your way around without any help from these apps.

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You need to remain calm and collected even in the worst traffic situations

No rider will appreciate an Uber driver with road rage. No rider will appreciate a driver who curses under his breath, honks the horn every chance he gets, does not follow simple road rules, and speeds his way through red lights. You need to keep your cool always so that your rider will have a pleasant experience throughout the journey. What you can do is to play some nice and relaxing music to put yourself in a positive zone. Make sure that you’re also fully rested and had a good meal before picking up your next passenger.

drivers watch imageYou need to be able to work through hours you’d rather spend at home

The most number of ride requests usually come through on weekdays, from around 8am until 12 noon, and then again at around 7pm until midnight. On weekends, it’s usually in the afternoon until the wee hours of the morning. You will get a lot of requests from people traveling to and from work, as well as people going out to the malls to shop, eat, watch movies, or hit the clubs.

rearview passengers imageYou need to know how to get along with people

Anyone can be your passenger, and by anyone, we mean anyone who has a smartphone and the Uber app installed. You need to be friendly and jolly. You need to be able to make your riders relax and enjoy talking to you. Avoid talking about controversial topics, though. Like religion, or politics, or how Justin Bieber should get back together with Selena Gomez. Just imagine that if this were a bar setting, you’ll be the bartender serving drinks to that man who just lost his job or that woman who found out her husband has been cheating on her. Yes, it can get pretty interesting, too.  

calculator headscratching imageTo reach a level of success as an Uber driver, you need to know how much you’re spending

You need to factor in everything when you operate your vehicle, including the wear and tear of your vehicle, the depreciation value, the condition of your tires, brakes, maintenance, vehicle insurance, vehicle registration, car wash, accessories, vehicle financing, and so on.

For additional info, we have a nice infographic showing the yearly costs of owning a car in the Philippines.

rating stars imageHigh ratings can go a long way

Bad scores can affect your Uber ratings, so always make the best out of a bad situation, especially when you’re stuck with a particularly nightmarish rider. Just remember that the customer is always right and try to see it from their perspective. Commiserate and turn the situation around. Hopefully, they will give you a decent if not an excellent rating when the ride ends.

This also applies to your acceptance rates. The closer you hit 100%, the better. Make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged, in case you need to text or call your rider. Before you pick up a rider, make sure that your vehicle is clean and nice-smelling. Check that the AC is not too cold. You can even open the door for your rider and help them with their things. Only start the trip once the rider is already in the car, and always ask if they’re feeling comfortable.

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