Side Hustle Spotlight: Rideshare Driver

Blog | September 20th, 2021

If you’re looking to earn some extra money, driving for a rideshare company can be a great way to generate supplemental income.

Over the past few years, rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular, with 36% of U.S. adults today stating that they’ve used one of these ride-hailing apps before.

As this usage increases, there has been an enormous surge in demand for rideshare drivers. This need for drivers has led to huge potential to earn a significant hourly income while helping people get to and from where they need to be.

Driving for a ride-share app offers some significant benefits, you can choose your hours, work as much or as little as you’d like, and work from wherever you are. 

With significant flexibility and potential for high earnings, driving for a ride-hailing app is a fantastic side hustle option for anyone with a license, car, and clean driving record.

How to Get Started

Before you apply to drive with a rideshare company, be sure to check out the driving and vehicle requirements for your city or state.

For Uber and Lyft, most states require drivers to be at least 21-years-old and have at least a year of licensed driving experience, or three years if they’re under 23-years-old. You’ll also need an eligible four-door vehicle and all of the required documentation, including insurance and proof of residency.

Once you determine if you meet the requirements, you can get started with the application. You’ll have to upload all of the requested documentation and complete a background check and screening of your driving record to apply. Some cities will also require proof of an updated vehicle inspection.

Approval to drive usually takes up to seven days after you submit your application. Once you receive approval, you’re ready to get to work and start picking up passengers.

Training and Certifications

There is no formal training or certifications required to become a rideshare driver. However, each city and state has different requirements for drivers, so make sure to look at the region where you’ll be driving to confirm that you have all of the required documentation.

For any rideshare app, you’ll need:
  • A valid driver’s license 
  • Proof of residence 
  • Vehicle insurance
  • A clean driving record

Keep these requirements in mind before applying for a rideshare job. 

Expected Return

The expected income of rideshare drivers heavily depends on several factors, including location, surge pricing, and rideshare service. Along with the standard fare earned, Uber and Lyft drivers can also collect additional tips from passengers.

On average, Uber drivers earn between $8.55 and $11.77 per hour, while Lyft drivers tend to make closer to $17 per hour. 

However, in major cities, there is a much higher demand for drivers and a more significant number of passengers, which provides drivers with more opportunities to pick up passengers and earn income from rides. In New York City, for example, drivers often reach up to $26.24 per hour.

Related: Side Hustle Spotlight: Tutor