Driving for a rideshare such as Uber has a reputation of not requiring “skill” the way other careers do. But anyone who has driven for one of these companies knows that there is a lot more that goes into the job than simply driving. This is especially true if you want an above-average rating. These are the skills that make you a successful Uber driver.
With over 227 million drivers in the United States, simply being able to drive isn’t necessarily a skill that sets people apart. But any New Yorker will tell you that there is a difference between driving and driving in the city. This is one of the reasons you are required to take additional driving courses in order to drive for the TLC. Since rideshare drivers are already more likely to get into accidents than other drivers, and because your goal is for passengers to feel safe in your car, you must make sure you master the following skills:
- Monitoring speed at intersections
- Safe driving in inclement weather
- Awareness of changes in surroundings
- Braking early
- Mindfulness of factors that may impact your driving (driver fatigue, distraction, etc.)
You don’t necessarily need a mechanic’s level of car skills to become a successful Uber driver. However, there is certainly value in knowing your car and knowing it well. Knowing your car well can help improve your defensive driving skills. If you’re driving one of our NYC TLC rental cars, it helps to drive it around a little to make sure you’re comfortable with it first. Not only that but knowing how to make minor repairs such as changing a tire may help you avoid emergencies on the road and cut back on car maintenance costs.
Knowing your city puts you at an advantage as an Uber driver. New York is a big city. If you know it like the back of your hand, you’ll be able to navigate it more efficiently, allowing you to fit in more rides. This know-how will also help you recognize the times of day when more people need rides. Strategizing when you go out to pick up passengers will help you get the most profit for the gas money you spend transporting people.
You could be the most knowledgeable driver and car owner in the world who knows how to get a person from point A to point B quicker than anyone else. But if you don’t know how to interact with other people, passengers will still not want to get in the car with you. As an Uber driver, it’s important to learn how to “read a room” so you can determine if a passenger really wants to chat, and you should pick up simple conversational skills to oblige if the situation merits it.