If you are just starting out driving for Uber or Lyft, you may be wondering what you should keep in your car in order to get 5-star ratings. Some drivers offer granola bars, candy, or homemade cookies to their passengers. One Lyft driver I rode with had a karaoke machine installed into his vehicle. In general, I think the best idea is to keep it light. You do not need to be a full-service concierge for passengers.
However it is a good idea to be prepared and to offer the basic things that passengers have come to expect from drivers.
Here are 14 things every Uber and Lyft driver needs…
1. A car phone mount
Please do not try and hold the phone in your hand while you’re driving. It’s dangerous and it certainly looks disturbing to the passenger. Also, don’t stick it in a cup holder or lay it on the floor. You don’t want to have to look down while you’re driving. A dashboard mount for your cell phone is really the only way to go. The suction kind are very easy to mount. You’ll wonder how you ever got around without it.
I got this phone mount from Amazon, and it is has worked great.
2. Mileage log for taxes
A mileage log is an absolute must-have for Lyft and Uber drivers. Instead of actual car expenses, the government sets a standard mileage reimbursement rate that you can deduct from your taxes. The current rate is $0.565 per mile. Unless you have an expensive SUV with poor gas mileage and high depreciation, this will likely be higher than your actual costs.
3. iPhone 5/6 charger and Android charger
You will most likely already have one of these. Make sure you get the other one in case a passenger wants to charge his/her phone:
4. Auxiliary cord for music
Sometimes passengers (or you) will want to play their own music. Having an aux cord that is long enough for passengers in the backseat to plug in, is a very good thing to have.
5. A pen and paper
6. Gum or mints
Offering your guests gum or mints is a nice extra thing to do. Helps with your rating sometimes. It can get expensive though if you’re like me…and end up chewing all of the gum yourself.
Being able to offer your passengers water is also very nice and appreciated. You can deduct this from your taxes too. Also, if someone is drunk, it can really help prevent them from vomiting in your car…
8. Paper towels
Keep these in the glove compartment just in case.
9. Spray cleaner
Also just in case, keep spray cleaner in your trunk or glove compartment.
10. Air freshener
Driving all day with passengers, between perfume, body odor, and whatever else…your car can smell a bit stale, unless you invest in some sort of air freshening device. I keep one of these organic California Scents in my vehicle.
11. Towel for Dog
You are required to allow someone to let their service animal ride along with them. I keep a large towel in the trunk for dogs.
Try driving into the sun without them, it is impossible.
13. A book or a Kindle
For your downtime between rides: Instead of checking your Facebook or Instagram for the thousandth time that day, use your time in a productive way, get a book or a Kindle and read something.
14. Starbucks app
I love coffee and with Starbucks Rewards, I can get free refills and free drinks. I also don’t usually carry cash and so I like that I can tip directly on the app.
Anything I forgot?
Leave a comment and let us know what you always keep in your car while driving for Uber or Lyft.