Hey, guys. Today RSG contributor Jonathan is here to talk about apps for rideshare drivers. We all use the Uber and Lyft apps on the regular, so here are a few other apps I always have around to maximize my profits while driving.
Check out the video we posted to learn more or you can read a copy of the transcript below.
This first app is one of the most everyone uses while they’re driving, GPS. In my opinion, you can’t beat Google Maps. It’s simple and easy to use, even when you’ve got a car full of rowdy bar patrons. Plus, it seems to recognize about 95% of the destinations I throw at it. Google will autocomplete addresses and destinations as you type them, and even suggest faster routes if the traffic conditions change on the way there.
Some drivers also like Waze. Waze uses crowd sourced info from other drivers about traffic, road hazards, and speed traps, and displays it all in real time. You can also add your own info to the map too. I like Waze, but when I’m working sometimes all those extra features can be distracting. If you like super detailed info though, Waze is the way to go.
Are you tracking your miles while ridesharing? If not, you should be. Mileage tracking is often the single biggest deduction you’ll get on your tax return, so tracking it can save you some serious dough at tax time. Just six hours of heavy driving usually nets me up to $100 in tax deductions. Plus, you’ll be able to calculate your real earnings after expenses.
Our Top Tips for Drivers:
MileIQ and Tripog to track your mileage
If you don’t mind paying a few bucks, check out MileIQ and Triplog. These options come with some helpful extras, like using Bluetooth connections to determine when to track mileage, and home screen widgets to easily disable the apps when you’re not driving.
QuickBooks Self-Employed for expense tracking
QuickBooks Self-Employed syncs with your bank account to help you easily categorize your rideshare expenses. It even allows you to create rules that will basically automate a lot of your expense tracking. You can also log your mileage, take pictures of receipts, and make notes, so you’re ready come tax time. Not only will you have your mileage deduction ready to go, you’ll be able to see whether deducting actual vehicle expenses, like gas, maintenance, and car wases will get a bigger tax benefit versus taking the standard mileage deduction. You can also categorize transactions online or right from the app. It even splits your deductions into quarterly or annual reports, depending on your filing needs. QuickBooks Self-Employed does have a subscription fee, but you can try it free for 30 days. Plus, you can get it bundled with TurboTax to make filing a snap. If you’re serious about making the most out of your tax deduction, this is one app you should definitely check out.
Spotify — The best music app
For tunes, it’s tough to beat Spotify. Music is essential for those awkward rides, where you or your passenger would rather not talk to each other, or just to provide something a little extra. For $10 a month, Spotify lets you create custom playlists for every passenger demographic you might encounter: drunk people, old people, drunk old people, and more. Plus you can download add free playlists ahead of time over Wi-Fi, so you won’t be sucking up data on the road.
Gas Buddy — Find the cheapest gas
Did you know that different gas stations charge different prices for gas? Of course you did. Gas is a driver’s biggest expense, so saving a few cents per gallon can add up to some serious dough over ime, especially if you’re driving a less fuel-efficient car. You can scout out the cheapest gas stations by using GasBuddy. Narrow you search by location, and even sort results by fuel type. Never overpay for gasoline again. You’re welcome. Just be careful to check the cash versus credit price. That can get you.
Weather apps help you find smart times to drive
When the weather is bad, no one wants to drive. And when no one wants to drive, that means surge pricing. Keep an eye on the weather with a weather app, then when the precipitation starts, head to your favorite hot spots to cash in. Personally, I use Accuweather. It’s got relatively few ads, and it doesn’t ask for a ton of permissions before installing. It will also give you notifications if road conditions are especially bad. Just make sure your car is equipped for snow and bad weather. Safety should always be your priority.
Honk — Roadside assistance
As a delivery driver, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve locked my keys in my car while dropping off an order. Seriously, I’ve done it so often it’s embarrassing. A free app called Honk offers on demand roadside assistance anywhere in the USA, starting at just 50 bucks. They’ll come rescue you if you’re locked out, have a flat tire, or run out of gas. If you don’t have AAA or some other roadside assistance plan already, this service could be a life-saver. Best of all, you don’t even have to get the app. You can access the Honk roadside assistance service right from your phone’s web browser.
FlightStats — Live airport information
As drivers, we all love to get those long airport drop-offs. Keep tabs on your local airport with FlightStats. This simple lightweight app will allow you to see when the most flights are arriving, so you’ll know the best time to post up and wait for a ride. Plus, you’ll be able to avoid times when lots of flights are delayed and demand at the airport may not be as high.
The Uber passenger app — Critical info for drivers
This one is essential for anyone who works in the market with a lot of other Uber drivers. It’s the passenger app. Simply opening up the passenger app will show you up to eight other drivers near your location. If you’re in the middle of a big crowd of drivers waiting for rides, you probably won’t get any pings. I try to move to one side of any heavily populated areas to snag pings coming from that directions. Move the pin around to scout out less saturated locations. When you’re away from the pack, get ready to watch the pings roll in.
Rideshare Timer helps you deal with those terrible people who request an Uber and then never show up for the ride. After five minutes, or two minutes if you’re doing Uber pool, you can cancel the ride and in most markets you’ll receive a cancellation fee. Rideshare Timer simplified this process by overlaying a basic timer on the screen, so you know when time’s up. It even includes a quick text feature, so you can send your rider a customizable message as you arrive and depart with a press of a button. Rideshare Timer is Android only, so grab a simple stop watch app if you’ve got an iPhone, and start grabbing those fees.
Active Hours and DailyPay — Cash out on your pay sooner
You know those weeks where payday just can’t come soon enough? I know I do. An app called Active Hours allows you to cash out your Uber payments on the same day that you earned them. Just plug in your bank info and enter the amount that you need. The money will show up ASAP, and the app will automatically deduct it again on payday. The service is free, but you can add a tip to the company too, if you’re so inclined. They also allow you to cash pay checks from a variety of employers, not just Uber.
DailyPay is another popular service that works pretty much the same way. They don’t have an app though, so you’ll need a computer for that one.
Vugo — Get paid to show ads in your car
Wanna make even more money off ridesharing? Try Vugo. This app runs on a tablet, so you’ll need to have one before you can get started. Vugo is a start-up that wants to sell advertising to companies who are interesting in reaching very specific demographics, like the passengers in your car. Imagine if you could get paid for showing a beer ad right before your passengers arrive at the bar. Vugo wants to do just that and you’ll get to keep a percentage of the revenue. In the future Vugo says you can make up to $3 per hour which can add up to $500 a month if you’re driving full time. Plus the Vugo app even gives your passengers the ability to tip you with a credit card, helping you further expand your income.
Square — Accept electronic tips or other payments
If you don’t have a tablet but still want to collect credit card tips, try Square. Square will send you a free credit card reader that plugs right into your phone allowing you to collect payment for just about anything. From chips to bottled water to fresh produce, what you charge is up to you.
Let us know your favorite apps in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching and drive safe.
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