If you’re driving for a ridesharing company like Uber or Lyft and haven’t been tracking your daily driving mileage, you’ve been doing it all wrong. Logging your daily miles is essential if you want to maximize your end of the year tax returns, and put money back into your pocket.
As a ridesharing driver, you are an independent contractor and as such can benefit from IRS tax-cuts and other special deductions that they give to small business owners. The most considerable deduction you receive is for the miles you drive as an independent contractor. Every time you drive somewhere for work (which is all the time if you’re an Uber driver) can be written off as a “business expense,” and you are entitled to receive a 53 cent deduction per mile.
The average full-time ridesharing driver who puts in 40-45 hours per week puts around 45,000 miles a year on their vehicle. If you do the math, that’s a deduction worth over ten grand!
Now you may wonder, “Why not just use Uber’s built-in tracker?” Well, the problem is, Uber’s tracker only records the miles in which you have an actual rider in your car. It doesn’t take into account the fact that you had to drive 15 miles into town or all the times you had to drive 10 miles out of your way to pick up a customer. That’s where personal mileage trackers come in. They allow you to keep a record of all those extra miles so when tax time comes around, you have a digital record of everything you need to file your paperwork.
With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which apps are worth it, and which ones are a waste of time, so I decided to put together a list of some of the best mileage tracking apps you can get your hands on.
One of the simplest ways you can track your mileage is through Google Maps. It has built-in functionality that allows you to trace streets and find the distance between two points. It’s free and if you keep a record of all the rides you give in a particular day, it’s easy enough to go back and calculate how many miles you drove on your last shift. The only problem with Google Maps is that they don’t have a fully automated tracking feature yet, meaning that you have to enter all of your mileage and driving points manually. This can be rather tedious for many drivers who regularly travel hundreds of miles a day, or drivers who work in a busy city and give hundreds of separate rides every day.
Waze is a great community based mapping software. It allows users to live-edit the map, and alert other users to potential hazards like roadblocks or accidents. However, Waze also has a great background feature that tracks all of your mileage while you have the app open on your phone screen. That means as long as you’re using your Waze app while driving, your miles will be tracked, and you can easily go back and view them from your account.
Stride is a tax services company that will keep track of all your expenses and tax deductibles. Also offered as part of that service is a great mileage tracking system. With your Stride Drive app open, you can start and stop recording miles anytime you wish. There is even a feature that lets you log all of your related driving expenses such as fuel, oil changes, and maintenance. The thing that makes Stride Drive is one of the best mileage tracking apps is that it’s completely free! While many other major apps have switched to being a paid service, Stride has stood firm in their commitment to remain cost-free.
Intuit’s QuickBooks software has long been one of the top competitors when it comes to book-keeping and tax management. QuickBooks Self-Employed has a total mileage and expense tracking suite. The best feature of this app is its ability to automate everything completely. You can set it up to track every mile you drive, and even link the software to your bank account, so it logs every purchase you make at a gas station.
Hurdlr has an edge in the game as they were one of the first mileage and expense tracking apps to develop exclusively for the ridesharing industry. They later evolved to cater to other on-the-go entrepreneurs. They have a fully automated mileage tracking system that runs as a background program on your smartphone. Like, Quickbooks, Hurdlr also can sync to your bank accounts and automatically track your expenses. Another great selling point is Hurdlr’s metrics system. You can view your profile and see a spreadsheet displaying all of your recent activity. This allows you to keep track of your spending and see where you’re either losing or gaining money.
MileIQ is a mileage tracking app made for the busy professional and the ridesharing driver alike. In fact, the folks over at Microsoft liked it so much that they now offer it as a complimentary service along with their Office365 business management software. MileIQ effortlessly syncs across all of your devices from smartphones to tablets and laptops. It runs in the background and quietly tracks all of your driving, even allowing you to add multiple vehicles to an account.
TripLog has a full suite for on-the-road entrepreneurs. They have an easy to use mobile app that integrates smoothly with their desktop application. TripLog has a full fleet tracking feature, which makes it easy to keep track of multiple vehicles, expenses, and even DMV registrations. Unfortunately, some of the more advanced productivity features could be lost on the typical rideshare driver. They offer a free 30 day trial period, so if you’re looking to try something new, they’re worth a second look.
TrackMyDrive is a new player on the scene, and they offer smartphone mileage tracking and IRS reporting that syncs data across multiple devices (even smartwatches). They focus on simplicity and affordability and offer plans as cheap as $9 per year.
Easy Logbook is Apple Store app for smartphones that makes it easy to keep track of one-way trips with the press of a button. Just punch the green button when you begin your trip, and the red when you complete your trip. This app is a little primitive in comparison to more advanced mileage trackers that offer full business suites and IRS reporting, but it gets the job done and could be great for a part-time driver who does not need the more advanced features.
MileWiz has an excellent mileage tracking app for both Android and iOS. $50 per year gets you a well-made app that keeps track of all the basics and automatically syncs data with a cloud server, so you never have to worry about losing your logs. The coolest feature about MileWiz is their built-in algorithm that automatically detects when you’re driving or not. This prevents the app from continually running in the background and draining your battery.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of using the Evernote app, this is their version of a mileage tracking app and offers the same degree of usability and speed that their users have come to expect. Not only does Everlance offer ridesharing mileage tracking, but they also allow you to integrate your business debit and credit cards into their system to keep track of expenses.
They offer a free edition that has a 30 ride per month limit, or you can subscribe to their premium services for around $9 a month.
SherpaShare claims to be “the ultimate rideshare assistance app,” and they have the reputation to back it up. They’ve been featured in The New York Times and on Fox Business. They offer a full online dashboard with both Android and iOS integration. Not only do they offer mileage and expense tracking, but they also have an array of Driver Tools that alert you to traffic patterns and road hazards in your area.
If you haven’t looked into mileage tracking apps before now is the time to start! Check out one of these great apps and start putting money back into your pocket today.
When it comes to taxi services like Lyft, you can sometimes have issues that may require a call to customer service. If you would like to ensure that everything goes smoothly when speaking to Lyft customer support, keep reading, as we will go over some tried and tested tips to make sure of just that.
Without any further delay, let’s dive right into our list of tips.
While this tip may seem strange, it is quite simple, and it can be applied to any form of customer support, not just for Lyft. If you have the time to wait before contacting Lyft customer service, we would recommend taking a look at their hours in your region and contacting them at a less crowded time.
Contacting Lyft customer support when they have a lower call density means that you will be likely to spend less time waiting for a reply and more time dealing with your issue. If you hate getting in touch with customer support because it always feels like a waste of time, this is the tip for you.
If you have no choice but to wait for your reply, let’s move on to our next tip.
If you have an urgent message for Lyft customer service and you have a relatively long estimated waiting time for your reply, you should feel free to get other things done in the meantime. Instead of letting your time be wasted by your need to contact customer support, you can take advantage of it.
For example, should you find yourself at home while sending your request for help, you can catch up on housework as you check your phone or computer for any email notifications from Lyft. Doing this lets you get some chores or anything else out of the way in your downtime.
Before you contact customer service, you should have every bit of information about the ride in question available, should your request for customer service concern a particular trip. If your issue has to do with several Lyft rides, you will want to have them all noted down and ready for the support agent.
Being ready with this information means that it will be much easier for you to get your support in a timely fashion since your representative won’t have to trawl through files to find your rides. Of course, it isn’t necessary to have every little bit of info about a trip, but it can help speed things up.
Unlike some other services, Lyft does not have a phone number for their customer support team. If you are not one to typically call customer support, you are in luck, since Lyft has a support form on their site. This form will let Lyft customer service know the nature of your issue, and they will then contact you.
The usual way to get a response from Lyft customer service is to fill in this support form on their website, in which you include your email, subject, name, number, and the nature of your issue. From then on, you will likely be contacted through email, but phone support is still possible.
We find that this is the most common issue with people trying to get in touch with Lyft support. While direct assistance is available through the app, many customers try to find a phone number that they can use to contact Lyft customer service, and they end up confused when there are conflicting results.
Even though Lyft doesn’t have a customer service number that you can use to get in touch with someone through the phone, you will find that they provide quality support. Each reply from Lyft representatives is written out, as they do not use automated forms to reply to their customers.
If you are looking to ensure that things progress as smoothly as they can, you will find that a little bit of courtesy can go a long way. Keep in mind that the person on the other end is a human being and they are just doing their job. Customer support agents are bound by their company’s rules, so things are not up to them.
Taking the time to get to know your customer service rep’s name (at the very least) can help ensure that things progress more favorably and with greater ease. When on the line (or typing), showing a basic degree of politeness can make for a more pleasant interaction for both you and the representative.
While contacting customer service for Lyft, you will want to avoid including info in your report that you would deem unnecessary. Though it may be integral to ensure that your customer support rep knows everything they need to, you can avoid providing any info that may not help with the resolution of your issue.
Do not take this to mean that you should be curt and to the point, though you can be, should you please. As we stated in our previous tip, you will want to be polite, but you will also want to remain concise if you don’t want the investigation of your issue to take longer than it should.
If you are having an issue with payment or something that relies on another party besides Lyft, it helps to ensure that there is no fault on that end before contacting Lyft customer support. For example, should your credit card be having some issues, it may not necessarily be on Lyft’s end.
Of course, if your credit card works with other services, the issue likely resides with Lyft, but this is just the kind of basic investigation that you can do yourself before contacting customer support. It may be possible that you know more about your issue than someone who is potentially hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
Do not take this to mean that Lyft customer service reps can’t help you, but a little bit of checking around may reveal some unexpected issues. Customer support often gets calls that aren’t even related to technical problems, as some people may just have problems navigating the interface.
You can rest assured that customer service issues have heard it all, even the ones that work for Lyft. That being said, you don’t have to worry about needing help setting up your Lyft account, or other minor issues that customer service can help you with.
While it may seem silly in retrospect that you couldn’t use your Lyft app because you had the wrong setting toggled, a call to customer service can save you some time searching through the app. Customer service reps get quite a few calls in a day, and it is not likely that they will remember a single call.
When you are writing to a Lyft customer service agent, you will want to type in a manner that is easy to understand and correctly structured. An email that you have taken a few moments to correctly format will be much easier to read than one large block of text that has to be deciphered.
Do not take this to mean that your writing has to be perfect, as customer support agents are trained to interpret messages that have been written on mobile or in a hasty fashion. Taking the time to ensure that your email is written correctly can help make things more clear for your customer service rep and speed up your issue resolution.
Before you contact customer support, you may wish to go over Lyft Help, which is the section of their site dedicated to customer support. In this corner of the Lyft website, you will find FAQs, info about payment, and many other resolutions to common issues that Lyft riders can experience.
You can save a lot of time contacting customer support by briefly glancing at the info that is available on Lyft Help and seeing whether or not it concerns your issue. It is possible that there may be a simple and quick resolution to your problem, as long as it is relatively common.
While the lack of a phone number may be confusing to customers who are used to being able to hear their customer service rep, you will find that Lyft’s support is rather streamlined. Since they are not regularly inundated with calls, Lyft can take the time to contact you and deal with issues on a case-by-case basis.
Thank you for taking the time to go over our list of the ten best tips for dealing with Lyft customer support, we hope that we were able to help you out.