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A Guide to the Best Uber Accessories You Need as a Driver

Services like Uber and Lyft have nearly killed the taxi industry and with good reason. Why should you have to pay exorbitant rates to cab drivers who don’t even care about your experience when you ride with them. One of the best parts of Uber is that the driver has the incentive to improve your trip.

Good drivers are incentivized through the rating system that is used by Uber, and the only way to improve your rating is to provide the best ride possible. There are a few different methods that you can use to ensure that your riders are entirely satisfied with the trip, and I’ll be looking at one of the best ways today.

uber accessories

If you’re trying to get the highest rating as an Uber driver, you will need to ensure that you are doing everything that you can to improve the experience of your passengers. Uber accessories are integral so that you can make your drives more pleasant for both you and your riders, so let’s get into them.

15 Car Gadgets & Accessories To Improve Your Uber Driver Rating

Cleaning Implements

Having a way to clean your car on the fly in between rides is one of the most important things that you can do as an Uber driver, and you have a few options available when it comes to how. On one end of the spectrum, you have disinfectant wipes, which will work for relatively small messes, but not much else.

If you’re looking for cleaning capability that is a little more thorough, you can opt for a handheld vacuum cleaner like the BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L, which is one of the best options through list of car vacuum reviews under $100 for 2018 by Automotive Ward. Thanks to this vacuum’s lithium-ion battery, you won’t have to worry about it dying on you unexpectedly.

First Aid Kit

Of course, being on the road can be a hazardous experience at times, and if you are going to be a ridesharing driver, you should be prepared to treat some basic wounds, just in case. Even if someone has a small cut on their hand that you can disinfect, it will go a long way towards making you a better person (and improving your rating).

In the event of a car accident or something more major, your first aid kit may end up saving someone’s life, so there is no reason to go without one. In fact, you should even have a first aid kit in your personal vehicle, especially if you tend to go on long-distance drives relatively often.

Air Freshener

The inclusion of an air freshener simply makes the experience of riding in your car more pleasant for anyone, and there really is no reason that you should equip one in your vehicle. Air fresheners are some of the cheapest but most effective uber accessories that you can purchase, and going without one is a rookie mistake.

You have to consider the sheer number of people who will come through your car throughout the day and account for the likelihood that you will have to deal with some unpleasant smells. For your own sake, and for the sake of your riders, get an air freshener that will be able to keep your car smelling good, but not overpowering.

Chargers and Cables

The sign of a good Uber driver is often whether or not they have the right cord for your needs. While you may be a driver, it is likely that you have experienced the inconvenience of being in a taxi with music that you aren’t enjoying, and having access to your phone can greatly improve the ride.

Image source: amazon.com

As a rule of thumb, you should always bring at least one charging cable for an iPhone, one USB charging cable for Android phones, and an aux audio cord for passengers who want to play music. The minute you bring these Uber accessories into your car, you will start to see your ratings improve dramatically.

Phone Mount

phone mount for driversIf you are driving for Uber, you will need access to your phone so that you can see the route, and holding onto it or leaving it in your lap is dangerous and irresponsible. A phone mount is one of the most necessary Uber accessories that you can opt for, and if there is a single thing on this list that you get, this should be it.

You have a range of options available when it comes to choosing the right phone mount as an Uber driver, and you will also have to decide where you want it mounted. Some drivers prefer to have their phone fixed somewhere higher up, and others prefer to have it located on the center console.

LED Flashlight

If you are going to be driving around at night, you will want to bring around an LED flashlight, as that will give you the ability to see in the dark if the need arises. For example, if your car suddenly breaks down and you have to peek around under the hood, you will need to bring along a flashlight.

Many drivers make the mistake of assuming that their phone light will be sufficient for their needs, but nothing can beat the power and efficiency of a proper LED flashlight. You can either keep your flashlight stored away in your glove compartment or in your trunk with the rest of your emergency supplies.

Floor Mats

If you are going to be working as an Uber driver, you may want to look into replacing the floor mats that come included with your car. Of course, if your vehicle is a high-end model, you will likely not want to do this as it probably comes equipped with quality floor mats already.

Keep in mind that new floor mats are often integral if you live in a place with a harsher climate during winter. WeatherTech’s Trim-to-Fit floor mats are excellent for drivers who have people continually getting in and out of their cars, and you can rest assured that they are durable enough to last.

Seat Covers

If you don’t want to deal with constantly cleaning the seats of your car, you may wish to invest in a set of seat covers that will keep them protected from dirt. You will want to make sure that you purchase quality covers, as cheaper ones may be uncomfortable and diminish the passenger experience.

Image: autoanything.com

Keep in mind that you may have to clean the seat covers from time to time, as they will not be impervious to getting dirty, but it will be much simpler than keeping the seats themselves clean. Seat covers may end up being necessary for a northern climate where you will often have to deal with snow.

Back Support

While this may not be necessary at all times, it helps to have something available in the car that can provide additional lumbar support for your passengers. If you ever have a passenger with a bad back, you will seem like the best driver in the world for providing them with a lumbar cushion.

For those of you searching for the best Uber accessory that can provide additional back support, there are few options better than the LoveHome Memory Foam Support Cushion. In addition to being affordable, this product is both comfortable and durable enough to last you a much longer time than most other support pillows.

Dash Cam

If your job is going to revolve around driving, you want to be able to make sure that someone else’s mistake won’t end up cutting off your source of income. For this reason, Uber drivers should always have dash cams in their cars so they will have evidence of any collisions or other occurrences.

Equipping your vehicle with a dash cam is the responsible decision when you don’t know who is behind the wheel of other cars. The Falcon Zero F360 is one of the most advanced dash cams on the market, and it is more affordable than most other comparable high-end dash cam models.

Sunglasses

While this may not seem like something that you would immediately consider, a good pair of sunglasses can make it much easier for you to drive during sunny days. Instead of having to constantly adjust the shade above your head to keep your eyes shadowed, you can just rely on your sunglasses.

As an Uber driver, the choice is yours when it comes to the sunglasses that you should opt for. There are even sunglasses that are designed for driving at night! The BLUPOND Night Driving Glasses are an excellent choice of product for any Uber driver who tends to do a lot of driving during the night.

Gum/Mints/Water

No one is saying that you need to have your car equipped with a buffet in the back, but it is always nice to have some provisions for your passengers, especially on longer rides. Having some gum or mints in the back of your car ensures that your customers will be able to freshen their breath on the way to meetings or dates.

Water, on the other hand, is merely a common courtesy that should be extended by every Uber driver, especially when you consider how affordable it is to buy a few bulk packs of bottles. While the water may not be chilled, it will be better than your customers having to deal with parched throats.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are always a good idea to bring along as Uber accessories since they are so versatile. If you ever need to clean something up, a paper towel will get the job done. Perhaps your rider needs to blow their nose? You can always offer them a paper towel so that they aren’t uncomfortable for the whole ride.

I would recommend keeping a package of at least two paper towel rolls in the trunk of your car so that you won’t unexpectedly run out halfway through the day. You will also want at least one roll in the car’s interior so that you won’t have to pull over to access the paper towels, of course.

Mileage Tracker

Stride Drive app

If you are going to be keeping track of the miles that you drive for work, one of the best ways to do so is using an app, especially if you are an Uber driver whose phone will be necessary. There are a few different options available when it comes to keeping track of mileage for your taxes.

Related: Best Mileage Tracking Apps for Rideshare Drivers

Two of the most popular options on the market are the Stride Drive app and the MileIQ app, both of which do the same task but in slightly different ways. MileIQ is by far the more popular app, but Stride Drive offers some features that may make it a more functional alternative for some other drivers.

Business Cards

If you provide a memorable experience for your riders, you may wish to include business cards in your vehicle for their perusal. It can’t hurt to offer something for the people in the back seat to take a look at throughout a ride, especially if you are going to be driving for long distances.

When it comes to choosing the right business cards, you will want to go with something that is a little more restrained so that it remains tasteful, but it should still be memorable. You will also want to leave them somewhere where they can be easily accessed, but you don’t want them to be too prevalent, so they don’t feel like an advertisement.

Conclusion

As you can see, a lot of thought goes into choosing the right Uber accessories, as that will have the single greatest influence on how your riders perceive the riding experience. We hope that this guide has been able to give you some ideas on how you can improve that experience for your customers.

From products that improve the safety of everyone in the car like first aid kits to little quality of life accessories like air fresheners, everything plays its role in your vehicle. Thank you for taking the time to read over my guide.

What is the Best Mileage Tracking Apps for Rideshare Drivers?

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.

best mileage tracking apps for rideshare drivers

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.

Google Maps

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

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 Drive

Stride Drive app

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.

Read Full: Stride Drive App Review

QuickBooks

Quickbooks app

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

Hurdlr app

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

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.

Download MileIQ: App Store | Google Play

TripLog


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

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

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

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.

Everlance

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

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.

10 Tips for Improving Your Lyft Customer Service Experience

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.

lyft customer service

Image: lyftrideestimate.com

Without any further delay, let’s dive right into our list of tips.

1 – If You Can Wait, Call at an Unconventional Time

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.

2 – You Can Do Other Things While Waiting

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.

3 – Keep Your Driver’s Name and Your Ride Info Ready

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.

4 – Lyft Does Not Have a Phone Number

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.

lyft help contact form

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.

5 – Be Courteous and Polite While Interacting With Your Representative

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.

6 – State Your Problem Clearly and Exclude Extraneous Info

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.

7 – Ensure That the Issue is on Lyft’s End Beforehand

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.

8 – Do Not be Embarrassed by Your Issues

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.

9 – Try to Use Proper Formatting, Grammar, and Punctuation

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.

10 – Feel Free to Check Lyft Help Before Contacting Customer Service

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.

lyft help

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.

Conclusion

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.