An Interview With A Driver Who Uses Lyft and Uberโ€“ Side Hustle Idea

It’s been quite a while since I published my last post for my side hustle ideas series, but I have a fun one today for you. If you are interested in learning how to become an Uber driver-partner, then you should continue reading! My friend Harry is a driver with both and let me interview…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: March 4, 2024

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An Interview With A Lyft and Uber Driver - Side Hustle Idea #makemoney #makeextramoney

It’s been quite a while since I published my last post for my side hustle ideas series, but I have a fun one today for you. If you are interested in learning how to become an Uber driver-partner, then you should continue reading!

My friend Harry is a driver with both and let me interview him the other day. Enjoy!

Just to start off, can you share what exactly your side hustle is? Who do you drive with?

I’m a rideshare driver with Uber and Lyft.

For those unfamiliar with rideshare, it’s basically a way to request a ride with a smartphone app.  There are thousands of drivers out there just like me who work full time jobs, part-time jobs, etc and whenever they want to drive, they can just turn their app on and they’ll be matched with passengers in need of a ride.  The entire transaction is cashless and everything is done over your mobile app.

Why did you decide to do this as a side hustle idea?

I’ve always been good at making money but I love gigs that align with a hobby or a passion.  Since I like to drive and love to meet new people, I figured this would be the perfect side hustle.

I also love the flexibility aspect since you can make your own schedule or you can take an entire month off from driving like I did over the summer when I got married.  There aren’t many decent paying gigs that will allow you to do this.

Recommended reading: 11 Ways To Get Paid To Drive A Car Across The Country

How long have you been driving for side money? How many hours do you estimate you drive each week/month?

I started off driving for Lyft  and I signed up to drive with Uber about a month later.

I usually drive about 10 hours a week and I always try to drive for at least a few hours during special events or holidays since that’s when you might be able to earn more.

How are you paid? Do passengers give you money or is it all electronic?

Everything is handled through the app and you are paid via direct deposit weekly.  Some customers will tip in cash but for the most part, the entire transaction is cashless.

How much does it cost to be a driver? How much do you think you spend to be a driver, and what are some of the costs?

The start-up costs might be minimal if you already own a car and a smartphone, but requirements vary by city.  Lyft requires all cars to be 4 doors and 2000 or newer while Uber requires all cars to be 4 doors and 15 years old or newer.

As a driver, you have to pay for pretty much everything including gas and maintenance on your car but typically I don’t use more than a few dollars worth of gas per hour.  The big ‘hidden cost’ is probably the depreciation of your car.

Recommended reading: 26 Best Gig Apps To Make Money

What do you like and hate about this side hustle idea?

I love the fact that I get paid to drive people around.  I don’t go out as much as I used to so it’s also a good way to live vicariously through other people

The only thing I really don’t like about being a driver is that you are sometimes rates change over the past few months so I don’t get paid quite as much as I used to but there is still plenty of opportunity available.

Do you have any interesting or fun stories to share?

Yes definitely!  One of the coolest things that has ever happened to me was when I picked up a former professional  basketball player.  I am a huge basketball fan so we were obviously talking about that a lot and when he got out, he left me two tickets to the next night’s game.  I was totally shocked and to this day, it is definitely the best ‘tip’ I’ve ever received!

Harry Campbell is a full time engineer and rideshare driver.  He also runs a blog and podcast for drivers at TheRideshareGuy.com

Are you interested in learning how to become an Uber driver-partner?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. As a lyft/uber passenger I’ve always wondered about the tip thing, I wasn’t sure if the app included it or if I had to pay cash.

    1. If your driver goes above and beyond, then it’s nice to leave a tip. It’s tough though with Uber since they don’t allow you to tip on app so you have to do it in cash which kind of defeats the convenience aspect of it all. I like taking Lyft as a passenger because you can tip on the app though. Here’s an article I wrote on tipping the other day:

      http://www.therideshareguy.com/should-uber-passengers-tip-their-drivers/

  2. Amy

    Such an interesting concept! I love how technology is constantly reshaping and changing the way we work

    1. Yea it’s definitely cool how apps are revolutionizing the way we get around and our lives in general.

  3. I’ve never tired this as a side hustle and it seems like a good idea, but it wouldn’t work in my small, rural town.

    1. Definitely better in big cities but there are other sharing economy sites that work well in smaller rural towns: AirBnb, DogVacay, TrukBuddy, etc ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I always wondered what would happen if you picked someone up that maybe had a couple too many and got sick in your car, who would be responsible for the costs associated with cleaning it up? Things like that (I guess I’m not the world’s biggest optimist, huh) have kept me on the sidelines for this.

    1. Yea if you drive the ‘party hours’ that is definitely a possibility. But since the passenger’s credit card is linked if you do get a vomiter then Lyft/Uber will charge the client and you get reimbursed for the cost of getting your car cleaned. But I’d rather just not have my car thrown up on in the first place ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I think this is a great idea. Unfortunately, as my car is only a 2-door it’s not a realistic side hustle for me at the moment but I think it’s cool that so many are able to profit from such a fun gig!

    1. Yea you need 4 door for Lyft and Uber but Sidecar is another rideshare app that will let you drive with a 2 door car ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Maryanne

        I’m in Massachusetts, and I’m an insurance agent. I just wanted to point out that most auto insurance policies have some sort of ride share exclusion or “transporting people for a fee” exclusion. In addition, you probably signed an application when you first got your policy and answered “no” to the transporting people question. If they find out that you do transport, that’s material misrepresentation. In MA, you must have a livery policy in order to have coverage in case of a loss. These can cost WELL over $4,000 annually for “basic” insurance (not including coverage for your car’s physical damage, which you must have if you have a loan on your car) if you drive and pick up passengers in the city. If you dont have a livery policy and there’s an accident, well…you could be out a ton of money for your car and any injuries if it’s discovered that you drive people around for money. Thought you all should know. It makes me nervous that there are people doing this Uber thing & have no idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Paul Latta

    I just took my first Uber ride the other night and found it to be a pleasant experience. I’ve actually had the app on my phone for five months before I needed to use it. My car broke down in a place where there aren’t a lot of cabs. So I fired up the app, requested a ride and had a driver in minutes.

    Way cheaper than a taxi too.

    Use Michelle’s code for your first ride and your ride could be totally free.

    The best part about the app is it displays your driver’s photo, what kind of car she’s driving and shows her position on the map, along with an ETA.

    Great experience.

    1. Yup, I started out as a passenger and I still use it a ton to this day. Being able to see your driver is definitely a cool feature and it’s also great that there are so many drivers within minutes.

  7. This is such a great idea but I wonder about the whole safety issue. What if there was some weirdo you’re giving a ride to? Other than that biggie, it’s a great idea!

    1. You’d be surprised there are a lot more weirdo drivers than passengers haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. This was really cool to read as I actually used Uber for the first time a few days ago. Sounds like a decent way to make some good side money.

    1. Nice yea it’s great for passengers and definitely an awesome way to make a little side cash for all the reasons I outlined.

  9. Newlyweds on a Budget

    My husband is thinking of doing it but we have to wait until we get a new (to us) car next year since both our cars are two-doors right now

    1. Gotcha, yea I’m sure they’ll still be hiring drivers next year. Sidecar does allow 2 door cars but they’re not nearly as popular as Lyft and Uber.

  10. Taylor Lee

    My BF just got started as a Lyft driver and has been doing really well with the stormy weather recently (rainy days = primetime premiums!). Harry, do you have any tips for drivers just starting out?

    1. Yes most definitely, I actually give out a free guide that is great for new drivers on my site when you sign-up for the e-mail list. Take a look and lmk if you have any questions: http://www.therideshareguy.com/email

  11. Interesting to hear from an actual driver. Uber recently just came to Portland, Maine and I have heard mixed things about some of the drivers and the company as a whole. Personally, I don’t think I could do it. But it sounds like it could possibilty be luractive for some.

    1. Yea the craziest part about rideshare is that it’s still growing. It will likely be in every city in America in some form within a few years ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Since you are working with the company directly and have a better experience of their practices than anyone who is just a passenger, have you been bothered by any of the negative press out there about Uber lately? Or do you see it as exaggerated? (I’ve never used either service).

    1. There has definitely been a ton of bad press lately but I do think a lot of it is overblown. At the end of the day, Uber still has a lot of kinks to work out but it is far superior to a traditional taxi cab.

  13. They’ll probably be there one way or the other very shortly ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. nicole dziedzic

    Wow this is actually pretty cool, and a great way to make some extra cash, I could so do this, cause I already drive a lot.