Gig Driving: Best Times To Drive

Drivers make more money when they plan shifts around peak demand times.

If you want to make more money, you have to make the most out of every moment you spend on every shift. You can’t waste time aimlessly riding around or sitting in a parking spot, waiting forever for the next ping to come. You need to drive at times when demand—and pay—will be at their peaks.

How do you know what the best times to drive are, and where would you get this information? This article from agrees that it’s good to know the right times to drive, and gives very general ideas about when certain peaks might be. This rough estimate, while somewhat useful, leaves much to be desired. If you want to know the best times to drive, there is a much better way to find out.

In this post, we’ll show you how the When to Drive feature from Gridwise can change your driving gig and make it far more profitable. Here’s what we’ll feature:

Let’s get started.

When to drive: Boost your earnings with real data

The When to Drive feature from Gridwise is based on far more than mere guesswork. It lists the best times to drive, specifically in your area, based on the actual experience of real drivers. This data from drivers just like you reflects the unique aspects of your area and lets you see when drivers make the most money.

Here’s how it works.

First, download Gridwise, the app designed for gig drivers by gig drivers.

Sign in, and click on the Insights tab. You’ll see a chart showing the days that yield the most earnings in your town. You can also compare services to get insight into hourly rates across the apps you use.

Insights such as these can really boost your earnings, and you can’t have too many of them! That’s why you need Gridwise Plus, a premium service that offers extended features, benefits, and utility. For just $9.99 per month, you can boost your earnings up to 30% by taking advantage of extended features in When to Drive. Check out just how detailed the data telling when to drive can be:

The Gridwise Plus version of When to Drive gives you

  • a history of earnings by time and by service, for at least 4 weeks
  • airport departure and arrival patterns 24/7
  • real-time flight details, including plane sizes and delays
  • custom airport alerts
  • unlimited information about local events

This insight is, obviously, like gold when it comes to knowing when to drive, but there is even more you need to be aware of.

What special days and events create demand in your area?

You can always count on When to Drive from Gridwise to show you the peak times to drive in your area. The app will clue you in on huge events such as pro sports games and major concerts. Don’t miss out, though, on smaller, more localized happenings that are bound to bring in the pings. Here are some to consider.

College comings and goings 

Stay aware of academic calendars that govern life at the colleges and universities around you. There are bound to be surges when the studious ones are ready to take a break. This can happen at the beginning of terms, in the middle, and certainly at winter and spring breaks. In addition to airport runs, there are bound to be plenty of parties and school events surrounding these important dates. Move-in time is sure to bring you business when students are stocking their living spaces with creature comforts and junk food staples.

High school sports and events 

Savvy parents are sick of trying to park at school sporting events and other auditorium-worthy presentations. It’s far easier for them to watch their favorite player, dancer, or budding violinist without the worries of dealing with their own vehicles. Delivery drivers can make out, too, with the after parties that are sure to take place. Check for signs around schools, local postings, and the school district website for dates and times of events. Be cautious about carrying under age kids, though. This article from Gridwise covers services that are best suited for those not yet enjoying adulthood.

Taco Tuesdays and Thirsty Thursdays

Most drivers think of midweek evenings as “dead,” but they might not be! Cruise your local neighborhoods to check advertisements outside of bars and restaurants, and keep a close eye on When to Drive and Where to Drive on the Gridwise app. They will tip you off on where people will be looking for gig drivers after indulging in the deals to be had. The conversations that go on in your back seat could make these “off” nights some of the best times to drive for Lyft. 

Community events

Beyond games, shows, and other gatherings related to schools in your area, crowds gather for many events sponsored by the community at large. From Fourth of July fireworks and Pride parades to Santa’s arrival and solemn religious holidays, you’ll find activities and events that draw people who need your services. Check out your community calendars and stay on top of all local happenings.

“Smaller” holidays

You may not want to give up your own “big” holiday traditions so you can work, but what about a less major celebration such as Halloween? It can be one of the best times to drive for Uber. Not only can it be lucrative, it offers a bit of fun too. Check out this Gridwise post to get ideas for driving during the halloween. Then think about other “smaller” holidays that inspire you to dress up your driving to join in on the fun. Hearts on your car for Valentine’s passengers or Easter bunny ears, anybody?

Always check the Events Feature in Gridwise to pinpoint times and places for events Now that we know where to go to get real data on when to drive, and have some other ideas to go on, let’s look at how you can capitalize on different peak times, depending on your driving gig.

What are the best times to drive for Uber and other rideshare apps?

Gridwise data show us that the best times to drive can vary from one place and one season to another. However, time windows that are open to rideshare drivers everywhere can pay off in big ways.

Early morning airport runs

 If you like to stay up all night or get up very, very early, you’ll find plenty of customers pinging for rides to the airport. With scheduling options now available for Uber and Lyft, you could even get the advance notice you need to plan for a little shut-eye before or after your trips. And always remember to check Gridwise for up-to-the-minute airport info!

Before and after work hours

 For starters, there’s a rule of thumb, according toFast Track Leasing LLC, that cites early mornings as the best time for rideshare drivers. With the price of parking in numerous cities, many workers prefer to let you do the driving. It’s true that not all office buildings are back to pre-pandemic numbers in terms of rides, but this is still fertile ground for harvesting plenty of pay.

Weekends and party hours

So many passengers enjoy the freedom rideshare offers in terms of staying away from driving after they’ve had a few, and certainly after a few too many. The lack of parking fees and the hassle of worrying about one’s car add to the incentives people have for calling an Uber or Lyft when they have plans to party hard.

Big events

Concerts, sporting events, festivals, and all types of crowded gatherings are likely occasions for passengers to call Uber, Lyft, or their other favorite rideshare services. Be careful here, though. Try to drive around the big event, say for tailgating or pre-stage play or concert meals. That way, you won’t spend your entire shift hoping the traffic jam you’re sitting in, at or near the event venue, will clear.

What are the best times to drive for Doordash and other delivery apps?

You’ll find out the details from When to Drive from Gridwise, but we also want to give you some general ideas to keep in mind for grabbing ping-rich delivery shifts. Don’t miss out on the best times to drive for Uber Eats, Grubhub, or Instacart. Here are a few.

Nighttime noshing

 Never underestimate the ability of college students or late night bar hoppers to devour entire pizzas or burgers piled high with gooey extras during the wee hours. Most delivery drivers focus their efforts on “customary” meal times, but the late night can be a great time to scoop up big orders. Hang around the eateries that attract this crowd, and you’ll be heaving bags full of comfort food, and possibly collect bonus money and big tips for hanging out long after dark. Don’t believe us? has more about evolving late-night eating habits.

Pre- and post-game parties

The majority of people dig making their own munching material at tailgate parties, but some will probably want to have you bring their favorite restaurant wings instead. As for those who are watching big games at home, you’ll be their favorite person when you deliver the cheesy nachos and bottomless barrels of salsa. Stay alert to game times, including halftime and final whistles. If you deliver beer, you could be bringing it for a celebration or for something your customers can cry into. Either way, you get to keep your profits high!

Pre-holiday prep time

When people are in the throes of putting together gigantic feasts for upcoming holidays, the first thing they’ll want is today’s dinner delivered…now. You can bet on more than a few orders coming your way on holiday eves. And if your app involves delivering groceries, there’s a lot of last-minute order potential for forgotten, and drastically needed, items too.

Bad weather

It pays to have your delivery vehicle ready for service in rain, snow, sleet, and even blazing sun. When the weather gets disagreeable, customers just might flock to their delivery apps to order comforting grub without having to leave the welcoming heat of their homes. When are the best times to deliver for Uber Eats? you ask. Even with a keen eye on the weather, it can be hard to tell.

You need solid knowledge and personalised data from When to Drive from Gridwise. Then you’ll know for sure when you can make more money, any time of the day or night, and in any weather!

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Additional insight into rideshare and delivery driving from Gridwise:


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*Gridwise does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for information purposes only, and is not intended to provide,

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