Driving for Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare service requires the ability to think critically and plan like a champ. As a self-employed contractor, your focus has to be on maximizing your earnings and becoming profitable—and for obvious reasons, your car plays an essential role in both.
As a rideshare driver you spend a great deal of time in your car, and put thousands of miles on it each year. As a result, your car takes a beating, with wear and tear, deterioration, and the effects of passengers who are oblivious to what their muddy boots do to your car’s carpeting and upholstery. If you’re thinking about buying a car to drive for Uber or Lyft, remember these important considerations.
To help you get through the (often) arduous task of purchasing a vehicle, we’re put together this little guide with some tips you might find useful.
Before you venture out to go car shopping, you’ll want to keep a few important points in mind. One of the most basic (but essential) considerations is your price range, based on what kind of car you can afford. If your budget is most suitable for a Ford Fusion or Honda Civic, for instance, you probably don’t want to be looking at Lexus SUVs. Other important features include good gas mileage, ample legroom for passengers, and a vehicle that is comfortable for your passengers.
Of course, while shopping for a car that you’ll use while driving for Uber or Lyft, you need to pay close attention to these requirements by the companies:
- Must have four doors and be able to transport a minimum of four passengers;
- The age of vehicle differs by state; check Lyft’s and Uber’s websites to find yours;
- The title cannot be salvaged, reconstructed, or rebuilt;
- Rental vehicles are not allowed on the Uber and Lyft platforms;
- Cannot have any cosmetic damage, missing pieces, commercial branding, or taxi paint jobs.
Having a fuel-efficient vehicle is important as it can help keep your expenses down. Spacious interiors with lots of leg room can ensure comfortable passengers, which could lead to good tips and higher ratings. You might have other wants on your list as well, such as Apple Carplay, Android Auto, or even a good stereo system. Additionally, you may be interested in using an electric car to receive “going green” bonuses.
Once you’ve taken all these factors and variables into consideration, you’re ready to go out and shop for your car.
Finding the right vehicle for your driving gig
So, where do you begin? You can take several approaches. Armed with all the information you’ve collected, you could get online and start surfing the web—although you’d better set aside a large chunk of time to do so. Or, if you’re in the mood for some in-person haggling with car salespeople, you could drive from dealership to dealership to see what kind of deal you can get.
Or, if you want to make it really easy on yourself, check out a digital automotive marketplace called Truecar, whose tagline is, “Car buying at its easiest.” Truecar is a great resource for finding new or used vehicles, and the site also furnishes an astounding amount of information about them; hence, its other tagline, “Everything you need in one place.”
Choosing your car
To help you in your vehicle search, there are some vehicle lists that are great for Uber and Lyft drivers.
According to U.S. News and World Report, some of the most popular cars to drive for rideshare in 2020 are the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Ford Fusion. While doing your search, you’ll undoubtedly find these listed under “good cars to buy for Uber and Lyft drivers.”
Remember, also, not to lose sight of your budget during the shopping process. It’s frightfully easy to be seduced by a luscious car that is in your dreams but very much NOT in your budget.
If you use Truecar, you’ll be able to easily find what car makes and models are available in your zip code. The website will help you find all of the bells and whistles that you want for your car, and also allow you to search and compare other cars that you might be interested in.
What if I want to sell or trade-in my old car?
If you have a car you need to offload before you can buy a new one, again, Truecar is the ideal website for you. You can sell or trade in a vehicle on this safe and secure site. You’ll be able to quickly receive an estimate of your vehicle’s value, and work with nearby dealers through Truecar to get your cash offer as smoothly and quickly as possible. This keeps the selling and trade-in process easy and stress-free, which allows you to focus on your real goal: buying that new car for your rideshare business.
Ready to buy a new car now?
The information we’ve included in this guide will hopefully give you everything you need to get started on your search for the right vehicle. Buying a car is a big deal, and we know that. With all these tips and ideas, you’ll be able to shop wisely and make the best buying decision for you.