How to make the most out of your part-time driving gig

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Breaking news: you don’t have to settle for part-time earnings just because you’re a part-time driver! With a bit of planning and a strategy, you can squeeze a little more from your side hustles. 

In any business, there are two ways to maximize your earnings: increase your revenue and lower your costs. 

In this article, we offer 9 tips and strategies so can find the balance of gig magic that works for you; earning you more for every mile. Here’s a list of tips on how to make more money as a part-time driver:

  1. Know your market
  2. Schedule in advance
  3. Be selective in choosing your orders
  4. Aim for higher tips
  5. Rent a vehicle from a friend
  6. Rent your car to others
  7. Make money from advertising
  8. Become a multi-apper
  9. Lower maintenance costs and other expenses

Know your market

Your location plays the most important role in determining your earnings as a rideshare and a delivery driver. 

For example, if your area is packed with top restaurants, becoming a delivery driver will be more profitable than if you’re located in a more urban location. 

If you stay closer to a busy airport or travel hub, ridesharing might bring more revenue.

Finding your top earning activity might take some time, and it will definitely require on-demand data trends to help you identify the high-earning hours. 

Utilize Gridwise to help you decide on the best times and places to drive. Our app allows you to automatically track and compare your earnings across different platforms with easy-to-use graphics, so you can pick the one that works best for you.

Schedule in advance

To avoid an oversupply of drivers on the road, delivery platforms like DoorDash require drivers to schedule their availability in advance. Tapping in once the booking window opens allows you to pick the most lucrative slots that cover peak driving hours. 

It’s always best to have your available times mapped out before hours open up in the app so you can create your schedule without having to think about your other obligations during the week. 

For rideshare drivers, keep track of the high-volume flight times with Gridwise! Use Gridwise as your go-to driving sidekick; all you have to do is download the Gridwise app, create an account, and check out the airports tab to see the amount of passengers on each flight and when each flight is coming in and going out of your city every day. Gridwise also lets you customize flight and event alerts so you know what to expect when you’re expecting!

Be selective in choosing your orders

Time is a scarce resource, even more so when you are working part-time. To make as much money as possible during your time out on the road, you have to be selective in choosing your orders, and this might require a different strategy than drivers who work full-time. 

Accepting only higher-value orders can get you better pay per order, but it means taking a hit on your order acceptance rate. Cherry-picking higher value orders also means you may not qualify for reward programs like Top Dasher. 

However, these programs are usually designed to reward drivers for high volume over multiple hours. If you only have a few hours to drive here and there, it’s still more profitable to maximize your earnings per order. 

Aim for higher tips

Simple, yes. But increasing your tips is one of the best ways to increase your earnings when your working hours are limited. 

Using insulated delivery bags, a cooler for drinks, and maintaining a supply of paper plates, napkins, straws, etc. for situations when a customer needs them are easy ways to impress and score a big tip from the customer.

Always be polite, presentable, and clear when you communicate with all your customers. Aim to surprise them by anticipating their needs and make sure that you always ask for clarification when you believe something is missing from their order. Make a note of the customers who tip you well and see if you can incorporate the success from their order into others. 

Rent a vehicle from a friend

Instead of searching something generic like “rent a vehicle near me” that may take hours up hours to find the right rental car, message a friend! To save on fees, try renting a vehicle from a friend rather than a business and remember that you can also make money as a delivery driver even without a car. While this might seem like a stretch, think about what you can offer your friend in return. You might be able to help them cover the monthly payments, maintenance costs and offset the price of insurance.  

The primary advantage of negotiating a deal with a friend rather than a company is flexibility. As long as you’re communicating and setting a reasonable schedule, you can have access to a ride for your gig without having to shell out for a monthly rental or regularly pay service fees for daily rentals. 

Rent your car to others

Does your car just sit when you’re not working? If so, then you’re not making the most of your assets. 

When you know you won’t be using your car for a few days or you’re going on vacation, consider listing your car on a car rental site. Services like HyreCar bring together car owners and those looking to rent cars on a short-term basis. And the best part is you can set your own price and availability to work for your schedule.

Make money from advertising

If you use your own car for rideshare and delivery, one effortless way to make some extra cash is to wrap it in advertising decals. Companies such as Wrapify pay car owners up to $450 a month (depending on wrap type and campaign structure) to display their ads on drivers’ cars. 

You have to drive the car for a specified minimum number of miles per day or month to qualify for the payment, a requirement you’re more than likely to meet as a delivery driver even if you work part-time. 

Plus, you can help your vehicle and service stand out if you get in with a cool brand. 

Become a multi-apper

Use multiple rideshare and delivery platforms to make sure you don’t lose any time waiting for orders. This is how the full-time drivers really pump their earnings. Even if you are working part-time, it’s worth your time and efforts to register on multiple apps to have a steady stream of orders across apps. Having an influx of orders also gives you the option to pick and choose those with a better payout. 

The best part is, with Gridwise, you can compare your earnings across all of your driving platforms to help you determine which driving service you should focus your time on.

But don’t just limit yourself to the popular apps! Sometimes, the real money is in niche delivery businesses that may be willing to pay more to attract drivers to the platform. So, keep an eye out for these opportunities!

Lower maintenance costs and other expenses

Using your car for delivery jobs will involve maintenance costs from general wear and tear. While you can’t eliminate or avoid these costs, you can keep them under control by following a few best practices

  • Drive your car with care
  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to extreme weather conditions
  • Perform regular preventive maintenance
  • Limit leisure driving

By tracking your miles, you can claim tax deductions that can add up to thousands of dollars in tax savings. As of 2020, the IRS’s standard mileage deduction rate is 57.5¢ per mile. To put that into perspective, if you drive 10,000 miles a year for rideshare and delivery services, $5,750 of your yearly earnings will be tax-free.

Gridwise helps you track your miles and claim deductions with ease. Just download the app, and start saving today! And if you have a money-maximizing tip you use in your business, leave a comment below or share it with us on our Facebook community page

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