It seemed like a good option because it was easy and I could create my own hours. So I began the process of signing up. All you need is a 2000 or newer car with 4 doors with current registration and insurance and a valid driver's license. They run checks on your driving record and a background check and then you just need to get your car checked out (a general 19 point inspection) and that's it! (There are instructional videos on their website and onsite people at Uber Activation Centers for help and info)
So I did all the paperwork requirements and once my background check passed, all I had to do was bring my car in for the inspection. And that's where I dropped the ball. I did get busy, we had vacations, I may have been a bit lazy (we didn't REALLY need the money), and, to be honest, I'm always nervous about starting something new so I guess I was a bit scared about change and the slight possibility of letting a murderer into my car.
September came around, and school started (I teach an after school program) and my schedule was no longer so open). I kept getting emails and texts from Uber saying, "You're almost done! Just get your car checked out and then you can start driving!" And I'd think, oh I have time next week . . . and that went on and on.
When I originally signed up, I found a code online that offered an extra $100 after you complete your first 10 rides. Easy enough. And so when December came, I got another email saying that I only had until the end of the month to still get the $100 bonus. Well the beginning of December was super busy for me, but I knew I would have some time once school got out. But then there was Christmas shopping and decorating, meeting up with friends and family, and all that jazz. Let's just say, I left it until the very last day -- Dec 31 -- to actually try and start this up.
And this is how it went . . .
I went to an Uber Activation Center to get my car checked, it passed, and a lady gave me some tidbits and I was on my way! I pulled into the nearest parking lot to get the app started and within a matter of minutes I already got a notification of a rider requesting a ride nearby. I accepted, and I was on my way. This ride was short, in town, and actually on my way home! Perfect, just the kinds of trips I wanted!
After I dropped him off, I headed back towards my apartment. I thought I'd just wait there and leave when I got more riders. But as I was almost home I realized, Uber lets the nearest Uber driver know about people. That means if I'm not in a populated area (unless there were like no Uber drivers on in my city) I wouldn't get very many people where I live. So I turned around and went towards a shopping center.
Well I drove in a big circle around the whole city and neighboring city hitting all the major shopping centers and not one other ride! (It was the early afternoon). Then it hit me, people will be getting off work soon, I should wait at BART (our local transit to and from San Francisco). I went there, and sat in the parking lot and then only a minute or two later, I got a text from my husband saying he was off work.
So I went offline, picked my husband up, and went home. We ate, and by this time it was getting to be the early evening. We had a New Year's party that we wanted to get to, but I still wanted to try and get the $100 bonus. So I headed back out.
I got a ride pretty quickly. He ended up going a few cities over. (I still haven't figured out to tell where they want to go before I accept the ride, you only get 15 seconds to accept. I'm just glad nobody wanted to go really far away since I just wanted to stay local) Once I dropped him off, I set my destination to home (so I would only pick up people going that direction and not get further away from my area). Once I hit the somewhat bigger city next to my city, I turned that off and I got another rider. This one was actually going to my city, score! But she actually just wanted to pick something up and go back home. So I ended up back at the neighboring city.
These two rides were good because I made a lot of money off of them ($20 and $16) but I wanted many quick rides so I could get the 10 ride bonus and go to my party! I did one more short ride, and decided I would just forgo the bonus so I could go to the party and enjoy my day (I was kind of tired of driving too as it had been almost 2 hours).
So for my first day, in just about 2 and a half hours total I made just over $40. Not bad. You meet some really interesting people. The one thing that does get annoying, is the constant backtracking. Just as you leave an area, you pick a person up that wants to go right where you just came from! But if you don't mind driving and you have a fuel efficient car (like my Prius!) then it's a really easy way to make a few extra bucks.
Luckily, when I got my account activated, the woman helping me gave me another bonus of $200 after my first 20 rides. So I will definitely take advantage of that one! (I think I have 30 days to complete it) I'm kicking myself for not getting the 10 rides done in those 6 MONTHS that I had to get the bonus since it is so easy, but oh well. At least I'll have something to do to make some money on my weird bouts of no work.
Sign up with my Uber code: carmenl419ue to get a bonus. For a limited time the bonus is $300 so sign up now!
Limited Time Offer: $300 Extra for New Drivers!
Uber's the fast and easy way to make money driving in your own car and on your own schedule. Sign up to receive your $300 reward. New uberX partners only.