When driving for Uber or Lyft, you’re literally in your car for your entire shift, so it’s smart to make your car the most comfortable place. In order to set yourself up for success, it’s key to have a few essential items in your vehicle for when you drive.
Below is a list of the top ten items that I like to have in my car.
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1. Car Freshener
I can’t stress this one enough. You’re going to be in your car all day/night, and you want to be smelling a pleasing fragrance. If you want, you can get a couple different car fresheners so you can mix up your smells each day.
Also, some of your passengers are going to bring in some bad smells throughout your day. For example, I often get passengers who smell like smoke. I usually drive around a bit afterward (or on my way to get my next passenger) with my windows rolled down to get the smokey smell out.
2. Phone Mount
This one is mandatory. It’s illegal to drive while using your phone with your hands, so a phone mount is going to be your only choice here. It helps with navigation and makes it easy for you to use your phone while you drive. It also shows the passengers your GPS, which helps them be at ease while you drive.
Keep napkins in your car. You never know when a passenger is going to spill something and it’s the easiest way to clean up a small mess. If it’s a big mess (like someone throwing up), Lyft and Uber have you covered; just report it in the app and they will charge the passenger a cleanup fee.
This one is a personal favorite. I love chewing gum but most especially when I drive. It’s a great way for me to pass the time while I drive and you can even offer some to your passengers if they just came from a restaurant.
5. Car Charger
You definitely need one for yourself or else your phone is going to die because the Uber/Lyft driver app plus the navigation app uses up a lot of battery. It’s also nice to have a charger for when your passengers need to charge their phone and that’s a great way to earn extra tips.
7. Comfortable Clothes/Change of Clothes
Since you’ll be driving for long hours, make sure that you are wearing clothes that are the most comfortable. Some people think you need to dress nice so your passengers will tip you more, but if you are wearing comfortable clothes and are able to work an extra couple hours because you are comfortable, it’s going to outweigh any tips you receive. Keep a change of clothes in your car for emergencies.
8. Water/Energy Drinks
While some people recommend offering water to their passengers, I think it’s important to stay hydrated while you drive. Keep a couple water bottles in your trunk and make sure you drink a few a day. It’ll keep you more alert and energized. Also, at what other job can you sip on energy drinks while you work? It’s a great perk!
9. A Jacket
I always wear a light jacket when I drive and keep my car a little on the colder side because you never know what your passengers’ preference are when you drive. It’s also better to keep your car cold as opposed to warm to keep out smells and to also keep your car feeling and smelling fresh.
10. Car Paperwork
Last but not least, car paperwork is completely necessary but a lot of people don’t keep all their paperwork with them. Some airports like LAX require Lyft/Uber drivers to have a special permit when they are dropping people off/picking people up from the airport. If you don’t, you can be charged a fine up to a couple thousand dollars.
Also, make sure that you have your license, registration, insurance information, and any other paperwork necessary to prove your ownership of the vehicle and that you are properly insured. In the case that you are pulled over by a police officer, you want all your paperwork ready.
Keep in mind that your car is your workplace and you should keep in your car whatever is going to make you feel the least stressed and most comfortable throughout the day.