Driving With Uber: Jennifer’s Tips for Your First Trip

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When starting something new, the fear of the unknown often holds us back.

The what-ifs and what-abouts we project keep us from exploring a new opportunity that could lead to our next adventure. To overcome our fears and uncertainties, it helps to get advice from someone with first-hand experience.

If you are a new Uber driver-partner or interested in driving with Uber, you may be unsure about taking your first trip or getting started. Will you be able to navigate the roads, converse with your riders, and stay safe while driving?

Whatever your concerns might be, you’re not alone.

There are thousands of Uber driver-partners around the world. Undoubtedly, someone has felt the same way. How did they venture into the unknown? Let’s let them tell us.

Jennifer Fishman

A 25-year-old real estate agent and Allston resident, driving with Uber came naturally to Jennifer since she is “used to driving people all over the city and chit-chatting with them.” She plans to use her earnings to support her upcoming move to San Diego.

Jennifer’s roommate is an Uber driver-partner and encouraged her to sign up. Initially reluctant to the idea, she decided to take the leap. Now, she can’t get enough.

“If you have a car and the extra time, everyone should do it. It’s an awesome way to meet people and get some extra cash.”

Jennifer loves live music, especially electronic dance music, and attends multiple shows every week. It’s only fitting that her favorite trip was with R&B singer SoMo who was performing at the House of Blues in Boston!

Before she got started, Jennifer was most concerned about safety but has had “zero problems.” Her riders made her first few trips easy. “My first trip was awesome. I told my riders and they were all about it!”

To help you get going, here are her top tips:

Familiarize Yourself With the Neighborhoods

Before you drive for the first time, get to know the areas you’ll be driving around. While the Uber Partner app is integrated with Waze and Google Maps to guide your trips, Jennifer’s sense for the neighborhoods helped her feel confident on the road. Whether you drive in the city or suburbs, this familiarity will keep you on track.    

Read Your Riders’ Moods

Some riders want to chat while others like to relax quietly in your backseat. Jennifer likes to start off with a friendly greeting and ask how her rider’s day is going to gauge their mood. If a rider cheerfully responds, it’s likely that they are up for some banter and conversation. When her greeting receives little enthusiasm, the rider probably prefers silence.

Use the Pickup Area to Start Conversation

Not sure what to talk about with your riders? Jennifer suggests using the pickup area to spark dialogue. When you’re picking up a rider near a college campus, they could be a student. This opens up conversation about classes, spring or winter break, college sports, and other college-related topics. The trip destination can similarly inspire discussion. If your rider is heading to the airport, you could ask if they’re going on vacation or a business trip. 

Call Your Riders in Busy Pickup Spots

To connect with your riders when you arrive at the pickup location, give them a call. You can either call or text your rider anonymously through the Uber Partner app. Jennifer prefers calling since it’s faster and easier to do from her car. Ask about the best way to identify them: appearance, clothes, standing spot, and so on. If the rider doesn’t pick up, you can send a text to follow up.

Relax and Have Fun

What’s the secret to Jennifer’s high rating and glowing rider comments? She has a good time! Jennifer recommends, “Just relax, people don’t want an uptight or stern driver. Have fun with it!” Her positive demeanor and friendly spirit are contagious and make her riders’ days brighter. One of her riders commented, “Her wonderful attitude made the trip very enjoyable.” A simple smile or pleasant conversation can make a big difference. 

Wary at first, Jennifer embraced the chance to back her westward move by driving with Uber. Remembering the sign-up process, Jennifer explains, “It was so simple. I was surprised how easy and convenient it was.” Driving people from point A to point B is profitable and fun with Uber.

So what are you waiting for?

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