5 Things You Need to Know Before Working for a Rideshare Company

So, you want to make a little money — or maybe a lot of extra money — working for a rideshare company, do you? Well, for starters: you’re unlikely to find yourself scrambling for work for the next, oh, 20 years or so (if not much longer). That’s because Goldman Sachs expects the global rideshare industry to reach a whopping $285 billion by 2030. And Energias Market Research echoes this bullish forecast by projecting that the rideshare industry will enjoy a CAGR of 16.4% between 2018-2024.

Ride

However, before you slap that Uber or Lyft sticker to the back of your car and start raking in the cash, there are five things you need to know before you start working for a rideshare company:

  • Not all rideshare companies are the same.

Many customers may not know — or care — about the difference between various rideshare companies, but you definitely need to do your homework before you sign-up. Each has its own rules and regulations, and the compensation also varies.

  • You’re not going to get benefits or perks.

The rideshare company (or companies) that you work for may refer to you as a partner, a team member,  and a critical part of the business collaboration and customer service puzzle. Those are nice designations. However, none of this means that you’re going to be an employee — which means, among other things, you aren’t going to get benefits and perks, and you won’t have the same legal protections offered to employees, and you’ll be responsible for paying tax on your income.

  • You need to change your insurance.

Your current car insurance policy won’t cover your rideshare activities, which means that you need to upgrade your policy now — not later. Failure to do so could make you personally liable for any accidents or injuries incurred by your passengers or anyone else. The good news is that more insurance companies are getting in on the rideshare action, and if your current insurer doesn’t provide the coverage that you need (or it’s ridiculously expensive), you can shop around for a better deal.

  • Rules differ from city to city.

Once you become a rideshare driver you’ll need to become very well versed in geography, because various cities have different rules on whether and how rideshare companies (and subsequently their drivers) can operate. Make sure you know what you can do and where, to avoid paying a hefty fine, and possibly getting kicked off the roster.

  • You need to keep your car really clean.

This may not seem like breaking news — after all, you know that you need to keep your car clean once you become part of the rideshare circuit. But unless you’re one of those people who lovingly cleans your tire rims with a toothbrush, you may be (and probably are) underestimating how much time this will take, and also how much it might cramp your personal style. For example, those fun car rides with your ultra-shedding dog might need to halt; or at least, you’ll need to invest in a really good portable vacuum cleaner.

The Bottom Line

Working for one or several rideshare companies could be profitable and enjoyable. But as with all other endeavors, you need to go in with your eyes open and make decisions based on facts; not assumptions. The more you know ahead of time, the better off you’ll be — and ultimately, the more money you’ll make. 

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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