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Hidden Opportunities for Uber Drivers

While waiting for me to do the next lot of FAQs, here are some ways of using the time spent waiting for your next ride.

Uber Driving

We drive mostly to make money: We drive, we earn, we drive, and we earn. But there’s quite a few things that are really golden opportunities that we have because of all that time that we’re spending in the car.

Ongoing Education

The first hidden opportunity is ongoing education. We spend a lot of time in the car, and with the invention of podcasts, it’s amazing how much new stuff we can learn. Whether you want to learn about pig hunting, you want to learn about how your mind works, about meditation, you want to learn about MMA fighting, you want to learn about peak performance, you want to learn about the Paleo or Keto diet.

If you do 20 rides a day, and in between the rides you have 5 minutes, that’s like 100 extra minutes that you have where you can be listening to podcasts when your passengers aren’t in the car.

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Ten FAQs

The Apology

Abject Apology

As emailed to our client base, this is an apology for my absence from Rideshare Guy Australia.

In that time, there have been a number of emails and comments from you that have been left unanswered.

All of these will now be addressed as FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 10 at a time. In some cases, my response will be too late. I'm very, very sorry if that's the case.

In all cases, greetings have been removed for clarity and client names for privacy.

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Uber Driverless Cars

Autonomous Ubers: It's a Question of When, Not If

Uber Driverless Car

I don't think that there's any doubt that Uber sees us drivers as the weak link in their business model. They are looking forward to a future where they can eliminate us.

There's no point in resenting that. We have to accept that it's an inevitable part of the future.

A future where advances in technology eliminate the need for a driver, drastically reduce the road toll and bring congestion down to bearable levels.

Followed by Future 2.0, where autonomous flying cars eliminate the road toll, eliminate congestion, return the real estate currently consumed by roads to the public domain and, more than probably, eliminate private car ownership.

After all, why own a car when you can tap a destination on your smart phone and a few minutes later a vehicle drops out of the sky, you get in, it elevates to its assigned level and travels in a straight line to your destination while you listen to music, conference with your colleagues, face time with your friends or relax with a drink.

Guys, it's not that far off!

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More Uber Driver FAQs

A Recent Email

We received this email from a new driver recently and thought others might benefit from the questions and answers.


G’day Phil and Sam,

Thanks for all the helpful hints.

Being a relatively new Uber boy on the block, around 6 weeks on the Sunshine Coast – south end – I have some questions that I am hoping you can answer for me:

  • The Sticky Uber signs are not very sticky and keep falling down. Any suggestions?
  • How does the “call centre” work. When you get a ping, are other Uber drivers getting the same ping or is it just you?
  • I dropped a rider off at Mooloolaba last weekend. A guy was just standing there and sat down and said could I take him to Sippy Downs. I said yes but you will need to book the ride. He booked the ride and it was accepted by another nearby Uber Driver so he cancelled. It then came up on my phone and I accepted it. How does that happen?
  • The Uber GPS system could be improved.
  • I was in Mooloolaba this morning and for 30 minutes I kept seeing the message: “You are in a busy area, expect trips soon!” I got nothing! WTF?
  • How do I register to pick up riders at Sunshine Coast Airport and Brisbane Airport after doing drop off’s?

Guys, I hope you can help.

Many thanks and much appreciated.


Hi,

Answering in order.

  1. I just leave mine on all the time and don’t have any problem. Just contact Uber and ask them to send you new ones.
  2. By Call Centre, do you mean Uber help? If so, call 1300 091 272, work through the menu and you’ll get onto someone to ask. They’re not on deck until 10:00am though.
  3. Presumably because the GPS doesn’t measure time and distance all that accurately. Exactly the same thing happened to me (just once) in the Maroochydore Plaza shopping centre car park. The rider was sitting in the passenger seat at the time!
  4. The Uber nav drives me mad. Often, it works perfectly, but other times it just freezes up or reverts to directions from an earlier ride. You can sometimes fix it by exiting the driver app, turning your phone off and on again and then reloading the driver app.
  5. This is a recent feature and probably still buggy. Maybe it’s only looking at the number of riders, rather than the balance of riders and drivers. It can be useful to have a look at the rider app. If you see yourself centred on screen and surrounded by other drivers, it might be worthwhile moving so that you’re outside them and at least covering one quadrant.
  6. For Sunshine Coast airport, no registration is required. If the Uber driver app is on, you are automatically placed in the queue. Drop off and pickup just like a taxi or a private vehicle. If you want to park and wait for an incoming flight, you can do so by turning left at the big roundabout as you come into the airport. Street parking is free and there’s a great little coffee shop in Cessna Avenue.

    For Brisbane airport, you have to register your e-tag and there are designated pickup and wait zones. You can get all the information at https://pages.et.uber.com/ANZAirportStep1.

Regards

Phil

A Follow-Up Email

Phil,

Many thanks.

In respect to Point 2, I should have been a little clearer. When you get a job or a ping, are you the only one the signal goes to? Or does it go to 2 or 3 drivers and the first one to responds gets the job?

Also, in terms of getting a return trip to Noosa from the Sunshine Coast Airport, do you simply wait for the next arrival to see if you get a job – and what are the percentages of getting a job?

Many thanks,


Hi,

You’re the only one getting the ping. If you decline it (or fail to accept it) then it goes to the next closest driver.

I check the airport website for arrivals and factor in the 20-30 minutes between a plane arriving and the passengers collecting their luggage. I really dislike waiting, so I’ll only do so if the plane has already landed. That said, your chances of getting a job are fairly high. From my experience, around 80%. Of course, you don’t know whether they’re heading North or South until you start the ride, so it won’t necessarily be in the direction of home!

And unfortunately you can't use the option to get trips towards a destination (such as home) while you're in the airport queue.

Cheers

Phil

Uber Driver Support: A Positive Experience

Uber Driver Support

We've published plenty of feedback here from drivers who've suffered from unsatisfactory Uber driver support.

So it's good to be able to report a positive experience.

My own, in this case.

This morning, I picked up one of my favourite fares, from Noosa to the Sunshine Coast airport.

It takes about half an hour. The first half on the very scenic coast road and the second half on a 100 km/hr motorway.

It normally pays around $42. Not bad for an easy half hour drive and I usually pick up a couple of extra rides on the way back.

Uber Fare Lower than Usual

Except that this time the fare came up as $24.32! In other words, a reduction of 43%. Not acceptable, Uber.

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Uber Driver FAQs 1 – 5

When a reader posts a question or a comment on the site, everyone has the chance to read it and hopefully benefit from it.

Some of our subscribers prefer to email us direct.

Which is fine of course and we always reply but it does mean that no one else gets the benefit.

So this article is a collection of questions and answers from some of those emails, but without the individual subscribers being identified.

Who knows, maybe a question you've been wondering about is answered here!

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If You’re An Uber Driver You Need Rideshare Insurance

I farewelled my old insurance company today.

It was sad, really. I'd been with them forever and they'd always been terrific to deal with.

But my renewal was coming up in a couple of weeks and I'd decided it wasn't smart not to have a policy that covered me while I was working as an Uber driver as well as driving privately. The Uber TOS are far too vague to rely on and in any case don't cover you while you're waiting for or on your way to a ride.

So I phoned my (very well known) insurance company.

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Uber and GST

Important Update

From 1/12/2017, Uber started invoicing as an Australian entity, paying GST to the ATO.

Although this has no effect on your net income for the quarter, it does reduce your weekly income by the GST amount and then give it back to you by a reduced amount owed on your quarterly BAS.

See the post Uber and GST Revisited for full details.

Uber and GST

Although we have covered the paying of GST by Uber drivers in Australia, along with other tax issues in previous posts (see Do Uber Drivers Have to Pay GST? and How Do Taxes Work for Rideshare Drivers?) some drivers are still unsure.

So this post is a simple list of GST considerations for Australian Uber drivers.

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