How to Drive for Uber and Lyft on New Years Eve
New Years Eve is among one of the most lucrative times to drive on Uber and Lyft. I didn’t drive much on New Years Eve last year but many drivers across the country reported back that it was very profitable. New Years Eve rank pretty well among other profitable days to drive:
- Valentines Day
- New Years Eve
The most important thing for drivers to do is plan ahead of time and come up with a strategy. It is also a good idea to be informed about various promotions and also be familiar with your city so that when the time comes, you know where to be and how to drive around the city. Just a little preparation can boost your earnings by at least $10-$20 an hour, especially on a busy night like this one.
What Should I Plan For?
There will be many factors that you should consider before you decide when to drive, who to drive for, and if you want to drive on New Years Eve. The first one is that there will be a lot of people drinking that night. Because it is a major holiday (in terms of rideshare), there will be a lot of other drivers out there so you need to know how to navigate it. Below are a few factors to consider:
Drunk Passengers and Vomit
This is probably your top concern for the night. Passengers may be more drunk than usual because of the holiday, especially late into the evening (1-3am) when the earnings are at its highest. Last year, many drivers reported surge well above 6x on Uber and I would expect more of the same during brief parts of the evening. Vomiting passengers are quite rare during Uber and Lyft rides, but it should be something to consider and plan for. The first thing would be to get Emesis Bags to give a place for passengers to vomit.
For more information about how to deal with vomit when driving Lyft and Uber, read the below posts:
Driver incentives will be your next consideration. It may drastically alter your plans, depending on when the driver incentives happen, how much the incentives are, and what the requirements are. These are the things to consider because the incentives may be higher for one service but the requirements may be easier for another and it’ll be up to you to decide which one best suits you. The various driver incentives and requirements vary widely from city to city.
Hourly Guarantees and Requirements
This is a typical incentive on Uber and Lyft. Lyft has been using this more often lately than Uber. This is a very effective way for one company to retain drivers on their platform since it essentially locks them into a platform for 50 minutes of every hour. The hourly guarantee requirements is one thing you should review. The requirement can be 2 rides an hour, which may be tough if the hourly guarantee was very high. Most times lately, it has been one ride an hour within the city and two if you are outside the city. This is something you should review closely. You need to determine if it is feasible to hit the requirements.
Lyft drivers have already been posting about the guarantees on Facebook. It doesn’t seem as if every driver are eligible for it and only the occassional drivers are getting it. If you are one of these drivers who didn’t get the guarantee, it will be best to try for the Boost Pricing (if there is one in your city) or scroll down to find out how to evaluate Prime Time vs Surge pricing.
This has been Uber’s driver incentive of choice lately. Boost pricing is on the driver side and not on the passenger side. If Uber guarantees boost pricing during a certain time and place, all rides you accept during that time and zone will at a minimum have that surge pricing. Customers will not pay for it and Uber will cover the cost of the boost pricing.
For example, if Boost pricing is 1.3x, you will see every trip at 1.3x at a specified time. If there is no surge pricing on the passenger side, they will pay the normal price. Uber will pay the 0.3x extra to drivers. This incentive is also subjected to the Uber commission.
Rideshare drivers need to be aware of various promotions for passengers. I heard
Uber vs Lyft
This is the determination you should make. Which one do you drive for? You don’t need to drive all night for one company. Two years ago, I drove on Lyft before midnight and then Uber after midnight since I knew Surge pricing will be higher on Uber than Prime Time on Lyft. This is something you will need to figure out once you know which driver incentive you qualify for.
In addition, sometimes Lyft is better for some drivers in some markets, and Uber is better in other markets. It is a personal choice. Some will ignore the various guarantees and incentives and drive for the company of their choice due to where they are located.
How Should I Drive on New Years Eve?
There are often two ways to position and drive on any major holiday. One is to go to all the hotspots, but you know that there will be many other drivers there. The opposite way is to go away from the hotspots and hope that due to the lack of drivers, you will get a ride. Drivers in my city (Seattle) seem to do better driving away from downtown and get longer rides.
The next consideration is to see if you would earn more on your current strategy or if you should change strategies. If your strategy is for the hourly guarantee, you will need to make a judgement of if you can earn more by changing strategies. For example, if you have already made the hourly guarantee in the first 30 minutes of the hour, then for your next ride, pick whichever is higher, surge or Prime Time. In my personal experience, I am much more likely to get surge pricing than Prime time.
If you are not on an hourly guarantee or surpass it for that hour in terms of earnings, the next thing to evaluate is which is higher, Prime Time or Surge Pricing. On Lyft, it is very hard to tell exactly how much Prime Time is so it may be better to stick with Uber if you are focused on getting surge priced trips.
Prime Time vs Surge Pricing
Note that Prime Time is an additional fare on top of the base fare. If there is 100% Prime Time, it is the same as 2x on surge pricing. In my experience, I get surge pricing more often than Prime Time. Also, even if you get a trip within the colored box, it is often lower than the stated pricing. I have been seeing more tips on Lyft lately, so I earn about the same on Uber or Lyft.
What am I doing?
In Seattle, I qualify for a rather generous offer for Lyft, so that is what I’ll be doing. Below is the incentive I qualify for in Seattle. I have seen this promotion in a few other cities, while other cities have received lower guarantees.
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