Between Uber and Lyft, there are currently well over four million people driving for rideshare companies worldwide. This statistic makes sense, given how simple it is to start driving for a rideshare company. However, as with any job, there is a difference between simply doing your job and excelling. The best way to achieve the latter is by making sure you have certain skills before driving for a rideshare company.
Naturally, you cannot drive for a rideshare without knowing how to drive. That is one of the primary requirements for both Uber and Lyft. But when you have strangers in your car, it is not enough to simply know how to drive. You must be able to drive in such a way as to make passengers feel secure. For instance, you should not brake abruptly at stop signs or take turns quickly. Drive at a consistent speed so passengers do not get carsick. These are subtle things that we do not notice when driving by ourselves, but passengers will definitely pick up on them.
Because we have a GPS, we often underestimate the need to possess navigation skills. While it is fine to utilize the GPS, especially when trying to get somewhere you have never visited before, knowing your way around an area gives you an edge over other drivers. At peak times—the times when drivers make the most money—traffic is likely to be high. Knowing alternative routes to avoid traffic and get your passengers to their destination faster will likely result in a higher driver rating for you.
Even though it has little to do with your ability to drive a car, being able to communicate and relate to people in a conscientious way is one of the most important skills you should have before driving for a rideshare. This is not to say that you must be popular, but being polite and friendly is important to make passengers feel comfortable during their ride. People skills also involve being able to read a room. Many passengers will not want to have a conversation. Many will. Being able to pick up on these cues will keep you from coming off as rude.