Top 10 tips on getting started as a new private hire driver
At INSHUR, we have a team staffed by experts and former drivers who know what they’re talking about when it comes to private hire work.
Based on their driving experience, we’ve put together a list of top tips for drivers who are new to working for Uber and other apps. From sorting your insurance to making the most of your time on the road, we’ve got you covered.
And if you’re not quite a new private hire driver but you’ve been driving for a while, these tips should still come in handy when making sure your private hire insurance works for you. We’ve also included tips on some of the ways you could earn more, whether that’s the type of ride you offer or easy steps to cut your costs.
Insurance Tips For New Private Hire Drivers
BUILD YOUR NO CLAIMS DISCOUNT
Having a separate insurance policy allows you to build up your No Claims Discount, which means cheaper insurance over time. You can’t do this if you take out cover through a combined rental package.
LONGER-TERM, SMALLER COST
Consider taking out a longer-term policy on a one-year basis rather than monthly. This tends to work out cheaper overall as by paying annually you avoid paying interest on top.
CAR SIZE MATTERS
The cost of insurance is based on a few different factors, for example, vehicle make and model and engine size. Seven-seater-plus vehicles are usually more expensive to insure, as the number of passengers on board presents a greater risk.
LOOK AFTER YOUR VEHICLE
Buying an online warranty to cover vehicle parts like your gearbox and engine can help keep you on the road for longer.
COVER AT ALL TIMES
Make sure your insurance policy provides PCO-ready hire cars during a claim or accident – this way you can keep earning if an incident happens.
Driver Tips For New Private Hire Drivers
CHOOSE YOUR VEHICLE WISELY
Uber offers different ride options depending on the kind of trip riders want. At one end of the scale is UberX, for affordable everyday rides. At the other end of the scale is Uber Exec, offering high-end cars aimed at business people, and Uber Lux, offering a luxury car and rider service to match.
As a driver, you can earn more through Uber Exec and Lux trips, but your vehicle has to meet certain requirements. All Exec vehicles must be manufactured in 2016 or later in London, though specific year requirements vary across other UK cities. All Lux vehicles must be 2015 plates or newer and seat at least four riders plus the driver.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SURGE PRICING
Take the time to plan ahead. Understand what big events, football matches or gigs are happening near you, as this increases your chance of driving during surge pricing. Pick-ups to and from airports and train stations can often mean longer jobs that pay well. Certain areas and times can also be good for regular/constant surge pricing. Make sure to check back in with our regular ‘Where are the riders’ series to find out the likely pickup hotspots near you.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SERVICE
Think about what good service looks like – whether that’s a fully stocked car with water or a phone charger, keeping your car clean, or a good conversation with your rider.
All these things add up, making you more in tips and increasing your earnings. For more on what you can do to improve Uber star rating and get more tips, check out our handy guides below:
- Why your Uber star rating is important and how you can improve it
- How to be a five-star Uber driver
- The tips to bring in the tips
CHOOSE YOUR RIDE LOCATIONS
Think carefully about how far you’re going for a ride. Rides to other cities = dead miles (where you’re not earning) on return.
SAVE ON COSTS
Sign up to places like BP for their fuel card – this is an easy way to cut everyday costs.