Updated: Mar 1, 2020
1. Don't be a dick!
I gave the same tip to riders, but it goes both ways. I'm not saying you should take shit from anyone, but there's no need to go extra. I know it gets difficult dealing with some riders, but let me tell you this ... riders are rarely deactivated even when they act a complete fool. Drivers are deactivated for the slightest infraction. Ask yourself if even coming off as slightly being a dick is worth it? The better your attitude, the better your tips will be!
2. Clean your vehicle!
I'm not saying you need to keep your vehicle at a dealership level of detail, but put some effort into cleaning your ride. Since becoming a driver I've taken detailing my vehicle to new levels. I believe it helps greatly with my tips, and riders constantly thank me for having a clean ride before listing off some of the past rides they've endured. At the very least vacuum your floor once in a while and make sure the windows are clean. Not only will this improve your tips, but it will also make you feel better driving around in a clean vehicle. #facts
3. Learn the area!
I always recommend driving in areas you're familiar with. It's going to make your trips go smoother, and ultimately help create a more enjoyable experience for your riders. When you slip and miss a turn, it can make you look really bad and actually cost your riders more.
4. About those snacks and waters
I like to offer small bottled waters and candy. Not everyone will take them, but the people who do are usually pretty stoked about it and I feel it improves tips overall. A word of warning, offering waters and candy/snacks comes with extra responsibility. Riders will leave their trash, you have to make sure the bottles are fresh and sealed between rides, it takes up room in your vehicle and other minor annoyances. I feel it's worth it for me, but you'll have to do what works best for your situation.
5. Learn the scams
Rideshare scams come in all sizes and varieties, and the scammers are as varied as the scams themselves. There are lots of great Youtubers out there who cover them, as well as Forums and Social Media Pages. You have to stay alert because old scams persist, and new scams are dreamt up all the time. Most of the riders are really good people, but you need to stay vigilant at the same time,
6. Always be learning
Beyond the scams, learning about rideshare is an ongoing endeavor. There are new companies and services popping up all the time. The Driver and Rider apps are updated with new features and updates constantly. Laws and policies are constantly evolving. As a driver, you are the owner of your own services and you need to make sure you're doing everything correctly.
7. Empathy Matters
Sometimes riders can be jerks, sometimes we just don't want to get involved with their problems. Be prepared and bring some amount of empathy to work with you. You never know who you're going to pick up and what they're going through in life. Being just a little understanding can go a long way in making someone's day a little brighter.
8. Learn when to talk, and when not too
I prefer talking over a quiet ride, that's boring. Every rider has different expectations of the Drivers. Start with some simple conversation and feel them out. Some riders want to talk, some riders don't, some will want to interrogate you, and some are fearful of giving out too much information by mistake. Each trip is different, so use your judgment.
9. The Fishbowl standard
One of the most interesting tips I heard when I started Driving was the Fishbowl Standard. I thought I was a smooth driver, but some of my riders would make small comments about my breaking speed and while going around turns. Imagine there is a fishbowl in your back seat, it's full of water, and you're trying not to spill it. Sometimes I forget about this exercise, but sometimes I catch myself thinking about it while I go around a curve too fast.
10. Mind the law
The Police, God Bless em, they're always looking to make a buck. If you drive late at night like I do the bounty is increased due to the drunk drivers I'm sharing the road with. They also don't care for me calling myself a crime fighter for hauling around drunks all night. As for humor, humor is apparently the language of outlaws.
I kid, but seriously, expect to be followed, expect to be pulled over for any number of infractions, don't expect special treatment, and don't give them a hard time (you never know when you'll need to call them about a rider raising hell in your vehicle).