Making a profit as a rideshare driver takes some financial planning. How many hours do you need to drive per week? What are the best times? What are the best areas? While these questions answer how to boost hourly earnings, they do not address the other huge concern for drivers, vehicle expenses.
Fuel, insurance, car repairs, maintenance, and, of course, the cost of the vehicle and car payments, all take a big bite out of rideshare earnings. Because rideshare drivers are independent contractors, they are responsible for all of these costs. With the typical rideshare driver putting upwards of 1,000 miles per week on their vehicles, these costs can turn a great earnings year into one with a less-than- desirable profit level.
The choice of vehicle makes the most difference when it comes to vehicle-related costs. For obvious reasons, fuel efficiency matters. Rideshare drivers also need to consider reliability and maintenance costs. Time that a rideshare vehicle is in the shop is money lost for the driver, not to mention the repair bill. Longevity is also crucial. The longer a vehicle can go without replacement, the more money in the driver’s pocket.
Based on these important factors, Consumer Reports compiled its list of the best cars for rideshare drivers. All the vehicles are pre-owned, since it makes little sense for rideshare drivers to buy new. Depreciation on new cars is simply too much when you drive big mileage.
The Prius is the top pick because of its reliability, longevity, and fuel economy. It’s also stylish and comfortable.
A bit more roomy than the Prius and needing a bit more gas, the Camry is nonetheless efficient and long lasting. It can handle 1,000 miles per week. It also gets a great safety rating, an important consideration when you’re on the road so much.
Rideshare drivers love this little SUV just as much as the chipmunks in Kia’s commercials. Its boxy style provides plenty of passenger room. Gas mileage is great, and so is its reliability.
Though not the most fuel efficient on the list, the CRV provides the 4-wheel drive you need for bad weather. If you work in a snowy climate, you can make big money driving in snowy conditions, when surge pricing goes off the charts. The CRV gets you there when other rideshare drivers have to stay home.
Plus Size and luxury
Both Uber and Lyft offer double the rate for drivers who can take more than 4 passengers or provide a luxury car. The Honda Odyssey provides a great value for additional passenger capacity, and the Lexus ES provides luxury without breaking the bank.