Have you ever experienced the relief of stepping into an Uber or Lyft ride and seeing a charging cable for your dying phone? What about a 3 a.m. ride that offers you a cold bottle of water? These are a few of the little things that make your commute as a passenger that much more memorable.
Uber and Lyft drivers, take note. Here are the 15 things you should always keep in your car for that crucial driver rating.
1. A Mileage Log
Mileage means write offs, so you need to log your miles! You can do it with an app, or you can do it with a simple pen and paper. They even sell mileage logbooks at any office supply store. Mileage write-offs are one of the biggest perks to becoming an Uber driver. In essence, your mileage can be deducted against your gross income, which means you to pay less taxes.
2. Pen and Paper
One of the most important tools for Uber drivers is a pen and paper. You want to keep track of the time you picked someone up, when you dropped him off, and any stops in between. This is just a way to protect yourself should the need ever arise. It’s in your best interest to document where you have been and whom you have been with. While Uber is definitely convenient, we still live in a world where some people are just off, so it’s wise to keep record of your whereabouts.
3. Gum or Mints and Water
If you are picking up passengers who have had too much to drink, a drink of water or a peppermint can help settle their stomachs, which can prevent them from getting sick in your vehicle.
4. A Mileage App
Odds are you are not going to install an expensive meter in your car. Using an app that can be installed on your smartphone is the logical and free option for keeping track of mileage. You can even find a mileage tracker that doubles as a mileage log, so that you can claim the mileage for your taxes.
5. Hands-Free Mount
Lyft and Uber drivers need GPS, and they need to be able to see it, so if you are using a GPS app, you need to mount your mobile device on the dash. A mount for your mobile phone can do a lot to ensure the safety of your passengers. You don’t want to be distracted by messages or calls, and a mount will keep your mobile device in the right position to avoid such distractions.
6. Charging Block
If you really want to win the hearts of passengers, keep a charging block where they can reach it. Few things are more frustrating than a dying phone and no charger. A charging blog for your passengers to plug in their smartphone or other device will make you stand out among the rideshare competition. Make sure to be both iPhone and Android friendly.
7. Auxiliary code for music
A 45-minute commute anywhere can be a drag. Offer your passengers the option to opt out of listening to the radio and play their own music for the ride. They’ll appreciate it.
8. Air freshener
The first thing people notice when they sit in a car is the smell. As a rideshare driver, your car will see all kinds of people and smells, so make sure you keep a couple of air fresheners handy.
9. Paper towels/napkins
Remember that water bottle you offered the passenger earlier? You hit a speed bump and they spilled some of it on the seat and floors. Have some paper towels or napkins in the glove compartment to clean up any accidents.
10. Towel for service dogs
Uber and Lyft drivers are both required to allow passengers to ride with their service animals, so make sure to keep a towel in your car to keep any dog hair off your seats. Sometimes a passenger will ask the driver if it’s okay to bring their non-service dog along, and this decision is entirely up to the driver.
11. Sanitary wipes
Apart from paper towels and napkins, having sanitary wipes can come in handy for a quick wipe-down of your dashboard and steering wheel before picking up a new passenger.
12. Vomit bags
In the unfortunate, and sometimes likely, event that a passenger needs to throw up in your car, save yourself the headache and offer them a vomit bag. They’ll avoid damage fees and you’ll avoid a messy cleanup.
Some passengers like leaving cash tips, but not everyone carries small enough bills. Always keep change for a $20 to increase your chances of receiving a cash tip.
14. First aid kit
Everyone needs a first aid kit at some point. Whether you can offer a bandaid or a gauze pad, your passenger will be both surprised and thankful that their driver is partly a nurse.
15. Hand sanitizer or lotion
Keep some hand sanitizer or lotion in your cupholder for your passengers to use. Most people who see a bottle of hand sanitizer suddenly realize they can’t remember the last time they washed their hands, and they’ll be happy to sanitize.