If you drive for Uber or any other ride share, there’s a few things you should always keep in your vehicle. Not only will your riders appreciate some of these and leave you a higher rating or tip, you’ll be helping yourself by being more organized and less stressed. Here are 15 of the best things that should be in every Uber driver’s car:
1. Paper towels/napkins
A passenger will never forget an Uber driver who offered a paper towel or a napkin when they need it most. It is the simple things that leave a mark. So when you hit a speed bump and the water or the soda the passenger is drinking spills, have something to help them clean up.
2. A mileage log
You can log your miles by using an app or the old fashioned pen and a paper method. This simply means you are staying organized for tax time and write offs. In fact, many office supply stores sell mileage logbooks. This should be a priority if you intend to become a renown Uber driver. In essence, your mileage can be deducted against your gross income. This means you will pay less taxes.
3. Towel for service dogs
Uber drivers are allowed to carry a passenger and their service animal. So to keep any hair off the seats, always carry a towel in your car no matter if you have fabric or leather seats.
4. A mileage app
You can keep track of your customer’s mileage by installing an app on your smartphone. This is a free and more logical option than installing an expensive meter. There are also mileage trackers that double as mileage logs. This will help you claim the mileage for your taxes and stay ahead of the game.
5. Hands-free mount
GPS is essential for every Uber and Lyft driver these days. So it’s crucial that you use a GPS app and mount your mobile device on the dash to use it on the go. Having the mount also ensures your passengers are safe. You can be distracted by calls or messages but having your mobile phone in the right position means you don’t have to worry about distractions. Some states require them.
6. Portable phone charger
To make your Uber ride stand out, consider keeping a power pack where passengers can reach it (unless you have USB charging ports available in the back seat). You will most definitely come to the rescue of a passenger whose phone is dying. They should also be both Android and iPhone friendly to allow anyone to use it.
7. Auxiliary cord for music
Customers want to feel relaxed even in an Uber. If the kind of music you are playing is not what they listen to, consider offering an option where they can connect your auxiliary cord to their phone and play the music they want to hear.
8. Air freshener
As much as this may not be a priority to most drivers, but the truth is the smell of your car will be the first thing passengers notice. Unless you want your passenger to find another ride, make sure you have an air freshener but one with a mild scent (nothing crazy). Sometimes another rider may have left a not so pleasant smell behind or rainy conditions cause a general musty smell in the vehicle.
9. Sanitary wipes
You will sometimes encounter a mess that needs a quick wipe. If you don’t have towels or napkins, sanitary wipes can do the job just fine.
10. Barf bags
If your passenger gets sick or the unfortunate happens, you don’t want him/her to throw up in your car. A vomit bag will save you the headache of stopping the car to allow your passenger out or clean the vomit in your car.
11. Hand sanitizer
Your passenger may be uncomfortable if he has dirty hands. The best thing you can do in this scenario is to offer some hand sanitizer.
12. First aid kit
It is important to undergo basic first aid training and equip yourself with a first aid kit. Your passenger will be thankful and surprised that you offered a bandaid or a gauze pad.
You want to have a basic set of car tools in your trunk. Other than a scissor jack (which every car should have) for changing a flat tire, it’s good to have a can of Fix-a-Flat or small portable air compressor (source). Some other tools include: jumper cables, socket set, crescent wrench, flashlight, spare fuses, and even a roll of duct tape.
14. Pen and paper
A pen and a paper should always be in your glove box. There are important events that need to be jotted down like the time you picked someone up, the drop off time and stops in between if there were any. These are measures drivers should take to protect themselves when the need arises. Alternatively, a note taking app on your cell phone works as well.
15. Mints, Gum or Water
If you have been an Uber driver for some time now you understand that there are all sorts of passengers who call for you. If you happen to carry a drunk passenger, you can offer some peppermint or water to settle his/her stomach. The last thing you want is a passenger getting sick in your car (see barf bags above).