I Took An Uber Driving Break…Now Back To The Grind

I took a couple weeks off from driving and I regret it!

I Took An Uber Driving Break...Now Back To The Grind

Sure, I got some rest, got some items crossed off my To-Do List, and worked on some other side-hustles I have going on, but I didn’t realize how much of a difference the extra money makes! Of course, I knew the extra money was awesome. I was growing my condo savings account and eating out without thinking about missing any bills. However, this is a classic case of “you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”

So this coming week I’m back on my grind. I’ll be driving and tweeting about my experience. Plus, I’ll be earning the money that I need to reach my financial goals.

What’s your side hustle? If you’d like to become an Uber driver, use my referral code 0Q915 when you sign up so that you can earn an extra bonus!

Good luck!

Chadá aka The Essential Driver

Read my previous blog post How To Get A Free Uber Ride


5 Items Every Uber Driver Should Keep In Their Car

Hey Drivers,

I’ve been driving for a while now and have learned from experience that keeping the following items in your car while driving is essential to having the best driving experience.

1. Cell Phone Mount

cell mount air vent

A cell phone mount is ESSENTIAL to being a successful Uber driver. You will be using your phone for navigation and to accept new ride requests so you need to be able to see your phone comfortably while driving in order to keep yourself and your passengers safe. There a many different types of cell phone mounts. Some clamp onto your A/C vent, others stick to your windshield. I personally use one that mounts into my CD player slot. It all depends on how your vehicle’s dashboard is set up and your personal preference.

2. Hand Vacuum

Dirt Devil

Passengers come in and out of your vehicle often. With them comes the dirt from their shoes, crumbs from a snack they may have eaten, and possible spills. I give my seats and floor a quick sweep every couple of days in between car washes to keep my car looking as fresh as possible. A clean appearance makes a difference in the passenger experience and definitely influences whether or not you will get a 5-star rating and if you will get a tip!

I personally use this Dirt Devil Quick Flip Handheld Vacuum. It’s light-weight and comes with this cool Quick Flip tool at the top of the vacuum. It’s a tube that flips out and allows you to get into those hard to reach crevices in your car seats and around the floor.

3. Plastic Bags and/or Garbage Bags

Garbage bags

One time a passenger had to walk through mud to get to my car. I was tempted to drive away when I saw the passenger approaching! 😉 I have tan interior seats and tan carpet so that would have been a HUGE mess. There was no way I was letting them get in my car with that muddy mess. Luckily I had a spare plastic bag so the passenger was able to take their shoes off and put them in the bag. If I hadn’t had some bags handy I would have had to cancel the ride and would have lost money from that trip. Now I keep a few plastic bags and some garbage bags handy because YOU NEVER KNOW!

4. Snacks

archer farms trail mix

No, not for your passengers, for you! Non-smelly ones, of course! Being an Uber driver means you never know where you’re going to end up or how long a ride will take. So it’s important to be prepared with snacks that you can eat easily in between trips. My favorite to separate into Ziploc bags is the Archer Farms Cashew, Cranberry & Almond Trail Mix. It’s a healthier and cheaper alternative to stopping at a drive-thru and I don’t have to worry about a smell disturbing my next ride.

5. Water

water bottles

Along with snacks to keep you full it’s important to stay hydrated. Some drivers even carry an extra pack of water to provide to their passengers. However, I specifically carry an extra bottle of water to help clean up an unexpected mess. If someone vomits in your car or spills something it’s usually best to rinse it right away to avoid permanent damage. It may also allow you to move on to your next trip faster. More down time equals more money lost. Having a spare bottle of water (you can even add a little soap to it) is key to being prepared.

These are my top five items I keep in my car every time I drive for Uber. You can use a car trunk storage basket to keep it all together and out of the way of passenger luggage.

Let me know if I missed anything!

Chadá aka The Essential Driver

If you’re ready to start driving for Uber you can sign up here. Don’t forget to use my referral code 0Q915 to get a bonus!



How To Get A Free Uber Ride

Are you new to Uber? If you’ve never taken a ride with Uber you can get up to $15 off your first ride by using my promo code 0Q915 (the first character is a zero).

How To Get A Free Uber Ride

Uber is a very convenient and efficient way to get around whether you are are running errands, going out for a fun night, or traveling across town.

Uber is available in multiple cities and countries, so sign up today to get a credit towards your next ride!

Click here to visit the Uber website to get started. Don’t forget to enter the promo code 0Q915 for your first ride credit.

Enjoy the ride!

-The Essential Driver

P.S. If you want to drive for Uber click here to sign up. Enter promo/invite code 0Q915 to get a $$ bonus!

Uber Improved In-App Navigation To Help Drivers

The Essential Driver Uber Improved Navigation

When I first started using Uber I thought the navigation system built into the app was terrible. The worst part was that it did not tell you what turn was coming up and you could not move the map around to see the route you were taking. You were at the mercy of the navigation system updating quickly enough know when a turn was coming. Add to that occasionally not having the best signal in certain areas and that equaled a lot of missed turns for me.

But what about Waze? The Uber Driver app does allow you to connect to Waze for navigation, however I may be the only driver ever who does not like Waze! The Waze interface is just too busy for me. There are too many icons and colors which I find distracting. I do like the idea of Waze. Getting real time updates from other drivers about accidents ahead and police officer sightings is brilliant. I tried connecting to Waze once when I accepted an Uber ride. Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t pleasant. I kept having issues disengaging the Waze app when I wanted to get back to the Uber app for the passenger contact information. Disclaimer: I did only attempt to use Waze one time while driving for Uber, so it could have been a one-time malfunction or maybe it has improved significantly since then. Either way, it’s just not for me.

Below are three updates to the Uber in-app Navigation system that kept the driver in mind and has made driving passengers a much more pleasant experience:

1. Real-Time Traffic

The route line guiding you through streets is blue when traffic is clear, yellow when traffic is moderate and red when traffic is heavy. This provides a safer trip because you can better anticipate sudden stops coming up and if you are familiar with the area you can choose a different route to get to your destination faster.

2. Lane Guidance

This one is my absolute favorite update. When a turn or freeway exit is coming up, lane icons display at the top of the map matching the lanes on your current route. The highlighted lane is the lane you should be in in order to make the upcoming turn or to exit the freeway. This has helped me out numerous times when I was in an unfamiliar area or when I missed a sign on the freeway and was not sure where I should be. Kudos to Uber for thinking of this. It’s been very helpful!

3. Night Mode

Night mode reduces the brightness of your phone screen to help your eyes at night. The app automatically detects when it is dark outside and turns the background black instead of white. I’m the person who is always turning the brightness down on my iPhone because I have sensitive eyes, so this feature was a win for me! Of course, if you prefer the brighter screen, you can change your settings to not use night mode.

So, there you have it: three awesome new features for Uber’s in-app navigation system that benefit the driver! Have you used Uber’s new navigation? Do you prefer to use third-party apps? Let me know in the comments!

If you’re interested in driving for Uber, consider using my referral invite code: 0Q915 (the first character is a zero) when you sign up. You’ll get a bonus after completing a set number of trips and I’ll get a bonus for referring you. It’s a win-win! Click here to sign up.

Until next time…drive safely!

-Chadá aka The Essential Driver

My name is pronounced (Sha-day) 🙂


My First Driving Experience With Uber

I’ll admit it. Before my first drive with Uber, I was really nervous! The thought of a stranger getting in my car with no partition to protect me from their attempt to reach forward and attack me was very overwhelming and scary. Dramatic, I know, but I have watched way too many episodes of Law and Order: SVU, so I know how these scenarios go down. In reality my first drive was far from deadly.

The Essential Driver My First Driving Experience With Uber

I had just finished my vehicle inspection at an Uber Greenlight Hub. That’s where a small group of Uber staff are stationed to assist drivers. They are available in various remote locations so you can get what you need quickly. I had completed all the steps to qualify for driving, got my trade dress (fancy term for the Uber stickers you put on your car) and all I had to do now was go online and accept my first ride.

I told myself, “You’ve made it this far, it’s now or never.” So I went online, got my first ping right away, and headed towards my first rider. She was a young girl, around 18-20 years old and was headed to the local mall. She got in the front seat which puzzled me because I thought people automatically knew to get in the back seat like a Taxi. I decided not to make it awkward and just did my best to make her feel welcome, as if I was picking up a friend. It turned out that this was her first Uber ride! What are the chances of that?! First time driver and first time rider. Two scared souls enjoying the relief of knowing they were going to be okay.

I made an effort to be polite and asked if she preferred a particular radio station which led to a short conversation about the music we liked. She turned out to be super sweet! She revealed that she was headed to the mall to get her phone fixed. We made small talk on the short trip and in the end she said, “I can’t believe this is your first ride, it seems like you’ve been doing this forever.” I was so happy! Thank you, Jesus! Not only did I not get hurt on my first drive, but I actually got a compliment!

I did a few more rides that night before heading home. I was ecstatic about how well the first night went and that I had actually earned  extra money. I felt like I was finally moving in the right direction towards getting out of debt.

Do you remember how your first drive went? I hope it was a positive experience like mine. Leave a comment below to let me know. 

If you’re interested in driving for Uber, consider using my referral invite code: 0Q915 (the first character is a zero) when you sign up. You’ll get a bonus after completing a set number of trips and I’ll get a bonus for referring you. It’s a win-win! Click here to sign up.

-Chadá (pronounced Sha-Day)