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Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:36 pm
by AerialP
Here's something about which I've been wondering and cannot find good answers with several crafted Google searches.
With my career, I have field rotations. They are known a year in advance (with a bit of wiggle room as needed since I and my colleagues have lives outside of road warrioring!), are a bit lengthy, and my home rotations are equal. During my home rotations I have very little to do outside of socializing with family and my core friends, hiking, or reading, keeping to myself quite a bit since I relish being an introvert yet I function very well in the world. Conversant across many topics, with some language skills, and polite diplomatic demeanor. If someone obviously doesn't want to talk I can comfortably sit in silence too.

I am salaried and comfortable with the compensation's amount and regularity, but I find myself thinking I could easily supplement my income. My employer doesn't mind side work, and even though we can generally (and some colleagues already do so) even contract ourselves out to other non-competitive shops lower in the food-chain in our niche market, I would prefer something different.
My driving is very very good, conservative yet appropriate, safe and aware but defensive, and has always been noted as so by passengers and colleagues.
Would pursuing working as a driver for a car company such as those which have the stereotypical two-bench Lincoln Town Cars be prudent? VIP transport, but on a modest rung. Not limousines, not big black SUVs, not group tour vans. My searches for such car companies in my home town (and other similar cities) show firms which have a range of high-end ride services but I cannot find info on qualifying or applying. I can understand needing a commercial driver's license, and perhaps being bonded, and a thorough scrutiny of my driving record. I also have my concealed carry permit which may be a plus but would not want to function in any guard capacity. Also I strongly prefer to not own the car I would drive.
Any notions of what one could expect for intermittent pay? Or is there is value to such a firm in having someone driving for them, or on call, in weeks-long bursts?

What other thoughts does the community here have about such a pursuit for enjoyable, flexible, sidework?

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:52 pm
by nedsaid
What I will say is that this is not as lucrative as many believe that it is. One issue is the wear and tear that this puts on your car. Hopefully, Uber and Lyft drivers will weigh in.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:15 pm
by daveydoo
Pre-Uber and -Lyft, I would have thought that an airport private driver would be a decent side gig for post-retirement. We had a local guy who drove us to the airport many times a year. Slightly more than a cab but presumably he kept the full fare. Decent car; decent guy. We had a similar arrangement at the other end at a far-off destination that we flew to many times per year. We have gotten so many legitimately crazy cabbies at midnight in our town that this known entity just seemed so much better, especially with young kids in the mix.

Now I think your niche would be limited to seniors who don't use ride-sharing apps or have a smartphone.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:15 pm
by Scrapr
Why not set up an informational interview with a local company? Find out what they are looking for and expectations of their employees

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:25 pm
by HereToLearn
Some drivers will drive the passenger's car to and from the airport. This obviously requires a level of trust to leave your car keys with the driver who parks your car at your home and then retrieves it for the airport pick-up.

The cost to the customer is less than hiring a regular car service, but it would save the wear & tear on your car.

I have no idea of the economics of working for a car service company. I think they are struggling with Uber & Lyft.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:22 am
by camillus
Uber has a side offering, Uber Black, that is worth looking at: https://www.uber.com/ride/uberblack/

You would have to buy/lease a luxury car and probably get less ride requests than a standard Uber driver, so it's probably a no-go.

Once you've bought/leased your luxury car, you could also loan it out on turo.com

These are probably both ways to get a lot of headaches and lose money :|
daveydoo wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:15 pm
Now I think your niche would be limited to seniors who don't use ride-sharing apps or have a smartphone.
If you like driving, this might be a direct approach: contact your nearest high-end retirement home and express your interest.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:40 am
by randomguy
Would pursuing working as a driver for a car company such as those which have the stereotypical two-bench Lincoln Town Cars be prudent? VIP transport, but on a modest rung. Not limousines, not big black SUVs, not group tour vans. My searches for such car companies in my home town (and other similar cities) show firms which have a range of high-end ride services but I cannot find info on qualifying or applying. I can understand needing a commercial driver's license, and perhaps being bonded, and a thorough scrutiny of my driving record. I also have my concealed carry permit which may be a plus but would not want to function in any guard capacity. Also I strongly prefer to not own the car I would drive.
Any notions of what one could expect for intermittent pay? Or is there is value to such a firm in having someone driving for them, or on call, in weeks-long bursts?

What other thoughts does the community here have about such a pursuit for enjoyable, flexible, sidework?
[/quote]

You can call the companies and ask directly. I would expect pay in the 10-15/dollar range. The question is can you find a company that needs a part time worker with a schedule they don't control. Other than asking there is no way of knowing.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:48 am
by kjvmartin
My understanding is that Uber and Lyft have all but decimated the market you're thinking of applying for.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:44 am
by bob60014
kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:48 am
My understanding is that Uber and Lyft have all but decimated the market you're thinking of applying for.
Many limo services supplement by being Uber drivers providing Uber Black services. If you cant beat em, join em!

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:01 am
by tibbitts
Everybody does realize the Town Car has been extinct for years, correct? Certainly "high-end" transportation and a seven-plus-year-old car that's driven daily don't typically mix.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:07 am
by Hypersion
There are companies which drive around disabled and elderly people in vans with wheelchair lifts and other equipment, they are always looking to hire.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:12 am
by Mike Scott
Local and / or long distance car transport service for rental companies or snowbirds?

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:31 am
by BolderBoy
Give your local, high-end (luxury), auto dealerships a call and see if they'll hire you part-time. My local Mercedes dealership's drivers make regular runs up to Vail, Aspen, Ft Collins, Cheyenne, etc, to retrieve and return autos needing service. To say nothing of the dozens of daily runabout pickups and deliveries "locally."

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:32 am
by GoldStar
Why are you ruling out Uber/Lyft?

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:36 am
by jebmke
I live in a fairly rural/small town area about 1.5 hours from nearest major airport. We have a shuttle van company that makes multiple runs per day through the area to the airport. I've used them a few times. Most of their drivers appear to be retirees. I also seem to recall that quite a few courtesy shuttle vans at the airport are driven by older people who appear to be retiree age.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:50 pm
by tim1999
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:01 am
Everybody does realize the Town Car has been extinct for years, correct? Certainly "high-end" transportation and a seven-plus-year-old car that's driven daily don't typically mix.
“Town Car” became livery industry jargon for any big black sedan used for livery service and not necessarily an out of production Lincoln. Cadillac XTS and Chrysler 300 are popular.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:55 pm
by snackdog
How about driving a school bus? License is easy to get. Safety is paramount. Hours are minimal outside the morning and afternoon runs. Seems like you could bring in maybe $1000/month.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:01 pm
by Alexa9
I would network and create a website and offer flat rates to/from the airport or other popular destinations such as sporting events depending on your city. You could also run some sort of shuttle service with a large van. Another fun option would be a tour guide if you live in a desirable place.

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:09 pm
by daveydoo
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:01 am
Everybody does realize the Town Car has been extinct for years, correct?
Yes, but I just sold a low-mileage one for a relative last year. :D

They're still out there... I couldn't believe how much attention the ad got -- from all over the country. One guy was ready to hop on the plane that morning. That was for $1500 over trade-in/KBB.