Should Rideshare drivers take a defensive driving course now?

For most rideshare drivers, it’s been quite some time since we’ve picked up a driving book from the DMV. Right now could be the best time to brush up on our driving skills. With many drivers thinking about returning to rideshare, doing a DF course now would be a smart move. Whether you plan on returning to rideshare full time, part-time or not at all, taking a defensive driving course is something we can do for ourselves and our families.  

DF courses have been around for a long time but now there are more choices than ever, thanks to virtual learning. AAA offers an online option that can be completed in just 6 hours from a certified instructor. In many areas, they offer in-person classes if you are a AAA member. Be sure to check with your local office for further details.  

Taking one of these courses can remind you of some of those important laws we may have forgotten. They also include tips on how to handle road rage, drowsy driving, and more. Quite often your insurance carrier will provide a discount on your premiums for completing such a course. While carriers like Geico have their own courses available. In some states, carriers are even required to give you discounts for doing so. 

No matter who your carrier is, it is worth the time to inquire with your insurance company and complete a course. It will improve your knowledge and make you a safer driver and potentially save you mon

Car wash options – what’s best for you?

Keeping your car cleaned both inside and out is an important part of being a Rideshare Driver. Riders notice a clean car. However, they also notice a dirty car, and worse yet, they’ll let you know with a bad rating and no tip.

Doing your own car washes is always the most economical for those with access and the energy to do so. Unfortunately, many drivers live in urban areas without access to a hose or a power outlet for a vacuum. 

Filling up your car at a gas station and adding on a car wash can be the most convenient option. The problem is gas station car washes are often low quality. Over time, this option can dull your car’s clear coat finish and decrease your car’s resale value. 

Taking your car to a dedicated car wash location is more expensive but often provides a better result. These locations offer two types: cloth, and touch-less. I prefer a touch-less wash because it simply uses the power of water and soap to clean my car and nothing else. Howstuffworks does a great job explaining the difference between these two and how these systems work. Try searching for a location that offers a monthly fee for unlimited cleaning inside and out. I found my spot by Googling touch-less car washes and then reading their reviews.

The final option is a mobile car wash service. This is the most expensive option with prices starting at $49.00 per wash or more. They bring everything – including the water – making it very convenient. These companies often do oil changes for an additional fee so this may be the perfect option for you.

Remember that whichever method you choose, the costs are all tax-deductible. Make sure you save your receipts and keep good records.

Whether you are bathing yourself or your car, clean just feels good!

Is it time for a brake job?

Keeping your car in top shape is an important part of being a rideshare driver. For the safety of ourselves and our riders, having good brakes is essential. This is especially true when you consider all of the heavy driving we do. 

So how can you tell when it is time for a brake job, what are the signs? Your tire maintenance shop will typically look at your brake pads when rotating the tires. They usually give you an estimate on their remaining life. The site Your Mechanic says that you should replace your pads every 50,000 miles. However, this can vary based on your vehicle and your driving habits. Anytime your brakes start making a squealing or scraping noise you need to have them checked right away. Brake pads have small metal hairs at the very bottom to let you know when they are wearing out. If you have your car’s tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles(which is recommended), ask the shop to check the brakes while they are conducting their service.

The cost per axle is around $250 but the cost can vary based on vehicle type and pad choice. Putting off a brake job can be expensive. Failing to replace your pads can do damage to the car’s rotors. The rotors are what the pads press against to slow you down or bring your car to a stop. The average price for both brakes and rotors is between $400 and $550 per axle, so roughly twice the cost of a brake job alone. That is an unnecessary expense that no one wants.

Staying on top of your car’s maintenance is truly a way to save money. Furthermore, it gives you the added benefit of peace of mind.