Talking to several driver friends, the immediate answer is “I like long trips better, because it is guaranteed money”. I couldn’t agree more. The long trip means for that 45 minutes or longer, your time is valuable. However, do not discredit the short trip. It has other opportunities that you might not realize. Let’s run through the pros and cons of each.
The Long Trip
Usually more highway driving, so better for your car and mileage
Great for full timers.
More opportunity to wow your customer
Smaller tip percentage. On a $100 fare, if you get a $10 that would be generous, and that’s only 10%! You also put your eggs in one basket. If you get stiffed on a tip, it is a huge loss.
You might be far out of the way or in a state where you cant pick up fares on your way back.
They are less likely to be ready for the pickup, and might have bags or other things that will take time to load/unload.
More opportunity to blow it with your customer
The Short Trip
Quick turnaround. 5-10 minutes drives mean you aren’t too far from “home base”. In certain areas you can crank out 3-5 rides an hour. Perfect for part timers.
Higher tip percentage (if you get them). You are likely to get a minimum of a $2 tip on a $10 fare, which is 20%. More opportunity for tips means more money in your pocket, and not Uber’s. Less tip risk. If you get stiffed, just move onto the next one.
Little to no deadhead travel.
More opportunity to hit quests or bonuses.
Risky. No guaranteed fare. You need to hustle for the tips and rides.
Less highway travel, which lowers your mileage and increases your maintenance costs.
Short opportunity to wow your customer.
So, with all that said, there are pros and cons for each. I like both, but love the challenge of getting a tip from a short ride. I’ll camp out in a busy area, bang out rides back to back to back, and one every 3 get a “big” tip. Before I know it, I have driven for 3 hours, done 12 drives and earned more than if I did one very long ride, with a dead head back.
What’s your preferred drive?