Planning an evening out in the city has never been simpler, thanks to modern ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft. As an added bonus, those of us who enjoy driving can earn a little extra cash doing it. But can you realize your dream job of tooling around town in a sweet BMW sports sedan and getting paid to do it, or is a nice car not worth having when you’re working for one of the popular apps?
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While it might sound tempting to use your BMW as a swanky Uber ride, the evidence suggests you may be better off choosing a different vehicle.
BMW makes cars that drive beautifully, but to find a reasonable balance between fuel economy and room, you’ll probably be looking at the 3 Series. The 3 lives somewhere in limbo between the more luxurious cars associated with the UberSELECT service and normal cars that can receive Uber X rides. You’ll probably end up doing a little of both.
That could mean a lot of wear and tear on your car for not much money. Also, you’ll spend a great deal of time on the road, which could lead to an accident. Depending on the circumstances, you can’t always rely on the ridesharing company to back you up if you get in a wreck.
BMWs are expensive to maintain, and as a driver for hire, you’ll be putting a lot of miles on the car. The high mileage is one primary reason people tend to choose electric vehicles and economy-focused sedans like the Toyota Prius or Hyundai Sonata for ridesharing duty. There’s no need to stress over abusing the vehicle because parts are cheap.
Still, there are some redeeming qualities to having a nice car to transport your clients in. Your UberSELECT riders, for example, will pay more, and any rider might choose to tip better because they got to ride in your nice car. You’ll also have the benefit of being in a more comfortable environment for the many hours of driving a day it takes to be profitable working for a ridesharing service.
If you own a very nice BMW, such as a well-appointed 5 Series or 7 Series, it’s possible you can get by doing UberBLACK service only. This higher-end option will afford you a more affluent clientele, who are likely to tip better and will earn you more money for relatively less drive time. It can even be a good way to promote your small business.
If you’re looking to buy a car specifically for ridesharing use, a BMW might not be the best option. However, for those who enjoy their time behind the wheel and already own a very nice German car, there is some potential here.
To fill time and make a few extra dollars, get the Bimmer out on the weekends and schmooze with high society. Just be careful not to sign up to receive regular rides, unless you’re ready to spend a lot of time and money on maintenance and cleaning your nice car.