Choosing the Best Car for Ride-share Apps
A ride-share gig with companies like Lyft or Uber is a great way to make extra cash in addition to your full-time job. You may even want to dedicate a vehicle to the work if you're successful. But what is the best car for ride-share activities, and how you do you choose one? Here's what you should think about.
Consider Back Seat and Storage Room
It's important that you provide passengers with a comfortable experience, and avoid cars that come with cramped space. Look for specs that show you "rear-seat legroom," which is measured in inches and will give you a good idea of how roomy the back seats are. For example, the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid has 38 inches of rear-seat legroom, which is very good for a sedan. SUVs tend to offer a few more inches of valuable space as well.
For passengers with luggage or equipment, trunk space is another important factor. Look for vehicles that offer roomy trunks or back seat storage options. Storage that includes tie-downs or coverings for extra protection is a nice bonus as well.
Look for Safety Features, But Be Careful of Too Many Sensors
High safety ratings are an important factor for good ride-share cars, and that includes advanced safety technology. Look for models that offer rear-view cameras, blind spot mirrors, fog lights, collision monitoring, automated emergency braking, and similar features.
However, you should avoid smart safety features that are too noticeable. For example, the Subaru Crosstrek has many high-tech security options like lane-departure warnings, that chime whenever the car thinks you are going off lane. It's a nice feature, but it's not always accurate, and your passenger will not feel better about your driving if their peace of mind is disturbed every time the car thinks you're making a mistake and starts beeping. Try to stick with silent and light-based warning systems.
Find Luxury Features that Won't Go to Waste
Luxury features will add to the price tag, but your passengers may appreciate them. More popular luxury additions to ride-share cars include:
- USB Attachments: Look for built-in USB ports so that passengers can charge their devices.
- Extra Storage Room: In-car storage is often welcome. Look for features like the Divide-N-Hide Nissan Cargo System.
- Heated and Cooled Seats: Extra heating or cooling options are always a plus when the temperatures get to the extreme.
- Leather Materials: Leather-like seat fabric feels good and won't give you as much trouble with pet hair and other messes.
Find a Car with Great Dashboard Features
A myriad of dashboard tech options exist.
- Choose either smartphone or dashboard navigation. Smartphone options are a bit more flexible, while dashboard options don't require extra mounting and have better visibility.
- Where possible, look for a dashboard with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay that connects to your mobile operating system.
- If you offer music, give your passenger a choice of radio stations. Dashboards that can offer internet radio stations are a big plus. Bonus points if they can create a Wi-Fi hot spot.
Don't Forget About Gas Mileage
Gas mileage is an interesting spec that doesn't have a direct impact on passenger experience (although some people may be pleased to see an eco-friendly option) but still affects your bottom line. Hybrid models and cars that get great gas mileage — around 35–40 mpg or more — can help you increase long-term profits.