As life slowly begins to return to normal, and we begin to venture out more, our transportation needs may be increasing.
Rideshares are increasingly popular today. People download apps like Lyft and Uber to summon rides rather than depending on a friend or coworker. The price is presented upfront, eliminating that surprise fare at the end of a cab ride. If you cannot drive, it’s a way to get yourself places on your own, without having to beg people to take you everywhere. But it can be expensive, with rides of only a few miles resulting in a fare of more than $12.00 one way.
The convenience of using a ridehare app is always going to be expensive, but there are some ways to cut cost, and some things you should never do, no matter how much money it saves.
Time your rides for those days you have coupons and discounts on your rideshare app.
Saving money with discounts and coupons often boils down to “need versus want.” If you do not have an active coupon, and you absolutely have to be somewhere, you will have to pay the full price, no matter how high it might be. But there is no need to pay full price for those trips you have complete control over in terms of distance and timing.
Group errands and other activities so you can walk to some of the places you need to go.
Map out your day to necessitate one or two rides for several errands or trips. If you need to go to Dollar Tree to stock up on the grocery list items that go in the bathroom, and go to the supermarket to get your food for the week, take the rideshare to a Hannaford within walking distance of a Dollar Tree. Taking one ride to Hannaford and then walking to Dollar Tree will cost half as much as taking a ride to Dollar Tree, and then needing another ride to a different supermarket.
Going out to eat after errands can add even more money to your trip. Instead of taking two rides, choose a place within walking distance of the errands you need to run as often as possible.
Take the term “rideshare” literally.
Services like Uber and Lyft are designed to be booked for shared rides. If you look closely when you get your price, you will see that the ride is for 1-4 people. Most of us ignore this, and just call a rideshare when we need or want to go somewhere. Again, sometimes that is necessary. You can’t bring a group of people with you everywhere you go.
But teaming up with someone else for regular rides is a completely reasonable money saving solution. See if there is someone else in your apartment complex who uses a rideshare to get to work. Perhaps it would be possible to arrange for the two of you to leave at the same time each morning in order to split the cost of the ride. Or maybe there are others who have regular appointments in the same building. You could share the cost of the Uber to get there each week or month.
Just make sure the situation amounts to saving money for everyone. If one person is stuck going to a diner and spending $15.00 for breakfast three times a week because they can’t get into their workplace as early as the rest of you, they’re not really saving any money, and are probably spending a little more.
Gather some large tote bags or shopping bags for trips that necessitate a haul.
Using a rideshare expensive enough without incurring added fees for idle time. These fees are added on to your fare when you cause the driver to sit and wait for you for an excessive amount of time. This includes waiting for you to get out of the car, or waiting for you to carry armloads of bags or other items out of their car. If you pack ten small bags out of the car two at a time, you are likely going to incur that extra fee. If you set two large tote bags on the ground and get out of the car right away, there will be no extra fee.
Don’t worry if one or two large tote bags is too much for you to carry at once. You just have to get them out of the car. Check out at the grocery store normally, with your purchases packed in plastic sacks or your normal small re-usable bags. While you’re waiting for your ride, tuck those small bags into your one or two large totes. When your ride gets to your house, haul those large totes out, set them on the ground, and get out of the car. You can take the smaller bags out of the larger bags and carry them into your house one or two at a time if you need to once the car pulls away.
Avoid pre-loading your rideshare app unless you have a gift card or need the service to get to work.
Pre-loading the app is convenient, but often results in spending more money than originally intended.
Suppose you have $100.00. If you load that on to your balance, you can only spend that money taking rides or ordering food from Uber Eats, if you choose to use Uber. If you only needed $50.00 for rides this week, you now have $50.00 sitting there. Of course, the most frugal, reasonable, and sensible thing to do is to save that money until you need another ride. But we’re not always frugal, reasonable, and sensible, and it’s common to start thinking, “I don’t really need another ride for a long time. I better order dinner in tonight, or go to the mall, just to use up that credit.”
Prevent that temptation by linking your rideshare account to a card you use for other purposes. That way, you will feel the “sting” of seeing money come out of your account when you book a ride, rather than feeling like it’s free because you had a credit.
Uber may be a resource if you still need to get a Covid-19 vaccine
A visit to the Uber app on May 27,2021 announced the availability of free rides to and from your provider location for the purpose of getting a Covid-19 vaccine now through July 4, 2021. Download the app for more information and to book your ride.
Don’t even try to scam the rideshare driver.
Uber and Lyft drivers are people who are trying to make ends meet, or supplement their income, just like the rest of us.
Cancelling the ride after you are already in the car to try to make the charge refund itself, throwing a fit to make the driver let you out early in an attempt to get some of your money back, and regaling the driver with a story about a failed app, only a few dollars in your wallet, and other details from a sad life you do not actually live to get them to cancel the ride in the app and take a few dollars in cash for your ride are not money saving tricks. They’re scams. The driver has every right to simply throw you out of the car if you try any of them, and you deserve it. Making up a fake incident after the fact in an attempt to get the company to refund your money is also a scam, and it’s a scam that could cause that driver to lose their contract with the service. Rideshare drivers are independent contractors running their own business. Would you really want to shut down someone else’s business simply to save yourself ten or twenty dollars?
The above information was provided courtesy of Artist Cafe Utica website, and is not sponsored or endorsed by Uber, Lyft, or any other business or organization.