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Affording a car while in college

The way things are these days, it’s hard to support yourself and a family on the income from a single job, especially if you live in an area with a high cost of living. For many people, the solution to this problem is to look for a side gig or part-time job. Companies like Lyft and Uber have led the charge in creating extra work for everybody who needs it in the new “sharing economy,” by giving people the opportunity to work as drivers for their ridesharing apps. With these services, the person needing a ride just summons a driver on their smartphone app, the nearest driver is notified, and heads right over to take the passenger where they need to go. For the most part, these jobs are open to all, making them an easy way for anyone to earn money on the side. However, there are requirements to becoming a ridesharing driver, so if it’s something you’ve been thinking about, check out this list and make sure you’re able to work for them before you start the signup process.

License and Insurance

The first thing you’ll need is a driver’s license, obviously. You may be required to have had it for a year or more, and you may be required to be over 21 years of age. All the major ridesharing companies will run a background check on you before you can start working, to make sure you don’t have a criminal record or any serious driving violations.

Your Vehicle

You’re going to need your own car to work for one of these companies, and it’s going to need to be a four door of recent manufacture, in good running condition (they will probably schedule a vehicle inspection) and without any major cosmetic damage. It also needs to be properly insured. If your car isn’t up to snuff, consider investing in your future ridesharing driver career by getting a nice pre-owned car. There are many resources for online car shoppers that can make buying a reliable used car easier than it’s ever been, and you can make sure it meets the specified requirements for whatever ridesharing company you’re interested in working for.

Your Smartphone

You’re also going to need a fairly new Android or iPhone, with an updated operating system, that’s capable of running the ridesharing company’s app. You’ll need this to receive your job notifications, your driving directions, and other info from the company.

A Checking Account

Most companies will need you to have a checking account set up for direct deposits so they can pay you. Don’t expect to get paid in cash or PayPal!

If you’ve confirmed that you have everything you need to work as a ridesharing driver, download their apps and start the application process! Many people find that driving for these companies is fun and interesting as well as financially rewarding, so who knows, this might be the perfect side job for you if you have the necessary qualifications and you love to drive.

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