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Things You Need To Think About Before Jumping Onto the Uber Wagon

Things You Need To Think About Before Jumping Onto the Uber Wagon

Vancouver finally had its first weekend with ride-hailing after both Uber and Lyft were given the go-ahead from the city on January 24 and just like you can now hail a Uber or Lyft when you’re in town. When we first heard about Uber a decade ago, we were all taken away by how brilliant the idea was - it was more than just a super friendly alternative to taxis, it opened up the opportunity for people to make more money just by driving their own cars. With the cost of living so expensive in all major metropolitan cities, everything is about making extra money, and Uber is not shy about sharing these success stories on its website. There's Alfonso’s story, and then there’s Tony’s, Mark’s and Tom’s story. Ordinary people just like me and you, who have a need for extra cash and want something flexible, and their stories inspire us to wonder would the people be weird? Is it safe? What's it really like? Would I make a profit? Would it be worth it?

Exactly how much extra cash can you make by driving for Uber?

Displayed prominently on Uber’s web page is the promise Earn at least US$700 for your first 100 trips, guaranteed. And yes, there is a fine print: you need to complete the required number of trips within the required number of days, and guarantee earnings offers are promotional offers and are not a promise or guarantee of future earnings.

Of course, exactly how much you’ll make depends on how many hours you put in behind the wheel. Uber says that 80% of its drivers drive fewer than 35 hours a week, with more than half drive one to 14 hours. A 2016 NerdWallet study found that in order to earn an annual income of $50,000 (a little more than $4100 a month), an Uber driver must provide 60 rides a week. Driving for Lyft? You need to offer 84 rides a week to make that amount.

And then there’s the Uber fees, gas, maintenance and self-employment taxes you need to factor into your earnings. Don’t forget, when you’re driving for Uber, you’re an independent contractor and not an employee. Luckily, Uber has a whole section on their website dedicated to teaching you where to find your tax documents (aka. the 1099 form) and how to locate the nearest H&R Block should you need help.

So while we don’t doubt that you can earn an extra $4100 a month, don’t be alarmed if you end up sending a huge chunk of it back to Uber, Uncle Sam, and your state and local tax offices.

At least you get Basic Insurance coverage

Getting into an accident is one of the most common fear because it’s so easy to do. How do you know if you, your vehicle and your passengers are properly insured and under whose insurance coverage?

If your status is Offline or the Uber app is off - your chosen personal insurance company and coverages apply.

If your status is Available or you are waiting for a ride request - Uber maintains the following auto insurance on your behalf in case of a covered accident:

Third-party liability if your personal auto insurance doesn’t apply

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

If you’re enroute to pick up riders and during trips - Uber maintains the following auto insurance on your behalf in case of a covered accident:

  • $1,000,000 third-party liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury²
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision, up to actual cash value of car ($1,000 deductible)

For more information on what Uber covers, please refer to the Insurance section on their website. And of course, you can check with your insurance provider if they offer any optional add-ons for rideshare drivers.

The dash cam is your best protection against sketchy situations and shady passengers

We have all heard horror stories about drivers being assaulted by unruly passengers. Every Uber driver will have their own experience with sketchy situations and shady passengers, and then there are passengers who don’t know how to act. Being a little drunk or annoying is one thing, but some passengers can cross the line into physical or verbal assault. We cannot stress enough the fact that you need a dash cam onboard just in case.  

A dash cam is essentially an add-on to your insurance policy, allowing you to record both front and back (and capture accidents or hit-and-runs), as well as audio, and these recordings protect both you and the passenger. Plus, that little dash cam on the windshield might just be the little nudge that your passenger needs before they dip their hands into your tip jar or spark up that joint in the backseat.

Dash cams we recommend for Uber and Lyft drivers

Ideally, you want a dash cam system that records both the traffic ahead as well as everything that goes in inside the car. In other words, you need a dual-channel IR dash cam system. We recommend the BlackVue DR750S-2CH IR. It is a dual-channel dash cam system that gives you smooth and clear recordings thanks to 1080P Full HD at 60 frames per second. In-cabin recording is also in Full HD, at 30 frames per second.

Looking for a more wallet-friendly option? There’s also the VIOFO A129 Duo IR. It’s a dual-channel screen dash cam that offers Full HD at 30 frames per second from both the front and IR camera.  

Looking to splurge a bit? There are the 4K dual-channel IR systems! The BlackVue DR900S-2CH IRC lets you capture the road ahead in 4K UHD and the interior of the vehicle in Full HD, and comes with powerful Cloud features include real-time data and video, GPS tracking, 2-way voice communication, and live video stream. There is also free cloud storage so you can backup a copy of your video footage and replay the videos from the Cloud using your smartphone. Good parking mode coverage with impact and motion detection.

Interested in a budget-friendlier 4K option? The VIOFO’s A129 Duo IR camera is compatible with the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo. You can always pair a VIOFO A129 Pro 1-Channel with a VIOFO A129 Duo IR. What do to with the extra A129 front camera? Mount it on the rear windshield to make a 3-Channel all-inclusive, not-going-to-miss-a-thing system.

Why can’t I just get a regular dual-channel dash cam and point the rear camera the other way for in-cabin recording?

Technically, you could, but we strongly recommend not doing so. Regular rear cameras and IR cameras are built differently. IR cameras are built with infrared lights designed to record details under poorly-lit conditions as well as total darkness. Learn more about IR dash cams from our article, What is an IR Cam and Why Do I Need One?

Ready to get behind the Uber wheel?

If you’re at least 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s licence (note that to be an Uber driver you need more than a regular class license), and have valid auto insurance that meets the stated liability requirements, then your first step would be to sign up on Uber’s website.

Then, once all that is done, come back to BlackboxMyCar to save on your new IR dash cam system with our Rideshare discount - just use RIDESHARE5 at checkout and you can save 5% off any IR system on our website.

Until next time, Happy Ubering and Safe Driving!

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Based on 4379 reviews
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Awesome 😎

The shipping was fairly Quick. The package was as expected.
I would STRONGLY recommended it to everyone, and especially if you bought a new car or fairly recent. You won’t be disappointed!!

Dash cam

You guys exchange my viofo129 4k for the thinkware u1000 and am happier the service perfect blackboxmycar to the world just give them a try you won't regret it there right on point a head of the game 💯💯💪💪

VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4k

VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K cam was easy to install. It provides a clear front and back view.

So far looks GREAT

Have not connected the rear camera yet but the front camera shoots wonderful, clear video, even in the evening with low light. I like a lot of the features on this unit and for the price seems a great deal. I do wish there was an option to just record with no time limit for road trip videos, but it does it's job VERY well and I'm satisfied. Shipping was FAST and product arrived well packed.

2 Ch THINKWARE Q800 Pro Install

Booked online, seamless process. Install done within promised timeframe. Clean install, courteous and informative staff. Will be bringing in my other car for another camera install.

Viofo a119 v3

Was debating for a while on a dashcam and settled on a Viofo a119v3. This cam was within my budjet, and after reading reviews I decided on this one.
I also read great reviews about blackboxmy car customer service and purchased from them. The camera itself seems to have great options and video quality is bar none...….only had for a week but very satisfied...Thanks Black box!

Great for my needs; minor software friction

First let me say that BlackboxMyCar has been fantastic throughout the process of choosing and installing my dash cams. The people behind that chat bubble know what they’re talking about, something I don’t usually expect from first-tier customer support.

Second: Overall I’m very happy with the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo. Video quality is sharp and clear, and it was easy to set up. The front camera is slightly smaller than I’d pictured it, which is nice. I’ve only had it a few weeks, but so far it’s working perfectly. Reliably fires up and starts recording when I get in the car and goes into parking mode when the car is off.

This is my first-ever dash cam and routing the cable through the headliner, A-pillar, etc., was tedious but not particularly difficult. Wiring the cameras into the car’s fusebox was also relatively straightforward, but get the circuit tester if you don’t already have one. It makes identifying always-on vs. ignition-switched a snap.

My only complaints—and these are minor nits—are mostly software issues.

The hardwire kit cable has a cylindrical ferrite bead near the connector, which makes it impossible (in my case) to hide that part of the cable—the bead won’t fit in the seam where I would otherwise stuff it.

Connecting to the camera from the iOS app requires enabling WiFi on the dash cam each time, and stopping the current recording. I’d love to be able to launch the iOS app and have it connect to the camera without having to jump through these extra hoops.

The other oddity that I haven’t really tracked down yet is that recordings using the H.265 codec play fine on my phone, but won’t play correctly when transferred to a computer. On the computer various apps appear to be playing around 1fps (maybe just showing keyframes?). I have yet to find an app that will interpret these files correctly—Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, QuickTime player—apps that otherwise understand and support H.265. The only way I’ve found to get usable H.265 files from the phone to the computer is to import them into iMovie on the phone and re-export them. (All of this could probably be avoided by setting the camera to use H.264 instead.)

Again, these are minor nits and overall I’m happy with the VIOFO.

Satisfied customer

Good dashcam for the price. I am happy with my purchase! Customer support was good. They answered all my stupid questions.

Great cam kit, fast delivery

I had a great experience with BlackBoxMyCar and would happily order electronics from them again! I guess I'll briefly document my journey:
1. Trying to decide which cameras to get, I contacted a support person on the chat. He was very courteous and helpful and did not try to up-sell me.
2. Fast delivery, got everything in perfect condition, tested it out using the lighter power cables, yay!
3. [mostly unrelated to the seller] I decided I am not competent enough to do a good install, so I hired a professional. Post-installation everything works great and no wires are exposed. It is a spiffy setup!

Note: I am not using the cloud features at all.

Hi Snowslider, I'm so glad that our team was able to help you out with everything that you needed. Please don't hesitate to reach out at anytime if you have any further questions regarding your dash cam.
Good camera

I wish it had a button to capture incidents and commit them to a file

Peace of Mind

I wouldn't recommend spending a thousand bucks on a dual-channel dashcam, but I do recommend spending within your budget on a solid dashcam. That's what I did, with the Thinkware U1000. It is a phenomenal piece of equipment and the customer service I received from Johnathan/Katrina was great. The installation team managed to get the dashcam installed on my Kona in less than 2.5 hours! If you are unsure of what to get and where to get a dashcam, I would 100% recommend going to BlackboxMyCar! :)

Hi Kevin, thank you for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. We're so glad to hear that our team was able to help you out. We hope you love your Thinkware U1000 - don't hesitate to ask us if you need further help in the future :)
Escort Max 360C Radar Detector

Excellent customer service. Ordered and received
with no issues.

Thanks for leaving a review, J. O.!
Done Right!

I booked appointment online. Got a reminder a couple of days ahead of appointment. Quickly processed at appointment check in. Installation was completed in less time than I expected. Installation has a professional look and I would recommend this business due to the service I received.

Hi Doug, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear your installation was smooth for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Doing the job

The first Dash cam I used had parking mode and although it had a setting to cut off automatically at 11.9 V after a time of about nine months it took it’s toll on my battery. This time around I’ve got a new dash cam also with parking mode but now I have the Cellink Neo battery in between my battery and dash cam and it’s working flawlessly I love the fact that my vehicles battery is not being taxed. Fully charged the Cellink Neo will last for 22 hours and that’s while running a 4K front camera and a 2k rear

Hi Edward, thank you for writing a detailed review for your Cellink NEO battery :) Glad to hear that it's working out well for you!
more then expected

After installation didn’t expect an explanation of the camera function. Made it easy to understand the features.

Hi Robert, glad to hear that the features were easy enough to understand. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Works good

Works good

Thanks for leaving a review, Donald!
Great dash cash well worth the investment!

Have you ever been wrongly cited in an auto accident because of the lack of witnesses or the other party says you were at fault? I purchased The VIOFO A129 Pro 4K dash w/ GPS for both of my vehicles. Now when I'm driving, I feel a sense of comfort and security knowing if something happens I have footage. I highly recommend this product. The company is great and there customer service is excellent! Don't wait until it's too late...

Awesome!

Awesome , super friendly and helpful staff. Will go there for all my dashcam needs.

Hi Steven, thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
Cheap. Super fast shipping. Real stuff

Real blackvue quality stuff. Shipping from Vancouver to Quebec city within one day
Thanks

Hi Martin, thank you for shopping with us. Glad to hear that your package got to you so quickly!
GREAT

WORKS GREAT

Thanks for leaving a review, Jeffrey!
convenient

I would come back and buy from blackboxmycar

Thanks Michael :) Your words made us blush. Come back anytime!
Quality help

No matter when I’ve had a problem they’ve always been there for me - i would never go anywhere else

Hi Wayne, thanks for leaving a review! Come back anytime :)
Over 30 hours of battery power for my devices!

I purchased a B-124E to add to my Blackvue and B-124X setup. I needed this additional battery power because I’m also running a Nighthawk M1 hotspot that is powered by the 5V/2.0A usb-A output of the B-124X. Works flawlessly. My camera is always connected to Blackvue Cloud and I am always notified of motion and/or impacts.
Amazing combo.

Hi Lauren, awesome review - thanks for leaving one! Your setup sounds great. Don't hesitate to contact us at anytime if you need help.
Every car should have one!

So far I have capture 2 near miss accidents, several on road incidents and a hit and run on my vehicle. It captured the vehicle license plate and my car is being repaired on their dime.
I’m the DR900S-2CH combined with the B-124X is a killer combination. Enough battery power to keep your camera powered - even though your vehicle is off.
I purchased the hardwire kit and did a custom install directly with the fuse box for a cleaner install and faster charging rate.

Hi Lauren, love the combination and the joy you're getting out of your BlackVue dash cam. We absolutely love hearing from customers like you who have had such great success with a dash cam. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything else in the future!
Great cam for a great price

I bought the A129 Pro Duo 4K after watching numerous videos especially those from Black Box My Car. For me, it was a great way to get 4k quality on a budget without necessarily needing all the features of the U1000.

I still have to set up the wiring harness to my 2016 Jetta, but so far just powering it on the cigarette lighter has offered me a great piece of mind while driving.

The VIOFO app works decent, and you can wirelessly download or watch clips from the camera to your iPhone by connecting via WiFi to the cam while sitting in the car.

If you want 4K quality to protect yourself and your car in the case of an accident, I would definitely recommend this cam.