A couple months ago I started a thread
about driving for Uber in the USA, but I needed an Eco Beater. I had already driven for Uber in Ontario near the end of 2015 and things went well for me up there. Anyway, last week I scored a 2010 Insight LX with 87k miles for $6300. All in (taxes, title, etc) it's $6853.
About the Car:
I originally intended to get a cheaper car ($3000 range) but this Insight was too good an opportunity to pass up. I test drove it and everything was in good shape.
There are two new-looking Bridgestone Ecopias on the back wheels, the front wheels are like performance tires, made by Falken, but they're worn. Passenger side is almost at the warning bars. I'll have to replace them sooner than later, and I'll probably go with more Ecopias. All 4 are 175/65/R15. I put 44 PSI in all the tires.
I also installed new wiper blades and really bright (and cheap) LED lights for the interior.
The car ate the curb at some point, and has a ding in the middle of the front bumper, but there's no other major cosmetic damage, and the interior is looking nice.
My first tank came in at 48.1 MPG. I filled up early actually thinking it was close to out, but it looks like the gauge is conservative. It turns out I had over a gallon left.
Fate of the G1:
I can't sell the silver Insight right now because it's still registered in Ontario. I've applied to Honda for a certificate of compliance with US standards (EPA, FMVSS) but I haven't got that yet. Once I get that if I drive to Canada (going there for XMas) then I can drive back to the states with it and register it in Georgia. Honestly though, I'm really attached to the silver car, and its insurance is incredibly cheap, so I'm tempted to keep it. Also, there's the issue of the low market value for G1's in general right now, so if I tried to sell it might end up on the market for a while. Economically however I should sell it since I now have the black car. I'm not driving the G1 enough to save $70/mo in gas versus a G2. Basically, its future is up in the air.
I was already familiar with Uber from doing it in Canada, so I signed up with them. I've done like 3 days of ridesharing with them so far. My other job (warehouse & internet work for small online retailer) is up and down with business from week to week. It's feast or famine. Fortunately that allows me to be incredibly flexible with my hours, which makes ridesharing in my time off attractive. I can't do it every day however, so for now on those days I'm using the silver Insight because of its superior fuel economy.
I also signed up for Lyft but they still have to background check me. Once that's done I can drive for them. I heard (from a couple other drivers) they pay way better than Uber. I guess I'll find out.
Benefits of Ridesharing:
My commute is ideal for ridesharing. I drive through a high income area on the way to the highway, and my job is close to Atlanta itself. This means plenty of opportunities for rides.
I mentioned above my current job is kind of a drought-or-flood place. The unreliability of my schedule (sometimes I can get only 20 hours, other times I can get 35+) means my paycheck varies week to week. A flexible second income like this could really help me.
Drawbacks // Risks:
Is the money really worth it? That's the main question. With Uber I think (so far from a very limited time doing it) that I might be in the black. Uber doesn't seem to pay as much down here as it did in Canada, but to be fair the US dollar is stronger. However, in my first 3 days of part-time driving I was able to recoup the monthly insurance premium. But honestly it's too early to tell.
Will passengers or all the miles destroy the value of the car? I feel like I got a sweet deal on it, but I have to acknowledge that knowing me I will almost certainly spend some money to make it better. For example, I'll likely get LED brake lights and turn signals, I'll get two more LRR tires, and I want to change the CVT fluid and filters sooner than later. So the total price isn't going to be $6853, it's going to be higher. I am keeping receipts so I can write off stuff on my taxes. For example I had to get a suction cup windshield mount for my phone, so I've got that receipt. I'll also keep them for gas and for the expenses mentioned above. In any case, add everything up, I'll want to exceed that plus what I paid for the car before the car bites the dust. I am optimistic, I think I can do it and then make a profit afterwards.
- Fix lower front bumper cover
- Grill block
- ScanGauge (will take from G1 when I get OBDIIC&C working on G1)
- Underbody Aero
- Possibly a WAI
- Possible rear window wiper delete
- LED brakes & signals
- Window tint
- Full Regen Brake Switch
- LED interior lighting