Drive for cash over summer

Students who want to earn some money during the summer can do so by driving others around with Uber or Lyft.

By Gabriel Arizon, Staff Writer

Students with a car and driving experience can make some extra cash driving with Uber or Lyft during the summer.

Students that are at least 21 years old with a valid U.S. driver license and a smartphone can make a little additional money on the side, though you need at least a year of driving experience to work for either of them (three years for Uber for those under 23). Drivers will be able to decide their own hours and can earn more if they drive longer distances during peak hours.

Potential drivers need a four-door car that is no older than 15 years. Uber has different vehicle options for riders to choose from, so drivers need to make sure the car they have matches that option.

UberLUX, for example, only allows drivers with pristine high-end vehicles to use that option. Those without a car can apply to get one with Uber, either reserving with Hertz or Fair, though they are only available in limited locations like Los Angeles and Orange County. If driving others around isn’t your cup of tea, Uber offers an alternative job opportunity in making food deliveries with Uber Eats by any method available: car, bicycle, scooter and even on foot.

Before anyone can work with either company, Uber and Lyft have applicants go through a background check, a driving record check, and a vehicle check. If an applicant has been convicted a crime such as a DUI or a sexual offense, then it's likely that the application will be denied.

All drivers must have valid insurance, though both companies will give additional coverage. The amount of coverage will depend if the app is on and if the driver has been matched with a user. In addition, drivers will need to pay their income tax and self-employment tax to the government, as neither company will list their drivers as employees.

Besides earning some cash, there are also other benefits to Uber and Lyft. Uber will give drivers 15 percent off tires and oil changes at select stores, like AutoZone and Jiffy Lube. Uber will also give you 15-18 percent off your monthly phone bill if you have AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. Lyft will give their drivers bonuses depending on how much they drive; the requirements to get them are in the app.

For more information or to sign up, visit the Uber or Lyft home pages.