The simple idea of driving passengers around in your own car and earning extra cash might sound appealing for some car owners. But if you want to take advantage of the booming ride sharing market, you need to get the basics right.

With the right knowledge, becoming a rideshare driver can be a great part-time gig. If you like the idea of diversifying your income, meeting interesting and new people everyday, and setting your own hours to make money, ridehsaring can be a great option to consider.

The bitter truth is, becoming a ride sharing driver may not make you rich, but there are lots of opportunities out there if you are dedicated to becoming a great driver. If you really want to maximize your earnings, you’ll need to start thinking about when and where you drive.

There are a lot of opinions out there about driving for Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar. Those three are the most popular ride sharing apps that usually have the most requests for drivers.

It’s important to drive for more than one company because that gives you the best opportunity to maximize your earnings potential. Find out the requirements for each service because uber driver requirements may be different from Lyft or Sidecar requirements.

And the fares and fee structures vary depending on the city and the product. With Uber for instance, there’s UberX, UberXL, UberBLACK and other service options.

“Since drivers earn fares by the trip, not by the hour, drivers can turn the app on when it fits around the rest of their lives, and can take rides here and there as they go about their day,” says Uber spokeswoman Jessica Santillo.

If you don’t have a car, flexible rideshare leasing options like HyreCar connects thousands of on-demand drivers.

For all drivers, you really only need two things to get started: a car and a smartphone. You need a clean driving record to get approved.

When you finally make a decision to driver for Uber, Lyft or another ride-sharing app, download the passenger app first so you can try it and see how it works. One of the most important things you should do before becoming a ride sharing driver is to take a ride as a passenger.

If you’ve never used Uber before, it’s important to see what the experience is like from the customer’s point of view. Find out what the tip rated drivers are doing right.

Some drivers provide mints and water to passengers, and those extras could garner bigger tips or help you build positive ratings when you’re starting out as a new driver.

Do your due diligence but don’t forget to sign up ASAP.

The process is pretty easy and if things go smoothly, you could be out there on the road within a week or two. Once you get the hang of things, you should definitely consider driving for multiple services to maximise your income.

Once you become a driver, ride share insurance becomes a necessity because your personal policy could drop you if they find out you’re driving for Uber or Lyft.

Rideshare companies typically offer some insurance coverage to their drivers when they’re logged into the app and transporting passengers, but the insurance may only cover you as secondary insurance, that means you must file a claim with your own auto insurance first.

There are amazing resources out there for ride sharing drivers. One of the coolest parts about being involved in the ride share community is all of the amazing resources at your fingertips. Stride Drive is one of the top free mileage tracking apps for rideshare drivers.

ActiveHours allows you to get paid for the rides you give on the same day, and best of all it is donation based, so you decide how much you want to pay for the service.

YourMechanic, dbbed the ‘Uber’ of auto-mechanics, sends a mechanic to your home or business to perform everything from an oil change to new brakes and tires.

MileIQ is a paid mileage tracker that tracks every time you drive.

Delivery has become a very popular option for those looking to work in the on-demand economy. Postmates and Doordash allow ride sharing drivers to make delivers. You can take advantage of it and make extra money.

Remember, costs like gas, vehicle depreciation and maintenance come out of the driver’s pocket. Lyft and Uber have fuel discount programs to drivers who meet certain criteria.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups, Contributor @Entrepreneur, Columnist @Inc. Magazine and Curator at Postanly (his free weekly digest of the best life and career improvement posts on the web. Subscribe for free.

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