Are you looking for a way to make some extra money? If so, driving for Lyft might be the perfect option.
In this article, we’ll discuss the requirements to become a driver, how much money Lyft drivers make, and what it’s like to drive for Lyft.
We’ll also compare Lyft to other rideshare options so you can decide if driving for Lyft is the right choice for you.
Table Of Contents
How Lyft Driving Works
Lyft drivers use their vehicles to give rides to passengers.
First, you’ll need to download the Lyft app onto your smartphone. Once you have the app, you can sign in and start accepting rides from passengers.
The app provides the passenger’s name, pickup location, and destination.
The app opens up a navigation system so that you can get directions to the passenger.
If you don’t like the Lyft navigational map, you can also try using other maps.
Some Lyft drivers prefer to use Google Maps or Waze.
After arriving at the passenger’s location, it’s good practice to confirm their identity by asking their name and matching their face to the profile shown in the app.
Confirm that you’ve picked up the passenger in the Lyft app.
As soon as you do, the app will reveal the destination address and start navigating for you.
The app will keep track of your progress and let the passenger know when you’re close to their destination.
End the ride in the Lyft app after letting your rider out of the car.
The app will automatically charge the passenger’s credit card and pay you for the ride.
You can rate your passenger on a scale of one to five.
Your rider can also rate you as a rideshare driver after the ride is over.
Why Drive for Lyft?
There are three main reasons Lyft drivers cite as benefits to driving for Lyft.
1. Make Money
The main reason people drive for Lyft is to make money. Lyft pays its drivers on a per-ride basis. They also receive tips from passengers.
2. Be an Independent Contractor
Another benefit of driving for Lyft is that you’re an independent contractor It means that you’re self-employed and can set your hours.
You’re not tied to a specific schedule, which gives you flexibility. If you need to take a day off or vacation, you can do so without asking for permission. You can also work as little or as much as you want.
Of course, there are some downsides to being an independent contractor.
For example, you’re responsible for your taxes and don’t receive any benefits from Lyft. The tax issue can get you into trouble if you’re not careful.
So, set aside enough money from your Lyft pay to cover your tax bill. The IRS encourages independent contractors to pay their taxes every quarter.
Here are the dates to pay your quarterly taxes:
- April 15
- June 15
- September 15
- January 15
Whether you use the quarterly tax system or not, you must file a tax return every April and report your Lyft earnings.
Keep track of items like gas, vehicle repairs, and cell phone bills. They can give you a nice tax deduction.
3. Meet Interesting People
You get to meet new people from all walks of life.
You might give a ride to a businessperson going to an important meeting, or you could drive a family to the airport. You might even give a ride to a famous actor, musician, or athlete.
If you’re looking for a social job where you can make some extra cash, driving for Lyft is a nice option. You can chat with your passengers and get to know them.
Just remember, you’re there to drive, not to make friends. If a passenger wants to chat, that’s great. But don’t forget that you have other passengers to pick up.
Where Can You Drive for Lyft?
Lyft drivers can drive anywhere in the United States.
The company is available in all 50 states and Washington D.C. You can drive for Lyft in select Canadian cities as well.
Some of the most popular American cities for Lyft include the following:
- New York City
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Antonio
- San Francisco
- Salt Lake City
If you want to drive for Lyft but don’t live in a major city, that’s not a problem. You can drive in smaller cities and towns as well. To see if driving is available near you, check the Lyft website or app.
Who Can Drive for Lyft?
Most people who drive for Lyft are regular people who use the service to make extra money.
You don’t need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive for Lyft. You can use almost any car to drive as long as it meets Lyft’s vehicle requirements.
To drive for Lyft, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license. In some states, you need to be at least 25 years old.
You’ll also need to pass a background check. The background check includes your driving history, criminal record, and sex offender status.
It’s important to note that you cannot have any serious offenses on your record, such as a DUI. You also cannot have any recent felonies or violent crimes.
The background check doesn’t include a credit check, so you don’t need to have good credit to drive for Lyft.
If you meet all of the requirements and pass the background check, you can start driving for Lyft.
Your vehicle must meet requirements to be eligible to drive for Lyft.
First, your car must have four doors and seat at least four passengers, not including the driver.
Second, the model year must be 2004 or newer. In some states, they do allow 2002 or newer models.
Third, you’ll need to pass a vehicle inspection that includes a 19-point checklist.
Some of the things Lyft checks for during a vehicle inspection include the following.
- Turn signals
- Windshield wipers
Lyft will also ask to see proof of vehicle insurance. You’ll need an insurance policy that meets or exceeds your state’s minimum requirements.
As you go through the application process, be ready to upload the following documents when prompted by the company.
- Your driver’s license
- Proof of insurance
- A photo of yourself (for your profile)
- Vehicle registration
- A photo of your vehicle inspection report
You can still drive for the company if you don’t have a car that meets Lyft’s requirements. You can rent or lease a car through the Lyft Express Drive program.
The company has partnerships with some rental car companies, such as Hertz and Avis. With these programs, you can rent a car to drive for Lyft without putting any money down.
How Much Money Can You Make Driving for Lyft?
Lyft pays you in two main ways.
Lyft pays you a set amount for each ride. How much you make depends on a few factors, such as the number of rides you give and the city you drive in.
However, most Lyft drivers report making around $17 to $20 per hour.
This hourly rate doesn’t include tips.
Some Lyft drivers give multiple rides per hour during busy times and make closer to $30 or $40 per hour. If you drive during Lyft Peak Hours, you can make more money.
Lyft Peak Hours are when demand for rides is higher than usual. It works similarly to the Uber Surge pricing.
During Peak Hours, Lyft raises its prices to encourage more drivers to get on the road.
To see a clear breakdown of your earning potential if you decide to drive for Lyft, see this Salary.com page.
You’ll notice a median Lyft driver salary of approximately $37,000 annually. As we mentioned earlier, pay depends on how busy it is for Lyft in your city’s market.
Some Lyft drivers make more than $50,000 per year. Part-time Lyft drivers earn $25,000 per year or less.
In addition to your hourly rate, you also receive tips from passengers.
Lyft doesn’t require passengers to tip. Most riders do leave a tip, however. Tips generally range from 5% to 25% of the ride’s total cost.
Lyft Driving Comparisons
Lyft isn’t the only rideshare option available. Here are three comparisons to other companies you might drive for.
Drive for Lyft vs. Uber
If you’re wondering how Lyft compares to its biggest competitor, Uber, there isn’t much difference between the two companies.
Both companies allow you to drive your car and set your hours. The pay is similar as well.
An Uber driver will earn about the same amount of income as a Lyft driver. You’ll notice that the Salary.com breakdown of Uber pay looks similar to its breakdown of Lyft pay.
Drive for Lyft vs. GetTaxi
If you’re looking for a rideshare option different from Lyft, GetTaxi might be a good choice. It’s now called simply “Gett.”
It’s challenging to compare Lyft to Gett because you can only drive for Gett if you live in the United Kingdom or places like Israel and Moscow.
Lyft isn’t available in these areas. Gett connects riders with professional taxi drivers through its app.
Drive for Lyft vs. Easy Taxi
You can drive for Easy Taxi if you live in places like Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, or Portugal.
The company merged with Cabify in 2017.
Drive for Lyft FAQs
Here are the answers to three commonly asked questions about driving for Lyft.
Does Lyft pay daily?
Yes, Lyft gives drivers an Express Pay option. You can use it to cash out your rideshare earnings up to five times daily.
Can you drive for Lyft and Uber at the same time?
Yes, you can drive Uber and Lyft simultaneously if you want. There’s no rule against it.
In what city do Lyft drivers make the most?
Lyft drivers in large cities like New York and Los Angeles generally make more money than those in smaller cities.
Becoming a Lyft driver is a quality way to make money on your schedule.
Most drivers make between $17 and $20 per hour, but tips can increase your overall pay.
Do you have more questions about Lyft?
Please ask us in the comment section.
If you’re ready to start driving for Lyft, take your first step by applying at the Lyft website.