The Lyft app has revolutionized personal transportation. You can summon a ride at the touch of a couple buttons. But if you’re a Lyft driver, you already know this; you also know that driving for Lyft is an opportunity to earn extra money while exploring your city and meeting new people. As a Lyft driver, you’re familiar with the Lyft driver app, at least when it comes to picking up Lyft rides and navigating riders to their destinations. But are you getting every benefit possible from the Lyft Dashboard?
There are certain functions of the Lyft partner app that you may not be familiar with. These are what we’re going to explore in this post, helping you to get the most out of the Lyft driver app when it comes to things like maximizing your earnings and being ready at tax time.
1. Learn How to Get Your Lyft Amp
For years, the Lyft Glowstache was the iconic marker of the ridesharing platform’s vehicles. Now, however, Lyft is phasing the Glowstache out and replacing it with the Amp. Lyft describes the Amp as “an emblem to enhance your ride experience and energize the Lyft community.” It’s a light-up device that attaches to your car’s dashboard, clearly marking Lyft vehicles to waiting passengers.
However, Lyft won’t just give you an Amp upon signing up for the platform. They want to make sure you’re committed beforehand. Therefore, in cities where Amp is available, Lyft requires drivers to give a minimum number of rides before receiving their Amp. This is where the Lyft driver app comes in. You can go to the “Amp” tab to see if Amp is available in your city and how many rides you need to complete before you can receive yours.
2. View a Summary of Your Annual Earnings
If you’re curious to see just how much you’ve made driving for Lyft in the year, including fares and referral bonuses, you can view it in the Driver app. Just navigate to the Driver Dashboard annual summary to see both ride earnings and non-ride earnings.
If you’re not sure if earnings are ride or non-ride, here’s an explanation of each.
Ride earnings include:
- Payments from passengers
- Tips from passengers
- Tolls automatically charged to passengers and paid to drivers
- Automatic cancellation fees
- Lyft’s fees
Non-ride earnings include:
- Referral bonuses
- Mentor payments
- Rental rewards for Express Drive
- Average hourly guarantees
- Power Driver Bonus
- Manual and promotion bonuses
3. Opt In to Average Hourly Guarantees
As a way to incentivize drivers to be available more consistently, Lyft offers average hourly guarantees in certain markets. What does this mean? If you opt in to the program and meet certain requirements, Lyft will guarantee certain hourly earnings regardless of your actual hourly earnings from rides. The amount can vary, often changing week to week, but hourly guarantees are a great way to make your Lyft income more stable.
However, in order to get these guaranteed hourly amounts, you need to opt in to them before the week starts. You’ll get notifications in the Driver App when new hourly guarantees are available, so all you have to do is tap on the offer and opt in. From there, just meet the requirements of giving a certain number of rides per hour and having at least a 90 percent acceptance rate.
4. View Your Driver Summary
Within the Lyft Dashboard, you can view weekly summaries of your driver activity. These Driver Summaries show things like your acceptance rate, your payouts, how much Lyft has taken in fees and the amount of tips you’ve earned.
To view your Driver Summary in the Lyft Dashboard, tap on “Driving History” in the menu. From there, you can select the year you want to see. The default will be the current year, but you can navigate to previous years as well.
5. Update Your Personal Information
Have a new name? Get a new phone number? Move to a new address? You’ll need to update this information in the Lyft Driver app to make sure that things keep functioning smoothly.
Luckily, this is easy to do from within the app. Just tap on “Settings” to update any of your driver info. Do not attempt to create a new account if info such as your phone number or email address changes — this will just create lots of headaches for both you and Lyft.
6. View Your Tax Information
As a Lyft driver, you’re an independent contractor, not an employee. This means that you’re responsible for paying your own taxes on money earned driving for Lyft. Lyft will notify you if you made enough money to qualify you to receive either a Form 1099-K (for money earned giving rides) or Form 1099-MISC (for money earned via bonus payments). You’ll need to make more than $600 in a given year of earning for Lyft in order to receive either Form 1099.
When it comes time to file taxes, you’ll need a way to easily view these forms. Luckily, you can do this in the Lyft app. To view any applicable tax forms, follow these steps:
- Open the Lyft Driver app.
- Tap your profile photo in the top left.
- Tap “Dashboard.”
- Tap the menu icon in the upper corner.
- Tap “Tax Information.”
- To view information from a different year, back to 2014 at the earliest, click the pink links to switch between years.
- If there is a 1099 available for a year, you’ll see a link to click to view it.
For additional information on how to do your ridesharing taxes, check out our Complete Guide to Self-Employment Taxes in 2018.
Make Full Use of the Lyft Dashboard
We hope you now understand how to use some features of the Lyft Dashboard that are not immediately obvious. Lyft continues to make updates and improvements to the Dashboard based on driver feedback, so we’ll update this article as new features become available.
If you’re curious how the Lyft Driver app compares to the Uber Driver app, then check out our comprehensive comparison (hint: Lyft is currently a more user-friendly experience).