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Starting your gig as a rideshare driver is exciting. You get to set your own hours, make tips, and get paid to drive your sweet ride. But did you know that you have the potential to earn a sign-on incentive just for being a new driver?
That’s right: Most rideshare apps offer new driver incentives, allowing you to make extra money in the beginning stages of your new gig. These guarantees are low-hanging fruit for drivers, and with amounts as high as they currently are, it doesn’t make sense not to claim one.
At the time of publication, new Lyft drivers have the chance to claim an earnings guarantee of $1,000, and it’s easier than you might think. All you have to do is apply using a Lyft driver referral code like ours.
In this post, we’re outlining everything you need to unlock these driver earnings guarantees and how Lyft’s incentives compares to Uber’s.
- How to Claim Your Lyft Driver Earnings Guarantee
- Why You Should Claim Your Lyft Driver Earnings Guarantee
- Guarantee Requirements
- How Lyft Driver Earnings Guarantees Are Determined
- Why Lyft’s Guarantees Are Better Than Uber’s
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Claim Your Lyft Driver Earnings Guarantee
Assuming your city does offer an incentive, you may be wondering how to claim it. Getting your guarantee is easy, and you can do it in one of two ways.
The first method, which we recommend, is to sign up through a referral link. We suggest this method because it ensures that you will be eligible to receive this promotion, without the extra work of putting in a promo code (which can also be easy to mistype).
The second method is to enter a promo code when you complete your Lyft application. We recommend you use the promo code RIDESHAREAPPS (affiliate link disclosure), but any code will work.
1. Follow Our Sign-Up Link
If you’d like to support our site, you can claim your Lyft driver earnings guarantee using our referral link. We’d greatly appreciate you using ours, since running a website providing free information to current and prospective drivers like you can be costly.
All you have to do is click this link (we recommend using your desktop, not a smartphone), submit your phone number, then proceed with the next steps in the application. Once clicked, the link will automatically apply the code to your account, and you’ll be eligible once you finish applying.
If the driver invite code was applied to your account properly, you’ll see a message similar to the one below in browser window, as well as driver guarantee details at the bottom of the page. Your screen should something like the image below after you click on the sign-up link.
2. Enter the Code Manually
Entering a Lyft referral code is naturally embedded within the Lyft application process. Because completing Lyft application process is an entirely different post in itself, we’ll just provide the first steps to get you through the promo code stage:
- Head to the driver sign-up page on Lyft.com.
- Select whether you have a car or need a car, enter your phone number, and agree to the Terms of Service. Click “Next.”
- Enter the basic information requested on the following page, including first and last name, email address, and the city you’ll drive in. Note that the Lyft city you enter will be based on the market closest to you, so it may not be your exact location. For example, Boulder drivers should input “Denver,” Dearborn drivers should input “Detroit,” and Annapolis drivers should input “Baltimore.”
- Now comes the important part: Manually enter the Lyft driver referral code “RIDESHAREAPPS” to be eligible for an incentive in the box labeled “Promo/Referral Code.” Note: The box says “optional” because entering a referral code is not a new driver requirement. However, if you do not enter a Lyft driver promo code in this box during this step, you’ll miss out on an easy guaranteed money during your first rides.
- Click “SUBMIT” to be sent a verification code via text, which you’ll be able to enter in the following screen to proceed with the application process.
And that’s all there is to claiming yours today!
Why You Should Claim Your Lyft Driver Earnings Guarantee
If you’re going to commit to drive with Lyft anyway, it makes sense to claim your Lyft new driver guarantee. The goal of this program is to encourage drivers to be available as Lyft expands its operations to new cities by making the gig highly profitable throughout the U.S., from New York City to San Francisco. Like any other app, the success of Lyft depends on the network effect: The more people use Lyft, the more useful the company is.
By meeting Lyft’s requirements, you’ll also gain valuable driver experience that will help you learn the ins and outs of Lyft. This will ultimately boost your future earnings in the form of tips and improved ratings. As with any other job, experience is key to success for full-time and part-time Lyft drivers.
Finally, if you’re claiming a Lyft driver earnings guarantee that comes from the referral of another driver or an educational website such as this one, then you’re supporting the broader rideshare community. This ensures that services like Lyft become more accessible and higher quality.
Lyft Driver Earnings Guarantee Requirements
In order to receive the new driver guarantee, you first need to get a current Lyft driver referral code. As we mentioned before, you can use our referral link above to earn up to $1,000 in guaranteed earnings, as long as you meet the requirements.
In addition to being a new driver, there are additional ride requirements that Lyft drivers have to meet. Ride requirements differ from Lyft driver requirements and vehicle requirements. Rather, they refer to the amount of rides you need to complete within a specific time frame to receive the full incentive amount.
What are the ride requirements, exactly? This varies with the nature of the promotion, but for the official Lyft driver earnings guarantee, drivers must complete 125 rides within 30 days to receive $1,000 extra.
Additionally, the rides you complete must align with Lyft’s terms:
- No more than two Lyft rides given to the same passenger count toward your ride requirements. This prevents you from gaming the system and allows you to practice your customer service skills with new people.
- You must pass the criminal background check, DMV records check, and vehicle inspection, and have your driver application approved within 30 days of submitting your application. This will require you to submit your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and more within this time frame.
- You must enter the Lyft promo code for the relevant earnings guarantee when you sign up.
- You must give the required number of rides within the specified time frame.
As you can see, the new driver incentives are structured in order to encourage new drivers to give as many rides as possible.
How Lyft Driver Earnings Guarantee Amounts Are Determined
Generally, the final amount offered for Lyft driver earnings guarantees is determined by one major factor: how badly they need new drivers in a given market. The higher the demand from passengers and the lower the total number of drivers they currently have, the more likely the amount will be very attractive. On the other hand, larger cities with many Lyft drivers like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Seattle may not have offers quite as generous.
Lyft always wants to have more drivers than they actually need. This ensures that passenger demand doesn’t lead to shortages of drivers, and long waits for cars. That causes prices for passengers to increase due to Prime Time pricing. Prime Time pricing is Lyft’s version of Uber’s surge pricing, which multiplies fares when demand is disproportionately high.
In contrast to Uber, Lyft wants to offer driver guarantees that will actually be an incentive to bring new drivers in. Uber more frequently offers incentives that appear attractive, but when you take a second look, you realize that in a lot of cases they’re actually not that attractive after all. We’ll dive into this more below.
Why Lyft’s New Driver Earnings Guarantees Are Better Than Uber’s
Let’s say Lyft runs a new driver promotion where they are guaranteeing that new drivers will make at least $1,000 on their first 125 trips in 30 days. Uber correspondingly might say, you’ll get a $200 earnings guarantee if you complete 30 trips within 30 days.
So, what’s the difference? The difference is, if you complete the required number of trips with Lyft, and you earned $199 in the normal course of driving, Uber will only pay you $1 extra. This meets their guaranteed minimum of $200, as they never promised an additional $200 to tack onto what you already earn.
If you complete the required 125 trips with Lyft (in our hypothetical scenario), and you made $750 – Lyft will pay you an additional $250 on top of that for a total of $750. So, Lyft’s offer is truly a guarantee that will be paid on top of whatever you earned. You could earn more than the normal amount with Lyft and they’ll still pay you the guarantee.
However, with both companies, if you don’t complete the required number of trips within the required time frame, you won’t get anything at all. For instance, if you complete 29 trips with Uber instead of 30, you’ll get nothing extra.
In these two respects the Lyft guarantees are definitely more generous than Uber’s.
In the screenshot above, Lyft clearly displays to drivers the requirements of and their progress in completing any and all promotions they’re eligible for. You’ll have similar visibility into your progress for your new driver bonus.
In this case, for the Power Driver Bonus, drivers are required to accept at least 90% of the calls they get. You can see the driver above has accepted 100% so he’s doing great. They must give at least 10 Peak Rides, which means rides at designated hours that Lyft chooses. And in the above promotion, drivers must complete at least 50 total rides. The driver in the screenshot has completed 16, so he still has a ways to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have more questions about this type of incentive and its perks? Here are answers to some of the most common:
1. Does Lyft allow retroactive sign-up guarantees?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. In order to claim yours, you need to click the referral link as part of your driver application. To avoid this issue, we recommend signing up using ours. When you sign up using this method, you’ll be automatically eligible to receive the driver guarantee.
2. How do I know if I’ve qualified for the driver earnings guarantee?
During the initial sign-up process, you’ll know that you’re eligible for a guarantee after Lyft approves your application. You will receive an email stating the amount of the incentive, the ride requirements you must meet to receive it, and the deadline by which you must meet the ride requirements.
To know if you’ve met all the qualifications, you can track your progress within the Lyft Driver app on Android or iPhone.
Start Your Lyft Driver Journey Today
We hope you now have a better understanding of the value of signing up to drive with Lyft using a referral link, as well as how to claim your new driver earnings guarantee. To learn more about how to start driving for Lyft, we recommend checking out the following guides:
- Your Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming a Lyft Driver
- Your Complete Guide to the Lyft Background Check Process
Happy and safe driving!
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.