In 2023, rideshare companies are becoming an increasingly popular way for people to get to where they need to go.
Apps such as Lyft and Uber have continued to grow in usage worldwide.
Today, Lyft has over 12.5 million users every quarter, making it one of the most popular rideshare apps on the market.
This San Francisco-based company operates in more than 600 cities throughout the United States and Canada.
As it grows and expands, Lyft has been seeking new ways to improve the rideshare experience for both riders and drivers.
To improve its platform, Lyft has expanded the type of rideshare options they offer to include services such as Lyft Lux, Lyft Lux Black, Lyft XL, and Lyft Preferred.
Here’s your guide to everything both riders and drivers need to know about one of the company’s newer services, Lyft Preferred.
- What Is Lyft Preferred?
- How Does Lyft Preferred Differ From Other Levels of Lyft?
- How Big Is a Lyft Preferred?
- Lyft Preferred Vehicle List
- How Does Lyft Preferred Work for Riders?
- How Does Lyft Preferred Work for Drivers?
- How Much Does Lyft Preferred Cost?
- How To Qualify To Become a Lyft Preferred Driver
- Final Thoughts
What Is Lyft Preferred?
In 2020, Lyft introduced Lyft Preferred, a new service designed to improve the passenger experience through elevated comfort and increased options to share preferences when selecting a ride.
Lyft Preferred matches riders with the most comfortable, spacious, and cleanest cars driven by the top-rated, highest quality Lyft drivers.
This option allows riders to pay a little more for guaranteed comfort and more control over their ride experience.
While riders can enjoy additional luxuries during their ride, drivers are also rewarded with bonuses for providing excellent customer service and positive experiences to Lyft users.
How Does Lyft Preferred Differ From Other Levels of Lyft?
With other standard Lyft options, riders aren’t guaranteed the same level of comfort, cleanliness, and customization that comes with Lyft Preferred.
All Lyft Preferred vehicles and drivers are held to a higher standard than traditional Lyft economy modes.
Their cars must be newer models with plenty of legroom, and all drivers must have a top rating to even qualify to drive for Lyft Preferred.
Lyft Preferred also makes use of a new in-app tool that allows customers to adjust their ride preferences.
Whether riders have a preferred vehicle temperature or desire minimal conversation and a quiet ride, this tool offers a way for Lyft drivers to receive bonuses and rewards by meeting these preferences and offering a more comfortable and personalized ride.
How Big Is a Lyft Preferred?
One of the biggest perks of choosing a Lyft Preferred ride is the bigger, more spacious car.
All Lyft Preferred vehicles must have more than 37” of legroom for elevated comfort and relaxation.
How Many Riders Can Lyft Preferred Take?
Like the standard economy Lyft option, Lyft Preferred can hold up to three riders.
Both Lyft riders and drivers must agree to Lyft’s Health Safety Commitment to keep people safe while using Rideshare apps during COVID.
This commitment states that the front passenger seat must remain empty during rides.
This safety rule means that Lyft Preferred rides must be able to comfortably hold three passengers in the back seat while maintaining an ample amount of space and legroom.
Can Lyft Preferred Take Luggage?
Lyft Preferred cars can take luggage, and Preferred drivers even make it easier for any customers with bags or luggage.
When requesting a ride, the in-app preference tool allows you to let your driver know that you have bags with you.
When they come to pick you up, the driver can then make an effort to park closer to the curb and immediately open the trunk to make loading your bags safer and easier.
Lyft Preferred Vehicle List
While there’s no specific list of the vehicle make and models that can drive for Lyft Preferred, there are certain car requirements that all vehicles must have to qualify.
- Require 37” or more of legroom
- Must be a car model made in 2015 or newer
- Need to maintain Lyft’s top cleanliness score
Some vehicles that meet this requirement include a Subaru Legacy, a Honda Accord, a BMW 7 Series, or an Audi A8 L.
How Does Lyft Preferred Work for Riders?
If you’re in an area where Lyft Preferred is available, you’ll be able to easily select this transportation option online or through the app while booking your ride.
How to Request a Lyft Preferred Ride
When requesting a ride through the Lyft app, you’ll see a list of transportation options.
You can choose a Lyft Preferred ride by selecting the upgraded option on this menu.
Once you request your ride, you’ll also be able to share your preferences through the in-app customization tool.
For example, you can let your driver know vehicle temperature preferences, whether you want a quiet ride, and if you have any bags.
This allows the driver to make the necessary adjustments before pickup so riders can enjoy maximum comfort.
How Does Lyft Preferred Work for Drivers?
In a gig economy, driving for Lyft is already an excellent side gig that allows drivers to earn an additional income.
However, drivers that qualify for Lyft Preferred can enjoy additional bonuses by providing their customers with the best ride and experience possible.
As Lyft Preferred is rolled out in specific pilot cities, drivers that qualify in these areas will be notified by email that they can offer Lyft Preferred rides.
These rides come with an additional fee for customers, which goes towards a bonus on top of a driver’s normal commission from a standard ride.
Can Lyft Preferred Drivers Get Regular Lyft Requests?
In cities where Lyft Preferred is available, drivers can receive both Preferred and regular Lyft requests in the Lyft app.
When qualified drivers receive a ride notification, they’ll be able to see if it’s a Preferred ride with rider preferences or a standard Lyft ride before accepting.
This allows them to adjust the temperature, prepare to assist with luggage, and more to accommodate passengers before pick-up.
After a ride, drivers will be notified of the additional fee they earned by providing a Preferred ride.
How Much Does Lyft Preferred Cost?
When a rider selects Lyft Preferred, an additional fee is added to the overall cost to ensure relaxation and comfort during their ride.
This cost adjustment depends on the standard ride fare, but for only a slightly higher cost, customers can enjoy several benefits that enhance their Lyft experience.
How Does Lyft Preferred Pricing Work?
Lyft Preferred takes the standard base pay for an economy ride and adds an extra fee for passengers to guarantee their comfort and space throughout their ride.
Drivers then receive their base pay along with a percentage of this fee as an additional bonus for providing additional luxuries for their passengers.
Does Lyft Preferred Charge per Person?
Like other Lyft options, Lyft Preferred does not charge per person. Instead, it calculates the fare based on the route, ride type, availability, and demand and adds a bonus fee.
Not only can drivers enjoy their rides more for just a little extra money, but drivers get rewarded for providing exceptional service and clean, spacious rides through Lyft.
Lyft Preferred Cost vs. Regular Lyft Cost
A regular Lyft is the most affordable ride option you can find on the rideshare app.
The fare is calculated based on several factors, but it is generally the cheapest way to ride with Lyft.
However, a regular Lyft doesn’t guarantee legroom, space for luggage and bags, and a top-rated driver.
If you’re looking for additional comfort, you can pay a couple of dollars difference for a Lyft Preferred ride.
Lyft Preferred Cost vs. Lyft Lux Cost
Lyft Lux rides match riders with a top-rated driver with a high-end sedan or SUV.
These vehicles can seat up to three people.
While Lyft Lux offers similar benefits to Lyft Preferred when it comes to comfort and exceptional customer service, it’s also one of the most luxurious and expensive options on Lyft.
It can lead to high earnings and larger tips for drivers but comes with a higher cost for customers.
If you’re looking for that extra comfort at a lower price, Lyft Preferred might be a better option.
It rewards drivers with bonuses and higher fares but comes with a lower price than other luxurious Lyft rides.
How To Qualify To Become a Lyft Preferred Driver
There are several qualifications for all Lyft drivers hoping to provide Lyft Preferred rides.
- An average rating of 4.9 stars or above
- A minimum of 300 drives completed with Lyft
- No unclean vehicle violations in the last 20 rides provided
As a new program, Lyft Preferred drivers must also be located in one of the qualifying pilot cities.
These include San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and more.
Lyft Preferred Driver Application Process
Currently, there is no application process for Lyft Preferred drivers.
Instead, as the program rolls out in cities throughout the United States and Canada, drivers will be notified via email if they are qualified to become Lyft Preferred drivers.
Lyft Preferred Vehicle Requirements
Along with the driver’s ratings and experience driving for Lyft, several vehicle requirements also determine if a Lyft driver can provide these upgraded rides.
Because these rides are centered around comfort and relaxation for customers, cars must be spacious, new, and clean.
They must have 37” or more legroom, be created after 2015, and must maintain the highest standard of cleanliness.
The Lyft Vehicle Inspection
Along with offering comfort and support through rides, the safety of both drivers and passengers is another major concern with rideshare apps such as Lyft.
Along with the specific vehicle requirements for Lyft Preferred, all vehicles also have to pass a state auto inspection.
This inspection ensures that all the safety features of your car are working correctly to prevent any breakdowns or unsafe experiences during rides.
Vehicle regulations, including the minimum vehicle age requirement, can also vary by state and city.
Be sure to take a look at specific area requirements, as well as qualifications for specific Lyft services, before getting started as a rideshare driver.
As rideshare apps are becoming more popular as a means of getting around cities, companies such as Uber and Lyft are continuously looking for new ways to expand their reach and provide a better experience for both riders and Lyft and Uber drivers.
Services such as Lyft Lux, Uber Comfort, Uber Black, Lyft XL, and more have led the way in this field, offering new and more luxurious ways for riders to get to where they need to go.
With the rollout of Lyft Preferred in select cities, riders and drivers can enjoy additional benefits when using the Lyft platform.
As customers find rides that suit all their needs and preferences, drivers are acknowledged and rewarded for their top ratings, clean and spacious vehicles, and great service.