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Lyft Vehicle Inspection Checklist: How to Prepare to Pass in 2023

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A great way to earn a little extra cash is to become a driver with Lyft.

If you’re an existing Lyft driver, you know that you need to complete a vehicle inspection before hitting the road.

But if you’re new, you might not know that.

But what is the Lyft inspection process like? What do they check for during the inspection? 

In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions about the Lyft inspection and help you understand what you need to do to pass it.

What Is the Lyft Vehicle Inspection?

The Lyft vehicle inspection is a procedure used to verify that your car meets all functional, safety, and cosmetic guidelines set forth by the rideshare company.

Before you get on the road, your car needs to pass the Lyft vehicle inspection to prove it can meet the company’s standards.

Lyft is serious about the safety of its drivers and passengers, and that concern starts with the vehicle inspection.

The company wants to make sure that your car is:

  • Functional
  • Safe
  • Looks decent

Typically performed by an ASE-certified mechanic or at your local Lyft Hub, this inspection helps ensure that Lyft passengers get the same ride experience on every single trip.

You may have passed every Lyft driver requirement with verified documents and a clean background check, but just having an eligible car model doesn’t mean your vehicle is in the clear.

Passing your car inspection is a major part of meeting Lyft vehicle requirements. The company takes the car inspection process seriously, as it wants to ensure that its drivers and passengers are safe while using the rideshare service.

When Do You Need a Lyft Inspection? 

The first time Lyft requires a vehicle inspection is during the application process. A passing Lyft inspection form must be uploaded to your application and verified before you’re eligible to drive.

After this initial upload, a Lyft vehicle inspection is required once per year in most cities and states.

However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Some local laws may add additional checkpoints to your inspection

Here are four examples of how the requirements can vary. 

In California, Lyft drivers must get their vehicles inspected annually or when they drive 50,000 miles, whichever happens first.

The mileage requirement includes the miles you drive when not driving for the rideshare company. 

Some states like California may even require earlier inspections if you surpass a certain amount of miles before the 12-month mark.

Chicago and Kentucky, for instance, require Lyft drivers to get an annual inspection.

You’ll need to get your car inspected every year in Detroit, Michigan if you drive a vehicle that’s more than five years old. 

The Lyft vehicle inspection is always different from your state safety inspection and emissions testing.

Check your Lyft app or the Lyft website to learn the requirements for your area.

How Much Do Lyft Vehicle Inspections Cost?

Your cost for a Lyft inspection will range from $0 to $40. 

  • Lyft Hub inspection center: Free
  • Rideshare Mechanic: The company charges $39.99 for a Lyft inspection
  • Local mechanic: Most mechanics charge $20 to $30

However, cost of your Lyft vehicle inspection depends on your state and where you’re getting your inspection done.

It’s best to go to a nearby Lyft Hub, which is an in-person driver support center, that offers inspections.

This is because these Hubs offer free inspections. Hubs aren’t widely available across the United States.

Plus, some locations only offer re-inspections, so new drivers may not qualify for the complimentary service.

The other option you have is to go to a licensed mechanic in your area.

This usually costs no more than $30.

In some cities like Chicago, Lyft actually partners with brands like Jiffy Lube and Pep Boys to get you discounted services, so you reduce your expenses.

Can I Get a Free Car Inspection?

Yes, you can get a free car inspection in cities that have Lyft Hubs.

The Hub is an in-person support location for drivers to get help with issues they face working for Lyft.

If your city doesn’t have a Hub, you might be able to get a free inspection at an auto shop.

Lyft partners with some shops to streamline the inspection process and make it free for drivers. You can find these shops in the Lyft Driver app.

On the vehicle inspection menu, you’ll see an option to schedule an inspection and can book the appointment through the app. Some shops also offer free re-inspections.

If you’ve already passed the inspection, you can get a free updated inspection. The shop knows your vehicle already meets the baseline requirements, so there’s less work for them to do.

If you’ve never had your car pass a Lyft inspection, you can’t take advantage of this option.

Who Can Do a Lyft Inspection?

You can choose one of the following three options when it’s time for your Lyft car inspection. 

  • Local Mechanic: You can take your car to any licensed mechanic for inspection. 
  • Lyft Hub: A Lyft Hub is a location where you can get your vehicle inspected and perform other tasks related to being a driver. Lyft partners with companies like Jiffy Lube for this purpose. A Lyft Hub works similarly to a Uber Greenlight spot.
  • Rideshare Mechanic: Rideshare Mechanic is a mobile service that goes out to the rideshare driver to do the inspection. 

Finding Your Lyft Vehicle Inspection Location

To find out what inspection locations are available in your area, simply head to this list of states and tap on the right driver information page for where you’re driving.

Then, scroll down to see where you need to go for your car inspection, as well as whether or not appointments are required.

Some cities will have specific sites for you to use, while others will simply require you to visit any licensed local mechanic.

There are quite a few locations where you can get your vehicle inspected, but you must start by requesting an inspection.

Lyft has implemented an easy method for requesting a vehicle inspection.

All you have to do is fill out this form by inserting the following information:

  1. Subject: “Inspection completed”
  2. I am a(n): “Applicant”
  3. Applicant Questions: “Create/updating my driver profile”
  4. Applicant Profile Updates: “Other profile request”
  5. Additional Details: “Please see my attached inspection form and add to my profile. Thanks!”
  6. Then hit “Add file” and attach the completed Lyft inspection form
  7. Confirm you are not a robot
  8. Hit “Submit” button
  9. You’ll receive an email from Lyft support

Lyft requires you to sign the inspection form, but they often accept it even without your signature.

Locations where you can have your Lyft vehicle assessed include:

There was once a time when Lyft accepted Uber inspection forms, but that’s no longer the case.

Uber is moving forward into electronic activation centers and inspection forms, providing a certificate format that’s no longer acceptable to Lyft.

Instead you’ll need to take a specialized Lyft test.

The full test should take about 30 minutes.

Jiffy Lube can be difficult for people to do an inspection in a timely manner because they are a normal brick and mortar business.

If there is one around that is convenient for you to go to, they are often times overcrowded, resulting in waiting a long time for an inspection to take place.

To avoid this problem, one of the easiest, quickest and cheapest ways to get an inspection is using a mobile inspection service.

Mobile inspectors either come to where you are or they do it over video chat utilizing your smartphone.

One of our favorites is RideShareMechanic, a reputable online video chat inspection service where they do a full inspection over video chat from wherever your car is located.

RideShareMechanic does both Lyft AND Uber inspections, so if you drive for both ridesharing services, you can get both inspections taken care of at once.

They charge about $25 for one inspection, or $45 for two.

If you’re driving for both companies, you’ll save a little money by doing them at the same time.

How Long Does Lyft Vehicle Inspection Take?

The length of the Lyft vehicle inspection can vary, but most mechanics will complete it in about 30 minutes.

If there’s something wrong with your car and they can’t pass it, it might take a bit longer.

Your mechanic will go over the inspection with you and tell you why the car failed.

They’ll also give you information about how you can fix the problem before the next inspection.

If you use Rideshare Mechanic, the whole virtual process might take 15 minutes.

No matter how you get your inspection, make sure to schedule an appointment.

An appointment ensures you won’t waste time waiting around.

Lyft Vehicle Inspection Requirements

All current Lyft drivers need to have their vehicles inspected at least once a year, which is similar to Uber.

It’s usually a good idea to take the time to look at your own car before inspection and take into account the checklist the inspector will be using.

Why? Because there’s a good chance you might be tempted to spend too much money on repairs your mechanic suggests at inspection.

This can inflate your costs on repairs that you could have solved yourself.

If you spot any problems, you can repair them yourself by going to an auto parts store.

Remember the focus of a Lyft inspection is on safety, so make sure you put safety and security problems above cosmetic ones.

Bridgestone has a great tutorial on how to check to see if you need new tires.

We highly recommend checking this out before taking your vehicle to an inspection location.

In some areas, the annual re-inspection of your vehicle may be free.

For example, drivers in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego or the surrounding areas can get their vehicle re-inspected at no cost.

Lyft Vehicle Inspection Checklist

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Getting a Lyft vehicle inspection isn’t as complicated as it may sound.

While many drivers think the inspection is a waste of time, it’s a vital step to keep riders and drivers safe.

Here’s the full 19-point checklist of items that the mechanic will assess during an inspection, taken straight from the official Lyft vehicle inspection form:

  • Foot brakes
  • Rear windshield and remaining glass
  • Steering mechanism
  • Windshield
  • Emergency brake
  • Windshield wipers
  • Tail lights
  • Headlights
  • Turn indicator lights
  • Stop lights
  • Front seat adjustments
  • Doors
  • Speedometer
  • Horn
  • Bumpers
  • Muffler/exhaust system
  • Tires and tread depth
  • Interior/exterior rearview mirrors
  • Safety belts for passengers and drivers

Like we said at the beginning, there isn’t much complexity to a Lyft vehicle inspection — you just need to make sure your car is safe to drive.

When you head to your vehicle inspection, you definitely want to be prepared for the requirements you need to meet, as even one faulty area can cause your car to temporarily fail.

We’ve listed out the key areas you need to check before your next Lyft car inspection, so you can resolve issues as needed before you spend time or money.

After your car passes each of these inspection points, don’t forget to check your Lyft vehicle inspection form to ensure your name and vehicle information is correct before you upload it to your account.

If there are any inconsistencies with your driver’s license, Lyft profile, or vehicle insurance information, your driver application can still be denied.

1. Brakes

Your full foot brake system, as well as your emergency brake, should be in great shape.

Some signs that repair work needs to be done include worn out brake pads, strange sounds or vibrations when braking, and brake light that doesn’t go away.

2. Steering Mechanism

Your entire steering system should function properly, helping you turn without too much effort.

If you feel like your car is drifting or otherwise unstable when you turn, you likely need some repairs in this category.

3. Windows and Glass

Your windshield, rear windows, and side windows should all be clear of cracks and other obstructions.

Your side windows should also be able to open and close without any issues.

We recommend cleaning your car windows ahead of your inspection to ensure your vehicle passes the window-related portions of your inspection form.

Your interior and exterior rear view mirrors will also be inspected, so don’t forget to repair and clean these car parts as needed.

4. Windshield Wipers

During your Lyft vehicle inspection, your windshield wipers will be tested at multiple settings.

This will prove that your vehicle can safely function when you’re faced with inclement weather.

Make sure your wipers are still in good condition and properly attached to your car.

Don’t forget to fill your wiper fluid reservoir to the fill line, too.

5. Lights

Your headlights, tail lights, turn indicator lights, and stop lights will all be tested during your inspection service.

To prepare, make sure to replace all burnt-out bulbs before heading to the mechanic.

If your turn indicator lights are blinking faster than normal, this is a sign that they may burn out soon, so we recommend replacing them to avoid a fail.

6. Front Seat Adjustment and Seat Belts

Your adjustment mechanism should be in working order.

This way, you will always be an appropriate distance from your steering wheel and brakes.

Your mechanic will also check for working safety belts on the front seat and all passenger seats.

7. Doors

All four of your doors will be tested.

Make sure each one opens properly and can securely close and lock.

If you need to slam your door for it to latch shut, you may need some repair work done.

8. Horn

Make sure your horn honks at full volume with a gentle press and you should be all set on this step.

If your horn sounds a bit muffled, it may be worth getting it checked out.

9. Speedometer

Your speedometer should be well-calibrated and accurately tell you how fast you’re going.

If not, you may need a mechanic to fix your wiring or replace your speed sensors.

10. Bumpers

Your bumpers should be fully attached with no dents.

Make sure to repair or replace your bumpers as needed before going to your inspection.

11. Muffler and Exhaust System

Your entire exhaust system should function properly, without causing too much noise.

A thumping sound when driving is a sign of an issue in this category.

12. Tires

All of your tires should meet Lyft’s tread depth requirements, as this ensures your tires can provide a strong grip and comfortable ride.

To test a tire’s tread depth, stick a penny head first into the grooves of your tire.

If you still see the top of Lincoln’s head, you’ll need your tires replaced.

Your tire wear should also be relatively even.

Also make sure your tires are properly inflated, according to your driver’s manual.

What Can Cause a Car to Fail a Lyft Vehicle Inspection?

If an aspect of your car isn’t safe, you’ll fail the vehicle inspection.

You need good tire tread, responsive brakes and steering, and all the requirements listed above.

In general, Lyft doesn’t care too much about the look of your car unless you’re driving for Lyft Lux.

They care more about how well your car drives because they value all drivers’ and passengers’ safety.

However, some cosmetic damage can disqualify your vehicle.

Lyft doesn’t want its name on beat-up cars.

Dents or scratches larger than a baseball might eliminate your car.

They also won’t approve cars that have mismatched panels.

This might sound superficial, but the mismatched panels mean the car has sustained damage and repairs, making it less safe for drivers and passengers.

What Do You Do if You Fail a Lyft Inspection?

Don’t worry if your vehicle fails its inspection.

Simply follow these instructions.

  1. Step one: Make an inspection appointment with an auto repair shop
  2. Step two: Take your vehicle to the mechanic
  3. Step three: Wait for the mechanic to make the necessary repairs
  4. Step four: Return to the location where you completed the initial inspection
  5. Step five: Pass the second Lyft inspection

Pros and Cons of a Virtual Lyft Vehicle Inspection

Getting a virtual Lyft vehicle inspection is the best way to maximize your efficiency.

Rideshare Mechanic is a straightforward option that gets the job done on your terms.

Pros of Lyft Vehicle Inspections

Here are some pros of a virtual Lyft vehicle inspection:

  • You don’t have to drive anywhere
  • You only need your smartphone
  • You only pay if your car passes
  • You can pay and receive documents online
  • It takes less time than an in-person inspection

Cons of Lyft Vehicle Inspections

While virtual Lyft vehicle inspections are convenient, they can be more costly than a local mechanic.

The virtual inspection costs $30.

The whole process is safe and legitimate, but some drivers have said that their state rejected the virtual inspection after they uploaded the supporting documents.

To avoid this, always be aware of state-specific rules and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may still have questions about the Lyft vehicle inspection.

Here are the answers to three commonly asked questions.

vector graphic showing a car getting a Lyft vehicle inspection up on a mechanical lift while a mechanic is inspecting the car

Are Lyft vehicle inspections tax deductible?

Yes, the vehicle inspection is a tax deduction.

It’s a vehicle-related expense, similar to when you deduct gas, mileage, and repairs.

If you can’t find a Lyft Hub for a free inspection, save the receipt from your local mechanic or Rideshare Mechanic.

Does Uber require a vehicle inspection like Lyft?

Yes, Uber similarly requires a 19-point vehicle inspection to ensure the safety of its riders.

This is actually a requirement that is enforced for all rideshare drivers across the U.S.

In most states, the Uber inspection process is nearly identical to Lyft’s, so a vehicle that passes for one company will likely pass for the other.

Is the Lyft vehicle inspection the same for all ride types?

Yes. Drivers for all services need to complete the same Lyft inspection process.

If you’re planning to drive for multiple Lyft services, there is no need to go through multiple inspections.

Can I use my Uber vehicle inspection form to get approved for Lyft?

While it was once easy to use Uber vehicle inspection forms on Lyft (and vice versa), there’s no longer a guarantee that Lyft will accept your completed Uber forms.

This is especially the case if you get your inspection done at an Uber Greenlight Hub, where team members will only complete Uber-branded forms and, in some states, may follow slightly different processes than Lyft.

A great workaround to save time and avoid paying double the cost is heading to a third-party mechanic that’s approved by both companies.

When you do so, your mechanic can simply fill out both forms in one go, so you can get approved as a Lyft and Uber driver without two separate visits.

Get the Go-Ahead to Drive

A Lyft inspection is a process that all drivers must go through to drive for the company.

The process is simple and doesn’t take long to finish. 

Do you still have a few questions about the Lyft inspection?

Please ask us in the comments section so we can help you. 

Or, if you’re ready to start driving with Lyft, why don’t you go get your Lyft vehicle inspection done today?

Use our full rideshare vehicle maintenance guide to learn how you can keep your car running smoothly and keep you and your riders safe.

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