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A great way to earn a little extra cash is to become a driver with Lyft. Although it’s simple to get started, there are a few requirements you have to pass before you can drive for the Lyft platform.
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. Before you get on the road, your car needs to pass the Lyft vehicle inspection to prove it can meet the company’s standards.
Passing your car inspection is a major part of meeting Lyft vehicle requirements. In fact, the Lyft inspection is the reason many qualified drivers with otherwise eligible vehicles get turned down from the rideshare gig. Lyft takes its vehicle inspections seriously, since the safety of passengers is on the line.
We’ll guide you through everything you need to know about the Lyft vehicle inspection so you increase your chances of passing it on the first try.
- What Is the Lyft Vehicle Inspection?
- How Much Do Lyft Vehicle Inspections Cost?
- Finding Your Lyft Vehicle Inspection Location
- Lyft Vehicle Inspection Requirements
- Lyft Vehicle Inspection Checklist
- Frequently Asked Questions
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. 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.
This process typically takes the form of a 19-point vehicle inspection, meaning that it checks 19 essential features of your vehicle, such as your brakes, wheels, seat belts, and lights. However, some local laws may add additional checkpoints to your inspection.
The Lyft vehicle inspection is always different from your state safety inspection and emissions testing.
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. Some states like California may even require earlier inspections if you surpass a certain amount of miles before the 12-month mark.
How Much Do Lyft Vehicle Inspections Cost?
The 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. However, 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.
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:
- Subject: “Inspection completed”
- I am a(n): “Applicant”
- Applicant Questions: “Create/updating my driver profile”
- Applicant Profile Updates: “Other profile request”
- Additional Details: “Please see my attached inspection form and add to my profile. Thanks!”
- Then hit “Add file” and attach the completed Lyft inspection form
- Confirm you are not a robot
- Hit “Submit” button
- 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:
- Jiffy Lube
- Certified Mechanic
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.
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
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
- Emergency brake
- Windshield wipers
- Tail lights
- Turn indicator lights
- Stop lights
- Front seat adjustments
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Lyft vehicle inspection is an essential part of the driver approval process, as well as a requirement that contractors should be mindful of every year. To learn more about these inspections, read our answers to these common questions:
Yes. If you had to pay for your car inspection, this is a job-related expense that would be eligible for a tax deduction. Just make sure to save your receipt to ensure you have proof of your purchase.
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.
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.
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.
Get the Go-Ahead to Drive
It’s easy to have a vehicle that meets Lyft’s vehicle requirements, but it’s more important to have a car that’s in great condition, inside and out. Lyft promises its riders a consistent service every time they make a request, so your inspection guarantees that your car will meet passenger expectations on each trip. As long as you keep your vehicle clean and undamaged over the course of a year, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get any complaints about the condition of your car.
Of course, if you want to ensure your car continues to pass its required annual inspections, you’ll need to maintain more than its surface. Use our full rideshare vehicle maintenance guide to learn how you can keep your car running smoothly and keep you and your riders safe.
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.