A great way to earn a little extra cash is to become a Lyft driver. Although it’s simple to get started, there are a few requirements you have to pass before you can drive for the Lyft platform.
Lyft is dedicated to rider security. They want to make sure that your car has no problems before you start picking up fares. As part of your Lyft driver application, your car needs to pass an inspection.
The process is usually simple, yet there are still a few things that could risk your chances of passing.
In this article we’ll break down the requirements of the inspection, how much it costs, how to lower costs (Lyft inspections aren’t free like Uber’s) and where you can get it done. We’ve also provided a handy checklist that will ensure your car passes.
By the end of this article, you should know everything you need to pass the Lyft vehicle inspection so that you can start earning fares as soon as possible.
Lyft Vehicle Inspection Overview
To start driving for Lyft, there are driver requirements such as passing a criminal background check and DMV check.
Next, there are document requirements such as having a driver’s license, personal vehicle insurance and uploading a driver photo.
Finally, there are vehicle requirements.
Some of these requirements are obvious, such as the type of vehicle. Other requirements, however, aren’t as easily visible, and this is where the inspection comes in.
Brand new Lyft drivers are expected to have their cars checked by an expert, state-licensed mechanic. This professional will look at all the details of your car, both cosmetic and mechanical.
The most important items they’ll address will be features such as your seatbelt, lights and tires. If it’s a newer car, sometimes the inspector will just run the VIN and make a professional judgment based on the condition of the car.
Lyft Inspection Cost
Uber and Lyft inspections are very similar in a lot of ways. However, while it is possible to get your Uber car inspection done for free at some places, it is not free for Lyft (although some locations do combination inspections).
With Lyft, you’ll need to take your vehicle to a licensed mechanic, and you will have to pay. The price will vary depending on the mechanic but is usually around $19.99.
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 Inspection Locations & Lyft Inspection Form For Requesting a Vehicle Inspection
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.
Note: You used to be able to get a recommendation for a vehicle inspection location from a Lyft Driver Mentor, special type of Lyft driver who also served as a recruiter for new drivers by conducting interviews and granting certified approvals. However, unfortunately, Lyft retired its Lyft Mentor Program in 2017.
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.
- Brand new Lyft drivers need to have their car inspected before they can drive.
- Uber and Lyft inspections, while similar, are not the same. Even if you’ve had an Uber inspection test and are already an Uber driver, you still need to have a Lyft inspection. This inspection costs around $19.99.
- To cut costs, take the time to look at your car before inspection and fix any simple repairs by going to an auto parts store.
- Use mobile inspectors, rather than visiting a brick and mortar, to cut the time and headache of an inspection. Our favorite is RideShareMechanic.
- Make sure to review the 19-point checklist for your Lyft inspection to ensure that everything is in order.
If you pay attention and focus on these things, you’ll pass your Lyft inspection in no time and can start your rideshare driver gig as soon as possible.
Have you used a mobile vehicle inspection service to avoid taking your car into a certified mechanic? How was your experience? Drop us a comment below.