Lyft vs Uber for Drivers: Which One Is Better?

Lyft and Uber are the two major players within today’s rideshare industry. Both have their perks to offer rideshare drivers, but which is best for you? Check out this comparison of the two rideshare companies in terms of the vehicle requirements, income, time commitment, and service requirements. Jump to: Disclosure: is supported by our...

Lyft and Uber are the two major players within today’s rideshare industry. Both have their perks to offer rideshare drivers, but which is best for you? Check out this comparison of the two rideshare companies in terms of the vehicle requirements, income, time commitment, and service requirements.

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Disclosure: is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Lyft vs Uber: Vehicle Requirements

Although the specifics will depend on the area you want to drive, Lyft and Uber have different standards. Lyft requires the driver’s vehicle to be no older than a 2005 model, except for the following cities:

  • 2004 vehicle model: California (all cities), Colorado (all cities), Illinois: Chicago, Massachusetts (all cities), Minnesota: Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Jersey (all cities), Rhode Island: Providence, Tennessee: Nashville, Texas: Austin & Dallas
  • 2006 vehicle model: Washington, D.C., Virginia (all cities)
  • 2007 vehicle model: Kentucky (all cities), Pennsylvania (all cities), Oregon: Portland, Washington: Seattle
  • 2008 vehicle model: Nevada (all cities)
  • 2009 vehicle model: Louisiana: New Orleans
  • Vehicle age requirements governed by the TLC: New York: New York City

Uber, in contrast, has the following set of more general vehicle requirements:

  • Must have four doors and be able to transport a minimum of four passengers
  • Must be 15 model years old or newer
  • Title cannot be salvaged, reconstructed, or rebuilt.
  • Rental vehicles — except those from an approved Uber lender — are not allowed.
  • Cannot have any cosmetic damage, missing pieces, commercial branding, or taxi paint jobs.

In addition to specific vehicle requirements, both platforms require you to have a valid personal auto insurance policy, valid driver’s license, clean driving history, and pass a criminal background check. You’ll also need to be at least 21 years of age and have held a driver’s license for at least a year.

Also, bear in mind that these are the requirements for driving for the basic Uber and Lyft services. If you’re driving for a special service such as UberXL/Lyft Plus, UberSELECT, UberBLACK/Lyft Premier, or UberSUV, there are different vehicle requirements.

Both companies also offer their own version of shared rides in certain markets: UberPOOL and Lyft Line. The requirements to drive for these services are the same as for regular Lyft and Uber.

Lyft vs Uber: Income

Do Uber drivers or Lyft drivers earn more? It depends on whom you ask.

If you look at the results from our 2018 independent driver earnings survey, then Lyft drivers are earning about $17.50 per hour on average — around $2 per hour more than Uber drivers. In contrast, data from Certify shows that Uber drivers earn far more per hour than Lyft drivers, with Uber drivers averaging $25.73 per hour compared to $19.20 per hour for Lyft drivers.

It’s inconclusive, then, which platform pays more. One thing to keep in mind is that Lyft makes in-app tipping much more readily visible to customers than Uber does. This can help increase your tips, since Lyft riders are more aware than Uber riders that they can leave them to begin with.

Furthermore, Lyft drivers receive more incentives like the Power Driver bonus program and other special Lyft offers. Drivers can get an extra 10 percent or 20 percent if they get to complete a certain number of rides per week and during peak hours. However, Uber does offer sign-up bonuses for new drivers in some markets, especially if it’s a place the company is trying to expand its operations.

Both companies also employ a form of surge pricing (Lyft calls it “Prime Time”), in which fares increase based on a multiplier when demand is high. This can boost your earnings a lot, provided you’re willing to wait out the traffic conditions that often come with these surges.

Finally, we should note that Uber offers more ride types overall than Lyft. With Uber, you have the potential to drive for a half-dozen different services or more, especially in larger cities. These premium services (such as UberBLACK) can help boost your earnings to a new level.

Additionally, Uber drivers can also make deliveries for Uber Eats, a food delivery service that Uber operates. You can use the same app as you would to pick up Uber passengers, which can be a nice way to take home more pay during times of day when pickups are scarce.

Of course, the higher earnings do come with additional requirements, such as dressing a certain way and driving a black luxury vehicle. Lyft has tried to compete by offering their own luxury offerings such as Lyft Lux, but Uber still remains king of the luxury rideshare market.

Lyft vs Uber: Time Commitment

Most rideshare drivers choose the gig because they get to be their own bosses and have control over their schedules. Both Lyft and Uber drivers can drive whenever they want to. If they want to earn more, they can always accept more ride requests. You can also drive for both platforms at the same time to maximize your earnings.

You’re an independent contractor for both platforms, meaning that you’re responsible for tracking and paying your own taxes on what you earn (though both companies will furnish you with a 1099 form within the Uber app or Lyft app come tax time).

Lyft vs Uber: Service Requirements

Since Uber’s mission is to provide premium services, most riders expect their drivers to be professional. This includes looking like one, being courteous, assisting with pieces of baggage, and overall acting like a limo or cab driver would.

Lyft, on the other hand, is loose and leans towards a friendly culture. They are not as strict as Uber when it comes to what their drivers wear. Lyft drivers also have the option to assist their riders with items of baggage, if any.

Interested to know the comparison of Lyft vs Uber in terms of technology and promotion? Check the comparative review from Rideshare Panel below:

Uber vs Lyft: Who Wins In the End?

Though Uber is the pioneer of the rideshare industry, Lyft offers their own fierce competition and is a competitive option for drivers. Ultimately, we think that driving with Lyft is a little bit better than Uber, since the company makes tipping more prominent within the app. The chance to receive even more bonuses also makes Lyft compelling when compared to Uber.

However, you simply can’t say that Uber has been left behind. There are still drivers who are happy to be its partner and are comfortable with how Uber operates. Driving for both services can’t hurt you, since it just increases your chances of getting a pick up when there isn’t one available for the other app.

How about you? Which rideshare services do you prefer to drive for? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Up Next: The Ultimate Guide to rideshare: How It Works & What the Future Holds

Brett Helling

Brett Helling is the owner of 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 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.

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