Can You Drive for Uber and Lyft at the Same Time? [Answered]

If you drive for a TNC company and are looking for an easy way to increase income, the answer is simple: partner Uber with Lyft at the same time to maximize your rideshare earnings.


Driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time is one of the best ways a rideshare driver can improve their efficiency and make more money.

Most new drivers start out on just one app. This is a great way to get your feet wet and to see if driving for Uber or Lyft is for you.

But after a while of just driving for Uber or just driving for Lyft, most Uber and Lyft drivers get a little curious.

Am I really driving for the right service?

We highly suggest trying both services to find which one is right for you. Trying out Lyft after you’ve worked as an Uber driver (or vice versa) is not only a great way to see what service you like more. It is also a great way to capitalize on those amazing driver sign-up bonuses.

Once you’ve successfully captured all of your sign-up bonuses, it is probably safe to say you are a rideshare driving aficionado. And the first thing you should do is start working to maximize your efficiency and your earnings.

Maximizing efficiency as a rideshare driver means saving money on gas, picking up the best fares, driving in the right locations, taking advantage of bonus pricing and more.

One great step towards efficiency is running both Uber and Lyft apps at the same time. But why should you do it? When should you do it? And how do you do it?

This article will attempt to answer those questions.


Are You Allowed to Drive for Uber and Lyft at the Same Time?

The short answer is yes, you can (and should) drive for both services at the same time. Why choose Uber vs. Lyft when you can drive for both?

As a ridesharing driver, you are technically an “independent contractor.” This means you are essentially running your own business. It also means Uber and Lyft are not obligated to pay taxes, provide insurance, etc.

Being an independent contract also means you are under absolutely no obligation to only drive for one rideshare app.

There is no looming stipulation that states you have to remain loyal to an app. As in, neither company can take any legal action against you for working for the competition.

Another key thing to remember as an independent contractor is time. While driving for either app, you do not guarantee how you go about using your precious hours each day. There is no legal way for either company to restrict you from accepting a better available ride fare on the other rideshare app.

To put it simply, it is 100% ok for drivers to switch between apps.

Rideshare drivers who are interested in pursuing this profitable method may find the method a bit confusing at first. To reduce the learning curve and help you start maxing out your paycheck each week, we have created the following guide. It covers everything you need to know about how to use both apps to their full potential, even if you are new to the rideshare business.

Also see: How to start driving for Uber


Before Starting Both Apps

Before driving for both companies, start with the filling out the Uber and Lyft driver applications. The application process is similar (and fairly straightforward) for both.

After being accepted to drive for both, you’re ready to get started!

The first thing we suggest before starting both driver apps is to make sure that you have a phone charger in your vehicle.

Side note: whether you use an iPhone or Android phone, it’s not a bad idea to have both chargers in your car. Providing phone chargers are a small way to boost customer ratings and increase the likelihood of being tipped.

Running both apps is a huge battery drain, so make sure you’re prepared. If you don’t have access to a charger, you’ll be heading home after just a few rides.

Now that you’re plugged in, look at each app individually. Take the time to see what is going on in your area before jumping into accepting a ride request.

The main thing you are looking for is SURGE or Prime Time pricing.

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Due to SURGE and Prime Time pricing, it is financially important for drivers to figure out which app is offering the perk. Once a driver determines that one app is offering a bonus and the other is not, they should only use that app until the bonus timeframe is over.

If both apps are offering the bonus, continue to use Uber and Lyft at the same time, but be leary of how much you are actually earning. Even when both apps are offering bonuses, you can still earn more accepting one ride over another, so be sure to compare before accepting.


Running Both Apps at the Same Time

Although leaving both apps on seems pretty straightforward, there are a few hang-ups to be aware of. First and foremost, make sure you get yourself a phone mount. Cycling between apps means that you will have your phone in your hand more often, which means that you increase the odds of getting a cell phone related ticket from the police.

Another thing to be aware of is Uber’s behind the scene stipulations. Namely, if you leave the app running but it is not on the main screen, the Uber Partner App will automatically log you off after a certain amount of time. Due to this rather annoying feature, leaving the Lyft app running in the background, rather than the Uber app, is highly recommended.

As we mentioned above, your battery drains quickly from running both apps. This is because both apps use location services (i.e. GPS tracking). To help combat low battery, make sure to close all other apps.

You might also want to consider getting a second phone.

Getting a second phone might be worth it financially if the benefits of running both apps at the same time is worth it. Having a second phone eliminates the need for app switching (we’ll get to that later) and makes it easier to monitor both apps at the same time.

When You Should Run Both Apps at the Same Time

The best time to use both apps at the same time is when rides are sparse. Meaning that, if you are struggling to find nearby fares on one app, boot up the other one. This is the most obvious and simple ways to use both apps. When there are no rides on Uber, check Lyft. It’s that easy.

As for monetary bonus time frames, if you think SURGE or Prime Time is about to happen, keep both apps open.

For example, when a large concert or event is getting out, head to that location. Keep both apps open when people start spilling out and keep an eye on bonus pricing. Sometimes one app will be quicker to implement a bonus, so you can quickly take advantage.

When there are no bonuses, it usually makes the most sense to pick up the closest fare. Picking up the closest fare, whether it is Uber or Lyft, means the least amount of downtime as a driver. It usually does not make sense to go out of your way to chase SURGE pricing. Driving across town for a bonus fare is usually a waste of gas and time when there are fares nearby.

Another great way to use both apps at the same time is when you get a fare that takes you out of a busy part of town. Keep both apps open and only accept ride requests that take you back to the busy part of town. Using both Lyft and Uber for this will give you a wider variety of passenger options to choose from.

Which brings us to the main reason you may want to keep both apps on: price experimentation.

By keeping track of mileage, time, and earnings drivers can determine which routes are actually worth their time. This can help you get a clearer picture of what is actually going on while you are working. Once you have officially determined this information, you may find that it is better to run one app over the other at different times during the work week.

From our findings, running both apps at the same time can be very profitable when done correctly.


How Running Both Apps at the Same Time Increases Earnings

Bear in mind, running both apps at the same time does not mean that it is okay to pick up multiple fares during the same ride (unless you are using UberPOOL or Lyft Line). Having said that, let’s review the best practices to remember while dual wielding rideshare apps to maximize trip earnings.

  • Running both apps is profitable because you can pick the most profitable fare, such as during SURGE or Prime Time.
  • Most of the time, picking the closest fare is most profitable because it means the least amount of downtime.
  • It does not make sense to “chase” SURGE or Prime Time pricing if you could more quickly complete multiple rides close by.
  • Use both apps to select a better drop-off location. We especially like this trick when we’re heading home at the end of the night. Or when trying to get back to the city-center after an out-of-the-way fare.

Regardless of which app you prefer, it is worth experimenting. Even if you’ve been successful with Uber for years, it makes sense to try out Lyft. The same is true the other way around.

We always suggest working for the other app at least long enough to get yourself a sign-on bonus.

And once you have experience with both apps, try using both at the same time. A lot of drivers make a lot of money by taking advantage of the closest fares, with the best rates, going to the best locations.

Do you drive for both Uber and Lyft? Have some tips that we missed? Let us know below. Read… go!

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