Lyft Plus and UberXL: Are You Missing Out?

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If you want to enter the elite ranks of top earning rideshare drivers, you cannot overlook the power of Lyft Plus and UberXL. These are the next higher level services above the lowest-level services of Uber and Lyft rides such as UberX and the regular Lyft rides.

Adding an UberXL or Lyft Plus option is incredibly powerful when it comes to earning more money. With the combination of X and XL, you can actually earn more than double what you can on X alone — during certain times and events.

If your car only qualifies for UberX and standard Lyft, we would highly recommend that you consider getting an XL/Plus vehicle if you can afford to do so (even if you’re a new driver for the service). You don’t need any extra background checks or need to meet additional driver requirements as you do with Lyft Premier or UberBLACK. Just having a vehicle of the proper size is enough.

XL and Plus vehicles are cars that can seat 7 passengers total (including the driver). In other words, you can carry up to 6 passengers in them, compared to the 4 passengers that X and regular Lyft cars can accommodate (be sure that your extra back seats have working seat belts). They also have more storage room for luggage or packages or whatever your passengers might need to carry.

Sam Choi, who shows us the tips and tricks for XL in this video, is married and has three kids. So, he already had a larger vehicle. Realizing he could use it for Uber and Lyft, he signed his car up with both services. He now works as both an UberXL and Lyft Plus driver, but only when he knows it is going to be really busy and when he has the best shot to pick up some Plus or XL rides.

Check Out the Multiplication Factor of XL and Plus

In the video, Sam shows us a ride request he got from a concert at the Xcel Center in St. Paul, MN.

Lyft Plus and UberXL: Are You Missing Out?

His first Plus ride was a real blessing! He got it on a 300 percent Lyft surge. And remember, 300 percent equals 4x, so that was a huge surge. Also, remember that when Lyft surges, Lyft applies that surge to all of its ride types. So, if regular Lyft is surging 300 percent, then everything else is too, including Lyft Line, Lyft Plus, Lyft Lux, and Lyft SUV.

So, Sam got this Plus trip at 4 times the regular price! And the regular price in St. Paul is $2 a mile, which means he made $8 a mile on this particular trip.

When all was said and done he made $103.22 in 19 minutes and 52 seconds! That is making money at the rate of $310 an hour. And that simply would not be possible with a regular Lyft or UberXL call. That is how powerful it is to have an Plus/XL vehicle.

Now, if it had not been surging after the concert and he had gotten a trip at the regular price, he still would have made $25 in just under 20 minutes, which still is not bad. That same trip as a regular Lyft or UberX trip would have netted him just $16. So, even with no surges, XL trips come out way better.

But with the multiplication factor, what would have been a $1.00 a mile regular Lyft trip becomes an $8 a mile Lyft Plus trip! Now that is powerful!

Sam ended up making $225 that night in just about two hours. Now, to be sure, that is not normal. It can happen on special occasions, but it definitely does not happen all the time. Or even all that often. But having the XL option really increases your odds of having nights like that.

The Airport Factor

There is another angle to XL and Plus that is not getting a lot of coverage. And that is how well XL and Plus are doing at the airports.

These two car services have been available for several years now. So, people have gradually become more and more aware of them. In the beginning XL and Plus drivers did not get any trips because nobody knew what the services were.

It takes time for people to understand a new service like this. But now, pretty much everybody who uses Uber and Lyft knows what these services are, and they use them when they need them.

Since the point of these larger size vehicles is to help people when they have a big load or large group — without breaking the bank like they would if they had to take an SUV – more and more travelers are using the XL and Plus options when they travel to and from the airports.

What that means for you as an XL or Plus driver is that you are not going to have to wait much longer than an UberX car at the airports for a trip — when the airports are busy. And since XL and Plus pay about 1.5x more than X and Regular Lyft, you can make some good money. If you can get airport trips almost as fast as X cars can, and make 1.5x more at least, then having an XL or Plus vehicle will serve you very well.

UberXL and Lyft Plus vs. UberSUV and Lyft Lux SUV

You might be wondering if you can make that much more with an XL vehicle, why shouldn’t you just get a luxury SUV and drive for the top rates?

Well, that’s not a bad thought, but we would like to give you some tips about it.

The main problem with the SUVs is they are extremely expensive to purchase as well as to maintain. Another problem with them is that you’ll end up making the majority of your trips as an XL vehicle.

As you may know, an SUV qualifies to drive for all the services, including UberBLACK, UberSELECT, XL, and X. So, their big advantage isn’t so much that they pay the highest rates, but that they can be driven for all the levels of service.

The ability to drive SUVs for all the lower levels of service, though, means that most of the time you’re going to make money at the lower rates. So you’re going to be driving a super expensive premium vehicle, but you’ll only be making higher end service rates about 10 percent of the time. You’ll make Black car rates, which are still very good, about 15 percent of the time. Then, you’ll make X and XL rates the rest of the time.

Yes, it hurts to have to take X trips when you have an SUV, but there are times when X trips are the only game in town. So, you’ll have to choose between either sitting around making nothing, or take an X trip and at least make something.

And yes, it will feel like nothing after you make it. Once you get used to the higher rates, the lower rates are really hard to tolerate (even more so if a passenger spills something on the leather interior of your luxury car).

A Typical SUV Scenario

Here’s what typically happens when you have an SUV. You get a trip to the airport, and after you drop them off, you pull into the queue lot. Now, you have to decide which kind of trips you’re willing to accept.

You know if you accept X trips, you’ll get a call right away, but you’ll only make maybe $10–$20. So, you decide to eliminate X trips. Then you consider accepting XL trips. You know you’ll wait a little longer than for an X trip, so you’ll end up waiting about an hour and a half to two hours. And you know you’ll only make something between $15 and $30.

If you choose to only accept BLACK and SUV trips, you could make $50 to $100. But you’ll have a much longer wait – like three to five hours in some cases! The long wait makes these trips much less profitable than if you also accept regular requests.

In the end you have to balance the length of time you’ll wait with how much you can make on the trip. And what that basically boils down to is that X trips are just too cheap. Even if your wait time is no more than five minutes, an X trip just won’t be worth it. An SUV or BLACK trip would be great, but you know from experience you’ll wait at least three hours for a ping.

What most SUV drivers end up doing is selecting XL, BLACK, and SUV trips. But in reality, that’s the same as selecting XL only. Because whatever services you select, you can bet that the first call you get will be for the lowest priced one.

That’s why you’re pretty much as well off with an XL vehicle as you are with an SUV. But the XL will cost a lot less to purchase and way less to keep fueled and maintain.


Video Transcription:

The power of Plus and XL. Now, for many of us, we’re going to have to only drive UberX and regular Lyft. However, if you’re going to do this full-time or if you want to maximize your income, I would highly recommend you trying to get on the XL platform or in the Plus platform for Lyft if you can financially do it.

For me, I already had a plus vehicle because my wife drives it. We have three kids and so we needed a van. And so, maybe a month ago, I switched over to the Plus and XL platform and I drive that only when it’s really, really busy and I know I’m going to get Plus rides.

Let me just show you the power of the multiplication factor.

Now, this is a ride that I got, I think from…I think it was the…gosh I forgot what concert but it was a concert at the Xcel Center. And I brought my Plus. This was the first ride I did. So what a blessing for the first time I ever did a Plus ride. I showed up there, waited for the SURGE to go up, pulled the trigger just like I’ve taught you in the SURGE segment.

But I pulled the trigger when it got to 300% prime time, turned on my app, and I got this. Now, remember, 300% prime time is equivalent of 4 times SURGE on Uber, okay? Now, not only was it 300% prime time but it was 300% prime time on Plus. So remember Plus is double, so its $2 a mile, so now I was getting 300% of $2, okay?

I picked them up, requested at 10:56, I picked them up in six minutes because it was really a packed house. I got on my car, got them in, was really warm and friendly. They were fun. And then, I dropped them off at 11:22. A 20-minute ride, okay, 24-minute including when I got the request to pick them up, $103. They got a 300% prime time, still gave me a $5 tip which isn’t a huge tip, it’s not a 20% tip, however, they still gave a tip when they paid out the wazoo.

How long did they ride? They rode for 12 miles…about 13 miles and 20 minutes. Twenty-minute ride, $100. Bam, it cost them $132. So giving a tip even when you got that much prime time is a really amazing thing. That night, immediately after, one of the guys who got off, wanted to ride somewhere else so he just gave me $15 to go 1 mile which was awesome. Let me go back. That night I only worked about two hours and I made $225.92 plus I did $15 extra for that cash tip. And I got other cash tips maybe on Uber, I don’t remember. This was a little bit ago. But the power of that right there.

The next ride I got was a Plus ride. And something that you’re going to realize is a lot of people with Plus, is that they’re going to accidentally pick Plus when they meant regular. And so I took this person really, really far out. It was pretty gnarly because there was a car accident right in front of us that happened within a minute and we had to run out and help them. But anyway, $46.23. Didn’t get a tip.

And this is something that happens, I’ve noticed when people accidentally pick Plus or XL, they won’t give a tip because they know they just paid double. And so what I did right when I showed up, I said, “Hey. Do you know that you did…” Because he came out to me from Taco Bell, and I was like, “Hey, where’s everyone else?” He said, “There’s no one else.” I was like, “Oh, you picked Plus.” He said, “What?”

And I explained to him. I said, “Hey, you can totally cancel it. No big deal. I don’t want you to have to spend money.” He said, “You know, I don’t mind that. Thanks for telling me. Really appreciate that.” When we arrived there, I pulled out my Lyft app and I showed him how to work it with regular accept.

Now, let me show you one more screenshot. This was a really powerful one.

This is the best one I’ve ever got, $76.58, 1.5 SURGE. If you see, it was really, really far. But the cool thing is because it was really far, they said, “Hey, we don’t want you to cancel on us. I know it’s really far so here, we’ll give you $60 extra so that you don’t cancel on us because other Uber drivers cancel when they go drive out really far and they’re afraid to come back.” So this was such a big blessing.

So I got a $60 tip plus…a $60 cash tip, $6 regular tip, and it was $76. This was amazing. So this is the power of Plus and XL, and I hope you can feasibly fit it in into your strategy to maximize your earnings.

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