Lyft vs. Uber: Which Company to Drive For

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Who Should You Drive For – Uber or Lyft?

The very first question a new rideshare driver has to ask is who should you drive for?  Uber or Lyft?  Or a third alternative, depending on your market.  For instance, in New York City, there are two more alternatives, one is called Juno and the other is called Via.  Sam recommends signing up for both Uber and Lyft and others if they are any others available in your city.

The other question is, which one should you sign up for first?  Or, if you sign up for both (or all) of them at the same time, which one should you drive for first?

When you’re first starting out, it’s not a bad idea to dip your foot into the waters slowly.  That way you’ll get a good feel for things before they get too intense.

In most markets, Uber is the biggest and busiest.  So, for that reason and for new drivers, Sam recommends starting out with Lyft.  That’s a good recommendation because with Lyft being a little bit slower in most places, it will give you time to get your feet wet and learn your way around the app before you move on to Uber which will probably keep you a lot busier.

In the early days of Uber and Lyft, the apps were very simple.  You would get a ping from a passenger, you’d click Accept and then the app would tell you where the passenger was located and you would head there to pick them up.  However, today, they are much more complicated.  You could have just picked up a passenger and you’re on your way to their destination, when suddenly a new ping comes in!  If you haven’t experienced this before, it’s pretty jarring the first few times!  And it takes your mind and your attention off the road – which isn’t safe.

With pool trips and Lyft Line a ping could come in at any time during any point in your trip.  This is a new passenger who is being added to your current trip.  You’ll pick them up before you drop your first passenger off.  Then you’ll drop them both off in whatever order the app determines is most efficient.

The problem is though, that all this takes a lot more wheeling and dealing and paying attention to the app rather than the road!  For instance, when you drop the first passenger off, you’ll be asked to rate them before you continue on with your second passenger.  If you’re not familiar with the process, as you won’t be when you first start out, you’ll spend a lot of time staring at the screen and reading what it actually says before you can move on.  Once you become familiar with what all the screens say, then you won’t have to actually read them anymore.  You’ll already know what they say and you’ll know what to do without having to pay too much attention.

So, the more familiar you are with how all this works, the easier it will be and the better you’ll be at it when you add Uber to the mix and things get seriously busy.  Once you’ve had a few practice runs, you’ll settle into the routine and become more comfortable with it.

Eventually You’ll Want to Use Both Lyft and Uber

Historically, drivers make a little more with Lyft than Uber.  That’s because Lyft didn’t “train” its passengers never to tip.  Uber did, so Uber passengers still don’t tip that well.  But Lyft passengers do tip pretty well.  With rates being almost the same between the two companies in most cities – tipping makes all the difference now.  So, you can make a little more on each trip with Lyft than you can with Uber.

While drivers can make a little more per trip with Lyft, they usually get more trips from Uber.  So, it’s a really good idea to have both apps.  You double your chances of getting a trip when you have both apps up and running.  At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which one you get your trips from – as long as you’re getting trips!  Unless one or the other is offering a better incentive.  And we’ll talk about that next.

Bonuses and Incentives

Lyft offers bonuses and Primetime.  Uber offers boosts and Quest bonuses plus surges.  Surges and Primetime happen whenever passenger demand outstrips driver supply.  So, those are very random.  You never know when they are going to happen.  Bonuses and boosts on the other hand are announced beforehand.

For instance, Uber sent this text message out on a Thursday to inform drivers of their weekend boosts and bonuses:

As you can see, this isn’t very generous – but it is something.  The boost is 1.3x the normal price, however it is limited to a small geographic area and it is only available for maybe a couple of hours over the weekend.  When they say the Boost is “up to 1.3x” what that usually means is that it is available only for certain hours.  And usually that boils down to only a single hour over the weekend.  The rest of the weekend, for whatever hours it is offered, it will be less – either 1.1x or 1.2x.

The Quest bonus is only available on 15 trips and it’s only $10 – over 15 trips.  That means they’re paying drivers an extra $0.66 per trip for those 15 trips.

These incentives aren’t exactly going to motivate drivers to get out there who weren’t going to be out already.  But for the ones who were going to be out already, it’s nice to get a little something extra.

Drivers are Independent Contractors

Always remember, we’re independent contractors – who aren’t treated very well.  And as an independent contractor you have every right to seek out the best opportunity for you.  So, you shouldn’t feel any loyalty to one over the other – unless they’re treating you better and you’re making more.  Remember, you are their customer – so let them fight for your business and you work with whichever one is most profitable.


Video Transcription:

So a very common question that’s asked is, “Who should I drive for? Who should I drive for first?” And the answer is probably both. And the answer to the second question, probably Lyft.

Now, you want to drive for whoever will give you the best promotions. Now, every city’s different. Every city has its different needs, and so they’re constantly fluctuating and changing their promotions and signup bonuses, okay? So you want to sign up for whoever is going to be easiest for you first, and then second, whoever is going to give you the biggest bonus.

Now, what do I mean when I say easiest? Lyft, in most cities, has about 40% or 30% of the market share, usually 30%. Nationwide, about 30% of the market share, so they’re slower.

Now, the quality is there, and so you make more money on Lyft rides, historically, but there’s less business. And so if you’re starting off and you want to just take it easy, try Lyft, where you’re not getting just slammed one after another with rides, where you can take it easy, get a feel for it, breathe after your ride and say, “Okay, okay, how did I do?” and collect yourself.

That’s a really good thing. But, really, at the end of the day, you want to do whatever company will give you the best promotion at the same time.

However, I want to say this. For those of you, once you get beyond the initial phase where you get your bonuses and so forth, you want to have both apps. Both apps constantly have different promotions at different times and different bonuses, and we’re going to talk about all those little things.

There’s something called Boost and Quest and different things like that. You want to utilize those. And the companies are constantly taking notes from each other and trying to compete and, “What are they doing? Okay, we’re going to match that. We’re going to do a better promotion.” And you want to utilize that.

We are the private contractors and we’re not treated very well. And so take advantage of these promotions and let them fight for you, for your business, and whatever is most profitable.

I’m going to teach you in a future course how to maximize which app to pick depending on what time. So answer is drive both, but mainly Lyft. Lyft is way better, but Uber has its place.

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