Uber vs Lyft: A Side-By-Side Comparison

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, you’ve likely heard about, seen, or experienced something to do with rideshare. While ridesharing has been around for a while, it has just recently grown more popular, and is really catching on among customers worldwide.

What can we make of the comparisons and contrasts between these two companies that have both exploded in growth in the last few years? Before getting in to some specifics that will obviously help one when making the best informed decision, let’s first take a look at just some general comparisons as well as some contrasts.

Lyft vs Uber: A Comprehensive Guide

First, let’s take a look at some of the obvious comparisons.

Both of these companies allow a person to hail a car from their phone. Secondly, it seems that, without investigating specifically, that the prices for some of the most basic services appear to be roughly the same: when Lyft introduces a new driver promotion, Uber does the same. When Lyft offers new users huge amounts of free ride credit? You bet, Uber also gives their riders account credit on the house. Uber also Uber invests in autonomous cars? Lyft strikes a record deal with GM. This makes most people think that the companies probably keep a really good eye on each other and prices to obviously stay competitive.

To contrast the two companies, one first can safely say that Uber is definitely the bigger company, which obviously means that Uber is available in many more places. In contrast, Lyft seems to promote a mission and vision of community and friendliness, which carries over into how the drivers are expected to interact with the passengers. Uber’s mission and values seem to be more business and professional oriented which might translate into the fact that Uber drivers communicate less with their passengers.

Finally, when we look at amenities, we find that Uber has many more upscale options for people who are considering these type options – one being more upscale cars. In the next several sections, you can count on finding some very specifics comparisons and contrasts in relation to Uber vs. Lyft – comparisons and contrasts that can definitely help you make the most informed decision in regards to which company that you should choose for your transportation needs.

Uber vs. Lyft Pricing

Saving money concept. businessman's hand holds dollar banknoteUber and Lyft compete incredibly heavily on pricing, attempting to lure customers away from each other by constantly offering lower prices than the other. However, when we take a more in-depth look at the actual pricing that is being set by these companies, we find that for the most part, the companies charge about the same prices, although prices can vary from city to city.

We find that both companies charge around $1.00 to start a ride, and then charge $1.50 per mile, and then .25 cents per minute. When we think about an average cost per mile after computing these particular costs, we find that the average tends to be about $2.00 per mile which is still, when compared to a taxi, is much more cost effective. Still, depending on the city, charges incurred might be a bit more especially in some of the larger cities for certain.

Another factor to consider when specifically thinking about pricing is that of peak times and locations where there might be a very high demand for transportation. At this point both companies utilize the concept of price surging – meaning the prices are raised because of the demand. Uber tends to increase their price about seven to eight times what the original price would have been, while Lyft has been known to increase their prices at least 200 percent. As well, Uber lets the consumer know upfront that they have entered a time frame and/or location where price surging is in effect.

In summary, both companies charge on an average of $2.00 per mile specifically broken down into different components. Both companies implement price surging in specific locations where there is a very high demand for transportation as well as during peak hours. Uber gives more warning to the consumer that this is taking place; however, they may increase their rates at least 700 percent with sometimes no cap on prices, which is often a complaint.

Bonus: Check the cost of an Uber ride fare with this powerful fare estimator

Uber App vs. Lyft App

Schedule list on mobile phone, hand touch selecting task on smartphone organizer application. Flat icon modern design style vector illustration concept.

In looking at both of these apps that have experienced enormous growth since their inception, we sometimes have to admit that a good analogy might be that of the questions: Are you a serious I-phone user or do you tend to be an Android user? Do you operate with a Windows phone?

Sometimes, it is merely about what the consumer is after in their experience. Both of the companies developed their respective apps around the same time, and both apps are designed to connect the driver and the consumer.

In looking at the functionality of the app itself, we find that they function about the same. Both apps tend to be user friendly; however, the Uber app tends to allow the consumer to have a better idea of the total cost of his/her ride. For some consumers, this is very important.

Interestingly enough, when drivers are asked in terms of the app, which company they prefer to drive for, the Uber drivers complain that the Uber app does not offer a feature for consumers to be able to tip the drivers, which to drivers, is hugely important. The Lyft app reminds consumers to tip their driver $1.00, $2.00, $5.00, or a custom amount.

Finally, Uber offers an app for the Windows users as well. One might note that the Uber driver is supplied with an I-Phone at the rate of $10.00 per week, and they are not allowed to download any non-Uber app. In the long run, the Lyft app offers the user more functionality and user friendliness.

Uber vs. Lyft Customer Support

Female call centre operator with headset. Flat moderm style

In terms of customer, interestingly enough, upon investigation, I found that Lyft actually provides a customer support phone number for 24-hour emergency calls (This appears to be discontinued as of my last check); whereas, Uber does not offer a phone number at all – only an email address! Interesting to say the least!

It might be important to note that the customer service of both companies has declined and does seem to need some work overall.  As both companies become larger and larger, the customer service is likely to improve due to forced competition between the two.

Secondly, when looking at arrival times, Uber tends to be a bit faster by a couple of minutes because they are larger; however, it is literally only a few minutes. In terms of the ride experience itself however, the companies are starkly different in customer support.

If a consumer is looking for a friendly ride with social interaction, then Lyft is the company to choose. Lyft riders are encourage to sit in the front seat, interact with the driver, and basically have a very friendly visit while enroute to his/her destination. Lyft drivers also do something really fun for the consumer – they participate in somewhat of a themed ride meaning the theme might be a sports theme or it might be a karaoke theme. Some drivers have been known to have a Harry Potter theme, while other drivers have been known to have the mustache theme for photo opportunities. The whole experience is intended to be a lot of fun with social interaction.

However, if the consumer is looking for a few minutes to focus on an upcoming presentation while riding from point A to point B, then Uber is the company for him/her. The Uber driver is going to be dressed a bit more professional. The Uber driver is going to get out and open the door for the consumer, and is overall going to give the consumer a more business-like professional ride to his/her destination. Each company’s mission and values are founded on this stark difference.

Popularity and Growth of Uber vs. Lyft

When we look at the comparisons and contrasts between the sheer popularity of the two ride-sharing apps, we find that the two companies continuously complete with each other. However, Uber has more investors and appears to be more popular throughout the nation in that there are more automobiles logged in to the company’s portfolio. In that respect, we would contend that Uber is more popular; however, it is larger. Also, it is interesting to note that Uber offers a bonus to lure Lyft drivers away from Lyft and recruits them to Uber.

Uber vs. Lyft Coverage Areas

As it stands now, ridesharing options tends to only be in the more metropolitan areas but is sure to branch out further in the future as this option of transportation is gaining popularity. Uber is in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide; whereas, Lyft is only available in roughly 65-70 cities in the United States; therefore, hands down, Uber has a much larger coverage area.

Uber vs. Lyft Innovation

abstract vector design. Businessman and technology object. Modern Business Concept on Lyft vs Uber debate post

Both companies offer similar innovations and are being hailed as fierce competitors. While they compete heavily on price, as we outlined above, they also compete for the latest and greatest innovations. These types of innovations help costs and prices, leading to greater passenger demand.

Uber offers the following key innovations: (1) A tiered approach meaning that if the consumer wants a ride beyond the average, he/she can request “semi-luxury” or even “luxury; (2) a rigorous driver rating system that encourages the professionalism of the drivers; (3) a surge pricing system that always encourages more drivers to be available during peak times as well as high demand times; and (4) the “no-tip” policy which is highly debated.

In contrast, Lyft offers innovations as well. Lyft offers its consumers the ability to participate in what the company calls, “Lyft Line.” This means that consumers who are riding along the same routes can ride together and split the cost. Additionally, Lyft offer what they call, “Lyft Plus” meaning groups of six passengers or more riding together. Also, deemed a highly debatable topic in the ride sharing world and a major difference in contrast to Uber, Lyft offers the ability for the consumer to tip the driver. Interestingly enough, Lyft has presented company innovation awards to key people who have contributed to the advancement of the ridesharing industry, which correlates heavily to their core mission and values.

Overall, where innovations are concerned, both Uber and Lyft have secured large investors that realize that ridesharing options are a wave of the future that is definitely here to stay. Each company has made the effort to have security with enough investors that they can continue to grow and expand their services. The only drawback that one might state is the Uber has a head start on Lyft.

Bonus: The rapid growth and rise of the rideshare industry (Infographic)

Conclusion: Our Take

In conclusion, most of this debate really comes down to the question, “which ridesharing option is best for you?” Where you are located plays a big part in which service is bigger and what options are offered. The second question might be that of what sort of ride do you need – average, semi-luxury, or luxury? Thirdly, do you want to be able to tip the driver or not? Fourth, is the use of the app important to you?

These and several other questions will guide your decision in deciding which is the best rideshare option for you! At times, your need might dictate that you use Uber because of the location of where you are. Other times, your scenario might be more advantageous to use Lyft. For example, you have a group of people celebrating someone’s birthday, then you might choose Lyft for your experience in that they are going to be socially interactive and may even carry a fun theme for the day or the week! Your choice! Your decision!

What service do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

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