Uber vs Lyft: A Side-By-Side Comparison for 2020

By: // Updated: September 17, 2020

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When you need a ride but don’t have your own car, there’s a good chance your solution is just a few taps away. Rideshare services are available in almost every major city in the United States these days, making transportation more accessible than ever. The only decision you need to make is choosing Uber vs. Lyft.

Both Uber and Lyft are strong competitors in the ridesharing industry and have quickly become household names. Just looking at the surface-level differences, Uber is known to hold a significantly higher market share — nearly 70% of the U.S. market, compared to Lyft’s nearly 30% — and has a significantly larger international coverage map than its competitor.

On the other hand, Lyft has maintained a far cleaner reputation than Uber, which was plagued with scandal after scandal since the #DeleteUber backlash of 2017.

Beyond these notable differences, the two rideshare giants do offer extremely similar services, particularly in the United States and Canada.

Their customer acquisition marketing strategies are quite similar. When Lyft introduces a new driver promotion, Uber does the same. When Lyft offers new users huge amounts of free ride credit, Uber also gives their riders account credit on the house.

When choosing between Uber and Lyft for your next ride, the smaller differences may have a big influence on your decision. This article will compare Uber vs. Lyft in seven major categories, so you can decide for yourself which rideshare app is for you.

Jump To:

  1. Uber vs. Lyft Services
  2. Pricing
  3. Driver Earnings
  4. Uber vs. Lyft Safety
  5. The App
  6. Customer Support
  7. Alternatives to Uber and Lyft

The next sections will compare and contrast Uber and Lyft in detail. This is aimed to help vest you with all the important information you need to pick the rideshare app that exactly suits your transportation needs.

1. Uber vs. Lyft Services

When taking a look at the battle between Uber and Lyft, one of the biggest factors that set the two services apart is the vehicle options available to passengers.

In many cities across the U.S. and Canada, Uber and Lyft services may seem practically identical. For example, these are direct equivalents that can commonly be found:

Uber caters to businesspeople and professionals and has a broad range of vehicles to choose from.

UberPOOL This is the cheapest ride option available. Riders share rides going the same route.
UberX Another budget option, an everyday car with room for up to 4 people will come and pick you up.
UberXL An SUV with seating for up to 6 people will come and pick you up.
UberSELECT This is a 4 door luxury sedan with seating for up to 4 passengers.
UberBLACK Uber’s original car service, these rides feature high-end luxury vehicles with seating for up to 4 passengers.
UberSUV The most expensive service Uber offers, a high-end SUV with seating for up to 6 passengers will pick you up.

Lyft, on the other hand, offers fewer vehicle options than Uber.

Lyft Line Riders share rides going the same route. The cheapest option available to riders.
Lyft The budget option of the group, an everyday car with room for 4 passengers comes to get you.
Lyft Plus This is also a regular vehicle to get you, but with room for up to 6 passengers.
Lyft Premier These are rides in higher quality vehicles than the other Lyft options. Seating up to 4 passengers.

Aside from the vehicle options, there is a noticeable difference between the rider experiences.

Since Uber leans towards businesspeople, the drivers are professional, concise, and do the best to simply get you from point A to point B. Lyft drivers, on the other hand, live up to their slogan “Your Friend With a Car”. Lyft drivers tend to be friendly, open to conversation, and more fun than Uber drivers. Lyft riders are encouraged to sit in the front seat and interact with the driver.

If you’re looking for a quiet ride or a few minutes to focus on an upcoming presentation while riding from point A to point B, then Uber is the company for you. The Uber driver is going to be dressed a bit more professionally. The driver is going to open the door for you and provide you with a more business-like ride to your destination.

However, while Uber provides an alternative to basically every Lyft service, Lyft does fall a bit short on its service offerings. In addition to highly unique, limited location services like Uber Copter and Uber Car Seat, the company is well-known for its extensive luxury options.

This includes Uber Lux, which takes high-end to a whole new level with Rolls-Royce cars and Maserati models. Most of these luxury options are also driven by professional drivers who are commercially licensed and highly rated.

Uber also offers affordable services that act as slight upgrades between the standard Lyft and Uber tiers. For example, Uber Comfort offers more leg room without requiring an upgrade to UberXL. UberWAV is a convenient way to access wheelchair-friendly vehicles through the Uber app. Internationally and in some U.S. cities, Uber also has traditional taxis available that can be booked through the rideshare app.

No matter which service you choose on either service, all vehicle types are fully inspected once per year by law in the U.S. Uber drivers and Lyft drivers always complete background checks to keep riders as safe as possible.

Ridester’s Take:

I use Lyft a lot, especially in times of high demand or when there is a driver close by and I need a ride in a hurry. However, I like the selection of vehicles that Uber offers.

If I need a cheap ride, UberPOOL has my back. If I’m on a business trip and want to impress a client, UberBLACK it is. I have to go with Uber on this one because there are way more types of rides available.

Drivers can expect a higher earning potential by becoming an Uber partner since there are more ride options available. Services like UberBLACK cost much more than regular Lyft rides, so drivers will see more money in their pockets driving for the higher end services. That said, Lyft riders tend to tip more, especially if they make you stop en route to run quick errands.

2. Uber vs. Lyft Pricing

black tesla sitting on street for uber vs lyft pricing post

One of the biggest similarities between Uber and Lyft are its local rates. While there may be cost disparities between cities, Lyft and Uber rates within the same city are almost always extremely similar. This is because both companies are in tight competition with each other to provide riders with the most competitive rates, while still offering drivers attractive pay.

Both companies also similarly charge based on your selected service, as well as the estimated time and distance to be traveled. Base fares and service fees are also typical of both Uber and Lyft, so to actually figure out the most affordable standard price in your area, you can use our price estimator tools for Uber and Lyft respectively.

Both companies charge around $1.00 to start a ride and then charge $1.50 per mile, around .25 cents per minute. When we think about the average cost per mile, it lands at about $2.00 per mile which is much more cost-effective when compared to a taxi.

Of course, rideshare costs don’t always stay steady at their standard prices. When demand outweighs supply, which often occurs during rush hour and busy events, Uber surge pricing and Lyft Prime Time pricing kick in. This is what can cause rideshare costs to greatly differ.

Uber surge pricing multiplies time, distance, and base fares during its busy hours, displaying the amount of surge as the given multiple (for example, 1.5x or 2x). This surge pricing has been known to multiply fares by as much as seven or eight times.

Lyft instead uses percentages to represent how much is added to base fares (time and distance fees remain unaffected). For example, if Prime Time pricing is at 100% and base fares are $10, the Prime Time fares would be $20. While Lyft has eliminated its maximum threshold for Prime Time, the company is less frequently known to have extreme multipliers, which can make the ridesharing service more affordable during busy times.

Ridester’s Take

When the two companies compete on price, passengers come out ahead. Since Lyft typically doesn’t hit the high multiples that Uber riders have come to dread, many riders will choose Lyft, especially in times of high demand.

However, when drivers become dissatisfied with their income, passengers take the hit. Thankfully, drivers that provide poor service will eventually be weeded out by the rating systems that the two companies have put in place, maintaining a high quality driver pool.

3. Lyft vs Uber: Driver Earnings

Uber and Lyft compete heavily for market share, resulting in no really big difference on price. So it makes sense that drivers earn about the same for both services.

In our 2018 Independent Driver Earnings Survey that polled over 2,600 drivers to measure both satisfaction and earnings, our team found that the average rideshare driver was making about $13.70 per hour. If you factor tips into the equation, the median income rises only slightly to $14.73 per hour.

Overall, drivers gave a failing grade when asked about the amount of money they’re making when driving.

Ridester’s Take:

From a driver’s perspective, Lyft takes a smaller cut than Uber. Uber drivers make $13.70 per hour, and Lyft driver drivers will average $17.50 per hour.

Uber’s signup bonuses are massive, but the buck stops there. Along with Prime Time, Lyft also has other rush hour opportunities where drivers can earn more. Power Zones is one such example.

Uber’s take on commission fees is outrageous, and now with their new upfront pricing strategy, it’s even worse. Take a look at the comment sections on our posts and you’ll see that drivers are very displeased.

I wish drivers made more money for the effort they put into driving. Most riders don’t realize that drivers are using their own car, paying for their own expenses, and sacrifice a lot of personal time to drive.  However, Uber and Lyft are so big that they’re able to charge whatever they want and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

4. Uber vs Lyft Safety

police car on busy city street - uber vs lyft safety

Safety is a hot topic when it comes to ridesharing these days, with a significant amount of sexual assault cases and other crime-related issues making headlines throughout the years. Just in recent months, Uber’s safety report recognized that over 3,000 sexual assaults were reported in their rides in 2019 (in the U.S. alone). Lyft hasn’t gotten off scot-free either, having been hit with a massive lawsuit from a handful of sexual assault victims.

Luckily, Uber and Lyft take driver and passenger safety seriously, taking proactive measures to keep riders as safe as possible. This manifests itself in a variety of features and policies that each platform has.

To start with, all Uber drivers and Lyft drivers must undergo a variety of driver screening processes. The first part of this is a criminal history background check, which ensures that drivers don’t have convictions for felonies, sexual offenses, or violent crimes. Potential drivers also have to pass a driving history check, have a valid driver’s license, and possess valid liability insurance.

Vehicles must also meet year requirements set by each state and be inspected every year. And only newer vehicles are allowed on the platforms in general, so you know you won’t be riding in a car that doesn’t have airbags or other standard, modern safety features.

On both apps, you’ll always see your driver’s name, vehicle model, vehicle color, ratings, and license plate number before you get in the car.

During your trip, Uber and Lyft drivers are both covered by liability insurance. Due to high demand, both companies have also installed in-app emergency or panic buttons in most major U.S. markets. These allow you to dial 911 from your app and get your ride information automatically shared.

Both Lyft and Uber driver requirements ensure drivers:

  • Pass a background check with no violent, sexual, or drug-related offenses
  • Pass a DMV record check with no major moving violations in the past three years
  • Have a valid driver’s license and Social Security number
  • Have valid car insurance and vehicle registration
  • Are at least 21 years old with at least one year of licensed driving experience

Uber and Lyft App Safety Features

When you’re using either platform, the app contains additional features to help keep you safe.

Vehicle Details

To start, both apps show you an image of the driver’s vehicle, a photograph of the driver, and the vehicle’s license plate number. These features are helpful when you’re getting picked up in a crowded area full of lots of drivers, but they also help you ensure you’re getting in the vehicle of an actual rideshare driver (as opposed to a stranger pretending to be one). You can also use this information to hold the driver accountable for any unsafe things they do.

Location Sharing and ETA

If you’re worried about riding in a vehicle with a stranger alone (which is understandable), both apps also have a feature that allows you to update family members or other trusted contacts with your current location and ETA.

To share your status in an Uber ride, follow these steps:

  • When you request a ride and a driver accepts, you can swipe up on your app screen and tap Send Status.
  • This shares your trip details with friends or family. They’ll receive a notification.
  • Opening this notification displays your driver’s first name, vehicle info, and your map location in real-time.
  • To pre-select up to 5 contacts to receive your status, select “Settings” from your app menu. You can also add more contacts manually when sending your trip status.

For Lyft, the process is similar:

  • Tap “Send ETA” after requesting a ride to send your friend or family member a text message with an in-app link to your current route and location.
  • They’ll be able to see see your progress toward the destination, a photo of the driver, and the vehicle color, make, model, and license plate number.

Driver and Passenger Rating Systems

One of the simplest ways to keep passengers and drivers safe is the rating system that Uber and Lyft both use. This allows passengers and drivers to rate each other on a scale of 1–5 stars.

In addition to the rating, both parties have the option to leave feedback explaining what went well (and what could have gone better). If either a driver or a passenger conducts themselves in an unsafe manner, you can mention it after the ride. Feedback is anonymous to both parties in order to prevent retaliatory feedback.

Ridester’s Take:

While both companies’ safety regulations are about the same, Uber does pull ahead just a bit. Due to the availability of more luxury services, riders do have more opportunities to get matched to commercially licensed professional drivers, each of which have high star ratings and commercial insurance. Still, Lyft does provide a unique color-matching system for an extra layer of identity verification, which we’ll further describe in the section below.

5. Uber App vs. Lyft App

Both companies developed their apps around the same time, and while they may slightly differ in their user interface and how they go about presenting their features, they do the same thing: connect riders with drivers.

The Uber app tends to allow the consumer to have a better idea of the total cost of his/her ride up front. Lyft is improving their app to be more transparent, but it’s still not quite there yet.

That said, the Uber app is now getting packed with features and is slowly becoming less user-friendly than it used to be. While they recently pushed an upgrade that now allows users to tip their drivers, there’s also a lot of cross-promotion to other services like Uber Eats and their delivery services, which is quite obtrusive when riders just want to request a ride.

Booking a ride is easy in both apps. They both require riders to input their destination address and current location into the app. Since they rely on location-based data, you need to have access to the internet. Both apps calculate the fare based on distance, time, and service and show the driver’s estimated arrival time.

Uber provides you with an estimated arrival time BEFORE you book a ride; with Lyft, you have to request a ride first to get an ETA.

Lyft allows passengers to add a stop along the route. This means that they can pick a friend up on the way or drop something off at the library or the dry cleaners’. Both Uber and Lyft store your credit card information within the app, so you don’t have to worry about paying the fare with cash. Once you arrive at your destination, the fare is automatically charged on your card; all you have to do is leave a review and a tip if you wish.

Once you’ve actually requested a vehicle, it’s actually quite difficult to tell whether you’re taking an Uber or Lyft ride. This is because many rideshare drivers actually drive for Uber and Lyft (as well as Uber Eats) at the same time, making the general atmosphere extremely similar. Drivers seeking great ratings and tips may offer you free water bottles, mints, and a smartphone charging station, and accommodate your air conditioning and music requests.

The biggest difference is, some Lyft drivers have electronic dashboard signs installed that display your name and a color that matches with your Lyft app. This not only adds a layer of safety when you use Lyft — you always know you’re entering the right car — but also creates a more personalized user experience.

If your in-app experience matters a lot to you, you may also want to consider a key difference in the two platforms. The Lyft app will likely feel much more familiar to Google Maps users, as the navigation platform is integrated into the app. The Uber app, on the other hand, uses custom, branded navigation that offers a unique in-app experience that you may prefer. Of course, this is all a matter of preference, since the apps are both simple to navigate otherwise.

Ridester’s Take:

I really don’t see a significant difference between the two rideshare apps, other than small aesthetic differences. When riding, it seems like most riders typically choose the service that has a closer car.

6. Uber vs. Lyft Customer Support

As a passenger, your options for contacting Uber and Lyft customer support are quite similar. Both ride-hailing app companies allow you to reach them via social media with ease. The San Francisco-based companies also offer robust help centers and emergency hotlines for all users to use before, during, or after their Lyft or Uber rides.

Riders and drivers can get in touch through:

  • email
  • in-app support
  • website support
  • critical response lines

However, Lyft does offer one extra perk for riders: a general contact form. While Uber requires users to fill out topic-specific forms to get a response from an Uber team member, Lyft customer service can be reached via email for general issues when you click the “Contact Support” button on this help page.

Ridester’s Take

The quality of support of both companies has declined in recent years as the companies have grown. I personally like working with Lyft’s customer support much more than with Uber’s.

Lyft representatives are friendly, while Uber reps seem to be constantly overwhelmed. This leads to an abundance of canned responses readily available on their Help center, while Lyft actually takes time to answer questions.

For customer service questions, I recommend you check out the following posts on our site:

7. Alternatives to Uber and Lyft

While Uber and Lyft are the main contenders in the rideshare world, they are by no means the only options out there. The ridesharing boom has inspired dozens of competitors to appear throughout the United States and beyond, some with their own unique niches. Here are three popular alternatives you can use instead of Uber and Lyft:

1. Via

Via rideshare is a shared car service that helps users connect to drivers and other passengers along the same route. It essentially provides the same service as UberPool and Lyft Shared, keeping costs low in cities like Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C. It’s one of the few widely known competitors to the rideshare giants’ true shared ride services.

2. Wingz

If safety and scheduled rides are your priority, Wingz is a great alternative for you. This rideshare service can get you to flights, important meetings, and other places right on time with rides scheduled up to two months in advance. Even better, Wingz drivers attend a formal training and have even more record checks than the standard Uber or Lyft driver.

Wingz is currently available in 15 U.S. cities, including Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.

3. MyTaxi (FREE NOW)

Some consumers still prefer taking taxis due to the fact that drivers are fully licensed and well-regulated by cities around the world. MyTaxi (now FREE NOW) is an excellent solution for riders who want the taxi experience in Europe with the convenience of Uber and Lyft. By using this app, you can hail a trusted ride easily, track it in real time, and make your transactions cashless.

Which App Should I Use?

Comparing Uber vs. Lyft can be a hard task, as neither rideshare service consistently comes out on top. If you need access to more service options in more cities — especially those abroad — Uber is a clear winner. However, Lyft has many smaller triumphs, including a slightly better high-demand pricing reputation and a more convenient support channel.

Overall, your choice depends on what you’re looking for, what city you’re located in, and more. If price matters the most to you, it may even depend on the exact time of day. Of course, you always have the option to use both services, or choose another one entirely.

201 thoughts on “Uber vs Lyft: A Side-By-Side Comparison for 2020”

  1. I just did a price comparison for a 10 minute trip. Lyft’s estimate was $5.00 more than Uber. Why the big difference? Why would I use Lift? Just asking.

  2. Recent experience: Uber driver did not speak English or know directions to downtown Fort Lauderdale from the beach area! He started going North instead of south from pickup site. He was making a left turn that would have ended at the intercoastal waterway. It was a twilight zone experience. I did not know Uber had a foreign division in the US. Their response was not an explanation, they just apologized. Time to change to Lyft.

  3. Uber didn’t acquire waymo…it is OWNED by google/alphabet, so they CAN’T acquire it. The bought otto, and will get almost nothing out of it, due to the stolen IP associated with it, and the subsequent lawsuite.

    In fact, it is exactly the OPPOSITE of what you said. *LYFT* has a partnership w/ Waymo is well ahead of Uber now, due to that and other partnerships (GM).

    • That was a typo, meant to say Otto instead of Waymo. Thanks for pointing that out. We updated the post to include the change 🙂

  4. Lyft has won me over completely. Regardless of demand, Lyft always seems significantly cheaper and their drivers seem happier. I often feel manipulated by Uber into higher fees. Somtimes it feels like surge pricing is more supply driven than demand driven. There will be few drivers available, Uber claims demand and quotes an outrageos price; I then look at Lyft and there are lots of drivers available and the price is a fraction of Uber’s. That’s been my experience, especially in the Bay Area when I visit.

  5. Lyft has an option called Lyft Lux which is the same vehicle options as UberBlack. I don’t know if it is everywhere yet but it is in California as of now.

  6. I just used Uber today and they do allow tipping and give you the option to put the tip on the method of payment you used. This was in Ocean County, NJ so I’m not sure if this is a regional thing or not.

  7. I only use Lyft now. I will not patronize any company that treats women the way Uber does. Covering up sexual harassment of employees, if they are good performers, is shameful. Uber Board Members cracking sexist jokes during the Board presentation about the companies problems with sexual harassment really shows how entrenched the mysogynistic mindset is. Apparently, at Uber women are to be demeaned and treated as sex objects and the butt of jokes and that is all. Why would anyone still use their service? These clowns are setting the office environment back 70 years. I would rather walk 10 miles. They had a chance to make a change and bring in a female CEO to run the company. Did they do that? No! Of course not. They still seem to think this is a big joke. Sad!

  8. drove for both rideshare campanies for more than 2 years.Regarding customer service Uber is by far better than lyft., Even they’re are not comparable Uber responds with in 30 minutes while Lyft customer service took weeks to response. And Lyft tried to automate their response while Uber has real person.
    In general, in my opinion the author sided with Lyft.

  9. I drove for both rideshare campanies for more than 2 years.Regarding customer service Uber is by far better than lyft., Even they’re are not comparable Uber responds with in 30 minutes while Lyft customer service took weeks to response. And Lyft tried to automate their response while Uber has real person.
    In general, in my opinion the author sided with Lyft.

  10. I drove for both rideshare campanies for more than 2 years.Regarding customer service Uber is by far better than lyft., Even they’re are not comparable Uber responds with in 30 minutes while Lyft customer service took weeks to response. And Lyft tried to automate their response while Uber has real person.
    In general, in my opinion the author sided with Lyft.

  11. I am 77 years old, have been riding Uber for several months now, and not once has the driver gotten out to open a door for me, as stated in the above description of Uber Drivers. My first ride was supposed to be free but that never happened either. I enjoy my Uber ride but try to get your facts straight.

  12. Do either companies offer promotions for existing clients? I understand enticing new customers, but they both need to start trying to retain customers as well.

  13. I’ve driven for both Urber & Lyft. More customer with Urber Much better mapping system with Urber. I drive a vehicle that can carry 1-6 riders. Urber calls it an XL.lyft calls it a plus. 5-6 riders the drive receives about a 20% increase in fare. Urber rider requests an Urber & there are 5 riders the driver later that night sends a message to Urber $ gives the driver there due increase. Lyft rider request a Lyft ride for 1-4 & when driver arrives there are 6 riders waiting at a local pub at 1am driver needs to ask them to cancel the ride & request an Plus so the driver can receive the proper pay, Lyft will not increase by a message later when the driver arrives home at 3am.. PS try requesting a group of party going folks to cancel & re-request yourself?? Well go see what happen.. Not me I’ll be driving for Urber at 1am on Friday & Sat notes somewhere in America??. Tommie

  14. can someone tell me where i can find reviews on lyftdrivers and uberdrivers renting cars from them?
    which company would be better to rent from?

  15. Uber rates on last 500 rides so its very hard to change your ratings if they fall with lyft ratings are based on last 100 rides so you can easily bring that up in a weekend I have had lyft get rid of bad ratings for me just because I told them why I rated the customer bad and why I thought they might rate me lyft is so much better in that area uber suspended my account for lying customers so far with lyft I have a 4.8 and have had over a hundred rides

  16. I can’t consider Uber anymore. They use a business model that deliberately breaks local and state laws and when caught, thumbs their nose at the public. It goes much more beyond brand ‘image’, it is a matter of supporting an illegal (in many locations) and unethical enterprise.

  17. I’m considering driving with Lyft and renting a car from them, my concerns are that they don’t gu;arantee driver to make at least $250.00 a week. it says I authorize Lyft on behalf of the vehicle owner or rental company, tyo deduct any weekly rental charges/fees from my, driver earnings and, if sufficient funds are availaable to debit or charge the above card, So if I dont make at least $250.00 a week they want to debit my bank account, that worries me that I’m paying them for driving for them. It seems that they should guarantee you making $250.00 a week when renting a car for $250.00.

  18. Why do you refer to these as ride”sharing”? There is no sharing involved, they are acommercial taxi services using a clever app and poorly treated drivers.

  19. there is a mistake in the post. in 6th section (innovation). “I think Uber’s acquisition of Waymo puts them one step ahead of Lyft.”. uber bought otto not waymo. waymo is owned by

  20. I drive for both an all I can say is I will not put up with people disrespecting me in my work area. It is as simple as that. I know that Lyft will not match you with a rider if you rate them 3 stars or less. I do not know how Uber goes about it but whenever I give a lower than 5 rating on both apps. I always text and let them know why. I do not rate people on tips because that is a courtesy not mandatory. If I do not give someone 5 stars there was some kind of problem. I deal with people intoxicated on all kinds of things and have had things happen and still give people 5s because I understand he or she is on something and is not in their right mind. On the other hand I do not care if I am on a short or long trip. If someone is riding with me and nothing transpires he or she better say something to me when they get out of my vehicle. If they do not, I will cut them off in a heartbeat. I am doing a public service and if they do not appreciate it they do not have to see me again. I don’t care how you grew up or what your culture is, if your going to go out in public you better have some manners and respect.

  21. Both are available in rural Cape Cod (Ma- in case you didn’t know) but the problem seems to be marketing to people about ride-sharing . Is it okay to link to social media and hype up ride-sharing in rural areas?

  22. I started out riding with Uber, but got pissed off somewhere along the way and looked into Lyft. It’s been great ever since. I can see a difference in quality of the vehicles, and the attitudes of the drivers too.

    Lyft is definitely more cost-effective in surge pricing situations. I won’t go back to Uber.

  23. Just had a really bad experience with Uber, so much so that I started looking into Lyft as an option. Most of my Uber rides have been to/from an Airport, mostly in NYC, but in other cities as well like Chicago, Atlanta, Austin etc. How does Lyft compare based on coverage/costs?

  24. I drive for Uber and have applied to Lyft several times. But haven’t been accepted to drive with Lyft every time I’ve messaged Lyft I have not received any response they won’t even notify me on what documents I am missing.

  25. I use both services and it’s all about getting from A to B. What I find interesting is that all the drives I speak to only ever do it as a part time job. When you look at how many fares they need to take and the average fare rate. It’s nearly impossible to make a full time income. Much like the real estate industry where over 95% of realtors only make a part time living. It seem that both industries have a lot in common. They both generate substantial profits for themselves based on the illusion of the agent buying into the easy income non realistic income dream.

    • That’s an interesting point. I think that you’re right with the illusion aspect.. it seems like easy income but few drivers actually realize how many expenses go into the process behind the scenes.

  26. About the tipping… Uber actually begs the passenger to tip the driver, it says “please tip…” where as Lyft doesn’t thus being said uber wins

  27. There is a history behind Uber’s current 180 day “apology campaign.” My company values the employees. I value those that work for me. I want to be partner with companies that do the same. I should have changed to Lyft some time ago.

  28. Like a lot of people on here, I’m considering becoming an Uber/Lyft driver. Good article and comments, thanks to all. I am about 10 years away from retirement age and am currently unemployed. I don’t need a high paying job but will it be worth my time to drive for Uber and Lyft to pay my rent and basic living expenses? I understand the need to factor in expenses but I have two comments on that. First, comments on here focus on .55 per mile IRS allowance but I don’t look at that as the actual cost of owning/operating my vehicle, I think it is more of an average and the number is for what you can claim on taxes for expenses (similar to paying real estate tax, the “value” of your home on the tax books is not really the value such as an appraisal would provide, it is just a ballpark for tax purposes). Anyway, my information on the subject is not current but several years ago I researched with AAA the ACTUAL cost per mile of owning/operating a vehicle (includes insurance, repairs, etc.) and the number was already much higher than .55 per mile. So, if I have a question it would be does anyone know a good app or source of accurate and current information that takes into account my specific vehicle when calculating my actual costs? Second, I saw no comments regarding tax deductions. As a driver wouldn’t I be able to claim all the miles I drive at .55 per mile or otherwise get some kind of tax break? Knowledgeable input appreciated. I want to understand as fully as I can the income and expenses that will be involved before I jump into this. Thanks.

  29. Uber fired me for stalking my last passenger. She obtained a restraining order, and then reported it to them. That’s not right. I didn’t do anything wrong. All I wanted was to settle down, get married, and have lots of children. I was madly in love with her. Every time I drove by her house and tried to call her, she would ignore me. I would send her flowers and jewelry. When I peeked into her window at night, I caught her cheating on me with another man. I followed him home and confronted the guy. We got into an altercation, and I was arrested for battery.

    How do I convince Uber to let me drive for them again? I need a job. I told them I was very sorry. It was nothing but a mere lover’s quarrel.

  30. Bottom Line is that Lyft passengers tip at about 50% of the fares. Uber Passengers simply don’t. Whatever the reason it doesn’t really matter. Tips are BIG FACTOR. If Lyft had the quantity of rides I would easily go Lyft exclusively.

  31. It is NOT rideshare. I told my passengers, “the only reason I am on this street, at this time, going this direction is you told me to”. Every State should sue Uber for Unemployment Insurance. There is an obvious Employer to Employee relationship. When States hit Uber with UI it will be the end of this social experiment.

  32. Also, No Health Insurance, no Workers Compensation. Driving 18 hours a day to make money will cause blood clots. Very dangerous, drivers are never cut off for over driving. Tired driving is just as bad as drunk driving. Your life is in the hands of someone who may not have slept in 20 hours. I am putting screenshots in my book, substantiating days I put in 19 hours in a row. Lastly, please Google how many Uber drivers have been murdered by their passengers?

  33. Hi all, I drove 5,000 Uber trips in 12 months in Chicago to write my book, “5,000 First Dates, #1 Uber Driver tells all”. I am including a chapter on why Uber will be out of business in the next 2 years, as it is just not sustainable. My all in, expense included income was 1/2 IL Minimum Wage. Most of the book is great stories about the wonderful people I met, but the conclusion is, in 5 years we will all look back and say “remember when people would drive complete strangers in their cars?”. These strangers will eat in your car, do drugs in your back seat, vomit, talk on phone loudly, smell so bad it’s as if they pooped in there pants. I drove many nice people, but also drove the general public that you see on the bus and subway. I drove 85,000 miles on my car during this project. Six (6) times another car hit me in Chicago traffic and Uber’s insurance deductible (for the drivers car) is $1,000. Inevitable driver saturation will occur soon, every one will know someone that was or is a driver. These drivers will eventually admit they only promoted Uber to get you to sign up so they could receive the referral bonus. This is worse than Multi-Level Marketing schemes, as everybody loses.

  34. It irritates me that both companies think a car must be 2006 or newer to drive for them! I own a beautiful 2004 Lexus RX 330 (black on black) with low miles and every option available, but its too old?

  35. I’ve driven for with both companies for over a year, and even though lyft claims to do more for the driver, this just isn’t true. Uber gives regular multiple incentives during the week. Lyft only does promotions when they need the drivers. So much for “a family, feel good ” company. They’re into it for the money, just like uber, and the only difference I see is Lyft is more selfish with sharing the profits.

    • Exactly my feeling, dennis.
      Another issue: have you ever try to actually contact Lyft if you have an issue with you ride? Don’t waste your time, they never reply.

  36. Uber invented the marketplace, Business model, and rideshare by phones… Lyft is a ‘Me too’ copycat attempt to take another’s idea, and make money too. As a consumer- ya tend to get better svc from the innovator- instead of the imitator…

    • While a “Me Too” copycat, I think they are doing something right. You rarely see Lyft in the news like you do with Uber. and that’s not a good thing lol

  37. What the article fails to mention is that in most ride scenarios, i.e. short trips, Uber’s share of the total fare is roughly the same as the driver, or more. In other words, the individual investing in the vehicle, gas, maintenance and performing the job is being taken advantage of by a greedy giant whose very survival is dependent on signing up a continuous stream of new drivers. Most Uber drivers don’t stick with it very long for the reason I outlined, and for those outlined by Lurker several comments below. Lyft treats the driver far more equitably by paying them a higher percentage. If the Uber passenger wants to have a direct impact on a greedy pig taking advantage of its drivers then consider using Lyft. Lyft is expanding by leaps and bounds and most Uber driver are now driving with Lyft as well, so make a contribution to the solution instead of being part of the problem, and put the screws to the greedy pigs who run Uber.

  38. I’ve just started driving for uber about 3 weeks ago as a part time job. I enjoy it because I’m a very outgoing person and so far my riders have all enjoyed themselves judging by my tips, ratings and comments. There are a few issues that I’ve had with the gps being off and with the number of riders when I show up, but over all I’ve loved it. As far as the issue with female riders being able to request female drivers, I agree that they should have that option as I have two daughters of my own and there are some shady men out there. There are lots of improvements that could be made like ( drivers being able to have a preferred list of drivers they want, passenger head count for easier classification instead of showing up and having 6 people waiting and only having a 4 passenger vehicle.) I have no experience with lift but I’m sure both companies have things they need to improve on.

  39. No, just male drivers are more likely to sexually harass or rape a female rider…one of the main reasons ride sharing is scary for women.

  40. I drive for both Uber and Lyft and I found that Uber is a lot busier and the rider are even nicer. Get tired of going out of my way for rude sand snotty Lyft passangers who think they are better than us.

  41. It would-be great if they added a non chat option where the driver just paid attention to the road. I just want to get to my destination and not have a forced conversation with a total stranger other than to answer trip related questions. I would even be willing to pay more for a quiet ride.Some drivers get that you don’t want to have a conversation but the majority of drivers are offended if you just want peace and quiet. And with the rating system I always feel like I’m gonna get a bad rating if I don’t put on a happy face and have a lively conversation.

  42. Your comment hurts Lyft more than Uber. Most people don’t want to pay to be driven by somebody who had a DUI regardless of the circumstances.

  43. I drove for Uber and Lyft, both, and quit after giving 500 rides. There are comments about drivers not opening the door (even after these companies have been in business for years?) which was surprising. Passengers don’t seem to understand drivers are not making much money, and these are not limo services.

    Please don’t expect the guy making $10/hr to come out and open the door for you (you have an option to pay for such service like Uber Black/SUV if you care).

    After considering all expenses it comes down to min wage in most of the markets for most of the drivers (some exceptions are there like some drivers were signed up with higher commission/compensation during early days .. not anymore). If someone says they are making $30/Hr they are either lying or not doing their math right. There is a reason half of the drivers quit within first year. Been there done that.

  44. If you drive for a rideshare company you need rideshare insurance. Or, you could roll the dice and hope your insurance company doesn’t find out – in which case – you’re NOT covered. BTW: Get into an accident while driving to a pickup or with a passenger and you’re covered. Too bad the deductible with these companies is $2,500.


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