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How to Use Lyft Without a Smartphone [Step-By-Step]

Learn how to use Lyft without a smartphone, step-by-step. We'll cover the process of doing so in a few different ways.

Key Takeaways

  • Order Lyft rides online using a computer or tablet with internet access.
  • Borrow someone else’s smartphone to use your Lyft account or theirs.
  • Utilize concierge services like GoGoGrandparent to request a ride via phone call.
  • Ensure clear communication with the concierge for pickup details and needs.

Can You Use Lyft Without a Smartphone?

Yes, you can use Lyft without a smartphone by ordering rides online using a computer or tablet with internet access, borrowing someone else’s smartphone to use your or their Lyft account, or utilizing concierge services like GoGoGrandparent to request a ride via phone call.

The Typical Lyft Experience

Lyft operates like your usual rideshare application. You open your phone with the location pin enabled, open the app, select the pickup and drop points, and then wait for your driver.

If you have done this process at least once, then you’ll still be able to use Lyft without your smartphone through the workarounds in this guide.

If you’ve never used Lyft before, you won’t be able to utilize it without your phone, as Lyft sends a confirmatory text to your phone during the initial process.

That being said, let’s talk about the solutions.

Option 1: Ordering a Lyft Ride Online

If you already have a working Lyft account, you can order a ride without using your smartphone. Lyft allows you to request a ride online after you log in to your account through their website.

The catch is that you need a computer/laptop and internet. This isn’t a problem if you’re at somebody’s home (or your home) and your smartphone isn’t accessible for any reason.

However, we typically don’t walk around with laptops and a USB internet, making this option difficult if you’re outside.

The alternative here is going to an internet cafe or any technology store where you can get brief access to a working browser to get on the Lyft website.  

Note: Lyft might still require a phone number for verification, especially if you haven’t used Lyft for a while. Fortunately, any mobile phone, smart or not, yours or not, will do at this point.

Option 2: Use Someone Else’s Phone

You can log in to your account from anyone else’s phone if they have Lyft installed. The catch here is that Lyft might recognize the new phone and send a confirmatory text.

You can get around this by inserting your SIM card into their phone to get the confirmatory message. This can be a hassle if that someone is a stranger and even bothersome if you don’t have a SIM eject tool or anything similar to access the SIM card tray.

Alternatively, you may have them call a Lyft for you using their account and pay them when the car arrives.

Option 3: Use a Concierge Service

You may be in an area without internet, which technically nullifies the previous two options. That’s when you should utilize concierge services.

Such services offer many handy options, including the ability to request rides. Among those is GoGoGrandparent, which is partnered with Lyft. Here are the detailed steps:

Step 1: Reach Out to GoGoGrandparent

You can use any phone to call this number at 1 (855) 464-6872. While switching SIMs or signing in using your Lyft account on someone else’s phone can be a hassle, a quick call request is acceptable to many strangers.

Step 2: Select Your Pickup Location

You’ll be directed to a recorded message. The services often change, so we can’t give you the exact first number to press. Listen to the message, and press the number corresponding to the Lyft Service.

Once you do, you may press 1 to request a ride from your home or 2 to request a ride from the location you were dropped off previously. If your current location isn’t among these two options, you’ll need to speak to an operator.

Step 3: Speak to an Operator

You need to press 6 to speak with a GoGoGrandparent operator for an exact pickup location. After verifying your information and current location, they’ll inform a Lyft driver of your location.

You must be as clear as possible with the address you’re currently in. If possible, agree on a precise pickup location near a well-known landmark in that area.

Step 4: Explore Accessibility Options (Optional)

If you need a vehicle with accessibility features, require assistance loading or unloading bags, or prefer a driver speaking a specific language, you should inform the operator.

Step 5: Confirm Your Request

Your operator will repeat your ride details for you after you finish providing them. Make sure that you carefully listen to avoid any misunderstandings, as you have no way to contact your driver without the application.

The operator will also confirm the destination address and estimated fare, so ensure you have enough money to pay.

Finally, take notes of the Lyft driver details, like their name, car model, and license plate number, to ensure that you get into the correct vehicle.

Note: If you already have a GoGoGrandparent account linked to your credit/debit card, you don’t need to pay the driver directly, as the fare will automatically be charged to your associated payment method.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

It should be noted that the process of requesting a Lyft ride without a smartphone is very complicated and quite stressful.

First, coordinating pick-up locations and times can be challenging without real-time access to the app.

Doing so requires a great deal of planning ahead and communicating clearly with your driver or the service booking your ride.

Second, safety can potentially be an issue.

The convenience and safety features of using the Lyft app directly on a smartphone (such as GPS tracking, driver details, and in-app communication) are unmatched.

Consider the trade-offs when choosing an alternative method.

My Suggestion: If you have a device that can connect to Wi-Fi, you can use the Lyft app while connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Plan your trips around Wi-Fi availability, such as connecting at home, work, or public Wi-Fi spots to book your rides.

I would also consider carrying a portable Wi-Fi hotspot or using the hotspot feature from another mobile phone with data service to provide internet access to your Wi-Fi-only device, if possible.

The stronger connection you have, the better the ride process will be.

Final Words

Using Lyft without a smartphone might be annoying, but it’s not impossible. A working computer and an internet connection should be your first option. If not, using someone else’s Lyft app can be a feasible option.

If your only option is a telephone booth, call a concierge service like GoGoGrandparent and have the operator send a Lyft to your location.

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