Lyft Review – Driver Requirements & Earnings

Lyft is offering a $1,200 sign-on bonus for new drivers. This is an impressive offer to all those thinking of becoming a Lyft rideshare driver.

But before you can earn some extra cash, there are a few hoops that you must go through.

This Lyft Review will highlight a few of the driver requirements that you must meet to become a driver for Lyft.

So, if you are looking for a quick way to make money, this might be the gig, or maybe not!

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Lyft is the second most popular choice for on-demand transportation services besides Uber.

The company was launched in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer as a service of Zimride.

In 2013, the company changed its name from Zimride to Lyft in an effort to expand the rideshare services beyond the campus of Cornell University.

The company is currently operating in over 300 cities in the U.S., which include these following populated cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando – Disney World, and Phoenix. Lyft is also operating in selective cities in Canada.

If you live in any of the cities that Lyft operates, you can register to become a Lyft driver as long as you meet the company requirements. I’ll discuss more driver requirements in this Lyft driver review later. For now, to find out if Lyft operates in your city, just visit the company website.

Lyft acts as middleman matching drivers with individuals needing rides. This is often described as peer-to-peer transportation services via an app.

Both drivers and passengers are required to register and download the Lyft mobile app. Passengers use this app to request rides and make payment. The driver uses the app to accept rides and earn money as a driver. Lyft makes money by charging driver a commission on each ride.

The introduction of Lyft and Uber has created a new opportunity for people to make money driving their car.

For many of us, driving for Lyft is considered as an easy way to earn a second income, while others are driven full-time.

Even though the initial investment of launching a Lyft driving business is low, but the expensive operating expenses can wipe out your hard earnings. It is not that glamorous to be a Lyft driver. You might not earn as much as you’d think.

Lyft drivers have claimed that they make more money online doing surveys while waiting for your next ride. I don’t know if this is true, but here are the most popular survey sites which you might want to become a member while driving for Lyft: InboxDollars, Swagbucks, Ebates, Survey Junkie, and Ibotta.

The rest of this Lyft Review will offer you an idea of what it’s like to drive for Lyft, the requirements, the earnings, and the working conditions.

If you cannot or don’t like the long driving hours, then Lyft driver business is not for you. However, you can still make money with Lyft. I have included a section at the end of this article sharing with you how I make money without driving for Lyft. You can jump to the section now

Lyft peer-to-peer transportation services start with a rider requesting for a ride through the app.

  • The ride is routed to the nearby Lyft divers notifying them of the new request which they have 15 seconds to accept or decline it.
  • If a driver accepts the request, the ride is closed.
  • The app will direct the driver to the passenger pickup location.
  • Once arrived at the location, the driver then presses a button, letting passengers know the ride has arrived.
  • When they are ready to head out, the driver presses the button against, so the app can automatically track the entire trip.
  • Upon arriving at the destination, the driver presses another button to end the trip.
  • As soon as the driver pressed the end button, Lyft will charge rider the fares using the payment information stored in the app.
  • The driver will see the total earnings for the transportation service, including tips and bonus if any.

The ride is completed. Both driver and rider can rate each other. The driver is now available to accept new requests.

As Lyft driver, you don’t have to worry about collecting money, including tip, from passengers. The Lyft app will handle the fares collecting and forward the payment to you.

Lyft driving process is simple and easy with the app. But before you can accept the first ride, you have to apply and meet the Lyft driver requirements. We’ll talk about this next.

Before applying to become a Lyft driver, you need to meet these requirements.

Before going online to apply to become a Lyft Driver, you need to verify that Lyft is operating in the area you plan to drive and accepting new driver.

The driver qualifications
    • Must Be at least 21 years old.
    • Pass the DMV, the National Sex Offender Registry, and background checks.
      • Criminal background check goes back seven years.
    • Own an iPhone or an Android smartphone.
Required Documents
    • Must have a valid driver license for least one year.
    • Have proof of car insurance with your name on the policy.
    • The vehicle must have a valid instate plates and registration information.
    • Complete a vehicle inspection.
    • Upload a photo of yourself.
Lyft Vehicle requirements
    • Must meet the Vehicle age requirement: check your city’s regulation. Usually any car model from 2005 or newer.
    • The car must have 5 to 8 seats, not counting the driver.
    • The car must be four doors

You are not allowed to accept rides until Lyft has completed the background and DMV checks, verified your insurance, and inspected the vehicle. This process can take from 2 days to more than a week.

To start the verification process, you can submit an application to become a Lyft driver.

Lyft Insurance Requirements
    • Every Lyft driver is required to carry a commercial liability policy with the following minimum coverage:
    • $1 million commercial liability policy
    • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to $50,000 and $2,500 deductible.
    • Contingent liability coverage up to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident/$25,000 property damage.
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage up to $1 million.

Even though Lyft drivers are considered as an independent contractor, this commercial liability insurance is offered and paid for by Lyft. You don’t need to buy a separate policy.

Lyft Driver Application

If you meet all the requirements above, just visit the Lyft website to start the application process.

The process begins with filling out basic information to confirm Lyft is hiring in the area.

If Lyft is hiring, you are requested to submit documents include driver license, proof of insurance, and meet the basic vehicle requirements.

The next step is waiting for Lyft to conduct the background check and some paperwork.

If everything goes well, you could be driving for Lyft in no time.

Download and Install Lyft Driver App

The first thing you must do to accept passengers is to download and install the Lyft driver app onto your smartphone.

The driver app is very similar to the passenger app, except, it allows you to pick up ride request and make money.

If you already have a rider account with Lyft, you can switch from rider account to driver account inside the Lyft rider app. But, it is much easier to download the driver app and connect your Lyft rider account to your driver account.

When you are ready to accept new riders, you can launch the driver app and press the steering wheel in the upper right-hand corner of the app to tell Lyft that you are available to pick up new passengers. For a complete step-by-step how the app work, click here to visit the driving section of this Lyft Driver Review.

The Lyft driver app is minimal but very powerful. It is packed with resources such as insurance, vehicle information, photo, links to the Lyft support center, and personal referral code.

The driver app will notify all update requirements such as renewal of car insurance. You are required to submit a picture of the new insurance policy to Lyft if you want to continue to drive for the company.

How Much You Make as A Lyft Driver?

You are an independent driver which means you are operating your own business.

As a business owner, what you take in is not necessarily the amount you are taking home.

There are many factors affected how much a Lyft driver makes, such as the city and state you live, the hours you drive, the car insurance costs, the price of gas, and more.

It’s unlikely that drivers will bring home the amount suggested by Lyft in their recruiting campaigns.

Many Lyft drivers also operate a Blog to make money online while driving for Lyft part-time. Blogging is the most lucrative business opportunity is an online business. It’s the cheapest and easiest business to launch. You can work from home with just a computer. If you are interested, I suggest reading this article, “Online Business for Beginners” to learn more.

In the next section of this Lyft review, we’ll take a closer look at this earning issue.

Lyft Driver Working Hours

Flexibility is the number 1 reason people become a rideshare driver.

As a Lyft driver, you can literally drive whenever you want. Whenever you feel like driving, all you have to do is turn on the Lyft app, press the button to accept passenger and start making money.

However, Lyft requires all drivers to take an 8-hour break after driving for 10 hours. The app will automatically kick off. This is for safety reasons.

As a rideshare driver, you only make money when actively driving.

With an online business, I Make Money 24/7. Do you want to know how much I make while not driving with Lyft? Here is my online income report.

Lyft Driver Working Conditions

People mistakenly think driving for Lyft is funs and exciting adventure.

As a rideshare driver, not everything is fun, and certainly, not everything is bad. You will have an upside and downside moments. It all depends on your driving hours and what is going on during that time.

If you are driving for Lyft full-time, do expect long working hours. Most of the time, you will be driving at night during the prime time if you want to make good money.

Long driving hours mean a lot of sitting. This can cause poor blood circulation and back pain which can take a toll on your body. It is important to take a 30 break for every hour of driving.

The worst thing driving for Lyft is dealing with drunk people. Not all passengers will be drunk, but a large number are.

Rideshare is a popular service to use after a night out drinking with friends.

Drunk people tend to be obnoxious, confused, and might have a problem getting in and out of the car. This can be a little annoying, but you have to learn to get used to as a Lyft driver.

Some drunk passengers might be violent, rude, or even vomit in your car. As a Lyft driver, you will have to deal with these situations.

Just remember, use your best judgment when accepting passengers. You don’t have to accept a ride if you believe your own safety is at risk. Protect yourself!

Lyft Driver Earnings

Rideshare driver is a part-time business. You should not expect to make a good living as a Lyft driver. Majority of Lyft drivers have a full-time job.

Lyft drivers make an average of $7 to $10 per ride. During prime time, the average rate increases by 75% to $12.25 to $17.50 per ride.

Many Lyft drivers prefer to work during prime time to earn more, but it’s all depends on demand and the number of drivers working. Sometimes, working prime time brings in a low paycheck compared to work normal hours.

Therefore, it is hard to determine a set dollar amount as a Lyft driver.

On a special event day, you make good money, about $15 0 – $200, while most days you are lucky if you can get two rides.

The amount you receive after completing a ride is not the actual earnings. There are business expenses associated with driving for Lyft which I’ll outline in the Lyft Driver Business Expenses later in this Lyft driver review.

Lyft Driver Earning Bonuses

Lyft encourages passengers to tip drivers. This is a nice way to earn some extra money for each ride.

The best way to earn tips from customers is to be friendly, being knowledgeable about your city, and keeping the vehicle clean all the time.

Lyft driver referral and new driver bonuses are other great ways to earn more money.

Referral bonuses are between $100 to $1,000, depending on the city. The requirements to receive Lyft driver referral commissions are:

New drivers must complete the required number of rides and obtain a 90% customer satisfaction rating within the first 30 days for both to earn the bonus. 

It is very difficult to meet Lyft driver referral requirements. Furthermore, Lyft doesn’t list the bonus amount on their website. It is very confusing for new drivers to know the exact amount and requirements to earn the bonus. The best option for new Lyft drivers is to ask support when sign up to become a driver.

Lyft Driver Business Expenses

As an independent driver, you are running your own on-demand transportation business. This means you must pay a certain business expense from your earnings.

All your business-related expenses are tax-deductible. It is important to keep all the receipts for year-end tax filing.

The first business expense is Lyft fees. Lyft deducts 20% per ride for drivers joined before 2016 and 25% for drivers after January 2016.

This fee can change by Lyft by either raising the fees on drivers or lower the fares for customers. Either way, your earnings will be reduced and nothing you can do about it.

The city tax on driver takes another cut at the earnings.

For example, The New York City takes an 8.87% sales tax and 2.5% Black Car Fund for a total of 11.37% from the fare.

Here are the other business expenses associated with becoming a Lyft driver:

  • Car detailing both inside and outside
  • The costs of gas
  • The car monthly payments
  • Car insurance
  • Car maintenance costs
  • Highway Tolls
  • Self-employment taxes

Some Lyft drivers report that after factoring in these business expenses, they earn less than the minimum wage.

The single most expensive business expense as a Lyft driver is wear and tear. Many Lyft drivers find that they have to replace their vehicle much quicker than they would imagine. It is a huge unanticipated costs.

How to Get Paid as A Lyft Driver?

Lyft pays the drivers weekly on Tuesday around 5 Am with direct deposit into their bank accounts. The deposit takes 2-3 days to complete.

If any Lyft drivers wish to get paid faster, they can use the Express Pay option with a fee of 50 cents per request.

Should I Become a Lyft Driver?

Driving for Lyft sounds like a good idea to earn some extra money on the weekend or when you have free time.

If you are living in a city where rideshare demand is low, then driving for Lyft is not the best way to earn money. You better of using one of these ways to make money from home that requires little investment and/or involvement.

A few things you need to take into consideration when making the decision to become a Lyft driver are business expenses and taxes. These will take a big cut out of your earnings.

You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons to determine if driving for Lyft is the right investment for you.

Lyft Driver Pros
  • Be your own boss and operate your own business if you are willing to deal with long driving hours, high vehicle maintenance, and self-employment taxes.
  • Flexible, make your own work schedule and work as much as you want.
  • Opportunity to meet new people and interesting places.
  • A quick way to earn cash and cash out the same day.
Lyft Driver Cons
  • Low pay rate, if you are willing to earn under the minimum wages.
  • More mileage on the car, more oil changes, and vehicle maintenance
  • Never know final destinations until accepted the ride. This means you cannot negotiate reasonable fares.
  • Work long hours to cover business expenses.
  • No benefits.

No driving for Lyft is not a scam. It is a legit business opportunity.

However, don’t expect to earn a full-time income as a Lyft driver. This is more of a part-time or extra income gig. 

For many Lyft drivers, the costs of high vehicle maintenance and taxes take a big cut from their earnings.

Lyft driver opportunity is not a scam, but it is not worth your time to invest in this opportunity compared to other online businesses.

I personally don’t think is worth it to drive for Lyft considering the high costs of vehicle maintenance and the low pay.

I don’t work for minimum wage, especially with my own business.

As a Lyft driver, you are classified as a business owner, but you do not own your business. The moment you stop working, you earn nothing.

I own my online business. It makes money 24/7, even when I am not working.

With one website, I could make over $7,000 a month. Here’s my profile.

Online business, especially Affiliate Marketing, is the most lucrative business to operate. The initial investment is low and the reward is high.

Operating online business give you the freedom to be your own boss, work from home, set your own work schedule, earn passive income, and the opportunity to become rich.

If you are looking for a real opportunity to make extra money to supplement your income or even a full-time job, I suggest you check out these 10 Free Online Business Training Lessons to learn if this opportunity is right for you.

Or, you can join the #1 online entrepreneur community which I have used to build my business. Follow the link and discover your new potential.

After conducting this Lyft review, I discovered working as a Lyft driver has up and down moments, and the earnings are low.

If you are willing to accept low pay, long driving hours, destroy your car, Become a Lyft Driver is a perfect fit.

If you want to make real money from home and own your business without the hassle of dealing with drunk passengers, then follow this link below to learn and build your own online business.

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