How to Become a Lyft Driver | Lyft Driver Reviews
Type: Ride Share / Freelance Jobs
Overall Rank: 7 out of 10
In this article, I am going to show you exactly how to become a Lyft driver, but before I get into that, I’m going to give you a full review of what it’s like to be a Lyft driver so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
If you don’t need to read Lyft reviews because your mind is already made up, feel free to skip the reviews and apply to be a Lyft driver from this site to be eligible for extra bonuses.
What is it like to be a Lyft Driver?
It has its ups and downs. You take the good with the bad. Nothing in life is ever 100% perfect so I’m going to break down everything good and bad and let you decide for yourself if it’s worth doing.
What I Liked about Being a Lyft driver:
1. You work when you want to work.
One of the most appealing things about being a Lyft driver is you work when you want to work, but that depends on how much money you need to make. I talk more about that later on.
2. Tax write-offs
You get a lot of tax benefits when you use your vehicle for business use. There are two ways to get tax cuts. The first is to claim all the mileage that you drive for business. At the time that this article was written, you got 0.535 cent per mile and that adds up to big savings on your taxes. This is the method that most people use because it’s easier.
The other is to actually track everything you spend on the car that was for business purposes, like fuel, car washes, maintenance, etc, and then claim those. This method takes more knowledge of taxes so I wouldn’t recommend doing it without talking to an accountant.
Use Mile IQ to track your miles or a spread sheet. I used a spread sheet for a year before I decided to try Mile IQ. It makes tracking miles way easier.
3. Above all else, Lyft bonuses are awesome!
Lyft has the best bonuses of any ride share program out there. It seems like they always have at least 2 or 3 running at the same time. Here’s a description of each.
Lyft Streak Bonus
This is when Lyft rewards you for completing rides back-to-back without turning any of them down or turning the Lyft app off. I’ve seen the streak bonus go anywhere from 3 in a row to 5 in a row.
You usually get a $3-5 bonus per ride given. For example, they might be offering a bonus of $12 for completing 3 rides back-to-back. After the third ride, $12 is added to your pay.
Once you’ve completed the first cycle, it starts over and you get another bonus for each streak you complete within the bonus time frame.
Power Driver Bonus
What is the Power Driver Bonus? This bonus is available every week and it’s perfect for people who drive full time because they add such a substantial amount of money to your pay.
Power Drive Bonuses go week to week. You complete a certain number of rides, a certain number of peak hour rides, and keep your acceptance rate at a certain level (usually above 90%) and that qualifies you for a bonus.
In my area, the last time I drove for Lyft, the Power Drive Bonuses ranged from $35 – $195. The amount of money more than likely varies depending on what city you drive in.
4. Get paid immediately
Lyft pays once a week. Pay periods go from Monday 4AM to the following Monday at 3:59AM.
You have an option to get paid as soon as you earn money, though. As long as you’ve made more than $5, you can have the money transferred into your bank account right away. The money usually shows up in your account within an hour of cashing out.
You can do this as many times as you want, but Lyft charges 50 cents per early cash out.
Lyft pays everything you earn during a pay period on the Wednesday following the end of the pay period. It doesn’t cost anything if you wait until normal pay day.
What I Didn’t Like about Being a Lyft Driver:
1. Lyft will beat your car up
You do a lot of driving with Lyft. You never know where your passenger is going until after you pick them up so you could end up anywhere.
I’ve driven as far as 130 miles for a single ride before. You have the option to say no, but keep in mind that turning down rides after you’ve accepted them counts against you.
2. You’re not quite as free to work whenever you want as you think you are
If you just need some extra income to supplement your income, yes, you can turn the app on at any time and make just enough to cover some bills and have spending money for the weekend.
But let’s say you’re unemployed, on the other hand, and need enough to cover the rent, gas, insurance, and everything else.
If that’s the case, you will probably have a little less freedom choosing when you want to work because you’ll need to work when the most people are requesting rides. That would be Monday-Thursday mornings when people are going to work and then early evenings when it’s time to come home; Fridays all day and night; Saturday evenings; Sunday mornings; and of course, special events.
Lyft Driver Salary
Lyft charges passengers a base fare, a rate per minute, and a rate per mile. You get 75% of all of that added together.
These rates, minimum commissions, and maximum commissions vary city to city so I’m not going to list them here.
Lyft Cancel Fee – if you accept a ride request and the passenger cancels more than 2 minutes after you accepted it and you were on pace to get there within 5 minutes of the estimated time, you still get a commission.
No-show Fee – if you arrive to pick up the passenger, wait 5 minutes or more, and try to contact the customer through the app, you can cancel the order and still receive a commission.
Lyft Driver Requirements
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Must have had your license for 1 year minimum
- Three moving violations in the last 3 years or less
- No major moving violations in the last 3 years, like reckless driving
- No DUI or other drug related incidents
- No driver-related convictions like hit-and-run
- Must pass a criminal background check in which they’ll check for violent behavior, felonies, drug convictions, sex offenders, and theft.
- 4-door vehicle in safe condition
- 2002 or newer unless you live in:
- Alabama: Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville 2008
- Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson 2002
- California 2004
- Colorado 2004
- Washington DC 2008
- Hawaii 2002
- Illinois: Bloomington 2008
- Illinois: Chicago 2004
- Louisiana: New Orleans 2010
- Maryland 2008
- Massachusetts 2004
- Minnesota: Duluth 2008
- Minnesota: Minneapolis-St. Paul 2005
- Nebraska: Omaha 2002
- Nevada: Las Vegas 2008
- Nevada: Reno 2002
- New Jersey 2004
- New York: New York City – Vehicle age requirements governed by the TLC
- New York: (all cities except NYC) 2004
- North Carolina: Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham 2002
- Pennsylvania 2004
- Ohio: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo 2002
- Oregon: Portland 2008
- Rhode Island: Providence 2004
- South Dakota: Sioux Falls 2008
- Tennessee: Nashville, Jackson, & Cookeville 2004
- Texas: Austin, Dallas, & Houston 2004
- Vermont 2008
- Virginia: Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Richmond, Roanoke, & Harrisonburg 2005
- Virginia: Virginia Beach 2002
- Washington: Seattle & Tacoma 2008
Lyft Driver Training
Training is relatively easy because all you’re really doing is picking people up and dropping them off. Most of the training revolves around how to use the Lyft app.
They have videos that walk you through the process from start to finish. It’s no more complicated than using any other app. You’ll understand it within 1 or 2 tries.
Lyft Driver Support
Help is available by support ticket.
My Final Opinion of Being a Lyft Driver
Personally, I think Lyft is worth doing, and I’d recommend them over their competitor, Uber, because they take less in booking fees and offer way more bonuses, but I wouldn’t recommend ride share driving full time unless you live in a city that’s busy enough to keep you driving every minute that you’re out there, like New York, for example.
Even then, be sure to keep up on maintenance, save a little money to cover repairs so you’re not out of a job if anything goes wrong with your car, and please, please, please, don’t forget about taxes.
Lyft doesn’t take taxes out so you’re responsible for paying them. Remember, you’re not an employee; you’re an independent contractor.
FINAL RATING: 7 out of 10
Click here to Become a Lyft Driver
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